Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vue de monde, Melbourne, VIC

Vue de monde is owned by the renowned Shannon Bennett - another amazing chef who I only learned of after religiously following last season's Master Chef. I wish I had visited Vue de monde earlier, because I can honestly say it was the most amazing culinary experience that I've had on my food adventures to date.
After hearing such great feedback about Vue de monde, I really wanted to try as many things as possible while I was there and needless to say, the degustation menu, 'Menu Gourmand' was the obvious choice. Vue de monde is unique in that they don't actually have a 'set menu' printed for the degustation, but rather, every dish is unique and the chefs' creations, which can change on a daily basis. I also really liked how they are flexible with their menu and will cater for any dietary requirements.  

We were seated promptly and the sommelier assisted with our selection of wines to start off our meals. The complimentary house made potato crisps and sour cream dip was a different, but welcomed starter at our table.
 2008 Terrezas de Los Andes Torrontes Reserva Mendoza, Argentina
2008 Finca Flinchman Malbec ‘Gestos’  Mendoza, Argentina

First up was smoked eel, with white chocolate and caviar. The eel had a firm texture and a hint of smokey taste. The thin white chocolate coating gave a lovely sweetness to this savoury dish, topped off with baubles of caviar. Delish.
Smoked eel

Next came a refreshing vegetarian dish consisting of tomato, celery goat's cheese and chamomile. Despite being a vegetarian dish, it was still filled with flavour from the beautiful goat cheese snow and the chamomile water. I especially loved the tangy flavour of this dish. I later found out from the waiter that this dish contained finger limes, which was what gave the dish that tangy citrus taste.
Tomato, celery, goat’s cheese, chamomile

Time for some hot dishes. Marron served on a hot river stone, spanner crab sandwich, brown butter emulsion. This was a really enjoyable dish. The waiter recommended this dish to be eaten with our hands, by grabbing the marron and swishing it in the brown butter. The brown butter worked really well with the marron as it really brought out the sweetness from the fresh, tender piece of marron. The spanner crab meat was wedged between two delicate pieces of biscuits to make a 'sandwich' - the crab meat was sweet, and moist. So good.
Marron served on a hot river stone, spanner crab sandwich, brown butter emulsion

Our next dish was a bit visually challenging because what appeared to be a duck egg with egg whites was in fact a celeriac puree. The egg yolk was cooked perfectly - runny and warm, while the sweetbreads were tender and not rubbery. The waiters were constantly walking around with a tray of warm sourdough bread rolls, which I used to mop up every last bit of this tasty dish.  
Fried duck egg, lamb sweetbreads, pickled onion

Half time. After having several savoury dishes, we were served with a Cucumber sorbet, which served as a palate cleanser in preparation for the 'second half'. The cucumber sorbet was so refreshing and not very sweet at all. The tanginess from the frozen lime granita also gave a nice zing to our taste buds.
Cucumber sorbet, elderflower granite, frozen lime

Next came another seafood dish - this time, it was monkfish. The meat was tender and just cooked - the spiced pear worked well with the fish to give a light, but pleasant tasting dish.
Monkfish, pork fat, spiced pear

We were approaching the end of our savoury dishes, and boy did it end with a big bang. We supplemented the beef with another option (which was a surprise to us until it arrived at our table) - lamb loin with chocolate doughnut. The lamb loin was cooked very well - still nice and pink but not rare. Inside the chocolate doughnut revealed a pleasant surprise - what was it? You will have to order this yourself to find out! But I assure you it was nothing less than amazing.   
Chocolate doughnut, lamb, mint, berries

Our five savoury courses finally came to an end. The waiter was keen to find out whether we still had room for dessert - and of course the answer was 'yes!'. 
Our first dessert was a frozen lolly, with popping candy and housemade lemonade. It brought back so many childhood memories! The popping candy and all. The drink was actually a raspberry lemonade - it was slightly fizzy but not too sweet. I wanted seconds!
Frozen lolly, popping candy, house made lemonade

We took our dining experience to the next level by ordering our next dessert - chocolate and coffee dust, with strawberries and black truffle (yes you read correctly!). There was a supplementary charge for adding black truffle to our dessert as it was a premium ingredient, but it was well worth it. The black truffles were sourced from Southern France (truffle season in Australia starts in June/July) and had a fragrant earthy taste. The explosion of flavours in this dessert was already amazing. Adding to that were the aromas from the black truffles which was released as we ate this dish... Mind blowing. 
If you are prepared to pay a premium to enjoy this rare experience, I cannot recommend this dish enough. 
Eucalyptus, coffee, chocolate, strawberry, fresh meringue, truffle

We also ordered another dessert, which consisted of rockmelon, honeycomb, peaches and cream. This was the chef's interpretation of the Weis Bar - fruity and creamy all at once. This dessert also turned out to be a treat ,which we were very happy about!
Rockmelon, honeycomb, peach, cream

Our experience ended with servings of petits-fours. It included: mango licorice with raspberry gel and sherbet, lemon jellies, lavender marshmallows and chocolate and raspberry gel mousse.  
mango licorice with raspberry gel and sherbet

lemon jellies

lavender marshmallows

chocolate and raspberry gel mousse

Vue de monde 'is testament to the belief that restaurant food can be a wondrous, unforgettable experience'. 

Shannon Bennett was certainly right.

How was your dining experience at Vue de monde? I would love to hear what everyone else have tried! 

(Credit to honeyhype for helping with the photos!)

Vue De Monde on Urbanspoon


  1. Yayayayaa I just found your blog via your sister!!!

    Love this review!!!

    We are going to the new Vue de Monde in June 6 days after it opens at the Rialto towers... I am SO excited!!!!

    I am praying, praying, praying the popping candy lemonade bizz is still available - it looks AMAZING!!!

  2. Thanks! Glad you like it :-)

    You will have an amazing time at Vue De Monde for sure! The new restaurant location will be fabulous :-)

    Remember to have fun and take lots of photos!