One of the items on our bucket list for Switzerland was to indulge in some authentic cheese fondue. Once we had decided to spend a day in Interlaken to rejuvenate, shop and explore the cute town, Diva and I were on the lookout for a place to try fondue.
Along Höheweg, the main street in Interlaken, are plenty of restaurants that offer traditional Swiss dishes like fondue and raclette. Diva and I stumbled across Des Alpes, a Swiss restaurant that looked relatively busy. A busy restaurant is a good sign, meaning that the food is decent. So we grabbed a table and enjoyed a delicious meal.Des Alpes was previously a hotel in 1863, but after the World Wars I and II, it evolved into a restaurant and tea room, that passed from generation to generation of Swiss locals. The restaurant was later renovated and the modern restaurant, as we know it today, opened in 2000. Today, it is run by Marco Tagliavini, who took over in 2010.
With both indoor and outdoor seating, Des Alpes offers a range of dishes on its menu. Since it was a nice, warm day, we sat outside on the terrace with an adjacent garden, with a view of the beautiful Höhematte, a green field with snow-covered mountains in the background. The tables covered in yellow tablecloths reflected the summery vibes and I had a peek at the inside area, which houses a full salad bar.With a mix of traditional Swiss food, like fondue, raclette, rostis (my favorite) and grilled meats, and modern dishes like pizza, Des Alpes is a great dining place for tourists and Interlaken residents alike. It also has a huge dessert menu that caught my eye.
Diva and I quickly scanned the menu and unequivocally decided to order the Classic Swiss Fondue that was served with crusty, cubed bread. You could also order the cheese fondue with mushrooms, tomatoes or even smoked salmon.
To drink, Diva ordered a bottle of Gazosa Al Limone, a refreshing Swiss sparkling lemonade, while the rest of us stuck to good, ol’ water. Des Alpes also serves up other varieties of fondues such as Fondue Chinoise (Chinese fondue) which is also known as “hot pot”, where meat and/or vegetables are cooked in a shared pot of broth. And they also had Fondue Bourguignonne, a fondue pot filled with hot oil where pieces of meat are dipped in to cook them. And on their dessert menu, they offer a Chocolate Fondue, where fruits, pastry pieces and marshmallows are dipped in a pot of melted chocolate.
The Classic Swiss Fondue was made of a mix of Gruyère, Appenzeller and Emmental cheeses cooked with some white wine and a hint of garlic. It was delicious and the crusty bread was a great vessel to load my mouth with the melted cheese.We also ordered some Pickled Gherkins and Onions on the side. The sour pickled cucumber and the sweet onion bulbs with the melted cheese created complex flavor bombs in my mouth as they mellowed out the creamy cheese. I especially enjoyed alternating between a pickled gherkin and bread to scoop out the moreish melted cheese.My dad got a portion of French Fries that were fried to perfection. Crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside, I also layered some Swiss cheese on this. I don’t know if this is a faux-pas but it tasted oh-so-good.
Both Diva and I wanted to get some raclette too. Doesn’t the idea of scraping off a blanket of melted cheese off a cheese wheel or a pan onto your plate of meat and/or veggies sound mouth-watering? Sadly, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, so we had to skip out on the raclette experience.
I had had my eye on the dessert menu, but the Swiss cheese fondue was satisfyingly filling so I just looked over at my neighbor’s dessert rather covetously.
Nearing the borders of a massive food coma, we sauntered out to carry on exploring the gorgeous town of Interlaken.
Des Alpes is located at:
Photos (& post title) by Diva Shah