Noumi- Bern

On a city break where you’re logging 25K-30K steps a day, I subscribe that you can eat anything you want, life is short, right? So after traversing the city, the hill behind it, and back again, I landed at the oddly situated Noumi, in the basement of the Bellevue Hotel. The vibe was not at all Switzerland and was something remniscent you’d find in a cool metropolis- all eclectic knick nacks, design elements, and cozy leatehr chairs for causally lingering and people watching as you make you way through the small plates menu. Denim on denim and Stan Smiths seemed to be the uniform du jour of the waitstaff. A DJ table (not used in lunch service) and a new champagne for me brought the whole vibe together. Win.

The concept is global street food which is maybe just a cool way to say, ‘hey we’ll cook whatever we feel like and call it a concept.’. A heavy sourdough bread arrived without an ask… could we call this a street food? Who knows, and we were in Switzerland after all, so maybe it doesn’t have to make sense.

As described in my new year’s post, I love all things spicy and crispy rice, so the spicy salmon seated on such was of course destined to be taste-tested by me. Swiss alert: true to country it was in no way spicy, and despite the salmon being exceptionally “milled” (shudders) into a smooth paste, it was still enjoyable.

My other go-to is usually a grilled octopus tentacle which did show up on the menu. The waiter was giving me serious confused face about the decision of the two in combo as the flavors were apparently just so wildly different. So, I conceded to his recommendation of the gyoza of which I received 3 beef and 2 veggie. They were served with “smacked” cucumber, which brought a nice brightness to each bite. Clearly, these weren’t your frozen gyoza, the filling was elevated, but I was disappointed that they were deep fried rather than pan fried. The fried and fried and bread components of what I thought would be a light enough lunch just left me not feeling great about my choices and forgoing the octopus.

Overall, the lunch was fun and indulgent, certainly a refreshing choice for Switzerland, enjoyed on a sleepy Saturday afternoon. I’d look forward to returning on a more bustly evening with a friend so we could taste more of the small plate menu.



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