FOOD SOUVENIRS: EAT YOUR WAY AROUND THE WORLD!
FOOD SOUVENIRS – ONE WAY TO ‘TRAVEL’ SAFELY
EATME – one of Geneva’s best restaurants for international cuisine.
by Chené Koscielny
As COVID continues to shrink our world and we hanker back to overseas holidays with exotic food experiences, we are always on the lookout for alternative ways to travel.
At Eat Me – one of the best restaurants in Geneva – you don’t need a passport to travel around the world and no self-quarantining necessary!
SHARING FOOD SOUVENIRS WITH FRIENDS
If you don’t know Eat Me, it is a must – a great place to eat in Geneva. The concept, in a nutshell, is to serve an inspiring mix of international cuisine on small plates.
The original menu drew upon the ‘food souvenirs’ collected during the world travels of the restaurant’s founder, Serena Shamash. Now, with two restaurants and a great group of chefs, servers, and bartenders, Serena curates food souvenirs from the entire talented team. Also read our previous interview with Serena: A female foodie’s recipe for success
WHAT IS A FOOD SOUVENIR?
We love Serena’s definition of Food Souvenirs:
“As an enthusiastic world traveler, I find that the most vivid recollections of my journeys are about the food I sampled – the exciting flavours that capture the spirit of a city or a culture. Every time I bite into Panipuri it takes me back to the sidewalks of Mumbai. The refreshing taste of octopus ceviche reminds me of a summer lunch in Palma, Majorca. And I will never forget running around the streets of Kingston trying to satisfy an unceasing appetite for Jamaican Jerk chicken. These are the types of souvenirs I collect… food souvenirs.”
Food souvenirs such as these are what inspires the Eat Me menu. You’ll find anything from the humblest of street foods to the most modern and gastronomic dishes on the menu taking you along on a culinary journey. For each food souvenir, the restaurant’s chefs go back to the origin and history of the dish – before carefully recreating the recipe, adding their own touches along the way and using only the freshest, seasonal and local products, of course. Everything is served on small plates – to allow everyone around the table to explore the different cuisines, textures and flavours – ideal not only for sharing but also for swapping your own travel tales.
READY FOR TAKE-OFF? – WHAT TO EAT AT EAT ME
SERENA’S FOOD SOUVENIRS – current menu
HAKUNA MATATA – CHF14
This simple, yet delicious street food is one of Serena’s first food souvenirs from her childhood in Kenya. She discovered crunchy cassava fries at the “Lighthouse” where her family spent nearly every Sunday watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean.
“The Lighthouse, a famous hangout for locals, is an ocean-front drive lined with street vendors selling cassava chips, coconut water, chili mango and other local favorites,” recalls Serena, “every time I eat this dish it takes me back to those carefree, happy days.”
Eat Me makes a gourmet version of these delectable cassava fries by serving them with onion chutney, avocado purée, tomato-chili coulis and pecan nuts. Yum!
WHAT A JERK – CHF18
On the current menu Eat Me serves up juicy de-boned chicken pieces marinated in Jamaican spices with crispy skin and served with smoked pineapple purée and charred baby corn. But this food souvenir has an even more important past, as it was actually one of the first “sparks” for the Eat Me concept.
Serena told us that she fell in love with jerk chicken when she was at University. Her roommate was from Jamaica, and the two went on a trip to the island together, where Serena discovered this delicacy on the streets of Kingston, eating it straight from the barbecues of street vendors whenever she could. “I just couldn’t get enough of it,” she said. We can totally understand why!
ELECTRIC SASHIMIVICHE – CHF16
Now a signature item on their menu, this dish comes with a “secret” ingredient that was actually discovered on an Eat Me team trip spent hunting for food souvenirs.
They traveled together to Barcelona and ate at the restaurant Con Gracia (which they highly recommend, by the way!), where they tasted the magical Sichuan button, a small flower that creates that amazing electrifying sensation in the mouth. This flower now sits atop tuna sashimi prepared ceviche-style with grapefruit, lime, smoky piquillo peppers — So scintillating!
THE REST OF THE EAT ME TEAM’S FOOD SOUVENIRS
BARBACOA MARQUITOS – CHF15
Mark Brownell, co-founder of Eat Me, remembers tasting his first real taco in Matamoros, Mexico, where he bought three from a street vendor for one US dollar! His life would never be the same.
Since then he has lived in California, where he discovered Cali-Mex cuisine and during subsequent travels to Mexico he continued to indulge his love for Mexican food.
Over the years he refined his personal recipe for beef tacos, and, the resulting dish – soft-shell corn tacos of braised beef garnished with hot chipotle salsa, sour cream and queso fresco – is now an Eat Me Classic!
EN ATTENDANT TARTARE – CHF16
Eat Me’s Head Chef in Geneva, Francesco Mauri, was inspired by his discovery of the amazing sea salt from the marshes on the coast of Guérande, France – which has a distinctive smoky flavour. Combining this special salt with other quintessentially French ingredients, he created a unique French tartare: beef tartare with salt from Guérande, served on a cream of goat cheese and horseradish, and topped with pickled mustard seeds, roasted hazelnuts and an estragon coulis. To die for…
OVER TO YOU – WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD SOUVENIR?
SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD SOUVENIR FROM YOUR PAST TRAVELS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.