Sunday, 19 July 2009

Des Alpes

Next time it's a cold, wet, miserable winter night, Des Alpes is the perfect restaurant to visit for some homely, warming food.

Des Alpes is a Swiss restaurant on Blackwood Street at Mitchelton. It's basically in my neighbourhood, so I've eaten there a couple of times in the last few months. My most recent visit was just last week, on a cold, rainy night.

Entrees at Des Alpes include walliser suppe (Swiss style tomato soup with cheese and cream glazing - $7.50), Bundnerfleisch mit nussbrot (thin slices of Swiss style smoked beef, served with homemade bread, butter, pickles and sour cream - $12.50) and a country terrine made with chicken, pork, walnuts, mushrooms, herbs and wrapped in bacon, served with homemade red wine jelly ($11.50).

Knowing how filling the main courses are, we skipped entrees. I'd ordered the Zurich geschentzeltes (sliced veal in mushroom cream sauce - $25.50) on my last visit, and enjoyed it so much I had it again. This dish is served as half a plate of the sliced veal, with the other half full of Swiss rosti potatoes. The rosti potatoes are delicious, and they're a perfect way to mop up the mushroom sauce from your plate. My only complaint was I ran out of rosti potatoes (because they tasted so good).

Other main course options are kassler (smoked pork tenderloin served with sauerkraut and mild pepper sauce - $25.50), monsieur Roquefort (pork fillets topped with red wine poached pears and blue cheese - $26.50) and fillet Des Alpes (three pork and beef fillets topped with homemade béarnaise, herb and pepper sauces - $26.50). All of the main courses are served with the lovely rosti potatoes and a green salad for the table to share.

If you want to give cutlery a skip for the night, then there are a few different fondues to enjoy. The cheese fondue is served with pieces of baguette to dip into melted Swiss cheese, with garlic, white wine and kirsch ($10.50/person for entree or $19.50/person for main). Then there's the meat fondue, where you can dip slices of beef, pork and veal fillets in beef stock. The meat fondue is also served with a variety of homemade sauces, mixed pickles and rosti potatoes ($27.50/person).

Given that it was particularly cold outside (at least by Brisbane standards) we ordered the chocolate fondue for dessert to share amongst the table ($12.50/person). The fondue burner was brought out to our table, followed by a pot of gooey looking melted chocolate. The chocolate fondue was served with marshmellows, meringues, almonds, strawberries, apple and grapes. We were all given fondue forks and proceeded to cover everything in the thick chocolate. As someone who generally doesn't eat a lot of fruit, this could be the perfect way to convert me - although I'm sure coating tiny bits of fruit in thick chocolate probably wipes out any health benefits. Apart from its taste, a fondue is a great communal way of eating, that gets everyone at the table involved in the food.

If you really want to go fondue crazy, then your table can order the three course fondue party - cheese fondue for entree, meat fondue for main and chocolate fondue for dessert ($44.50/person). But be warned - if you have a big table wanting to eat fondue, you'll need to give Des Alpes some advance notice.

Des Alpes goes out of its way for diners with special dietary requirements. It's the only restaurant I've been to in Brisbane that has separate vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free menus. There were loads of gluten free options for me to enjoy.

Service was extremely friendly on our visit, and all our food came out without any noticeable delay. Des Alpes has a small wine list, but you can also bring your own wine, with corkage $3.00 per person. There's a small bottle shop a few doors up Blackwood Street.

Des Alpes is all about generous, warming Swiss and European food. Sure it's not cutting edge cuisine, but sometimes we all need a plate of hearty, tasty food, which is Des Alpes' forte. Des Alpes has been operating as a family business since 1993, so it must have plenty of dedicated customers.

What does all this mean? Good value, homely, generous Swiss food, with BYO wine and friendly service.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - Good
Ambience - Relaxed, homely, European feel to the room
Value for Money - Good
Wine - Compact list or BYO
Vegetarian - Great
Gluten Free - Great

Des Alpes
47 Blackwood Street
Mitchelton 4053
P - 07 3355 9627
W -

Des Alpes on Urbanspoon


Gregory said...

Damn right. Just because something is cutting edge, does not make it good food !

Unfortuantely many good restaurants fail because of the public's fascination for the "next big thing".

Surely the lack of 20 (or even 10)year old independent restaurants in Brisbane and Sydney is indicative of this.

Long live Des Alpes !

food bling, Brisbane said...

Yep it's always great to see a family operation stick to its guns and be rewarded with a loyal following. I'll definitely be going back while the cool weather sticks around.

Vanessa Jackman (Street+Style = StreetStyle) said...

I remember Des Alpes from when I was working at the law firm just up the road! Although I worked on Blackwood Street for 5 years I never actually ventured into eat- it looks like I should have!
It gives me cravings for the schnitz and rosti at Una's in Sydney. You MUST go there if you and family head to Sydney!

food bling, Brisbane said...

Vanessa Blackwood St is much less daggier than it used to be! There's even a good deli now. All it needs is a good wine shop. You'll be glad to know your old law firm is still there.

Deb™ said...

Des Alpes has been one of my favourite restaurants for the past 10 years!! And their food and value haven't changed a bit since then.

I love their dessert selection and the French pancake! it's a must-try ;)

food bling, Brisbane said...

Thanks Deb - I think Des Alpes has plenty of long time supporters like you. Lucky for me its just down the road.