Simply Fondue – A New Concept

Fondue is something that is not very well known in India and is mostly limited to buffets of 5 star hotels and some of the cafes though in much lesser scale. I personally have tried them couple of times at Mocha in Delhi and once at Cafe Moshe in Mumbai. Liked the concept, however never quite got the hang of it. 

From Wikipedia – Fondue is a Swiss, French, and Italian dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a portable stove (réchaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) in the 1930s but its origins stem from an area that covers Switzerland, France (Rhone Alps) and Italy (Piedmont and Aosta valley).

Since the 1950s, the name “fondue” has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of hot liquid: chocolate fondue, in which pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil.
When a restaurant called Simply Fondue opened up in Nehru Place, I got pretty excited about it, however never got around to visiting it. So when I got an invite from them to come and have an ‘experience’, I could not help but prioritize a visit to Simply Fondue over other restaurants. However given my limited experience, I asked fellow food lover Anuradha Gupta to join me as she has much better knowledge and experience in fondues than me. 
Simply Fondue positions itself as a a fine dining restaurant, trying to give you a live fondue experience, right on your table. The tables are fitted with induction plates, which are used to make some of the Cheese and Broth fondues right on your table. We were told that they did oil based fondues too but now they have scrapped them from the menu. 
Dippers on the left and other ingredients of the Mexican Salsa Fiesta fondue on the right.
We started with ordering a Cheese based Fondue called Mexican Salsa Fiesta, which was listed as a house specialty  First came the pot on the table, then our very able waiter put some beer into it and let it boil, then went in some garlic followed by some grated Monterey Jack Cheese. It took few minutes for Cheese to melt and once the mix to got a paste like consistency Cajun spice, Red chilli flakes and Salsa were added to it, finally garnishing it with what seemed like cream and some Jalapeno slices. 
Beer coming to a boil
Cheese going into it
Adding spices and Salsa
Ready for Dippers

So far so good, now we were ready to go, however were really disappointed by the meager pieces of fruits and vegetables (dippers) that were served with it. I mean the menu says it serves 2 people and its costs Rs.825 + Taxes, which would work out close to Rs.1100 atleast. And as you can see in the pictures, we had two small pieces of everything, I mean 2 mushrooms, 2 grapes, 2 wedges of carrot so on and so forth. It is very much possible that it is how French eat, but I really wonder what would I do if I like something, there is just so second of anything. Plus we really did not appreciate raw vegetables but then were told by Chef that blanched or cooked vegetables just do not go well with it, so we understood his logic, still not really feeling satisfied. There were options of ordering additional dippers to go with the fondue, at extra charge  of-course, and we chose Chicken Sausages at Rs. 150++ (option of pork sausages and veg dippers was also there), which finally made us appreciate the fondue. 

Chicken Sausages

Moving on to the next course we ordered a Smoked Chipotle Bacon Wrapped Chicken (Rs.445++) and a Greek Salad (Rs.295++). Salad was fresh and really well made, while the Bacon wrapped Chicken was delicious and satisfying. A special mention to Kalamata Olives in the salad, Anuradha found them to be exceptionally good. 

The Greek Salad
Smoked Chipotle Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Smoked Chipotle Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Still hungry and keen on trying other fondues on the menu we decided to go for Entree Fondue and ordered a Cajun Bouillon (Bouillon is french for broth.. :P). Once again a pot was placed on the table with broth in it and brought to boil. We had options of ordering small plates from a selection of Seafood (Rs.425++ per small plate), Chicken (Rs.345++ per small plate) or Vegetables (Rs.315++ per small plate). You have to order atleast 2 small plates with any of the broths (other one being Vegetable Bouillon on the menu). 

Bouillon or Broth coming to a boil

We decided to go with Seafood options – Black Tiger Shrimp, Blackened Basa, Coconut Shrimps, Pecan Crusted River Sole and Mixed Seafood Tortellini were placed in-front of us. Now the amazing thing is that these dippers are all raw and they are cooked right there, on your table. Our waiter dipped the seafood into the boiling broth to cook for a minute or two and then served them straight on our plates. Once again everything was one of each, so cannot really comment on taste, however the experience and broth that we sipped at the end of it was super awesome and very delicious. 

