Wednesday, June 4, 2014

St Moritz, 22nd May

Now, most people will tell you that cheese is actually a pretty expensive grocery to buy. Which must explain why fondue is such an overpriced dish, none more so than the ones served in St Moritz (the restaurant, not the club, though it is above the club). There's a choice of about five, starting with a very basic one which comes with only bread and is a mix of gruyere and emmenthal and costs £17.90 per person, all the way up to the ones that are meat in sauces which are £25.95 per person. Minimum two people so you have to take someone with you who also wants fondue if that's what you've got in mind. Not that you must have fondue - they have plenty of other things as well such as veal escalopes, steaks or calves liver.

Nothing more extravagant than vegetables or mushrooms are served with the cheese fondue, so we had the moitie-moitie - gruyere and vacherin, which came with bread and potatoes. All the fondues also have white wine. We also ordered a rosti on the side (yes, more potato) to try to sample a range of things.

I did like the fondue, because I always like anything to do with cheese, but it could have been thicker in my opinion. I think the wine gave it a good kick and the mix of cheese was a nice blend but not nice enough to make the price any less painful. All our bland little boiled potatoes were cooked well - not over or undercooked and the bread was of a sufficient density to handle being dunked in molten cheese. Was it bread made in-house, or even brought in from a reputable bakery? I highly doubt it. It wasn't the kind of stuff you wanted to eat on its own, it served merely as a conduit to get the cheese to your mouth.

The rosti was actually pretty tasty - it was huge so I'm glad we shared, and it was nice and crispy on the outside, and, again not spoiled by undercooking. There was also quite a lot of cheese in our saucepan and we weren't able to finish it all between the two of us.

Prices for beverages felt outrageous. The house wine was £4.30 for a small glass (125ml) but a diet coke was itself over £3.00 so I felt I might as well go for the alcohol. 

The place is definitely verging on a corny themed restaurant, but doesn’t quite take it to the extremes it would need to get there. Everything about it is a reference to Switzerland and the country in some way although it’s not immediately obvious. (We missed the cows on our saucepan of fondue until the end for instance.) It was a much smaller space than I expected, though I think there’s an upstairs, and I felt a little squeezed into our table. Not the best dining experience I’ve ever had; I would undoubtedly choose Androuet over St Moritz for fondue in terms of surroundings, price and what you are given.

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