Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fondue Fun at The Melting Pot

Cheese Fondue
A sucker for cheese fondue, @thepolishviking and I decided to finally try The Melting Pot. Reservations are highly recommended as our lack of foresight initially meant that we couldn’t get a table. Thankfully, a last minute cancellation saved the day. Located on Calgary Trail, the space is deceptively small from the outside. Once you enter the restaurant, it is actually quite large, filled with booth after booth, including some more secluded booths for those seeking a more romantic atmosphere. Burners are built into every table, allowing the different types of fondues to be heated and held at specific and constant temperatures.

Cheese Fondue and Dippers
We decided on the traditional four-course menu, consisting of a cheese fondue, salad, entrée fondue and dessert fondue. Part of the fun of the evening was the showmanship involved. Although the servers’ presentations were obviously scripted, each server’s personality and humor made the presentation uniquely theirs.

Protein for Entree Fondue
Vegetables for Entree Fondue
& Search and Rescue Spoon
To start we opted to go with the Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue, consisting of Guryere and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses, white wine, garlic, nutmeg, lemon and Kirschwasser. We were pleasantly surprised when our server returned to assemble the fondue tableside, and explained the steps to us as he made it. He heated the white wine in the pot that had been warming up on our table, and then added garlic.

The Guryere and Emmenthaler Swiss cheese blend were added a bit at a time, then it was finished with nutmeg and pepper, and whisked constantly with his fork. The cheese fondue came with three kinds of bread, Granny Smith apples, and a variety of vegetables for dipping. The bread was the ideal vehicle to showcase this fondue. The white wine flavor was immediately detectable, followed by the luscious cheese and finished off with a hint of nutmeg. The Granny Smith apples with the cheese were ok, but the hot cheese quickly slipped off the surface of the apple slices. Meanwhile @thepolishviking and I agreed that the carrots were too hard to skewer easily with the fondue forks, and were watery tasting, detracting from the rich cheese flavor.

For our salad course, we chose the Wisconsin Wedge salad, made up of an iceberg wedge with Roma tomatoes, Gorgonzola, bacon and Peppercorn Ranch Dressing. Overall my least favorite course as although the Gorgonzola and tomatoes were tasty, the iceberg wedge was watery tasting the peppercorn ranch dressing was overshadowed by the pleasantly pungent Gorgonzola.

Chocolate S'Mores Fondue Flambeed
For our entrée we chose the Coq au Vin cooking style made up of Burgundy wine infused with fresh herbs, spices and mushrooms. To cook in the Coq au Vin, we had an abundance of protein, including dry rubbed BBQ pork tenderloin, white shrimp, herb crusted chicken breast, seasoned Angus sirloin (eek!), and teriyaki marinated sirloin (double eek!). There were also mushrooms, broccoli and potatoes, along with a “Search and Rescue” spoon to retrieve the vegetables from the Coq au Vin  as well as any other proteins that managed to slip away from their fondue fork, which we quickly learned was a very helpful tool. In addition, there were 6 sauces to accompany our entree, including a yogurt based curry sauce, a teriyaki sauce with garlic and ginger, a gorgonzola sauce, ginger plum, a cocktail sauce, and the Green Goddess made up of cream cheese, sour cream, onions, chives and parsley. Getting the hang of cooking times for the various entrée items required some trial and error and we barely made a dent in the entrée, but finally admitted defeat in order to save room for dessert.

Dippers for Dessert Fondue
To finish we settled for the Chocolate S’mores fondue, which was also assembled tableside for us. Made with milk chocolate, marshmallow cream and flambéed before our eyes, it was finished with graham crackers. It came with an assortment of items to dip in it, the majority of which we could request more of for no charge, with the exception of the cheesecake. It’s a delectable dilemma as we worked our way through dipping strawberries, bananas, pineapple, marshmallows, pound cake, brownies, graham crackers, and cheesecake into the fondue. Bananas wound up being my favorite item to enrobe in the sweet chocolate and marshmallow cream, an odd choice since I normally don’t enjoy bananas. Other items that worked well with the S’Mores fondue for me included the tangy smooth cheesecake, and the refreshingly juicy and light pineapple.

By the end of our 2-½ hour meal, we were filled to the brim and had already decided that a return visit was a necessity. For a fun, interactive and filling night out for fondue fans, definitely visit The Melting Pot.

To read @thepolishviking’s take on our visit, read her post on

More Photos at PhotoBucket.

The Melting Pot
920 Calgary Trail NW
Edmonton, AB  T6J 2G8
Twitter: @MeltingPotEdm

The Melting Pot Edmonton on Urbanspoon

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