Vue de Monde
Level 55, Rialto Tower, 525 Collins St, Melbourne
(Ph) 9691 3838
P said he was taking me out to somewhere special on this day =) it wasn't an anniversary day or a birthday or anything, it was a random Wednesday night - I could not think of a reason why he wanted to go out in the middle of the week on a non-important day. So I had no idea where we were going - totally surprise =) My face lit up as we walked to Rialto Tower and up to the back... what else is there except Vue de Monde! I was so surprised - I know the reservation timing is generally weeks in advanced here =)
We walked inside and there's a concierge exclusively for Vue de Monde - she informed the restaurant through her walkie talkie that we were coming up in the specified Vue de Monde lift. The elevator goes soo fast, we were at level 55 within seconds and were greeted by a waiter who took us through some automatic glass doors through the wine cellar, so cool!
And we came out to the open restaurant overlooking the whole Melbourne city... soo beautiful at night =) On the wall were neon lights of flowers and trees - I felt conscious of taking photos of the view and the interior design etc 'cause the restaurant was full of customers but you can see other blogs for photos anyway =P And real sorry about the quality of some of my photos - my camera was playing up wouldn't focus properly and at night lighting is not fantastic on the food =(
We sat down at this massive square table by the open kitchen, was so cool 'cause you could see exactly what all the chefs are doing =) The chairs were super comfortable and armchair like, mine was furry on the outside while P's was just leather - original yet minimalist designs =)
They started us with some Parsnip chips with chestnut dip. I don't normally like parsnip but was super crispy and the dip was so smooth - wish they gave us more 'cause the chips were a bit salty.
The waiter came and asked us what we felt like - if we wanted to go for the full 10 course Gastronomes or a lower number of courses. Before we could discuss, P immediately said we were going for the full Gastronomes - he did warn me to not eat the whole day =P The waiter asked us if there was anything we don't like but we're pretty easy with our foods so we just let them surprise us =)
Each table had a few rocks and sticks in the middle of the table - we had no idea what they were for but soon we found out..
They're to hold our utensils and to reveal some salt and pepper!
First they gave us 4 starter finger foods. Oysters and lemon - very delicate dumpling-like skin with a creamy oyster paste inside =)
Our favourite was the Smoked eel, white chocolate, caviar - super delicious! nicely caramelised on the outside - P doesn't normally like eel but he liked this very much! And the caviar was salty and popped in the mouth - super like =)
Salt cured wallaby - the waiter brought the 2 slices of wallaby on a "Himalayan salt rock" which has cured the wallaby and he rolled it up infront of us. P didn't like this very much - he said it felt like he was eating a little creature. I'm not normally a fan of raw meat and it did taste quite gamey.
Celeriac, sunflower seed - this was a pastry parcel with celeriac mush inside. Nothing too special here.
The first course was Spanner crab, avocado, beach herbs, celery - the spanner crab balls was very tasty with the avocado and the raw vegetables. Can't remember what the white round vegetable was called but they explained it's like a savoury apple/pear and it went really well with the sweetness of the crab =)
The waiter then wheeled a trolley over with a bamboo bucket full of butter! He quinelles it nicely for us..
And gave us some bread in a pouch - I went in to grab a bread at the bottom and found a hot rock, placed there to keep our breads warm! =) There was sourdough, sesame rolls and some white rolls.
The butter is imported from France and was delicious - we ate the whole quinelle of butter as they refilled our bread bag =P
Roasted marron, tarragon butter - this was one of the best dishes of the night! The marron was slightly cooked on the outside but still raw inside, delicious with the super smooth tarragon butter and dipped in the salt. The butter was so delicious we wiped it clean with our bread =P
The marron tartare biscuit was a great accompaniment - the cream was light with a crispy biscuit.
The next course was very theatrical. Pumpkin cona, cup of soup - the waiter brings out a mug with some pumpkin puree, pumpkin jelly and cream for each of us...
Then he brings out a a large syphon, normally used for coffee, to infuse the water with pumpkin, rocket and herbs...
Next came our breakfast - Fried duck egg, lamb sweetbreads, pickled onion, truffle. Fancy eggs on toast? The duck egg was mostly raw so the yolk oozed out onto the onion sauce. It was a bit too salty though - you can see the large flecks of salt on the yolk =/ Lamb sweetbreads tasted like sausage but the onion rings were nicely crunchy. Bit too much onion for P's liking but I didn't mind that - would have been better if they reduced the salt since duck egg is salty normally anyway. And truffles don't taste like much =P
Our next set of utensils surprised us - there was a pestle for each of us...
