Smoke signals. Swiss Gastronomy
Head to Lake Sils in the Engadin if you're yearning for the shore: at Restaurant Murtaröl, Antonio Walther serves up fabulous fish delicacies, fascinating stories and sumptuous smoked delights.
Murtaröl, Plaun da Lej
Plaun da Lej is the smallest hamlet in Switzerland with its own postcode: three buildings, a jetty and a flock of geese. Whoever is(s)t. pulls up a seat at the table because of the fresh fish.
Fresh fish. A fish lover's paradise, right on the lake
Ristorante Murtaröl is located right on Lake Sils – nestled between water, forests and mountains. Set against an impressive natural landscape in the Upper Engadine, the restaurant – specialises in fish, fresh from the nearby lake.
As a young boy...
When Antonio Walther took over his parents’ business 20 years ago – a run-of-the-mill inn open only in summer – he was keen to come up with a new concept. He thought back to his childhood and how, as the youngest of three children, he was often bored. And how one day he «borrowed” his uncle’s boat and took it out on the lake. He thought about how he cast his lines even though you had to be at least 16 to fish. And how he was fascinated by the underwater world and the fish he caught, though not so much by their taste at the time. The idea of fish has never left him since.
His process is his secret.
He began using a special process to smoke local, low-fat char, giving the fish a smoky note without depriving it of his particular taste. To keep it from drying out, it must be smoked at a low heat and cold water poured over it every now and then (another important factor is the brine, in which he lays the fish overnight. The brine consists of spring water, sea salt and bay leaf, juniper berry, pepper and cloves.) «The oven does the rest. –All it needs is two hours.”