Fondue Night at Spring Street Cheese Cellar
Spring Street Cheese Cellar, located in the basement below the ever-popular gourmet grocer of the same name, is an absolute haven for any cheese-lover. The cellar is Australia’s first cheese affineur: they complete the cheese ageing process in-house, which means they can sell cheese at its ideal stage of ripeness. They certainly know their stuff!
It probably comes as no surprise to regular readers that I frequent the Spring Street Cheese Cellar. When I heard about their annual fondue night, a 3-course affair during which you learn the art of making the classic Swiss pot of melted cheese, I snapped up two tickets right away.
Two long communal tables were set up in the cellar, with fondue pots shared between four. We had the pleasure of sharing our cheese with none other than the bubbly food personality Alice Zaslavsky and partner Nick.
We started with an antipasti platter and salad to get our palates going.
We were given a bowl of conveniently pre-shredded cheese mixed with cornflour. That’s what 800g of cheese looks like!
After rubbing the pot with cut garlic and heating the wine until boiling, we gradually started to add the cheese.
Unfortunately we added our cheese too quickly and needed a little help from the waiter, who thankfully had a whisk on hand…
When the fondue mixture was ready it was thick but still flowing, forming long, stretchy strings as we lifted our cheese-vessels from the pot. Alongside the traditional bread cubes we were also served baby potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, which somewhat alleviated our guilt about eating 200 grams of cheese in one sitting (but not really). Unfortunately the steamed vegetables didn’t hold up so well on the ends of the skewers – there were quite a few orphaned broccoli florets along the way.
Once the cheese mixture was nearly all gone (where did it all go?) an egg was added. The white was incorporated into the cheese first, with the stirring motion carefully avoiding the yolk in the centre, which was mixed in after the white had set.
The result was a silky, rich, cheesy scramble that tastes far better than it looks in the photo.
We made it! At the end of our cheesy adventure, we were rewarded with a crispy, orange crust to be scraped off and savoured.
While the whole experience was utterly pleasurable, even this cheesophile began to feel some dairy fatigue afterwards.
The Spring Street Gelateria’s own limoncello sorbet with honey and pistachio biscotti was the perfect light dessert to cleanse the palate after a meal like that.
The Spring Street Grocer’s annual fondue night is held in winter and costs $125 per head for 3 courses.
Disclaimer: While this may read a little like a PR piece I can assure you that I don’t do them and I was not invited by Spring Street Cheese Cellar. I just really like cheese.