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Cheese fondue in Australia may have seen the height of its popularity in the 1980s but in Switzerland, this delicious dish is a definite and welcomed staple in winter. With its pot sitting in the middle of the table, bubbling away in anticipation, the cheesy smell permeating the air, and the socialising that takes place around it, there is a whole lot of comfort to be had from this dish.
Located in Flinders Lane, The Swiss Club Restaurant, as part of the Swiss Club of Victoria, has been serving this dish since its opening many years ago and will no doubt keep serving it to Melbournians of Swiss origin and those who love this dish and way of eating, for many days to come.
The Swiss Club of Victoria opened its doors in as a way of connecting all the Swiss immigrants in Melbourne and providing them with a little bit of Switzerland, cheese fondue included. For a fascinating look at the history of this club please check here. What is even more fascinating is the location of the club and restaurant among all the "cool, new, kid restaurants on the block". Where bars and restaurants compete for the innovation or coolness factor, whether in decor, food or guests, the Swiss Club Restaurant provides the same ambience, furnishings and food it has for the last two decades. Perhaps this is also its attraction, Swiss food at its best served in surroundings with no loud music, and where people can actually hear each other.
The Swiss Club Restaurant. Image: swissclubvictoria.com/restaurant
But back to cheese fondue and other typical Swiss food. The cheese fondue is light and perfectly balanced with wine. It comes accompanied with apples as well as cubes of the requisite bread. You can order other Swiss dishes with it such as roesti or Swiss sausages as well as seasonal vegetables. Every so often one of the coupon websites such as Groupon offers special deals on the cheese fondue. Overseen by Roger Moullet, the jovial and hospitable Swiss chef, the dishes are guaranteed to be authentically Swiss. Swiss cuisine, whilst not always particularly innovative, is traditional, comforting and often unexpectedly different. There are daily seasonal specials including fish and other more Australian type dishes, but the Swiss dishes are what makes this restaurant a stand out. Whatever your order, Roger will make sure you leave the restaurant happy and full. Oh, and there is Swiss wine and beer too.