This fondue festival is really cheesy, but in all the right ways.
If you have a hankering for something outrageously cheesy and a thirst for some particularly crisp wine, then the fondue festival taking place at 28°-50° Wine Bar & Kitchen is exactly where you need to be. Based in Covent Garden, this chic London restaurant will be serving up pots of molten-gold cheese every Tuesday until the end of March, and frankly, we recommend you get yourself a forkful of the action.
Plush, sophisticated and endlessly inviting, as soon as you walk in, the restaurant’s interiors tell you everything you need to know about the evening ahead. Sink into your swanky armchair and order a glass of something delicious to truly take the edge off that long, hard day.
We recommend the Savoyarde Viognier – which actually comes from 28-50’s chateau in the French Alps – light and quietly floral, this crisp white wine is the perfect accompaniment to refresh your palate as you indulge in a decadent fondue feast.
As you sip your wine and enjoy the gentle murmur of the restaurant, a swathe of tempting tidbits will be brought to your table. From warm, crusty bread to buttery new potatoes, a delicate walnut salad to a charcuterie board plastered with smokey Spanish hams, the array of dippable delicacies placed in front of you is enough to make your mouth water.
But then, the pièce de résistance arrives. Gently bubbling away, this gorgeous bowl of melted goodness is the ultimate cheese experience. By combining some classic French favourites, Comté and Beaufort, 28-50 have managed to create a fondue that is both sweet and nutty, with that perfect funky flavour. Its slight garlic hit seamlessly cuts through the cheeses’ creaminess and the splash of white wine added to the mix allows for some impressively long cheese strings to be teased and twirled above the pot.
Before you dive in, diners should be aware that local Savoie tradition dictates that if your piece of bread slips off your fork and into the cheese, not only are you responsible for retrieving it, but you have to fork out for the next round of drinks. (Thankfully, I only lost a potato in the pot so was mercifully exempt from said tradition.)
Do be careful not to stuff yourself entirely with cheese though – quite frankly always a challenge – because something rather delicious awaits you after all the potatoes have been polished off and the last slice of ham has been lovingly shared.
Buttery, light and with warm vanillary tones, 28-50’s apple tarte tatin is a thing of beauty. Just the right size to squeeze in after your copious consumption of cheese, it is the perfect pudding to round off your evening. And, if you’re looking for just one last little flourish of extravagance, perhaps your ought to pair your tarte tatin with a glass of Tokaji. This sweet Hungarian wine sits harmoniously with the apple’s fruity flavour and creates quite the killer combination.
Overall, an absolute must for any cheese lover. The 28-50’s fondue festival is really not to be missed. Indulgent and yet stylishly understated, we promise it makes for the perfect evening.