Restaurant Review Sein – Mehr Schein als Sein
Martin Surbeck’s Sein has been around for 8 years. The restaurant is centrally located not far from Bahnhofstrasse and has been starred a Michelin star and 17 Gault Millaut points
Sein’s puristic dining room emanates understatement and a clean elegance. The cloud shaped lamp is particular. Nevertheless, the remaining interior is simple and somewhat uninspiring. On a Friday evening the restaurant is moderately busy and the crowd is a mix of couples and bankers, all very grown- up. The napkin holder has Martin Surbeck’s name on it and serves as a not so subtle reminder of his apparent celebrity status.
The restaurant offers a 5 course menu (vegetarian/non vegetarian) as well as an a la carte menu. The a la carte menu is unpretentious and suggests a certain lack of innovation. The absence of an amuse bouche is surprising.
The list of starters features quail and bean risotto, veal ravioli (simple but good) and scampi with fromage blanc and avocados (expectedly delicious). The list of main dishes is more rustic and tailored to enthuse meat lovers. The veal steak on mushrooms is technically flawless but lacks ingenuity. The beef on winter vegetables and chips is a trifle too salty.
Staff is young and friendly. Nevertheless, waiters are not assigned to specific tables which is why the service lacks the smoothness you would find at other restaurants in this price range.
Conclusion: While we appreciate the attempt to manage without gimmicks, we cannot keep off the impression that Mr. Surbeck has decided to rest on his laurels. Service and ambiance are simply mediocre. For those with a discerning and adventurous palate, Sein’s cuisine might well be a disappointment as it lacks the sophistication, playfulness and aspiration of other Zurich based Michelin starred restaurants such as Spice and Mesa.