Perhaps the oldest restaurant in Geneva and very famous for its cheese fondue, we strolled into this informal alfresco environment of loud multilingual chatter on an unusually warm April’s night. Was almost as if we joined an inconspicuous UN gathering!
Cafe Du Soleil was founded 400 years ago and was built before the famous temple of Petit-Saconnex in Geneva. It used to be a meeting place for politicians of several parties, today it remains a famed meeting place for people from all walks of life.
Seated in the far corner of Soleil’s packed courtyard on what resembled picnic furniture, I was enthusiastic of what would be brought before me. I loved the stone walls and how it resembled an old colonial house, it gave the place a real rustic feel.
The waitstaff were extremely efficient in bringing menus and taking orders. Our family friend who took us here explained that Soleil is famous for its cheese fondue, therefore that is precisely what we ordered (22.90 CHF) per person alongside a Cured Beef Platter from Valais (21.40 CHF) to start, accompanied by an enchanting bottle of Chasselas – a white blend of mineral soil with aromas of white flowers, lucust trees, honey and citrus fruits. (33.00 CHF)
The cured ham was brought to us at the same time as the cheese fondue even though we asked for it to be a starter. On a positive note, taking small bites of the beef, pickles and miniature onions were a great compliment to the bread dipped in cheese.
The quality of the fondue was top notch, offering me the best fondue I have ever had in my life. The cheese was deliciously sticky, smooth, dribbled over the bread like magic goo and very intense in flavor. Each bite offered me the staunch cheesiness I had been anticipating. I also never knew how scrumptious cheese fondue could taste by sprinkling a little bit of pepper on top.
After stuffing my face and drinking one too many glasses of wine, it was time for our group to order dessert. My dad and our family friend were the only two who were able to stomach anything else. They ordered a meringue served with double cream from Gruyère (8.90 CHF) and a Chocolate-filled profiterole (8.90 CHF).
Unfortunately the waiter made a mistake and brought out chocolate ice cream instead of the profiterole. The restaurant was completely full by this time of night and we didn’t bother to complain (I blame the wine!) Even though I felt as if putting anything in my mouth at this point would destroy me I couldn’t help but try one of the meringues dipped in Gruyère cream. The smoothness and delicateness of the cream was downright perfection. The meringue crumbled in my mouth and was not overly chewy like they usually are.
After paying the bill we noticed that the dessert wasn’t charged. It wasn’t because they knew or felt apologetic that they got our order wrong, they simply forgot.
All in all, a wonderful outdoor dining experience in the heart of Geneva, not too expensive by Swiss standards either. Exceptional joint for those seeking a brilliant fondue!
Note: This place is ALWAYS full, reservations are necessary!
Place du Petit-Saconnex 6, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland
+41 22 733 34 17