Monday 10 March 2008

Fondue to die for?

On Wednesday Gwen and Sophie had the day off and we all pottered over the road to a super alpine restaurant to cause chaos elsewhere. Edwin and Anna had been here previously and heartily recommended it although I have now forgotten the name. But don't worry the story isn't about the food it's about the near deat experience we had!

Hot on the heels of our crepe catastrophe we plunged further into trouble when our entire table was set on fire during what can only be described as Fondu-gate.

We spent an age deciding what to have. Raclette? Hot stone? Fondue with meat? Fondue with cheese? Or more simply some grilled duck or steak. Cowie and I chose brilliantly. As much as we wanted to get stuck into something novel and alpine we didn't think we could face the idea of a vat of molten cheese or a medieval bowl of boiling oil. And the hot stone turned out not to be a stone at all. It looked more like a nocked over trouser press and gave out about as much heat. I had some delicious duck with a fig sauce and Cowie had a steak. Well done us. Both were brilliant. I'll be repeating the fig sauce at some point soon. Or at least trying to!

This story is all about Edwin and Anna and their exploding fondue. Now my French isn't what it used to be, but I'm pretty sure we would have spotted the word combustible, flamable or exploding on the menu next to the meat fondu had it been there.

After dipping in their fifth or sixth lump of meat the spectators next to Edwin and Anna started to wince as the fat started leaping out of the pan an onto their arms. Cowie jumped to the resuce and turned the flame down. But in doing so turned it completely off. For some reason it wouldn't restart. Not to worry the waiter with a splendid pink shirt brough a replacement burner. Which didn't work. So he brough another. Cowie mentioned in the aftermath that she could hear it hissing. Ah. One turn of the ignition button later and the entire table was on fire. The gas from the canister had spread all over the table and onto the girls' laps. In two terrible seconds we went from being mildly peaved that the fondue wasn't working to hopping around evading the grim reaper's colourful clutches. Drama doesn't come close. The waiter gave a wry little smile as if he expected a big fat tip for the entertainment and skipped off leaving Edwin and Anna with a story to tell for the rest of their lives!

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