Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cafe Vue St Kilda

401 St Kilda Rd
Melbourne, 3141
Website: Cafe Vue St Kilda

Everything that Shannon Bennett touches turns to gold. His food empire is growing rapidly and are critically and commercially acclaimed. I've dined at Vue de Monde, Vue de Monde Part 2 and Vue de Monde Cocktail Night and each occasion was extremely enjoyable. It was with very high anticipation that I attended his more casual restaurant in Cafe Vue in St Kilda.

The restaurant has the same clean and striking look of Shannon Bennett's restaurant. The semi birdcage structure at the back of the restaurant instantly draw your eye before you start to absorb the rest of the architecture. Simple tables and chairs are surrounded by large counters and an open kitchen.

A group of us met for a simple lunch and to bid Nelly bon voyage (sort of) as she was only going on a European holiday (jealous). Just another excuse to go out and eat. And any excuse to go out and eat is a good one.

Three of use opted for the Wagyu Burger, which was served with some chips. I loved the burger, with great flavour in both the meat and the other elements. However, despite the beautiful look of the chips, they tasted quite average. Four of the others chose the Lunch Box of the day, which consisted of a pasta, bread with ham, guacamole, potato chips and chocolate slice. I only tried the pasta and it wasn't that good. The flavour of the herb really overpowered the whole pasta. Lastly, one Duck Pie was ordered. I was told it was good, with pastry and filling tasting matching well.

I was looking forward to dessert most. The Pistachio Gateaux was my favourite. A soft pistachio sponge like casing held a filling of mousse with a pistachio centre. The flavours were subtle but delicious. Surprisingly, the Caramel Slice was also very good. It was rich and sweet, but not as sickeningly sweet as I thought it would be. Disappointly though, the Opera Gateaux looked sensational but was quite one dimensional in taste and wasn't very good, being left unfinished by everyone.

There were quite a number of other sweet items that we didn't get to try. There was another Caramel Cake, various types of pastries, tarts and macarons.

The service was quite mixed. A couple of the waiters were very good, but a third one who was full of personality was awful at his job. He messed up our drinks orders, the two food orders he took, forgot to bring things we asked and basically cause a lot of confusion due to his mistakes. The ambiance in the restaurant is light and airy and pleasant. I felt very relaxed and comfortable the whole time.

I was expecting a lot from this restaurant as it bears the Vue brand, but I think I won't necessarily be rushing back to eat again. I will give it another go but there wasn't anything super exciting about it. Even the desserts failed to impress me as I thought they would.

Café Vue at 401 on Urbanspoon


  1. I prefer the cafe vue on collins. my sister complained that the food in cv on st kilda is inconsistent. the pie she had the other day was too dry on the inside and the pastry was hard.

  2. it seems a pity, that i've read + heard a number of not-so-good reviews recently in the cafe vue chain.
    michelle - maybe i'll give the collins st one a go =).

  3. I agree about the service at this place.. the original Cafe Vue has better service... but I am falling in love with the Vue chains... sigh...

  4. Ohhhhh! That pistachio dessert! I had a pistachio patisserie creation in Bruges earlier this year that made me speechless with its tastiness. I'd love to think there was something similar in Australia, even if I'm in the wrong city for it!

    P.S. I'm always most excited about dessert ;)

  5. Michelle, I can understand what your sister is saying. I forgot to mention that two of the lunch boxes came out with no meat in between the bread. I haven't been to the Collins Street one but that did seem to have better reviews from everyone.

    Allan, you liked the Cafe Vue at Heide I remember? We must organise to go try the Collins Street one.

    I-Hua, yet another vote for the original Cafe Vue.

    Hannah, did you also try some delicious chocolates while in Bruges? I too wish to think there is delicious desserts in Australia. I'm trying to get some people to go with me to dessert nights at Pierre Roelofs. He's worked at Michelin star restaurants before making desserts. I'm always excited about desserts too. :-)