Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Search For The Best Fondue In London: Part Deux

Self-confessed cheese-aholic Imogen Rowland continues her gooey quest.

After a pleasant but tame initial fondue experience at Bedford and Strand, I was beginning to lose hope. Perhaps that evasive golden gloop was the stuff only of ski-season fables. And, as someone who never learnt how to stop while skiing -even when forming the perfect snow-plough stance I still just careered hopelessly downward - I feared that I might never reach that yellow nirvana of the perfect cheese fondue.

Then, I found L’Art du Fromage. Trust Chelsea to come up with the goods. Purveyor Julien sat us down with a knowing smile. He gave us the menus, but we both understood it was an empty gesture, unnecessary for the case in hand. In my very best French (accent), I told him: ‘Bringonzefromage, tout de suite!’.

He looked a bit confused, but seemed to understand.

And, well. How to put it? The fondue Savoyarde – a heady combination of Emmental, Comte and Beaufort flambĂ©ed in Kirsch in front of our eyes ­­– was the stuff of dreams (and subsequent cheese-fuelled nightmares, in the best possible way).

It was thick, gooey and bubbling, stretching in glossy elastic strands as we bravely wrestled it towards our mouths. It was bottomless, both in the sense that we failed to finish it (and we were serious fans on serious business) and that, had we managed it, it would have been refilled at our request. Yes, it’s a health-freak’s nemesis but – oh, my – it was divine.

Our fellow diners were equally enthralled – one table with steak fondue gurgling proudly, the others scraping raclette urgently from their table-top grill.

My only concern is this: did we peak too soon? What is to become of my fondue-fuelled quest, if it has already reached this level of exper-cheese (sorry)?

Find out next time…

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