Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vue de Monde - Part 2

Normanby Chambers
430 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone (03) 9691 3888

When I went to Vue de Monde for the first time, I thought it was the perfect dining experience. I had wanted to go back for a while, and when a friend couldn't make his booking, I gladly accepted his booking and went with Nelly.

The booking was for a Tuesday night and when we first got there, the restaurant was fairly empty. An hour or so later, it was completely filled. The ambience on a Tuesday is a bit different to a weekend. There seemed to be more people there for work functions or at least dining with their work mates. It was still quite rowdy, not serenely quite as you would expect of a top restaurant. I like it with a bit of noise and not eerily silent.

The service is still faultless, from the minute you step through the doors till the moment you leave. The reception lady at Rockpool should take notes from the staff at Vue. We were treated warmly as we entered the room and led straight to our tables. The waiters explained how the menu worked and what options there were. They made suggestions regarding the food and wine.

We opted for 8 courses in the end, which leaves you extremely full. The food is still very good, but the food didn't give me as much "wow" as last time. It could be the dishes as there is a rotation of over 60 dishes I believe, or that I've experienced it before and was hence less surprised.

The amuse bouche of Roti roll with fish cream and vegetables over a tomato consomme was refreshingly light. This was followed by the first course (and I'm going on memory here as it was over two months ago, such is my backlog of posts) of a sandwich of Avocado Jelly, Watermelon and Pumpernickel topped with cured salmon, caviar and sour cream. A side of avocado with some sort of cream finished the dish. Strangely, the watermelon works well with the dish, helping moisten the pumpernickel. It was a nice dish, but not exceptional.

The next dish was what the waiter termed Vue de Monde's "signature dish of sorts". It was the Risotto with King Brown Mushroom and Truffles that I also had the first time. It was still amazingly beautiful in its simplicity and was close to the dish of the night.

We had asked for something with Foie Gras in it and we got a Foie Gras and Witlof Salad. It was very good, the richness of the foie gras balanced by the salad with it's many sweet components such as sultanas and apples and the bitterness of the witlof.

The next dish was a homage to Tetsuya we were told. It was Ocean Trout with Coconut Shell. The trout was cooked slowly in the oven at 60 degrees and finished off with a coconut shell that was burnt and left on the plate to infuse flavour into the fish under the plate lid. You then were suppose to break up the still burning coconut shell and eat it with the fish. As strange as this sounds, it tasted really good and worked well with the fish.

Glenoth Chicken with Mushroom was the next dish. The free range chicken was cooked beautiful and served with a mushroom sacue. Some fried pieces of something (I've forgotten) was wedged together with a chicken mixture. The chicken tasted really flavoursome, much more flavour than normal chicken.

The next dish looked sensational, with elements that worked and some that didn't. The Hare Tasting Plate consisted of a roll of hare jelly encasing a hare mixture, a piece of hare saddle and stuffed tomatoes. The hare jelly didn't taste good, although the mixture inside was nice. The piece of hare by itself was really good, as were the stuffed tomatoes. The beautiful curl is just potatoe. The clam looking thing is potatoe skin (I didn't like it) with a cream.

The now famous Vue Eggnog. There was Prune Eggnog, Pistachio Custard and Chocolate Mousse.

Dessert was sublime, simply a masterpiece of taste and textures. A Pistchio Souffle was served on a bed of light cream sauce. The souffle was so soft and broke apart like clouds when a spoon was dug in. This revealed a soft oozing centre of chocolate. The combination of tastes and various textures and temperatures was thoroughly enjoyed by Nelly and myself, both with sweet tooths.

And finally to finish, some Petit Fours. I loved the Hazelnut Macarons the most, the flavour just kept lingering in my mouth.

Vue de Monde was still a fantastic fine dining experience. The food didn't amaze me as much as last time, but was still extremely good. The service was utterly impeccable, the best service of any restaurant in Melbourne I assert. The atmosphere was still very good, not as good as on Saturday I felt, but still very enjoyable. Overall, I would still come and dine here anytime, money permitting.

Overall Rating: 19/20, A near perfect dining experience with exceptional food and service.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Vue De Monde on Urbanspoon

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