After nearly a year of promising to visit Gurpreet, it finally happened this past week. Last Wednesday, I hopped on a plane to Geneva to meet a few other college friends and for the following week, we traveled all around Switzerland via rail. The country is stunningly gorgeous. The goal this week is to see how quick and efficient I can be at blogging about my journey. Unfortunately, the blogging will be cut short after the fourth day given I lost my camera and the massive 8gb memory card that held photos from the other half of the trip. You’d be surprised to hear that I handled the loss better than expected. Still, a part of me ached so badly when I wasn’t able to capture a beautifully presented hot chocolate with a mountain of swirly whipped cream at a chocolate cafe yesterday.
But first things first- Gurpreet and Diana did their research and reserved a spot at Cafe du Soleil for Thursday night. Simply put, it’s what you’d imagine a restaurant to look like in a movie: charming, simple, and very quaint.
Fondue is huge in Switzerland. Before you get your hopes up, it’s all cheese fondue. There aren’t many chocolate fountains around. The cheese fondue at Cafe du Soleil came in a bubbling pot with plenty of bread. When Angela first stuck her fondue stick + bread into the cheese, she kept on complaining that the cheese enhanced the wine. Pretty soon, she was convinced that there was wine in the cheese. “No way,” we all thought. Well, lo and behold, Angela was actually right. The cheese used in the fondue is typically a blend with the bulk being Gruyere along with some kirsch (fruit brandy) or white wine.
Fondue with bread and Gruyere cheese (CHF 22 per person)
After we exhausted the first plate of bread (roughly 2 slices per person), we barely made a dent in the cheese. The flame beneath the pot kept the cheese silky smooth, but after awhile, it made the cheese a bit too concentrated. My only complaint was that the cheese became too salty. As a result, we had a good chunk of cheese left at the end of the night.
That experience totally killed off any future fondue excursions during the trip.
That fondue pot was ginormous. They’ll refill your bread once its gone.
Assiette de crudités or plate of salad (CHF 15.90)
We also ordered a couple of salads, which I would highly recommend you to do. After awhile, the intensity of the cheese just hits you and all you want is something different both texture and flavor-wise. The dressing on the assiette de creduites was awesome. It was light and just a bit tangy.
Nevertheless, the salad paysanne was my favorite, probably because of all the bacon bits. The salad dressing was similar to the one above, but bacon + melted cheese = infinite goodness. Too bad the salads cost an arm and a leg or else I would have ordered more!
Halfway through the meal, we couldn’t stand it. We asked for water and got it in a carafe!
Profiterolle (CHF 8.90)
Despite how full we got from the fondue (remember, it’s a ton of bread), we still opted to split a few rounds of dessert. Antara and Jenny split the profiteroles, which looked absolutely divine. Can’t go wrong with ice cream smushed in between eclair-like shells!
The rest of us split two chocolate cakes a la mode. I wouldn’t say it was anything special, but it definitely cured the sweet tooth.
But Gurpreet and I decided to be pigs and order another dessert. We opted for the pear sorbet given we’d never had it. This was by far my favorite of the night. The intensity of the pear stays and lingers in your mouth even moments after swallowing. The texture is a bit gritty yet soft, and very reminiscent of a pear. TWO THUMBS UP!
Overall, I think we would all agree that the fondue was a great experience for its novelty, but not necessarily for taste. The restaurant itself has a great ambiance and decent service. They also have an English menu upon request. While the CHF 230 bill may seem a tad bit on the expensive side, this is supposedly a decently priced restaurant in Geneva (one of the most expensive cities in the world) so I’m not sure if you could actually do much better. On the night we went, we found that families and businessmen alike frequented the cafe. Reservations are a must; the place fills up quickly and fondue is not exactly a quick affair.
6 Place du Petit-Saconnex
tél : +41 (0) 22 733 34 17