If you like dipping your food into something hawt before it enters your mouth either to cook it with a savoury broth or coat it with something sweet enough to induce diabetes, read on.
Now, I’ve never had a true fondue experience other than a childhood filled lovingly with fondue chinoise (Chinese fondue = hot pot). I’ve always had an itch to hit up that popular CAPSTONE place in Vancouver but I kept putting it off and off and before I knew it, I had settled down on the other side of the country.
It kinda goes without saying, but we opted for the “4-course experience” which consisted of cheese fondue + starter salad + savoury entree fondue + chocolate dessert fondue because having to decide on only one fondue would be like choosing between children and I ain’t about that life. I’m in equal opportunity non-foodie.
Blue cheese, green onions, white wine, and two types of unfamiliar cheese? HECK YES, I’m choosing this. I thought the white wine would be a nice touch to the fondue because wine amplifies the taste of a lot of dishes because hello, wine and cheese cocktails? But much to my dismay, this supposed heavenly pot of melted cheese tasted incredibly off due to the sherry and white wine. Kinda sorta wished I was less adventurous and went something more basic like swiss or cheddar, which we all know and love.
The sides that came along were “artisan” bread (not very good) and seasonal fruits and vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, green apple, baby carrots). The “seasonal produce” comment on the menu hinted that the selection would be a little more exotic and well, seasonal. I’m not an agriculture major or anything but I’m pretty certain baby carrots aren’t seasonal. I question the legitimacy of every restaurant that serves baby carrots.
As a huge mushroom fan, I naturally went with the mushroom salad only to be reminded of why I never put raw white mushrooms into my own salads in the first place. The salad becomes so so dry that I’d have no choice but to make it rain salad dressing. Mushrooms are best cooked anyway. This dry salad melange wasn’t really doing it for me but fortunately the burgundy shallot dressing was quite flavourful, allowing this salad an “okay” at best. Not to worry though, the MELTING POT no longer offers this salad according to the most up-to-date online menu.
This salad tasted like redemption. The candied pecans were delicious and you can never go wrong with cheese crumbles in a salad. Ever. I’m thoroughly impressed with the salad dressing at this restaurant.
- CURRY: mild, yogurt-based curry
- GREEN GODDESS: cream cheese, sour cream, onions, chives, parsley
- TERIYAKI GLAZE: teriyaki with garlic, ginger, onions
- GORGONZOLA PORT: rich, robust cheese sauce
- GINGER PLUMÂ: red + green peppers, ginger, plum
I do realize that there are 6 sauces and only 5 listed but that’s the best I can do. The website lists only 5/6. Everything goes into one ear and swiftly out the early when a spectrum of dipping sauces is placed before your eyes. Everyone knows that.
I especially liked curry and ginger plum.
The “seasonal” entree vegetables were small red potatoes, broccoli, and white button mushrooms. I appreciated the mushroom here since it was very reminiscent of hot pot.
We went with the basic seasoned court vegetable bouillon, thinking that the incoming meat would provide enough flavour. Didn’t want to pull the blue cheese
whine wine mishap again.
We (read: me) ignorantly referred to the yellow delights as wontons but sacchetti is the proper term. They’re essentially large tortellinis that hold more filling.
Though the variety and presentation were both on point, I was definitely not wowed by the main course. Everything tasted decent in their own right and I’m positive that many people find this decadent. Dec(ad)ent? However, I just couldn’t stop comparing this to hot pot, where every morsel absorbs the ever so fragrant broth, dense with flavour and spices (and MSG), like a brand new sponge. I had to remind myself that I was not at MELTING
Cookies ‘N’ Cream Marshmallow Dream
The dessert was an easy but not easy choice because everything sounded so good. One glance at the menu: peanut butter, candied pecans, bananas, cinnamon, white chocolate…but you had me at flambe. Who doesn’t like to watch their food burst into flames?
LOOK AT THAT OREO. Our dipping artillery consisted of: cheesecake, strawberries, chocolate bites, bananas, pineapple.
A dream it was, indeed.
The restaurant carried an almost romantic ambiance (aka the lights were dim). Our server was extremely attentive despite the busy dinner hour and took great care in explaining every plate he brought out to us. If you’re wondering what he looks like, you can see his hand stirring the fondue pots. A+
Oddly enough, three of our selections don’t exist on the menu today. The Artisan Trio cheese fondue, the Spinach Mushroom Salad, the Cookies N’ Cream chocolate fondue. #BadLuckJen chooses the items that are ultimately phased out.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 4-course experience and would recommend it to anyone to try at least once. Personally, I’d come back for only the chocolate fondue. I still (marshmallow) dream about that stuff today.
P.S. They have a gluten-free menu too which I know a lot of people will appreciate. I went gluten-free for one week once so I know how annoying it is to self-evaluate the potential for gluten cross-contamination in restaurants that don’t explicitly state gluten-free.