From the retro and cosmopolitan cheese board, to the rustic indulgence of raclette, here’s where cheese lovers can hunt down their favourite fare.
Raclette – A classic Swiss dish that has warmed the hearts and minds of many, raclette is one of those dishes which gives credence to the theory that cheese is at times perturbingly addictive. In winter, Shoreditch-sur-les-Alps comes alive with ‘Raclette on the Rooftop’ at Boundary, complete with hot cocktails, La Fromagerie-sourced cheese, and an open-pit fireplace.
Fondue – Some restaurants get berated for being stuck in time. But with others, you should be glad they are. As is the case with Wardour Street’s St Moritz, which is keeping the ‘60s classic of fondue going, with seven variations on the theme to choose from. Question is, would it be wrong to finish off proceedings with a Swiss chocolate fondue after you’ve tucked away a cheese one?
Poutine – All aboard the gravy train (destination: Newcastle) for Kracklin’s poutine. The French-Canadian dish of French fries, cheese curds and gravy, though a hot topic among homesick Canadian expats, is usually hard to come by. This ‘roast joint’, however, has made it their objective to bring poutine to the masses. If Newcastle is too far to go, Londoners can get their fix at The Poutinerie and Hawksmoor’s Spitalfields bar.
Cheese board – Cheese lovers in Bournemouth do not go hungry. That’s mostly thanks to Renoufs and their incredible line-up of artisanal cheeses from around the world. Renoufs’ cheese boards are fully customisable from a selection of Stinking Bishop, Wookey Hole, Stilton, Smoked Bavarian, Reblochon, Brie, Manchego, Gouda, among many others.
Toastie – The cheese toastie is one of the most DIY of all comfort food dishes, but if you’d rather leave it to the experts, The Cheese Room has got it down to a T. A seductive combination of Keens cheddar, onion, and sun-blushed tomato means Rochester has been well and truly put on the cheese glutton’s map.
Baked Camembert – It’s simple and it’s modest, but among a cheese fiend’s favourite dishes, it never falls out of favour. Camembert was born to be baked, along with a side of crusty bread – accordingly, Champagne & Fromage’s fig and thyme baked camembert is a must-order for a starter or quick lunch.
Carbonara – Alright, this Italian nonna’s classic is one of those must-order dishes when in Rome. But what if carbonara cravings strike when you’re in, say, Manchester? Consider Rosso’s interpretation. It’s carbonara the way you expect it – smoked pancetta, parmesan, several hand-twists of the pepper grinder – but with a somewhat controversial, though embellishing, ‘touch of cream’.
Cheese soufflé – Once a mail-order cheese company, The Cheese Society is also now one of Lincoln’s best-loved cafés. Aptly, the café does everything cheesy – from cheese boards and goats cheese salads, to cheese scones and Lincolnshire rarebit. But it’s the cheese soufflé which steals the spotlight here – wonderfully light but indulgent, it’s no wonder it’s the best-selling thing on the menu.
Mac ‘n’ cheese – With its annual dedicated mac ‘n’ cheese festival, Glasgow is undoubtedly the spiritual home of mac ‘n’ cheese in the UK. As if to further the motif, The Winged Ox, which occupies the old church of St Luke’s, is a paean to comfort food of all sizes. Especially the ‘Holy Macaroni’ – a divinely sloppy concoction of macaroni and Monterrey Jack cheese.
Where do you go to satisfy your cheese cravings? Let us know in the comments.
This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.