Sydney might not have the sub-zero temperatures of Switzerland, but winter can still be pretty chilly. And that’s the perfect time to test the best Fondue restaurant Sydney has to offer.
The Swissôtel Sydney offers a Swiss Fondue dinner in the CBD. With temperatures plummeting outside, sitting inside with a bowl of bubbling cheese and a bottle of Pikes Riesling on the table, Swissôtel Sydney was the perfect place for a girls’ catch up.
The Fondue dinner is served in Crossroads Bar adjacent to the lobby. We had a corner table with a great view of the city lights, made even more magical by the reflections from the pouring rain outside according to 9-year-old Jessica.
The fondue recipe they use at Swissôtel Sydney includes a combination of Swiss cheeses – Emmental and Gruyère, Kirsch (a clear fruit brandy), white wine, garlic and a secret ingredient, all blended together and served in a warmed pot.
I lived in Switzerland in the early 2000s, so I’ve had my fair share of fondue. I admit I’m a bit of a fondue snob.
We had the option to customise the flavour by adding other cheeses or truffle. But we decided not to mess with tradition and stuck to the original recipe.
Fondue is best eaten with crusty bread, cornichons and pickled onions. But the Swissôtel go a step further and let you choose extra tasty morsels to dip into the cheesy goodness. We added Kipfler potatoes, spiced meatballs, slow-cooked flat iron steak (served pink) and seasonal vegetables (carrot, capsicum, broccoli).
Had we seen the portion sizes before ordering, we’d have realised that a large pot of melted cheese and seven sides would be too much for two ladies and a nine-year-old.
Fondue, which comes from the French “fondre”, meaning “to melt,” had its origins in 18th century Switzerland as a means for farm families to stretch their limited resources during the winter months. With some remaining cheese, some stale bread, and a dash of wine the family could gather around the hearth. In Alpine farm villages bread was baked only occasionally so whatever bread was on hand was usually stale. By dipping the bread in the melted cheese, the bread was softened and became delectable. From these simple beginnings, fondue became a Swiss winter tradition.
While Louise and I chatted over cheese. Jessica happily entertained herself with the kids pack she was given on arrival. And our little food critic was very impressed with the healthy options on the kids’ menu, opting for chicken pasta over the richness of fondue.
Our healthy choices stopped at the main course. Who can resist dessert when it comes as a pot of melted chocolate with marshmallows, pound cake, strawberries and pineapple to dip?
We learnt our lesson from the main course and only ordered one extra side – churros – because Jessica had never tried them, and I’m a sucker for the cinnamon sugar-coated doughnut fingers.
By 8.30pm it was time to head home. We were toasty warm inside and out and feeling slightly drowsy thanks to the large quantities of cheese and chocolate we’d consumed.
For groups of friends, families or a date night that’s a bit out of the ordinary, we though that Fondue at Swissôtel Sydney was good value a fun way to spend a wintery evening in Sydney.
The Swiss fondue is available at Crossroads Bar in Swissôtel Sydney, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 9pm from 30th May to 31st August, 2019.
The experience is priced at $34 per person with a minimum of two people per booking. Advance booking and pre-payment is required.
Accor Plus members can enjoy a complimentary glass of house wine and ten per cent discount on the full price.
To book a Swiss fondue meal at Swissôtel Sydney,l contact the hotel on +61 (02) 9238 8888 or visit: http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/sydney/dining/dining-offers/swiss-fondue/