December 11, 2021

Cheese cheese cheese

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During each of the last few years, Sankala had lamented that as the weather turned cold, we never managed to book seats at one of the few Swiss restaurants in town where we could enjoy melted cheese. This year, after seeing some friends posting about their meal exactly a month ago, I was reminded to try to book us a table at Chesa, the popular Swiss restaurant at the Peninsula Hong Kong. It just so happened that my colleague had tried to make a booking here, and had been told that the first availability would be in January - more than 2 months later.

Thankfully I was reminded of someone who could help me secure to booking, and here we are - only had to wait for a month, which is pretty good for Hong Kong these days!

But the evening did not start well. Sankala was already a little annoyed due to some confusion with the new policy on the government's contact tracing app, and when we showed up at the restaurant, they couldn't find a reservation under my name - even though My Favorite Cousin had already arrived and been seated. Three grown men could not locate my name in their system. At that point I decided that those three men were completely useless, and we just walked to our table before Sankala threw a fit.

This little episode was, ironically, reminiscent of this evening. The common element between both evenings? Miss French Rocket.

Sankala's mood did not improve when, only a minute or so after we sat down - and before I had even had a chance to settle down and remove my face mask - one of the waitstaff who couldn't find my name asked whether we wanted still or sparkling water. Aside from the fact that I have never understood why on earth a restaurant waitstaff always asks you about your choice of water mere seconds after you arrive at your table, unfortunately in this case he repeated an incorrect choice back to me. Maybe he didn't hear me properly through my face mask - although I generally enunciate well and the restaurant wasn't that noisy - or maybe he's just blur-blur. Either way, someone was not a happy camper. And we hadn't even looked at the menu!

Beef fat candle - this was a surprise from the house. Beef fat is always tasty, but in this case the candle wasn't quite hot enough.

Crêpe au crabe, cappuccino à l'homardine et Armagnac - I thought this was pretty tasty. Can't go wrong when you have a sauce made with lobster and Armagnac.

Fondue Montaagnarde - the first of our two fondues, with Emmental, Appenzeller, Gruyère, and Parmesan. We've also got some smoked mountain bacon in the pot, and I could definitely smell the smokiness. This was more runny of the two. Instead of bread, macaroni and boiled new potatoes are used.

Fondue moitié-moitié - using "half-half" of Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeoise, this was, I suppose, the more "classic" fondue in my experience.

And we have chunks of baguette with which to coat the melted cheese. It's been soooo long since I last had this... and I ended up eating so much bread. This would be my undoing tonight.

Saucisse de veau, sauce a l'oignon - I didn't want to just have cheese, so I figured we should have some sausage, too.

Very nice with that caramelized onion sauce. And of course some rösti. Anything with crispy fried potatoes is bound to be good.

Raclette du Valais - someone couldn't leave here without having Raclette, so we ordered one up.

The acidity from the pickles helped a little.

Beignets d'oignons - what's worse... someone's eyes are always much, much bigger than her stomach. And those eyes opened very wide at the sight of plates of these onions rings passing by on their way to other tables. So... we ordered up a plate. The staff obviously forgot to put the order into their system, and by the time we chased for it and the plate finally arrived, we had no more room in our stomachs. I persevered and took down a few of these.

Petits fours - I'm glad they gave us gingerbread.

The ladies couldn't wait and started off with some bubbly, so I ended up opening only 1 bottle and didn't order any Swiss wine from the restaurant wine list.

2001 Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune - big nose of polyurethane and petrol, with beautiful white flowers. This has matured so it's softer on the palate.

Many thanks to Ms. French Rocket for the help. Maybe one day we'll be rid of the curse...

1 comment:

Markus Schmidt said...

I wouldn't vouchsafe for the authenticity of fondue at Chesa even though the fondue Moitié-Moitié looks decent..... sounds like a 5000 cal dinner though, together with the schuebli sausage and roesti and and .. the onion rings. Too bad you didn't have a Swiss wine with this.... next time you're in Geneva, try the Café du Soleil in Petit Saconnex, Geneva, for their fondue...


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