Cheese lovers – this one is for you! Most of you will have heard of fondue, but have you tried raclette?
When I tried to explain the concept to people at work, they automatically assumed I was talking about fondue. So I’ll try again – if you’re still not convinced, pictures speak louder than words.
Raclette involves melting cheese in a small pan over a special grill placed in the middle for everyone. Meanwhile, you can grill meat and vegetables on top.
The term ‘raclette’ comes from the French word racler, which means ‘to scrape’. All makes sense now, right?
Some people put food in their pan with cheese on top, then melt it, but our hosts advised against this as the meat gets too oily and salty.
But you know – tell someone not to do something and they’ll probably do it. Exhibit A below.
It’s a unique experience but a safe one, because who doesn’t enjoy melted cheese? The raclette sets ($24) included a selection of prosciutto, salami, potatoes, cured ham and cornichons/gherkins – enough for one. We also ordered some sharing plates with chorizo, pork crackling and more potatoes!
They also have other cheesy menu items including Baked Camembert and Mac n’ Cheese. They even serve breakfast if you are craving a truly French croque monsieur. See their full menu here.
I’d recommend eating a small dinner beforehand if you are not planning on going all out on the cheese items on offer.
Unfortunately, service wasn’t great and I’m still grappling with whether this is just a French thing or I’ve just had bad luck with French venues. They took some time before giving us menus and then didn’t really tell us how to go about the raclette until we asked.
However, it was great to experience it once and to enjoy a place completely dedicated to cheese. One day we might even buy a raclette grill and go do-it-yourself style at home!
Shifty Chevre is located at 375 Brunswick St, Fitzroy and is open Wednesday-Sunday.