There have to be few foods that are as fun and comforting as a good cheese fondue. I know that some people like to get creative with quinoa and heirloom vegetables, but I am the sort of vegetarian that appreciates a vat of bubbling cheese from time to time. Yum!
I needed to book somewhere in central London before attending a party, and was at a bit of a loss, as there is plenty of choice, but so many places are difficult to book or just plain don’t take bookings and force you to turn up hope for the best (in my view: a bad, bad thing!). Then I remembered St Moritz, a Swiss restaurant specialising in fondue. I called on the off chance, and bingo! Table booked!
Now, this place is not an exercise in Alpine minimalism and sleek design. There are cowbells, Swiss flags and various Alpine farm utensils on the walls, and jaunty Swiss cowbell music piped throughout the restaurant. It’s all very kitsch, but also all very charming. When you walk in the door, you are hit with a very strong aroma of cheese. If that is your sort of thing, it’s heaven to enter on a cold evening.
We plumped for two fondues, a moitie-moitie (half-and-half with Gruyère and vacherin cheeses) and a fondue aux tomates which is made with the addition of a serious amount of – surprisingly – tomatoes. All served with large chunks of white and rye bread and boiled potatoes. I might not be an expert on fondue, but they were both utterly delicious and set us up for the evening.
As you can see, I tried my best with the pictures, but as St Moritz goes for a low-light intimate atmosphere, so they are not as great as they could have been. Still, it all tasted great.
Would I go back? Well, that is a little bit of a cheat question, as I do go here a couple of times a year. Fondue is one of those things that you can’t really eat too often unless you work the land or ski every day, but it is a wonderful thing to enjoy when it’s cold outside and you crave warm, filling, substantial food. So yes, I will definitely be here again before Christmas for another Gruyère fix.
St Moritz, 161 Wardour Street, London W1V 3TA. Telephone: 0207 734 3324. Tube: Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus.
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