Neighbourhood: West Broadway
Address: 218 Sherbrook St
Phone: (204) 783-1317
(Editor’s Note – This business is no longer open.)
Since 1982, long before the tabletop grills of Korean barbeque popped up in the city, Winnipeg’s fondue-only restaurant The Melting Pot (formerly Fork and Cork Bistro) has been showing local diners that sharing in the cooking can add a special zest to a meal.
With décor that incorporates vintage floral-decaled fondue pots, The Melting Pot doesn’t shy away from the dish’s fame as a staple of the ’70s. Although it holds 83 seats, the soft lighting and dark wood dividers lend tables an intimate feel. Add a corner fireplace and a flame under the fondue pot of every table, and the room is enveloped in warmth. The tradition of buying drinks or giving kisses to your tablemates if you lose a morsel in the pot (a house rule, according to the menu) goes a long way towards encouraging camaraderie.
In the classic cheese fondue, a dose of acidic white wine — with a shot of kirsch for sweetness — transforms Swiss and Gruyère into a velvety mixture waiting for soft cubes of French bread to be dunked.
Delivered in a sizzling cast iron pan, sliced Cajun mushrooms lure you to take big bites with a tangy start that slowly builds to surprising heat.
The melting tenderness of filet mignon makes it a standout in the oil combo’s trio of proteins, best paired with the zesty barbeque sauce. Light breading gives chicken a crispy touch after spending a minute in the oil pot, and a daub of honey dill sauce results in instant comfort food.
Neptune fondue picks up just a hint of added saltiness from its chicken bouillon cooking bath. Oceanic flavours of fresh scallops and tiger shrimp get a piquant punch thanks to classic cocktail sauce: a sweet tomato base with a bite of horseradish.
Dessert fondue, a rich concoction of peanut butter, dark chocolate and cream, is a true indulgence. Bright chunks of melon, strawberries and banana bread for dipping keep the sweetness from becoming cloying. Those with an extra-sweet tooth should spear the marshmallows. No need to leave them in to cook — we doubt you’d be able to resist long enough anyway.
The Melting Pot is open Mon-Thu pm-10 pm Fri-Sat 5 pm-11pm.