Seafood Dipper that would be cooked in the broth itself.

Anuradha my partner in crime waiting patiently

In goes the dippers.

And out comes the prawns, ready to be served.

Different dips and sauces to go with our dippers 
And now came the moment that Anuradha and me were waiting for, the moment we ordered the Dessert Fondue. They have around a dozen Chocolate Fondues (Rs.845++ each) to choose from and all of them are served with moist Rich Pound Cake, Triple Chocobrownies, Wafers, and Fresh Fruits as dippers. Anuradha didn’t give me a choice on this one and ordered Dark Chocolate fondue called Chocolate Bliss. Though this fondue saw no action of the table unlike two earlier ones, however it proved to be the most blissfull of them all. Accompanied by a glass of Lambrusco Red Sparkling Wine, we were quite thankful that this fondue had 4 of all the dippers, unlike 2 each in earlier ones. And did I say that this one was actually Blissful?? 😛
Dippers for Chocolate Fondue
Chocolate Bliss – Dark Chocolate Fondue
I cannot talk much about the service as we were invited guests, however the waiter serving us seemed to be very well trained and knew his wines quite well. 
But for a place this expensive and food of this class, I really feel that the interiors lack the appeal, even the signage outside look quite ‘tacky’ to me. The induction plate fittings on the tables could have used more finesse as the wire coming down from tables pointed towards ‘jugaad’. I understand that it would have been quite a a task to get that working, but then as the idiom goes – God is in the detail.
Being a middle class Indian, I cannot help but crib about the number of dippers being too less with those fondues, specially at the price they are coming at. I am not someone who would complain about the prices, but then if I was paying for it, number of dippers would have left me with a LOT to be desired.
If I were to put my money into it, I would be going back for their Chocolate Fondue, The Greek Salad as well as the Bacon Wrapped Chicken. That said, the over all quality of food was extraordinary, the experience something that is a must have for any food lover or experience junkie. 
PS : Simply Fondue is an American Chain, with this being their first ever restaurant outside America. 
Simply Fondue

43, Chiranjiv Tower, Near Satyam Cinemas,

Nehru Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110019

Phone: 011 3290 6629
Connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.

4 thoughts on “Simply Fondue – A New Concept”

  1. You should have tried their non-fondue Australian Lamb Chops (medium rare) and Australian John Dory – two items not generally available in most restaurants in our country. Considering the price they command in the market the dishes are value for money.Of course, they again come in small portions, but such is fine dining. The idea is to slow down, take your time, savour the condiments that go into the food and try to optimise the covers that they offer. As you rpost is well documented, would request you to visit again and try their other offers too. Bon Appetit !

  2. I lyk d amt of details(which r complimented by the pics) u add in a review! A complete review. *thumbs up* for dat! 🙂 will try nd visit dis plc soon, the concept looks interesting
    just one suggestion for future blogs. if possible plz add pics of the restaurant as well so that one could get an idea of the overall ambience of the place. cheers! m/

  3. Shashank, very well documented review.. almost feels like I'm sitting across the table and savouring the Fondue!! It is a nice place if you are in a mood for a laid back meal and you have lots to talk about(like the French people eat their food, slowly and slowy savouring every granule, literally as the portion sizes are small)
    The place is supposed to be a fine dining restaurant but lack the ambience of a posh place and add to it "the not so great" restaurant location! Even the washroom was dirty!
    The food quality was extra ordinary, be it the fresh crisp salad leaves or the perfect juicy granny smith apples!
    I totally understood why they have stopped doing the oil Fondues when one of the servers spilled the boiling hot cheese on the induction plate on table while preparing our Cheese Fondue!
    They really know their wines and suggest the most complimenting wine which actually enhances the fondue expierence! For me the highlight of the meal was Lambrusco Red Sparkling Wine with Dark Chocolate Fondue though i missed having strawberries to dunk in that gooey chocolate fondue!

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