Cover Chef Fine Dining Heiko Nieder of Michelin-starred The Restaurant at The Dolder Grand in Switzerland

Can’t travel to Europe yet? One of Switzerland’s top culinary experts has conceptualised a special menu for diners in Singapore to enjoy

It has taken two years to get here—for a not-to-be-missed Swiss-Singapore culinary collaboration. Chef Heiko Nieder, who helms two-Michelin-starred establishment The Restaurant in Zurich’s The Dolder Grand hotel, will be presenting a special menu on 16 September at One Farrer Hotel.

The German-born chef, known for his fresh, inventive and refined cuisine, was named Chef of the Year 2019 by Gault&Millau, the prestigious French restaurant guide. The Restaurant, which is one of the most highly rated restaurants in Zurich, was also recognised with 19 Gault&Millau points. Nieder, who has been with The Dolder Grand since 2008, has recently published a cookbook with over 200 recipes that reflect his numerous award-winning dishes and his constant culinary evolution. 

The chef has designed a menu exclusively for diners here to sample. Certain aspects are prepared in his Zurich kitchen and flown to Singapore to maintain authenticity. And the rest are jointly prepared by a team in Singapore—under Nieder’s watchful eye—via Zoom.

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The menu will include his signature dishes such as the succulent wagyu beef cheeks with green asparagus, herbs and BBQ sauce; tomato with chilli con carne, coriander and coffee (Nespresso Peru Organic), as well as the unique dessert of white chocolate with cherries, green olives and Herbes de Provence.

Guests can enjoy either a three-course lunch or four-course dinner with wine pairing. All the wines have been handpicked by celebrity sommelier Lisa Bader, who works with Nieder at the Dolder Grand. Some of the labels include Germany’s Oliver Zeter, Sauvignon Blanc NV as well as South Africa’s Demascene Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

Nieder who is known for his special salt blends is also making a limited batch of 300 of his pure Himalayan salt mixes, which will be available in Singapore for the first time.

Could you please share more about this unique collaboration?

Heiko Nieder (HN): This collaboration was planned two years ago. I was due to come to Singapore in May 2020; however due to the global situation, we had to postpone it almost indefinitely. We decided to experiment with a remote collaboration where we could essentially supervise all aspects of the preparation of the menu and have a fair degree of input from our kitchen to Singapore. In deciding what to bring to the collaboration, I wanted my introduction to Singapore to leave a lasting impression and the guests to know my signature dishes that I’ve perfected over the years. The menu was designed to include my creations such as the wagyu beef cheek with homemade barbecue sauce, and white chocolate ice cream with olive oil and cherries. The menu is a perfect balance of the sea, land and locally sourced herbs from area around The Restaurant.

How’s the preparation process like and what are some of the challenges faced?

HN: The biggest challenge is obviously the tasting; you can do a lot via Zoom, but unfortunately tasting and touching isn't one of them. The kitchen team at One Farrer will also enlist the help of the Bocuse d’Or team to help with the preparation to make this experience come as close as possible to the kitchen at The Restaurant. 

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Tatler Asia
Heiko Nieder Salt Mix
Above Heiko Nieder Salt Mix

Switzerland is well-known for its high standards in hospitality. How do you maintain consistent food quality at The Restaurant? 

HN: Hard work, rigorous tasting, and finding the right suppliers that meet not just my taste but ethical and sustainably sourced standards. I make a lot of things in house too to ensure full consistency. One of them is the Himalayan salt; it’s made with the highest quality salts in the world, infused for months with natural flavours, and then bottled in my kitchen.

What can people look out for at your restaurant when they are able to travel to Zurich?

HN: We are planning a new vegetarian restaurant in our herb garden.

What are some of your best food memories in Germany where you grew up?

HN: The food of my grandmother [who was a chef of a butchering company in Hamburg]. I have so great memories of all her dishes… She made the best goulash, and I would always have two big portions.

Are there any Swiss wines that you particularly enjoy and would recommend?  

HN: I love the 2015 Gantenbein Chardonnay [from Gantebien Winery in Switzerland]. But there are so many other great wines in Switzerland, especially the ones from the wine region of Bündner Herrschaft.

The dining experiences are available for SIA Krisflyer members and AMEX Centurion members. For more information, click here.