We were given a bowl with some fresh herbs and flowers in it... and surprise! The waiter poured liquid nitrogen into the bowl which froze the herbs!
My bowl of frozen flowers and herbs =)
We were to crush the herbs with our pestle... and then the waiter slid in a quinelle of cucumber sorbet... Cucumber sorbet, crushed herbs... delicious and a very entertaining course! The sorbet was so refreshing and delicious though the herbs don't taste of much =P
Next was the Barramundi, herb emulsion, prawn, smoked bone marrow - barramundi was perfectly cooked, slightly crispy on the outside but so soft inside! The smoked bone marrow was very interesting - we thought it was crunchy garlic actually but realised they don't even look like garlic =P
The next set of utensils involved a steak knife in a stone - so that's what that stone is for =P
So the first meat dish was Squab, carrot, clove, orange - squab tastes kinda like duck but softer and the orange sauce was delicious with it.
The squab came with a birds nest - bits of squab meat on top of some crunchy potato strips like a nest =)
The last savoury dish was Blackmore Wagyu beef terrine and fillet, pear, saltbrush. The Wagyu terrine and the components came on our plate while the Wagyu fillet came on a small portable BBQ.
The waiter pretty much put the Wagyu fillet on the BBQ for a few seconds on each side then placed it on our dish.
Sorry for the poor lighting but the wagyu fillet was so soft and juicy - wish they were more generous with it =P And the pear puree was very smooth and delicious - went well with the terrine which wasn't as tasty as the fillet.
The terrine uncovered from under the vegetables =P Tastes kinda like pulled beef.. Would have preferred 2 pieces of fillet =P
We were finally done with the savoury dishes! =P So ridiculously full by this stage already and there were still 3 courses to go =/ Next came the cheeses - Assortment of fromage, bread, jams. The waiter brought over the cheese trolley - looked pretty cool =P
There are like 20+ types of cheeses in there!
He asked us what types of cheeses we wanted and we said just a range - so we got a camembert, a cheddar, a washed rind and a blue cheese. Would have been nicer if he told us what the cheeses were to choose from or if P and I could have different cheeses so we could try a larger variety but never mind. The camembert had a strange aftertaste to it - usually I love camembert! The cheddar was alright, my favourite was the washed rind but it was quite a mild cheese. P really liked the blue cheese - it was quite mouldy but not as strong as some blue cheeses so I didn't mind it.
The cheeses were accompanied by some breads (beetroot, sourdough and raisin crisp), some quince and some jams (fig, Spanish onion, apricot).
Next we got Beer and Nuts. The beer was a delicious passionfruit and liquorice fizzy drink - not sure how it tasted fizzy even though there was no carbonation within the drink. The nut was a coconut sorbet ball - fruity and light, cleansing our palate =)
Next came the first dessert Monte Carlo biscuit, raspberries, cream. A deconstructed Monte Carlo - delicious! Crispy toffee, juicy raspberries, sweet cream and a delicious caramel puree at the centre =)
The 2nd dessert came next - we had seen other tables have this and were really looking forward to it. Tonka bean souffle, smoked cocoa icecream
The waiter slips a ball of smoked cocoa icecream in the souffle so it sits nicely within the souffle. The icecream was a bit too rich and chocolatey for my liking at this stage - I was so ridiculously full already! The souffle was light and fluffy but the richness and darkness of the chocolate was too much for me and I actually couldn't finish my dessert =O *sadface*
At last the meal was coming to an end, and the waiter brings us each a "One Penny" alcoholic jelly
which I embarrassingly dropped on the table and marked it lol =P
A raspberry lamington, eucalyptus sorbet balls and some shards of chocolate and musk amongst some leaves and bark. A strange combination of flavours - the lamington was soft and coconutty and the sorbet balls were a good end to the meal - light and refreshing.
We were super satisfied with the whole dining experience! We left after a whopping 4.5 hours =P Definitely one of the best (and most expensive!) meals of my life =)
The waiter walked us out of the restaurant through the wine cellar again, and gave us a bag of goodies for "The Morning After"
A loaf of brioche, some granola, some flower and fruit tea, a mini jar of honey and 2 chocolate biscuits - much like the Cafe Vue goodies =)
The flower and fruit tea =)
Thanks P! =)