Food Bytes: Finding Fab Fondue In The City!

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I totally love cheese in all its myriad forms—grated, gratinated, melted to a molten lava etc etc. But ironically, one of my life’s most traumatic moments has the yummy, gooey French cheese dish—fondue at its vortex. As it so happened, many summers ago, I found myself seated at my university buddy Jacques’ family dining table in pastoral Alsace, France with a group of his relatives and friends. I was there on a weekend trip from the UK to indulge all my French cravings and what better than fondue to kick start my fun foodie innings. Or so I thought!

Now, eating fondue in France comes with its own sets of strict rules. For starters, one always serves oneself from the fondue pot in a clockwise manner when seated in a circle of people. Secondly (and more soul-scarringly!), if you happen to drop the piece of toasted bread off the two-pronged fork into the fondue pot, you pay the forfeit by kissing the person seated on your left never mind the sex, and (ahem!) age. Given my severe ill luck that day, I dropped my piece of bread into the pot and had to kiss (thankfully not French!) Jacques’ 90-year-old arthritic and be-dentured great grandmother who wouldn’t settle for anything less than lip-to-lip service. Shudder, splutter and gag. There! I’ve cleared that skeleton out of my closet.

And every time I enjoy a pot of fondue I can’t but help wince at the memory of my first tryst with the dish. And these days that’s happening a lot. You see, we in Mumbai have taken a mighty shine to the cheesy dish with scores of places offering versions of fondue that thankfully don’t come with a set of instructions and forfeits!

Out Of The Blue
I so recommend this place for a good, almost authentic pot of fondue that has just the right amount of cheese, spirit and cornstarch to make it super yum. What totally gets me going here is the mind-boggling variety of fondue that they do. From the four cheese fondue (Rs 695) with asiago, provolone, fontal and gruyere cheese to the super delish chicken and ham fondue (Rs 765) served with bread bits to the innovative desi fondue (Rs 555) that has no wine and has melted cheese blended with spices and herbs served with veggie crudités. Also do try their Foster’s beer cheese fondue (Rs 585) for an Aussie twist to the French classic!

Where:
* Haiko Mall, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. Call, +91 8879366201/2
* Le Sutra Hotel, 14 Union Park, Off Carter Road, Khar West. Call, 022 26003000/1

Cafe Mangii
Perfect for the slight chill in the sir, the fondues served here are hearty and generously portioned and enough for a group of four healthy appetites. I always make a bee line for the basil and pine nuts fondue (Rs 575) that has the intense flavour of basil perfectly complimenting the nuttiness of the pines. You should also try the classic cheese (Rs 545) with lebon, emmenthal, cheddar and gruyere cheese. The closest they come to offering the spice-loving Indian diner a taste of home in their fondue is the South American roasted peppers fondue (Rs 575) that sure has a bite to it. All these fondues are served with the in-house pesto croutons.

Where:
* Junction of Khar Pali and 14th Road, Off Linking Road, Inside Nike Showroom Lane, Khar. Call, 022 26498100, 26498000
* 28, Aram Nagar 1, Versova, Andheri West. Call, 022 26316100/1

The Little Door
Although on principle they just have one fondue on their quirky menu card—the house fondue (Rs 333), the versions that can be spun off this very reasonably priced fondue are varied. Go with the original if you want a pot filled with cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella cheese to which white wine, pepper and garlic are generously added. This is served with veggie crudités and bread. For a non-vegetarian twist you can add on either prawns (Rs 83) or chicken (Rs 63) extra. Or better still, like I always do… have all three!

Where: B 31, Ground Floor, Shree Siddhivinayak Plaza, New Link Road, Andheri West. Call, +91 9892649040, 9769769854

Oven Fresh
This vegetarian wonder has been wowing my taste buds for years now and is my favourite go-to place for some astonishingly reasonable nosh. It also helps that it is a stone’s throw from where I live in Dadar. Although it used to serve non-vegetarian food when it first started, they have gone herbivorous with a vengeance in recent years. But I am not complaining if their awesome fondue is anything to go by. Their herb fondue (Rs 355), spicy Mexican salsa fondue (Rs355), comte fondue (Rs 415) and red wine fondue (Rs 370) make a quartet of truly delectable dishes-in-a-pot that will have you make repeated trips to my neighbourhood!

Where: Kiran Building, Ranade Road, Shivaji Park, Dadar West. Call, 022 67600000

Which are your favourite fondue places in the city folks?

A few pictures of the dishes may be for representational purposes only. Pics courtesy: www.outoftheblue.in, www.burrp.in.com, The Little Door, www.oven-fresh.com, www.dvo.com and www.oldwayspt.org

 

Post By Raul Dias (102 Posts)

Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.

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Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.