Sweet and savoury dips at La Fondue
Where: Dempsey Hill Green, 25 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249670
TUCKED away in a nondescript corner of dining enclave Dempsey Hill is a cottage- esque building that houses Singapore's only cheese and chocolate fondue speciality restaurant, La Fondue.
The quaint and cosy restaurant, which is decorated with plenty of knick-knacks from Switzerland, draws inspiration from the country's dining culture.
It touts an indulgent fondue menu with a copious selection of cheese and chocolate types to satiate both sweet and savoury palates. Fondue consumption involves the dipping of breads and other food into a communal pot of melted cheese and chocolate.
Try the pumpkin soup ($10), a stunning starter to the hearty meal. Topped with bread bits and grated basil, the textured dish is rich and flavourful.
For the main course, the cheese fondue (from $35, one serving feeds two to four people) offers a myriad of cheese types served with seasonal greens, ham, sausages and bread.
The types of cheese range from the traditional and mild - such as the Gruyere, Emmental and cheddar - to more adventurous options like chilli, garlic, smoked black pepper and whiskey.
I found the union of cheese with fresh vegetables to be an acquired taste, but the melted cheese complemented the meat well.
If you're up for round two (and are of the meat-loving persuasion), the meat and seafood fondue ($37) is definitely for you. It comprises a bite-sized selection of beef, venison, pork, chicken, fish (either dory or salmon), scallops, shrimp and squid.
And talk about being hands-on - you'll get to play chef as these are to be grilled or cooked at the table in a pot of oil (bourguigon), vegetable broth (steamboat-style) or speciality cheese.
Despite being of considerable quality, the pieces of meat, which are lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, are rather bland in taste after being cooked.
The meal's saving grace came in the form of the Ying And Yang chocolate fondue (from $35), a fusion of white and dark chocolate served with a selection of freshly sliced seasonal fruit and pastries.
The melted chocolate is of the ideal consistency, with well- balanced sweetness and bitterness. The accompanying dippers also complement the chocolate well.
All in all, though, I left a tad disappointed with my gastronomic experience, wondering if the regular pasta and meat dishes on the menu might have been a better alternative.
La Fondue serves daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10.30pm.