Zermatt – the most photographed place in Switzerland – is extremely popular abroad. The iconic shape of the Matterhorn makes every setting more beautiful and looks like a postcard. So tourists flock to the village and the offer of restaurants is quite wide. It’s not rare to see a menu description in Chinese, and getting confused about what you’ll really get.
If you want to experience what Switzerland can give at its best, the place to visit is The Omnia.
When I told my friends I would go to The Omnia, some got quite excited.
It looks like a spaceshift and the restaurant is dope,
a girl said. So I had high expectations.
The Omnia at a Glance
- Design – Modern, lots of natural materials, fresh flowers contrasting with the minimalistic fireplace. Soft lights and friendly atmosphere
- Crowd – Mostly couples, 30 to 40 years old. The rest is rather mixed (Swiss and non Swiss, different ages)
- Awards: 1 Michelin star, 14 Gault Millau points
- Chef: Hauke Pohl
- Food: Authentic flavours, seasonal ingredients, contemporary cooking, unpretentious style but a lot of thinking in it
- Ambience: Romantic at the private table, rather informal in the rest of the restaurant
- Bonus: many surprises between courses and outstanding bread
My Experience at The Omnia
I went for dinner with my husband. We first sat at the fireplace you see in the cover picture, for drinks. The crackling fire and the candles made me feel immediately at ease. We were asked about allergies or dislikes.
We chose the gourmet menu, 7 courses. It started with leeks on radish icicles, but actually we were given so many small appetisers before that, that we almost lost count of the courses. The funny thing was that the appetisers were quite big, so we expected huge courses. Eventually all courses turned out to be more or less the same dimension, but just many more than you actually read on the menu.
The bread was fantastic. Let me repeat it here: it was fan-ta-stic. Ok, I was starving. And ok, the three types of butter (normal, salty and with nuts) helped to appreciate. But its crunchiness was the best I have ever experienced. I enquired about it and was told it is from a local bakery, Biner (half of Zermatt residents are called Biner).
A variation of cabbage was the second highlight. It wasn’t written anywhere, so I am not sure anymore of how exactly it was prepared. But the contrasting flavours and creamy consistence made us moan. One Michelin star for this? We thought. We hadn’t even seen the main course and had already tasted and seen so many ingredients, sauces, herbs and colors, that we felt we should write to Michelin to protest and get more.
Veal with mushrooms was the pièce de résistance, so I expected some really fancy mushrooms. Champignons arrived. Did you know that humble champignons can taste like heaven, especially with tender meat and mustard sauce? Another surprise.
Unfortunately, when cheese arrived I was already starting to be full. So it’s the course I remember the least.
But dessert, the honey panna cotta you see in the picture below, was rather light, so I could enjoy its different flavors and consistence.
The trolley full of “after dessert” treats like macaroons, chocolates, small slices of tarts and candied fruits was just too much. I had to give up at that point. I refused even coffee. When it arrived for my husband, it smelled so good that I got repented. But hey. I was just happy – and finished. What a meal!
In my opinion – I wrote it already – one Michelin star is really the minimum such a place can be given. The amount of skills and techniques used, but also the imagination and passion for food are clear.
A young staff that knows exactly which guest wants to talk (i.e., me, of course) and which prefer their privacy was also a pleasant addition to the experience.
If you want to see some videos of the evening, you can go to my Instagram stories highlights.