Vue de Monde has been on my bucket list of restaurants for quite sometime now and it was high tide that I checked out what all the fuss was about. Needless to say, I was just blown away with the whole experience. Vue de Monde is not only about the food, it’s the way it delights all your senses. With an open kitchen, it places you right into the heart of the activity, with a chorus’ of yes chef in the background and a chance to see what goes on in the art of plating up. A lunch date at Vue de monde was a day to savour and below is a recount of how my day transpired – complete with photos of each dish.
Vue de Monde
A little background on head chef Shannon Bennett
Vue de Monde is the brainchild of renowned Australian chef Shannon Bennett. Having worked alongside world class chefs during his time in Europe, he returned home to begin his culinary vision for creating something sophisticated and unique in Melbourne, and the resultant is a dining experience that cannot be replicated at home. From the majestic surrounds of being 55 floors high above Melbourne, Vue de monde offers an experience like no other. Ten years on, it’s reputation is as consistent as it ever was, always a top 10 contender for Australia’s best dining experience and Michelin star worthy all the way.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been wanting to try this restaurant for a long time. I booked for a lunch date with a girlfriend of mine well in advance, in fact it was about 2 months in advance for a Saturday lunch opening. This place is incredibly popular and finding a booking on a Friday or a Saturday night will leave you booking up to 3 months ahead. It’s quite pricey, (you may have to remortgage the house!) yet the fact that bookings are that far ahead is testament to it’s popularity and demand.
Vue de Monde is located on the 55th floor of the Rialto building and is currently undergoing some renovations to allow it to have it’s own entrance, which will set the tone of the venue prior to even setting foot in the restaurant.
Upon entering the venue were were guided through the wine cellar before we were shown to our table.
The table was set out with a stone arrangement with each piece serving a function. The cutlery was exquisite and detailed. The room is quite dark and broody, with a modern minimalist look. The tables are well spaced out so you get a sense of privacy, in fact you can quite easily forget that there are other diners in the room.
As we sat down, the waiter came by and asked us if we had any dietary requirements. To which we both chorused that ‘we love all food and that we eat everything’. With that he brought out some starters, kind of like a welcome dish. This dish consisted of ‘Rusty wire oyster’ on a sea of vegetables, along with Flinders Island wallaby with apricot and a little chiko roll. This was served with NV Charles Heidsieck ‘Brut Reserve’ Reims, France.
After our little welcome dish, we were invited to choose what degustation menu we preferred – the 5, 8 or 10 courses, along with a wine matching option. We were here to experience Vue de monde to the full so we chose the 10 course menu. Wine matching was discussed and with that the sommelier came over to talk us through the wine matching options. There were three price levels, to which we chose the premier wine selection offering some rare vintages. Well if you are here then you may as well go the whole hog!
The first dish that arrived at our table was the Mark Eather yellow fin tuna, watermelon and tomato. This was matched with a 2015 Levantine Hill Rose from the Yarra Valley.
Next we are served our bread which is baked on the premises and brought out with butter that is churned like Camembert. The bread is packaged neatly in a little black bag and presented to the table.
Baby corn, black garlic, fermented truffle and served with 2006 Capcanes 1/VB Montsant from Spain.
Squid, parsley, cucumber served with 2014 Crawford River Reisling from Henty, Victoria.
Marron snag, Marron tail, pork and mussel emulsion, cherry crumble. Matching wine ~ 2007 Louis Roederer Cristal, Reims, Champagne AOC, France.
Next up was a palate cleanser Lemon Myrtle and wood sorrel leaves. This was quite interactive, in that delivered to our table was an interesting bowl containing a flower and some leaves. We were then given a pestle to grind up the leaves which had a beautiful aroma. It was then served with a scoop of sorbet.
Lamb sweet breads, Asian Greens, macadamia served with 2001 Bannockburn ‘Museum Release’, Chardonnay, from Geelong in Victoria.
Asian greens served with the lamb sweet bread.
David Blackmore Wagyu brisket, plums, mustard served with 2009 Quinta da Gaivosa, Douro from Portugal.
Aged Burrawong Gaian duck breast, wild berries, beetroot served with 2007 Le Ragnaie ‘Fornace’, Brunello di Montalcino from Italy.
Peach Lollies, where you get to eat the wrapping as well!
Kensington Pride mango, lime, coconut served with 2012 Zilliken, ‘Rausch’ Kabinett Riesling, Mosel, from Germany.
Chocolate soufflé served with 2012 Terroir Al Limit Torroja Vi De Vila Priorat, from Spain.
At this point, most of the patrons had left, as it was quite late in the afternoon. We had been having such an amazing time that ‘time’ had totally gotten away! The cheese trolley came by for us to select our cheeses as part of the final two courses, we selected our cheese and these were to be served in the Lui Bar.
Assortment of cheeses, bread and jams served with 1995 Yarra Yering ‘Dry White Wine #1’, from the Yarra Valley in Victoria.
A selection of petit-fours was a lovely way to end an amazing and filling lunch. The serving of the wines were generous, allowing you to really taste and enjoy each glass.
A highlight of the day was being given the chance to tour the kitchen, for a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. The staff were very friendly as we weaved our way in and out the prep areas. Whilst we were there, staff were busy in the second kitchen prepping for a wedding. We got to see the room that was set for the wedding. The room was very elegant and of course what an amazing view over Melbourne. Here we are above having a photo with the staff at Vue de Monde.
A glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in the kitchen.
Back in the Lui Bar, we decided that another glass of Crystal champagne was in order. We developed the taste for this champagne and after investigation when I got home, I realised that I would not be able to afford a bottle of this little gem. My idea for a whimsical Saturday afternoon tipple went out the window, at $300 a bottle from my local!
A look at the cocktail Menu
The Lui Bar by day, it’s even more spectacular by night – cheers to another glass of Crystal.
More of the Lui Bar, a great place to have a cocktail or two or three.
For the 10 course degustation menu as pictured above, will set you back $ 250 per person.
Matching wine options start at $200 to the premier selection at $300
Vue de monde
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Website: Vue de monde