Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
All rights reserved copyright
Food photos are of REAL food with no photoshop
The audacious and inimitable Travelling Gourmet TM visits one of the smallest countries in the world and meets…
MOST dynamic Adrian Dill on a warm and sunny day in Leichtenstein. I was 443 meters high in Vaduz. Bright and charming Adrian is one of Liechtenstein’s most successful entrepreneurs and restauranteurs in this tiny but prosperous country with 32,000 residents. I was in picturesque Vaduz and pleased to be staying at the most luxurious and superb Park Hotel Sonnenhof, a Relais & Chateaux property. It may interest you to know that this prosperous sliver of a country is wedged like a spear tip into 62 square miles of the Alps between Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is known mostly for its liberal banking laws to the well-informed, and its almost absurdly low income-tax rates as well, as its anachronistic and very active prince, who reigns in regal splendor from an ancient stone castle called Schloss Vaduz, The Schloss is perched high on a mountain overlooking the capital city, Vaduz, which has a population of just 5,097. Leichtenstein always reminds me of that classic movie, the Grand Budapest Hotel.
My first stop on the main shopping street was the well stocked souvenir shop of Adrian Dill. I went on a shopping spree and bought wallets, polo shirts with the Leichtenstein Royal Crest and more! The selection of souvenirs was very extensive and had a good price to quality ratio. The boss, Adrian Dill was most friendly and courteous and was chuffed when he realised that I spoke fluent Hoch-Deutsch (German). German is the lingua franca of Leichtenstein as it is so near Zürich and the German speaking area of Switzerland. Adrian had heard of “The Travelling Gourmet” and told me that he also had two restaurants next door. he kindly asked me to consoider trying the food at his restaurant. I replied, “Das ist eine sehr gute Idee! (That’s a very good idea) I shall review your restaurant.”
The next day, after visiting the Museums, I strolled in to find Adrian busy in his Souvenir Shop. My trust Breitling watch read 12:23. Adrian and I went over to his restaurant next door, where he has Thai Chefs to cook Thai cuisine, and a Chinese Chef for Chinese cuisine. This is because Chinese tour groups visit every day. Adrian astutely remarked in German, “I don’t think you want to try Chinese and Thai food…?” I replied with a cheeky chuckle, “No, I’ll try your regional and Leichtenstein specialities please!” I told him that in Europe as a general rule, I never try Asian food and only have the food of the country that I am in. I believe that this is very important because for one the Asian food outside of Asia is generally tailored to European tastes and is simply not authentic. Secondly, the Chefs are not Asian and do not have the expertise in Asian cuisine.
Adrian set me down at a nice table with a view of the pedestrian only precinct. Alfresco table number 52 had a fabulous view of the centre of Vaduz and the Rathaus or Town Hall. As I sat down a big coach load of boisterous tourists arrived and they trooped like sheep to the other dining area of the restaurant for their Chinese set lunch. Adrian confided candidly with a wry smile, ” I cater mainly to the tourist and the Chinese tour groups who have very limited time. At the same time we serve good wholesome food. As for the Thai and Chinese food…of course, we have to adapt it to the local tastes…Actually, the locals don’t care very much for the Chinese. They’re loud and noisy and don’t appreciate history and culture, but they bring in business…”
Adrian brought me a nice glass of medium bodied Leichtenstein Pinot Noir wine, which went jolly well with Cordon Bleu vom Schwein (pork). The portion was big and tasty with melted cheese, Alpenkaese to be exact plus super savoury Proscuitto di Parma inside! Chunky Pomme Frites or French Fries so soft, fluffy and tender in the middle and crisp outside, was yummie too. As a tart and lovely foil, Wildpreisel Beeren Compote (wild cranberries). I liked the simple but cute garnish of an Orange slice and a Lemon wedge.
Adrian came to see how I was doing and told me, “We have 3 Thai Chefs and I Chinese Chef! How do you find the food?” I answered with a smile, “Very good!”
Kaiserschmarren was my DESSERT! Sugared Pancake Chunks with Zwetschgen Roester or sour-tangy-sweet Plum Compote with Raisins was most delicious. Comfort food indeed!
With the sweet temptation, a nice foamy Mastro Lorenzo Cappuccino dusted with chocolate powder goes down a treat…
As for the country being a Principality ruled by Prince hans Adam II, Adrian had this to say, ”The country should be exactly the way the prince wants to have it,” declared patriotic Adrian Dill, whose job… running a very nice souvenir shop specializing in prince-themed memorabilia…both reflects and reinforces his views. ”It’s his country. It has his name on it.”
The Travelling Gourmet TM and cheerful Adrian Dill with das Rathaus in the background
One of the very BEST things of being The Travelling Gourmet TM is meeting and getting to know the cusine and culture and history of diverse lands…and meeting their charming and helpful natives…like Adrian Dill. I recommend this restaurant for good wholesome comfort food for all the family!
Restaurant Engel – Ratskeller
World & Regional – Cuisine
Thai & Chinese – Cuisine
Principality of Liechtenstein
Tel: +423 236 17 17
What is DILL?
Dill is a delicate and popular culinary and medicinal perennial herb which often assume the characteristics of an annual depending upon the climate. Dill is the only known species of the Anethum species, although it’s distinct flavour profile does share some similarities with a number of other plants like aniseed or coriander. Dill has been a popular and much-used culinary and medicinal herb since the time of the Ancient Greeks, although its employment in medicine in Asia is far more ancient. Its culinary use in Asia is of lesser importance than its more prolific usage in Europe. It has slender stems and often very delicate leaves that resemble fennel leaves or rosemary leaves. Dill is excellent with Smoked Salmon.