Longtime favorite Café Hibiscus has relaunched itself as Swiss Hibiscus. The interior has been spruced up (a new paint job and art work), but the main reason for the change is branding: based on the name people either thought it was Hawaiian (hibiscus is Hawaii’s state flower) or they were expecting free wifi and lattes. The new name and signage, which includes a Swiss flag for good measure, should clear up the confusion.
What hasn’t changed is the menu, which is fortunate as the homely and authentic Swiss cooking is always top notch. A favorite is the schnitzel (either pork or chicken), which is pounded thin and has a lovely golden brown crust; sitting on the plate it looks like it could be dry but is, in fact, really succulent. The vegan lentil stew, which sounds as dull a dish that can be created in a pot, is actually beautifully cooked and has layers of satisfying flavors. Mains come with a choice of salad, house-made coleslaw or the soup of the day and are served with a choice of rösti (a kind of hash brown that has a crispy topping), spätzli (miniature dumplings with a crunchy texture) or a Swiss potato salad. There’s also excellent house-made bread to start, served with their signature Martin’s Swiss Dressing as a dip. You’re not going to go hungry here.
There’s a bunch more Swiss dishes, including bratwurst sausages, spaghetti Ticinese and cheese fondue. It’s family run, friendly and there’s usually a bottle or two of good Swiss wine to hand. Whatever it's called, for casual, affordable dining it can’t be beaten. Swiss Hibiscus, 4950 NE 14th, 477-9224