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Friday, August 24, 2007

Lunch @ Vue de Monde

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.


Champagne

We begin with glasses of Ruinart Rose.

salt cod fritter with curry sauce and celeriac soup

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.


light rye roll olive roll

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

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 mousse and frozen parmesan in osso buco sauce

Cauliflower couscous with tarragon emulsion, frozen parmesan snow and osso buco sauce - it comes to the table contained in it's tube.

cauliflower couscous with tarragon mousse and frozen parmesan in osso buco sauce

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.

jamon and goat cheese souffle

Soufflé de Fromage aux Jamon - Grand Reserva Organic Jamon with goat cheese soufflé and carrot purée and fresh peas

jamon and goat cheese

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.

pie

Quail and Foie Gras Pie served with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar and Rhubarb Dust

pie

The pastry is fabulously flaky and the combination quite luxurious.

Bouillabaisse

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.

Bouillabaisse

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.

Bouillabaisse

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.

Bouillabaisse

It's a dish in which the spectacle is equal to the end result.

tomato essence

A little cleanser of Tomato Essence and Dry Ice - you must wait for the dry ice to fizzle away before drinking.

lamb

Lamb, two ways - one simply seared to millimetre precision and the other a reconstructed confit cube.

rabbit

Rack of Rabbit, Rabbit Sausage, Pommes Anna, Sage Butter

rabbit

I just love the look of these tiny rabbit racks, it's a bonus that they also are so tasty.

tulips

The lovely tulips that are on each table.

cheese

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 and campari jelly frozen lollypops

Blood Orange Lollypop in Campari Jelly

Souffle

Sudachi Soufflé - Sudachi is a Japanese citrus and in this dish it's been combined with coconut.

tuilles

There's a quenelle of sudachi creme sitting behind the roasted coconut mousse filled tuilles

souffle

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.

petit fours

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

petit fours petit fours


mint sugar

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

chocolate box

A box for both of us - a most pleasant way to end the day.

chocolate box


The details:
Vue de Monde
Normanby Chambers
430 Little Collins Street
Melbourne
Phone: 03 9691 3888

Open:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday Bookings:12.00pm-2.00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday Bookings:6.30pm-9.30pm

6 comments:

  1. Oh what a fabulous experience! Your post is a feast for the eyes. Given you've been there a few times over the past years did you feel they deserved to drop from three to two?

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  2. Absolutely not and I honestly believe there are other factors in its demotion. You can't help but think that the way it's been reported has more to do with creating copy and selling more books then the reality of the quality of the restaurant.

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  3. I agree completely. It seems to me that the editors were out to be provocative, stir the pot, and sell more books. I can't wait for my Chef's Table booking on the 15th to roll around.

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  4. Hi Matthew - I hope you have a wonderful time - the Chef's Table is a great spot with a fabulous view into the kitchen. We were lucky enough to get it to ourselves just after they moved to the city and we had the best time.

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  5. Anonymous23:33

    I'm so glad I found your review. Having only recently had the most divine experience I was completely astonished to see they had lost a hat. I found it difficult to believe that there could have been a fall from such dizzying heights only last month. Suffice to say I know I will be heading to Vue as soon as I can orchestrate an appropriate occasion!

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  6. Thanks Anon - nothing sells more than drama, whether it be real or manufactured and in the case of the garbAGE they need all the sales they can muster.

    ReplyDelete

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