Vue de Monde
Level 55 Rialto, 525 Collins St Melbourne, VIC 3000
There are no other words to describe a dining experience at Vue de Monde except ‘pure perfection’. No less would be expected from the lauded Shannon Bennett, who is known for his passion for classical food made using only sustainable, local produce. Vue de Monde is certainly one of Melbourne’s proudest gems, and transcends the notion of simply food to become a true experience of senses.
From the moment we stepped out from the elevator and walked through the opulent wine cellar to the beautifully earthy and atmospheric restaurant, we were greeted with impeccable service. It was clear that everything from the décor to the view to the cutlery and, of course, the food were prepared with the utmost attention to detail.
The menu at Vue de Monde is a degustation of approximately 14 courses, ranging in price from $230-275. The menu can change from day to day, as well as seasonally depending on available produce, but the idea is the same – an amazing culinary experience of flavours and textures to be enjoyed over several hours.
Our meal kicked off with a couple of amuse-bouches:
Not your average chiko roll – the tweal was super thin and crispy and there was amazing flavour in this little bite-size portion of food.
This fresh, plump oyster made for a great palate cleanser before the first of the starter courses.
Razor thin slices of raw beef balanced with celery root and a beef consommé packed full of flavour. The beef tendon crackers were an interesting addition to complete the dish.
Probably one of the most intense, beautiful explosion of flavour that I’ve ever experienced – if you love seafood, imagine the taste of the ocean concentrated into a lovely, rich, bright broth. The delicate pieces of garfish provide amazing contrast while the quandongs bring acidity into the dish. This was my first time trying sea urchin – don’t underestimate this little orange morsel – it packs a serious punch and I absolutely loved it.
A little pile of sweet, delicate crab meat atop an emulsion that combines the unique flavour of oysters with corn.
As a self-proclaimed carb addict, I really had to restrain myself from filling up just on this amazing bread before the rest of the courses started arriving.
The marron course was definitely my favourite of the day. Part 1 consisted of a beautiful piece of marron tail, cooked perfectly, topped with a sheet of squid and paired with a chicken emulsion. The marron was plump yet delicate, and the emulsion was full of amazing chicken flavour. No cutlery was provided – just dip and enjoy!
A homage to the good ol’ Aussie BBQ, part 2 of the marron course came with a marron, chicken and scallop sausage still sizzling on the grill, along with a little brioche sausage bun, caramelised onions and a seaweed mustard.
Liquid nitrogen was poured atop various fresh flowers and herbs, which were then crushed to release their aromatics and essential oils. The addition of a quenelle of lemon myrtle sorbet made this a very refreshing palate cleanser before the main courses.
A beautiful dish, in appearance and taste. The bright orange roe provided delightful pops of saltiness that worked so well with the potatoes and inky black sauce.
Tender veal with a lovely charred crust and cabbaged cooked in a variety of techniques – simple flavours but still a delicious dish.
Perfectly crispy skin and beautifully pink duck, paired with the umami flavours of truffle – amazing!
Another palate cleanser before the dessert courses, this little ball tasted exactly like a eucalyptus drop, bring back fond memories of childhood.
This palate cleanser was an add-on for the day and it’s not on the menu so I have no idea what it’s called!
If only all sorbet was like this – smooth, not too sweet and accompanied by an awesome parsnip chip cone.
The one and only Vue de Monde chocolate soufflé. I had high expectations for this beauty and they were certainly met – imagine light, melt-in-mouth soufflé, rich chocolate sauce and a spoonful of crème anglaise that had been flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen!
When the cheese trolley rolled around, I couldn’t believe my luck! We chose a selection (creamy for me, stinky for K) and even though I was stuffed full at this point, I was determined to try all the different combinations of cheese, jams and condiments.
A little lamington and wattleseed caramel to finish up.
On our way out, we also received a little goodie bag containing a loaf of brioche, muesli and tea ‘for the morning after’.
Our meal at Vue de Monde was undeniably one of the best and most memorable dining experiences I’ve had to date. Yes, it certainly is expensive, but if you appreciate and love good food, I think that it’s absolutely worth it. I know that I’ll definitely be back and would recommend it to anyone who’s interested.