A few nights ago I ventured towards Neutral Bay's Military Road, a heartstring of a main street that goes all the way down from Neutral Bay to Spit Junction in Mosman. If you've never been, then know that along the street has many retail stores boutiques, offices along with the copious amounts of cafes and restaurants that dot both ways.
That night we visited Cj's which I pretty much call it a second home now from my regular visits. It's a small yet simple, family-run French restaurant that specializes in a Swiss cuisine which is definitely a novelty find: Fondues! If you're a north shore resident or savvy enough to know, the owners previously have had their first Fondue restaurant back in the early '80s on Ridge Street known as "Le Petit Savoyard".
Apart from their fondue selections (which I'll introduce soon) there's also a vast array of a la carte to choose from. Some of our favourites have been the Escargots (snails) in a garlic parsley butter and placed onto a vol au vent shell, their signature eye fillet steak with bearnaise sauce are good along with their light and fluffy French crepes.
1) An entree of Cheese fondue with cubes of cut French bread,
2) Hot oil fondue; sizzling oil at the table with our desired meats to DIY cook in,
3) Dessert with a dark chocolate fondue that brings a plate of fresh fruits and marshmallows.
The cheese fondue was bubbling away in a ceramic pot with a not too overly thick consistency. The contents are an array of different cheeses including fancy cheeses like Gruyere, Emmenthal and also a dashing of wine cooked through and a sprinkle of nutmeg on top. At first the taste of the wine sets us back, but then you start to get cozy with the Kirsch and appreciate the cheese and bread dipping.
Then the oil fondue comes to play. Our waitress exclaims "hot oil, hot oil" as she shuffles along the two ends of the restaurant to reach our table and set things up. We're given a garden salad that is drizzled ceremoniously with a mayonnaise dressing.
The plate for our meats were with prawns, chicken and beef - all raw, uncooked to begin with. She advises us with a prep talk of how long each piece should be sizzled for and which of the four dipping sauces are available to us: a garlic mayonnaise, mustard, tomato mayonnaise and sweet chili. Of all of the sauces, I really liked the kick from the mustard's tangy flavour and the garlic-based mayonnaise.
This is always an interactive experience, as you have to try hard to not over-cook your meat pieces when conversation takes over your focus! I've had the occasional crispy chicken because I was too occupied babbling away with friends at one time...!
Quite satiated, we then realized this wasn't over. Not yet, anyway. Here came the chocolate fondue - a bowl of melted dark belgium chocolate with a plate of seasonal fresh fruit pieces and marshmallows to finish off our evening.
Cj's French & Fondue Restaurant