We have been eating at this, the main restaurant of the Hotel Kirchbuehl, for the past 10 years. In fact, after having lunch here in 2003, we decided we wanted to stay at the hotel and have been coming every summer since.
La Marmite is just one of the restaurants at this hotel on the hill overlooking the church. It's in the oldest part of the building and manages to be both elegant and cozy, with a low ceiling, lovely silk drapes, and orchids on the window sills. It overlooks the terrace and the Eiger, and on really nice evenings you can eat out on the terrace.
Everyone can surely find something to eat here. There are at least 5 choices of menus at any one time: 1: the regular continental menu 2) an Asian menu with selections from a number of Asian cuisines 3) a 5-course half-board menu that anyone can choose, and usually you can order just 3 of the courses for a special price 4) a seasonal menu, featuring asparagus in early summer for example and 5) an Eigerness menu of local produce. There's also a special menu for children, and children are welcome here though it's a white tablecloth restaurant. (And if you want to eat fondue, raclette, or other Swiss specialities, make your reservation at the Hilty Stuebli; see separate review.) There's usually a buffet on Friday nights and a Tour de Suisse menu on Sunday.
We've certainly eaten here more than 100 times. Our favorites are some of the half-board menus, the veal dishes, specialties from the seasonal menus, fish (there's a tank for the live trout outside the kitchen), lamb, fried shrimp and mushrooms on salad greens. The salad buffet is great, and every dinner starts with a "gift from the kitchen" which is often a small course.
What do we tend to avoid? The tempura is nothing like the tempura you will get in Japan. Nor is the Chinese fondue anything like cheese fondue. We like veal better than beef, but that's true all over Switzerland. However, the menus are so varied and the food so delicious that we eat here 2-3 times a week while staying in one of the hotel's apartments and we treat all our friends here.
Service is friendly, professional, and efficient. The current Chef de Service, Maik Stoeckert, does an excellent job. Everyone speaks English as well as German, and you can use French with some of the staff.
The restaurant is not on the main street, so you will need to drive up the main road until you see a sign for the Hotel Kirchbuehl. You won't have any problems with parking as there's a huge lot behind the hotel. Or you can walk up from the lane to the right at the foot of the Firstbahn -- walk up past the shoe shop. And all the taxi drivers know it.
La Marmite is a great night out -- I highly recommend it!
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