When the temperature starts to drop outside in Budapest, people want nothing more than to be inside with another warm body next to them.

Previously I had always thought that double dating was a bit strange but when my friend called I decided it is too cold and miserable outside to be alone so why the hell not. It all started with a phone call from a girl friend of mine whose boyfriend’s best friend had just moved to the eccentric city of Budapest. I had no idea what this guy would be like but my friend had told me they were going to a Fondue restaurant and all my worries and concerns were blown away in the blustery November winds. Fondue is love and love is fondue; with or without a partner.

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The act of sharing a piping hot bowl of cheese or chocolate and dipping into it luscious fruits, savory meats, and hearty breads is foreplay for your mouth. Well there is only one place that can service your mouth and stomach to such perfection is the Feher Boleny (White Buffalo) Fondu Etterem.

As with most things in life, you can’t judge the book by its cover. The outside of this restaurant has nothing special about it, just a door way with a small sign and menu. Yet when you descend down the slightly winding stairs you emerge into a little cavern of paradise.

There are large oval tables surrounded by continuous booths, and smaller tables throughout the dining area. Opposite the seating is a gorgeous bar with a white buffalo head watching the ravenous dinners eating. The lighting sets the mood for romance, with a soft orange-gold glow that warms the cockles of your heart.

We were shown to a smaller table in one of the corners that was a bit darker than the rest. I was seated next to my friend and her boyfriend and my blind date were seated across from us respectfully. Now came the challenging part of the whole evening, picking out which fondue to order. There are two types of classic fondues: cheese and chocolate. The cheese fondues are 2900ft per person and they range from melted cheese with Tokaj wine served with pear, apple and walnuts, to cheese melted and served with mushrooms, and sautéed chicken and everything in-between.

The chocolate fondues are 1500ft per person and they range from chocolate with fruits and biscuits to fruit and vanilla drippings. We debated for a long time and eventually landed on a particularly intoxicating sounding cheese fondue that contained palinka, and was served with dry sausages, the Savoyai Sajtfondu. Also, we chose a spicy cheese and vegetables to accompany the sausages, the ProvanceI Sajtfondu.

The conversations were growing quite well, and the ambience was helping the romance grow alongside our appetites. The waiter finally arrived with the fondue with a bubbly boisterous personality that felt like a fun uncle. The wonderful aromas were so amazing and they couldn’t even compare to the flavours that followed.

As we indulged in the sinful pleasures of fondue I noticed that someone was touching my leg with their foot under the table. I was thinking well good guy, good food, good touch… why not? And so it went as we all talked through the remainder of our meal, dipping, dripping and salivating.

I reciprocated the foot affection from under the table with my blind date. It was fun to have an extra couple, so the awkwardness of a blind date was extinguished by the flames of connections. We stayed and talked into the night. Then when we decided to leave and go our separate ways, I mentioned to him how I had such a good night, including the game we had going on under the table. He looked at me and said “what are you talking about?”

It was at that moment that I realized, it was not my blind date I was feeling up under the table, but the boyfriend of my friend!

Double dates are good, yet you have to be careful about which extremities belong to which person. When it comes to fondue it’s best left for two, unless you are looking for a multi-person party afterwards… I bid you all fondue!

– Feher Boleny (White Buffalo) Fondu Etterem, TWO LOCATIONS: Feher Buleny Fondu Etterem, V.Budapest, Bank Utca 5 (Right next to Arany Janos metro stop), Tel: 06 30 281-5833 www.fondue.hu, Open Monday Thursday 17-23, and Friday-Saturday 17-24

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