Ever wondered what it would be like to take a city tour while enjoying melted cheese and chilled white wine?
Thomas Matter’s eTukTuk taxis have been roaming the streets of Zürich since 2011, drawing inspiration from his travels to places like Bali and Bangkok. The TukTuks are 100 percent electric, and they are fitted with small, customized tables on which passengers can enjoy cheese fondue and Swiss white wine.
We recently decided to try out the original fondue eTukTuk, so we booked a 90 minute tour starting from the taxi stands at Zurich’s main station. On this especially cold winter evening, we are greeted by our friendly drivers, Stefano and Alex. Our three-wheeled fondue taxi is waiting directly opposite the Swiss National Museum – equipped with warm blankets!
Melted cheese and secret knowledge blend together well.
Our first stop is Walliser Keller, a Swiss restaurant established in Niederdorf back in 1959. This is where our guides pick up our dinner and set it on our tables. The fondue pot is filled with 200 g of melted cheese, and we are also provided with a large basket full of bread and a bottle of white wine.
After everything (and everyone) has been neatly tucked into the eTukTuks, we set off for a ride through the tiny, cobble-stoned streets of Niederdorf, Zürich’s old town. Along the way, our guide enthusiastically shares some history and fun facts about the myriad buildings, churches, restaurants and shops in the neighborhood, as well as stories about the Dada movement which started right here over a century ago.
We continue to ride around the old town, along the Limmat River, over the bridge towards the Fraumünster, through the banking area of Paradeplatz and down the former red-light district of Langstrasse. All the while, we are sitting back, enjoying our delicious fondue and white wine while learning about things we would not have known about otherwise.
For instance, did you know that the flow of the small fountain at Fraumünsterplatz can be reserved for private events such as weddings? Often, the water is replaced with wine – in the middle of Zürich! What a concept.
We also learn some very interesting tidbits about the Swiss National Bank, the Grossmünster and the tower of St. Peters Church. But I won’t spoil it for you; find out yourself by booking a fondue tour.
After the tour, we are dropped off back at the main station. Full of cheese, wine and newfound knowledge about Zürich’s history and neighborhoods, we bid farewell to our gracious and informative guides and watch them drive off. What a way to spend an evening!
The eTukTuks are not limited to food tours. By removing the table, they can sit up to six people. Vegetarian or BBQ options are available, and the fondue and hot stone BBQ can be ordered any time of the year, regardless of the season.