I started to love listening to live music when I was old enough to be allowed inside Le Fondue at the La Azotea building along Session Road. My generation was too young to experience Songs and would be content to listen to music at the post office park with friends carrying a bottle of gin, until we were asked to leave by either security guards or well-meaning police.

When I finally was old enough to be let inside the legendary music bar, it was right about the time it closed its doors to the public, ending an era for many and leaving me with a lone memory of the place where I was amazed at how the sax player was able to do his rendition of Kenny G hits with a bottle of wine coolers to make my visit memorable. The other legendary music joints by that time, closed down and I was left to enjoy what was left of the music scene in the city.

Le Fondue was a magical place for me then, with an acoustic duo almost always making me stay longer than I intended leaving me anxious if I had overstayed by welcome with my limited money to buy bottles of beer or shandy, let alone bar food. The musicians were always a joy to watch, some
with quirkier habits than most, making the musical experience better and more fun for the audience.

One performer would joke around and make faces during his sets that it would difficult not to laugh along, while one performer would have a strange accent, making common songs sound exotic.
Le Fondue would only open at the night time, during the day, the space was a food court where students and locals would take their meals with a common eating area and a verandah for you people watch. I would go to Le Fondue when I had extra money or if I would go with a group, making the burden of payment lighter for my limited school allowance which I would spend wisely to be able to play hokey on occasion.

So that would mean a few bottles only that I had to stretch to two sets of performances,
without any bar eats on the side, making my Le Fondue experience, spartan. As defined, Fondue is a Swiss melted cheese and wine dish served in a communal pot (caquelon or fondue pot) over a portable stove or heated with a candle or spirit lamp, and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks.

Since the 1950s, the term “fondue” has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of liquid kept hot in a fondue pot: chocolate fondue, fondue au chocolat, in which pieces of fruit or pastry are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil or broth. At Le Fondue, of course there was a fondue set that one could order and I would always gawk at the ones who are able to buy these, imagining that the melted cheese on bread dipped over a slow flame was delicious.

But alas, during the entire college life I had, even with side jobs I had to keep my playing hokey on occasion as fulfilled experience, I never had enough money to buy the fondue sets at Le Fondue.
Until it closed down, I never had the chance to sample the tempting fondue sets of my youth. So, my memories of Le Fondue, will always be without fondue.



Amianan Balita Ngayon