Langstrasse is probably the most colorful area of Zurich as it embodies the good, the bad, the ugly and the cool… all in one place. It is the heart beat without which the city would be dull and void of character and soul. Like any other district partially recognized for its red light corner, it can get dodgy at times. But let’s face it, we are in Zurich and dodgy can only go so far!
With the constant need of expansion, Langstrasse has witnessed and been part of an “urban renewal plan” intended to gentrify and “beautify” this vibrant street. One one hand, it’s great because it opens myriads of opportunities by attracting new businesses and people who in the past would have probably not set foot in that area. On the flip side, gentrification can also mean that the little mom and pops shops won’t be able to afford to stay open, and that middle-class will push out the ones who made the quarter so colorful and vibrant.
But maybe we can find a middle ground where old and new can co-habitate and work together to create something new and fresh. Every time I go, I discover a new hip bar/club, restaurant, boutique or art gallery. Every corner depicts a different vibe and sometimes culture. Langstrasse is all flare and dazzle!! Everyone should check it out, especially now with the new kid on the block, the new 25Hours Hotel!
Again, as part of my Discovery journey, I had the pleasure to experience first hand what this new hotel is like and what its DNA is. I had the opportunity to sit with the General Manager Anita Vogler whose drive and professionalism equal her charm and sweet demeanour. Then Chef Peter Schuler showed me the way to the kitchen and made me his famous Sabich dish! What a treat that was! I went back a couple of times just to savour these flavours again.
25Hours Hotels are quite unique as all nine of them have their own style and DNA. Each hotel embodies the spirit and vibe of the neighbourhood in which it is housed. They’re not like most chain hotels where one can sometimes feel lost and alone, especially during business trips. And this 25hours hotel is no different – it is as colorful and eclectic as its neighbor Langstrasse. As you walk in, you go from one AWE moment to another! The details crafted and carried out by Interior Designer Werner Aisslinger are truly ingenious and creative. The common areas feel super artsy but cozy at the same time. The atmosphere isn’t stiff or elitist. It feels like the perfect place to stay while on a business trip or even on vacation. Not so much of a family hotel but perfect for singles and couples who want a fun getaway. Between the restaurant Neni, Cinchona Bar, and Langstrasse around the corner, our night owls can find plenty to occupy their time with!
We had a spacious room with a sweet note awaiting us! The interior was modern with wooden floors and a minimalistic style. Every piece and detail had a function and as I looked around I discovered some really cool gadgets. The only drawback was the vicinity of the train track but the windows are so well insulated that you won’t hear a peep.
OUR DINNING EXPERIENCE AT NENI
Delicious. Delicious. Delicious. That’s the word that comes to mind first. But honestly, I cannot express enough how special our evening there was. From the moment we got in to the moment we said our goodbyes, each and every one of us was treated with the utmost respect. Our waiter Chris really impressed me because he took his job seriously and treated it like it was his own restaurant. Chef Peter Schuler prepared a feast that we won’t forget that soon and set the bar pretty high! I’ve become so spoiled!
The flavors and textures, not to mention the appearance brought pure joy to my sight and tummy. And whether vegetarian or carnivore, everyone can find their happiness at Neni. You can hardly go wrong with this type of cuisine.
While I was there, I took the opportunity to ask our Chef a few questions:
What is Nena’s cuisine called?
We call it “Eclectic Cuisine”. It originated in Tel Aviv.It is mainly Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean but with other influences like African and Asian.
What is your cooking philosophy?
I always work with fresh ingredients, fresh herbs and spices. I try to make everything at the last moment to preserve the taste and the vitamins. All of our meat is Swiss and most of our vegetables are also Swiss. And of course our dairy products are 100% local.
What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Ginger, Thyme, Rosemary and of course Garlic!
What is your favorite food at the moment?
Without a question, it’s Sabich, a street food from Tel Aviv. Basically it’s a Pita bread with humus, fried eggplants, falafel, poached egg, tomato salsa, coriander and Tahini – the perfect combo! Just bite in it and your mouth will be full of flavours! We make the best one in town by the way:)
What’s so special about this hotel?
This is the 2nd 25Hours hotel in Zurich. Our slogan “You know one, you know none!” says it all. Every single hotel has its own philosophy on how to treat guests, employees and customers. We think outside the box and seek to make hospitality modern.
This one is special because of its location. It’s close to the main train station and to Langstrasse where the young and eclectic crowd meets. It’s where it all happens in Zurich, at all times.
DRINKS – CINCHONA BAR
It’s the hot spot of the neighborhood where everyone comes to hang out, listen to tunes and most of all to have a glass of their famous Highball drinks, made of a spirit and delicious non-alcoholic mixers. They are served on the rocks and in tall, chilled highball glasses. The ice looks like an eye-ball!
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