It's a bit of a different atmosphere at lunch compared to dinner - there's a mix of clientele, those with time constraints and those without, couples and groups, friends and colleagues. What stays the same though is the quality of the food.
We begin with glasses of Ruinart Rose.
followed shortly after with our amuse - a salt cod fritter skewered by a curry sauce filled pipette sitting atop a celeriac soup. You can fill the fritter with sauce or drizzle it over the top, the choice is yours. A flavoursome way to ignite your tastebuds.
Paalo chooses a light rye roll and I opt for the olive roll - it's warm from the oven and freshly baked.
Soft shell crab - it's been coated in a spiced salt, a sample of which sits on the plate. Compared to our recent soft shell crab at Rockpool, I put this one easily above it - the flavour is better and there's way more crab meat inside the shell.
Cauliflower couscous with tarragon emulsion, frozen parmesan snow and osso buco sauce - it comes to the table contained in it's tube.
A remarkable dish - the sauce has an intensity of flavour, complex and rich, which plays against the incredibly simple cauliflower couscous, it's just cauliflower cut to resemble couscous. The frozen parmesan snow looks just like regular grated parmesan but the reaction in your mouth is eye opening. Our bread vanishes as we savour the sauce.
Soufflé de Fromage aux Jamon - Grand Reserva Organic Jamon with goat cheese soufflé and carrot purée and fresh peas
The Jamon has been aged for 4 years and once again it has such a strong taste of nuts, this time there's even a spiciness to the meat. Combined with the cloud like soufflés that offer a little tartness from the goat cheese and the sweet elements of pea and carrots, it's a beautifully balanced dish.
Quail and Foie Gras Pie served with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar and Rhubarb Dust
The pastry is fabulously flaky and the combination quite luxurious.
The theatre of Bouillabaisse - it arrives in this vessel, a simple stock in one pot and crayfish shell, saffron and herbs in the other. The burner is lit and the two vessels are joined.
As the stock heats it is pushed into the upper chamber and much like brewing a tea, the stock is infused with those wonderful flavours. As this is happening the second part of the dish is set in front of us.
Tartare of kingfish, crayfish and Sterling caviar wrapped in a Buffalo milk skin, finished with aromatic herbs and saffron rouille.
After a short brewing time, the flame is doused and the stock falls back into the lower chamber, it's colour changed and the air filled with those wonderful aromas. It's then poured over the skin - the heat causing it to melt. They have done it this way as the buffalo milk adds a creaminess to the soup.
It's a dish in which the spectacle is equal to the end result.
A little cleanser of Tomato Essence and Dry Ice - you must wait for the dry ice to fizzle away before drinking.
Lamb, two ways - one simply seared to millimetre precision and the other a reconstructed confit cube.
Rack of Rabbit, Rabbit Sausage, Pommes Anna, Sage Butter
I just love the look of these tiny rabbit racks, it's a bonus that they also are so tasty.
The lovely tulips that are on each table.
Cheese Course - inside these pastry domes is Roquefort. The dish is served hot from the oven and as you cut through the dome, the cheese oozes out. It's an intense flavour and a novel way to present cheese.
Blood Orange Lollypop in Campari Jelly
Sudachi Soufflé - Sudachi is a Japanese citrus and in this dish it's been combined with coconut.
There's a quenelle of sudachi creme sitting behind the roasted coconut mousse filled tuilles
Coconut and Sudachi Soufflé - I'm always impressed by the Soufflés served here - they stay incredibly puffed yet are so light, they are a perfect way to end the meal. This combination of flavours proves to be utterly moorish.
The petit fours selection - on the skewer: choc coated pedro jimenez ice cream ball, peppermint chocolate, coffee macaroons, pistachio cakes on a toffee base, white chocolate and gold leaf cups
A little experiment to go with our coffees, it's a take on an after dinner mint. This looks a bit like coal but it's a blend of sugars subjected to differing temperatures, a touch of a natural dye (squid ink perhaps) and peppermint oil. Very refreshing but you have to contain yourself as they are basically sugar.
At the end of our meal as we go to exit, we're surprised by a treat
A box for both of us - a most pleasant way to end the day.
Vue de Monde
430 Little Collins Street
Phone: 03 9691 3888
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday Bookings:12.00pm-2.00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday Bookings:6.30pm-9.30pm