Hong Kong’s best fondue
This sky-high, glitzy steakhouse in Causeway Bay may be known for its stunning interiors – think mirror-ball chandeliers, muted black walls and floor-to-ceiling windows – and well-grilled meats, but it also does a surprisingly delectable cheese fondue ($158). The starter – yes, sadly it’s not the full-sized affair – comes served in a cast iron dish with fontina cheese bubbling when it arrives at the table. Slather it on grilled ciabatta slices, which you can also use as a sponge to soak up the rest of the cheese. We won’t judge.
Boasting more than 50 years of history, this cosy restaurant tucked away inside The Peninsula Hotel is like a Swiss alpine chalet complete with dark wood panelling and old-school wood furniture. Chesa is probably best known for its universally praised year-round menu of three traditional fondues. Most notably, its Fondue Montagnarde ($310) is cheese heaven, with almost overwhelming flavours produced by a rich mixture of Alpine fromage varieties, as well as a helping of smoked mountain bacon.
For those who are looking for an economical-yet-quality fondue feast, Dr Panini is the place to hit up. While the restaurant serves a range of European standards such as lasagna and pasta (they’re pretty decent), the “doctor” also specialises in a range of mouth-watering French cheese fondues (from $350). You can go with a simple Alsatian platter to dunk into the bubbling cheese or kick it up a notch with the beef ribeye, Alaskan crab legs or lobster. Either way, Dr Panini will leave your stomach full and your wallet happy.
Prefer to soak your food in sweet, gooey chocolate instead? Häagen-Dazs has got just the thing for you. Its classic takeaway ice cream fondue set ($488) treats you to a feast of 32 mini ice cream scoops (including strawberry cheesecake, caramel biscuit & cream and mango & raspberry) and two rich chocolate sauces (original and hazelnut-chocolate). The fondue set comes with a pot that apparently changes colour as it heats up. Feel free to drown other goodies in the choco-pot too on top of the ice cream. Häagen-Dazs has also rolled out a series of super-cute Line Friends fondue pots that allow you to literally eat from the head down. eshop.haagendazs-gifting.hk.
This Kennedy Town food gem serves up modern Lebanese cuisine in its humble, 30-seat dining room that is elegantly but minimally decorated. Winning fans over with its flavourful fare and gorgeously spiced dishes, Mama also does a real good haloumi and fontina fondue served with fig jam and brioche on the side ($138). It’s a knockout dish that gets more addictive with every spoonful, and the fig perfectly cuts through the gooey and decadent cheese. The only disappointment is that it’s in such a shallow pot.
Offering a truly authentic Swiss dining experience is The Swiss Chalet, a rustic fondue hotspot tucked away in Tsim Tsa Tsui. Surrounded by welcoming wooden décor that recreates the warm vibes of a real chalet while being enveloped in pungent cheese aromas, this place is paradise for fans of hearty European cuisine. Indulge in an extensive selection of richly flavoured fondues (from $260) that are infused with dry white wine. The restaurant offers non-alcoholic pots as well as meat ones filled with beef tenderloin cubes and sautéed chicken meat. It goes without saying that Swiss Chalet does a mean dessert fondue too using Toblerone chocolate – it is Swiss after all.
With a real log fire and an old-school colonial charm, The Verandah’s Reading Room provides the perfect setting to dig into a cheese fondue to combat the winter chill – well, as cold as Hong Kong can get. There are four decadent cheese fondues to pick from including the black truffle and champagne ($708 for two) accompanied with a choice of sourdough bread, French bread or rye bread. Pair it with some side dishes like scallop wrapped in pancetta or gammon ham and confit apple. Need a dessert to finish off? The restaurant also does a chocolate fondue ($288 for two), which is made with Lindt chocolate sauce no less, and comes with fresh fruits, brioche and marshmallows. Note that the fondue menu is available until the end of March and only during dinner time.