ZOTT’s True Alps

Taste the Alps

Taking hearty mountain cuisine then fancying it up with fine dining pizzazz, ZOTT’’s True Alps is the newly opened and totally unique restaurant to hit Singapore’’s dining scene.

Despite having visited all eight Alpine nations, we must confess, we had no idea what generic Alpine cuisine was when we first heard about ZOTT’s. Perhaps a fusion of regional styles, or maybe the best of the best? The Alps are a vast range of European mountains stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east, to France, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland in the west, with Monaco and Italy in the south. The people are diverse and so are the regional culinary influences – so what is it that ZOTT’s cooks up?

Another aspect of ZOTT’s that’s quite misleading is its unusual location. It is nestled snuggly on Amoy Street at the heart of Singapore’s bustling Chinatown, so a first glance at the mountain-chic restaurant causes quite the double-take.

But all became clear when we finally got to chat with Christian Zott himself, the founder of this fabulous new eatery. He explained that ZOTT’s is a contemporary and traditional gastronomic translation of Alpine cuisine, which indeed winds its way though the mountainous region, gathering together different styles, flavours and cooking techniques from every culinary nook and cranny.

“Our goal is to take diners on an easy-going and relaxed epicurean journey through the Alps” said Christian, “leaving our guests with a better insight into Alpine culture and its cuisine.”

To breathe life into this concept, Christian enlisted the help of Alpine-native Chef Lorenz-Maria Griesser to helm the kitchen, and together they have created a culinary adventure that traverses a continent. The journey begins with complimentary and homemade traditional Bavarian rye bread, Koenig Ludwig Brot, which comes sprinkled with fresh chives and a drizzle of relish.

Browsing the extensive menu, the authenticity is clear, but at the same time, there are a number of specialty dishes with some serious culinary stats. Take the Carpaccio d’Espadon for instance. This stunning appetiser looks like something from Disney’s Snow White, where a gleaming red Topaz apple sits atop delicate slivers of swordfish. The apple is actually a sorbet, stabled by a bed of light nutty crumbles.

A favourite main course, and one that looks like it should be presented in an eccentric food gallery, is the suggestively named Bondage Chicken. The meat is delightfully moist and coated in a crispy, slightly charred, skin. The six-week old spring chicken trussed roast is offered cooked in either the Bavarian or Provençal style and comes served upright, stuffed with sprigs of rosemary.

Crossing the region, a host of pan-Alpine dishes continue to wow, such as the French Anchois Provençal – pickled anchovies with melon sorbet and pistachios; the Saint Pierre – John dory with sugar snap peas, plum coals and kumquats; and the the German Speckknöedelsuppe – clear beef broth with small bread-bacon dumplings, root vegetables and chives.

We also find a selection of ZOTT’s specials, such as the Tellerfleisch. This beef lover’s favourite, featuring several classic cuts of beef, is separated and served in three courses. The first course is Baked Schulterscherzl, which uses the less popular but very tasty and tender oyster blade, which comes served with tartar sauce and a delicate parsley dip.

It’s then followed by an Oxtail Ravioli with bone marrow. Served in a meaty broth and garnished with chives, this tasty morsel is perhaps the epitome of Alpine comfort food. And finally, the third course is Haunch and Prime Rib with carrots, leeks and freshly grated horseradish. A strongly flavoured jus finishes it all off perfectly.

To conclude the delightful epicurean journey through the mountainous region, ZOTT’s offers a small selection of Alpine desserts, such as the Slovenian Jabolcni Zavitek – strudel pastry filled with apples, raisins and almonds, served with vanilla ice cream, plus of course excellent coffees.

Alpine Style

ZOTT’s True Alps sits on the lower floor of a colonial-style shop-house, with a bar above. It’s attractive and, with its additional art space, it’s certainly inviting. There are a couple of unique decorative elements that really draw the attention and bring the Alpine feel to life, like the imposing glass-encased stuffed ox called Hieronymus, which apparently was once Christian Zott’s pet…

But Hieronymus is also the mascot and logo, as well as being the focal point of the whole restaurant. The log-cabin theme continues throughout with decorative horns and another modern and spectacular ox head statue, with artwork from Konstantin Sotnikov that is both impressive and thought provoking and fits the mood of the restaurant perfectly.

The Verdict

ZOTT’s is a place for people from all walks of life, whether it be the curious gourmand eager to try something totally different, or the Alpine expat looking for a taste of home. But with its fine design, cool bar, terrific art space and, of course, epic Alpine cuisine, Christian has created something that, despite its unusual location, is quite at home in Chinatown after all.

ZOTT’s True Alps

97 Amoy Street, Singapore 069917

Tel : (+65) 62 23 09 13

E: info@zotts.com.sg