The word “fondue” usually conjures up images of hot, creamy, cheesy or chocolatey goodness. It is seen as an extremely fancy food, and most people I know have never tried it. So when I heard about the Melting Pot, which specializes in fondue, I really wanted to go there, but didn’t have the opportunity until recently. Located downtown on 108th Ave., the Bellevue location of this restaurant is usually full.
Besides chocolate fondue, the Melting Pot offers three other courses — cheese fondue, salad and an entree. If one decides to go for the whole four-course meal, they start with cheese fondue. The Bellevue location offers cheddar, classic Alpine, and spinach artichoke cheese fondue, and a single party can pick between one and three types depending on how many burners are on their table. The cheese fondue comes with different types of bread and seasonal vegetables as dippers. Afterwards individual salads are served. People can choose from either a caesar, house or California salad. The choices for entrees are much more diverse, with 14 different choices, including a vegetarian option. Customers also choose one of four different methods of cooking the entree, including boiling it in a vegetable broth on the table burners, which is the complementary option. Each location also offers more choices that are only served in that location.
When I visited the restaurant, I got right to the point, the chocolate fondue. The Melting Pot offers many choices of chocolate fondue, including a flaming turtle, pure chocolate, yin and yang and create your own. Since there were a lot of us, my friends and I were able to get a table with two burners and order two different fondues. We decided to order the yin and yang, a half white chocolate and half dark chocolate fondue and the flaming turtle, which was milk chocolate fondue with caramel bits. When the waiter brought it out to us, he actually set the turtle on fire, which was really cool.
The food came out in around 15 minutes, a smaller amount of time than I expected since the restaurant was packed. The waiter put the fondue pots on the burners and gave one plate of dippers to every two people. There were strawberries, banana slices, pieces of pineapple, blondie and brownie squares, pound cake, rice krispie treats, Oreo coated marshmallows and graham cracker coated marshmallows. Each one of us had a long stick with two slightly hooked metal points at the end for dipping.
I tried the yin and yang fondue first, and was immediately in love. I usually am not a big fan of white chocolate, but the combination of the sweetness and creaminess of the white chocolate and the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate came together in one mouthful so well that I totally forgot that I didn’t like white chocolate. Once the flame on it died down, I tried the turtle as well. The crunchy caramel bits complemented the creaminess of the fondue wonderfully. As my friends and I tasted the different combinations of dipper and fondue, we found that the fruits worked better with the turtle and the dippers that already included chocolate tasted amazing with the yin and yang.
Soon, all of the dippers were gone, but there was still some fondue left, so the waiter asked us if we wanted more. Naturally, our answer was yes after we learned that the extra dippers were free. We left the restaurant with full stomachs and great memories.
All in all, it was an amazing experience, one I would definitely repeat. Our dessert cost $23 for two people and the full course meal costs $50 per person. Until the next time I go there, my one experience with this restaurant will be unforgettable.