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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hats, Hats and more Hats

Restauranteurs throughout Victoria have suffered a sleepless night, as they always do on the eve of the last monday in August...would they get that prized (don't snigger) "Age Good Food Guide" many, if any would their pride and joy receive.

Going true to form, this years award has provided some controversy....there was no award for "best new restaurant" (insert gasps of shock). Channelling the spirit of Nostradamas, I predict that next year, the yet to be opened (but oh so highly anticipated by those that issue these awards) Longrain will get that nod and all will be right in the world again.

We do note that the editors at least got one thing right, our fav Vue de Monde finally got their much deserved, yet highly delayed 3rd hat. Congratulations to Shannon Bennett and his crew - now I just hope we can still get bookings!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dinner @ Vue de Monde

What better way to start, then at the top - these are the courses at a recent dinner at Vue de Monde

The initial courses were matched with a 1985 Bolinger R.D

Amuse: Essence of mushroom jelly with a warmed celeriac foam topped with a drop of truffle oil

Sourdough (left) and Squid Ink & Prune (right) served with Echiré butter

The first course is a new dish "Egg and Bacon" - a duck egg rests on a salt bed - filled with a duck egg sabayon, flashed-grilled until lightly browned it floats upon an intense bacon broth; two salt & sesame seed encrusted soldiers stand to one side, the perfect match for dipping, a sprinkle of salted sesame seeds underline the dish

Next offering, fine slices of Canadian Scallop (the scallop has been marianated in Yuzu juice) are arranged over a velvety spiced pumpkin purée, bathed in a bouillabasse foam it's then topped with a crisp wafer

Hand-crafted Laguiole cutlery

Sorrel wrapped snow crab filled balls; a sauce based on a reduction of crab shells and truffles lays underneath; shards of apple and carrot rest atop with a fine grating of boiled egg

Gratuitous shots of the kitchen during service

Ballantine of roasted pheasant stuffed with foie gras and pistachio mousse which is then surrounded in quince jelly. It's served with small cubes of quince jelly planted with chickpea shoots

To drink, a 2001 Mader Riesling from Alsace.

Modestly named "fricassée" of crayfish, crystal bay prawns and abalone, flashed with Calvados, placed upon a puréed spinach filled vol-au-vent; served with crustacean oil and a sauce based on crustacean juices and truffles

The 2002 Dujac AC Gevrey Chambertin was matched with this course.

The "Cleansing Drop" - chilled, clear tomato consommé containing tiny dice of tomato flesh is offered with an ice cube of puréed basil

The next two courses were matched to a bottle of 1985 Yarra Yering Dry Red No.2

Crushed kipler potatoes sit in the centre of this dish, borscht broth surrounds them, perched on top, a beetroot filled tortellono, draped with a thin slice of bacon. To one side, apple-smoked pork lays under a pasta-coated slice of seared black pudding; a smear of herbed crème fraîche and beetroot dust finish the dish

Interpretation of "Veal Parmigiana" - a crumbed veal slice, served pink sits beside a beef reduction; under a parmesan wafer, a salad of finely shaved fennel, assorted tiny leaves and baby shoots, a disc of crumbed veal mounted on a chunky pea purée

"Lamb Tangine": twin discs of roasted lamb sirloin served on a bed of spiced chickpeas, two quenelles of babaganoush and fine-grained saffron couscous, a drizzle of curry oil and two smoked eggplant shards complete the offering.

This was served with a 1999 Stoney Vineyard Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon from Tasmania's Coal River Region.

How else would you get a toothpick?

The Pre-Desserts - arrive in the form of cucumber lollypops (cucumber slices soaked in pimms, then coated in pimms jelly to set) and a lemon sorbet shot, smothered in a warm, silky choc-orange foam

It's obvious this dish was thoroughly enjoyed. A strawberry soufflé with a dollop of strawberry sorbet.

To drink, a 2001 Chateau Doisy Deane Sauternes from Barsac.

The final dessert - a chocolate cup, filled with a choc-hazelnut mousse, topped with a froth of tarragon tinged cream; inside a viscous core of Grand Marnier flavoured syrup, flecked with finely grated orange rind.

This was matched with a true classic - Chambers Grand Muscat from the Rutherglen region of Victoria.

Robert Parker said it best when reviewing this wine "life is too short not to try one of the Muscats or Tokays from Chambers Rosewood...a true Australian treasure."

Finally we've come to the end of our meal. It really wouldn't be complete without some petit-fours, oddly enough consisting of five items (from top to bottom) - choc coated maple syrup and hazelnut ice cream balls; financier topped with mango mousse; lime jellies; earl grey flavoured chocolate logs and poppy-seed tuilles.

Photos: Sony Ericsson K750i

Vue de Monde is at 430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne Australia

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

So, what's it all about...

Excellent question, really.

We'll delve into the fields of wine and food, travel, technology, photography...we'll cook(well, some of us will cook, the other just eats), review restaurants and basically just offer our thoughts on whatever piques our interest.

Monday, August 22, 2005

In the beginning...

al gore created the internet, but the internet was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of Big Blue. The spirit of Google moved through the wires, and Google said "Let there be Blogs" and there was Blogger...and Google saw the blog and it was good...