There is something so very elegant about the Fondue House
that it immediately comes to mind when you’re planning a special occasion. The
little private alcoves remind you of romantic movies and glamorous stars
toasting each other with perfectly chilled glasses of Krug in quaint Parisian
caf้s. But the new long tables on the other side of the room also provide
plenty of room for parties. The staff is attentive but not intrusive, and the
service is excellent without a trace of snobbishness. Most of all, though, the
food is superb. This is fine French dining. But don’t save the Fondue House
just for special occasions. Indulge yourself.
you can only imagine fondue served in front of a roaring fire with snow banked
outside, then don’t despair. Just try the French selections. The Fondue House
serves excellent fondue, which we enjoy, but on our most recent visit we decided
to sample the chef’s best French selections. We were not disappointed.
The Fondue House offers both hot and cold appetizers, and we
began our dinner with home-style pork pโt้. This robust pโt้
was served traditionally with little cornichon pickles and garlic toast. This is
my favorite of their cold appetizers. If you prefer a hot appetizer, try the
fresh creamed mushrooms on toast. Delicious. Appetizers range in price from 130
to 240 baht.
The appetizers were followed by beef consomm้, hot and
flavorful with tender morsels of meat hidden at the bottom of the bowl. This is
a light soup; perfect for summer, but the chef also prepares a variety of cream
based soups that are delightful. A few weeks ago, we sampled a creative soup
that was literally ฝ bowl of pumpkin soup and ฝ bowl of cream of
corn soup. It was a treat for the eye and for the palate as well. I can also
recommend the prawn bisque with brandy, reminiscent of that prepared by Cajun
Chef Justin Wilson. The flavor is deep and rich, and you will be disappointed
when you see the bottom of your bowl appear. Our consomm้ was followed by
a delightful salad. Tossed mixed greens, lightly dressed, filled one side of the
plate. Fresh chunks of beet were arranged in another, then shrimp and finally a
small piece of boneless seared fish. Each complimented the other, and together
made an outstanding salad that could be equally at home as a luncheon main dish.
Soups and salads are priced at 75 to 230 baht.
One member of our Dining Out team has been known to make
hotel arrangements based on the availability and quality of the chef’s fois
gras. We were not disappointed by the imported French fois gras that was served
with our filet mignons. It brought a moment of reverent silence to the table. It
was delicious and perfectly prepared. The steaks were prepared as ordered,
generous in size, flavorful and tender. Fresh vegetables, both steamed and
roasted accompanied our entrees. The range of main courses offered is extensive
– fish and seafood, poultry, fondues and meats. There is something for every
palate. Our diners also recommended the snapper filet with mango sauce, the duck
breast with apple caramel and Calvados, and the beef fondue that is cooked not
in oil but in red wine. Mains start at 185 baht and go up to 960 baht for the
imported Swiss cheese fondue, which is highly recommended.
Sweets vary from traditional Cr๊pes Suzette to fresh
fruit sabayon. Fresh mango picked from the tree in the garden outside and served
with crisp pastries and a complimenting sauce delighted us. Its sweet taste and
creamy consistency simply reminded us that we were in Thailand.
Be sure to ask about off the menu items when you visit the
Fondue House, or ask when you phone for reservations. The menu is French but the
chef is Thai. He knows the local market well, and makes daily use of what’s
fresh and good.
The Fondue House, 18/1 Airport Road, Chiang Mai, across the road from Customs
and Immigration Offices. Telephone 09-432-1688, 01-594-0750 or 053-201-511. Open
daily for lunch, 12 noon – 2 p.m. and for dinner, 6 – 10 p.m. Parking inside
the gates of the restaurant or on the side street.