What a beautiful gesture. This is the best possible dining experience I have ever had. Five friends have taken me to lunch at Vue de Monde (Melbourne) to celebrate my birthday. The modern French food was sublime. The service was impeccable and yet still charming and friendly. To top it off, we were invited for the ultimate experience of sitting at the Chef's Table in a semi private alcove with an unobstructed view of the kitchen. What a delight to watch this young professional team, so busy and yet so disciplined and focused on what they were doing.
We had the 'Menu du Jour' - available only at lunch time (from Tuesday to Friday) with a selection of two courses with signature dishes (excellent value at a mere $55) including a matching glass of wine and side dishes for the table. Vue de Monde also bake their own fresh bread twice daily. We had a choice of several little rolls including rye, olive, sourdough and brown bread along with the famous Echire butter.
We all opted for the entree and the main and then as an added extra, we had coffee and petits fours instead of dessert.
MENU DU JOUR
For entrée - a choice from:
COQUILLE SAINT-JACQUES À L’OSSO BUCCO - Coffin Bay scallops ‘Osso Bucco’
RISONI AUX CHAMPIGNONS SAUVAGES - Wild pine mushroom risoni
SALADE À LA CARBONARA - Carbonara salad
BROCHETTE DE VEAU - Skewers of veal tonnato
For main course
MERLAN EN CROÛTE - King George whiting with courgette tempura and tapenade
CRABE ET POLENTA - Crab with polenta
TOURTE AU CANARD - Duck pie with épice sauce
RÔTI DE BOEUF ET ESCARGOTS - Roast wagyu beef with snails and béarnaise
CHEESECAKE AUX BAIES DE TASMANIE ET À LA RHUBARBE - Tassie berry and rhubarb cheesecake
SOUFFLÉ NORMAND - Apple and Calvados soufflé
FROMAGE DE CHÊVRE - ‘Pandora’s box’ with prunes and Armagnac
PAPILLON ROQUEFORT, Sheep's milk, Roquefort, France
IRONSTONE, Cow's milk, Gippsland, Australia
SEVRE ET BELLE CAPRIFEUILLE, Goat’s milk, Celle sur Belle, France
ISIGNY BRIE, Cow’s milk, Normandie, France
ROUZAIRE CAMEMBERT, Cow’s milk, Ile de France, France
SAINT-NECTAIRE, Cow's Milk, Auvergne, France
LIVAROT, Cow's milk, Normandy, France
QUESO TRADITIONAL MANCHEGO, Ewe’s milk, La Mancha, Spain
COMTÉ, Cow's milk, Franche-Comté, France
OSSAU IRATY, Ewe’s milk, Pyrénées, France
MUNSTER AOC, Cow’s milk, Alsace, France
These photos don't do justice to this divine food.
Coffin Bay scallops ‘Osso Bucco’
As a refresher, liquid frozen verjuice with hibiscus tea in a martini glass.
King George whiting with courgette tempura and tapenade
Crab with polenta
Duck pie with épice sauce
Roast wagyu beef with snails and béarnaise
Sides included a delightful salad and Pommes Pont Neuf
Petits-fours served with our Illy coffee
This really was a wonderful experience. Afterwards, we strolled in for a visit to Bistro Vue for a look see. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Canneles on the Bistro counter, having seen them only in books before. When I asked if they were 'in fact' Canneles, the lovely young man behind the counter gave me one to try. I was in seventh heaven. I did the right thing and shared it with my friends (talk about sharing the loaves!!!!). It was magnificent. I would love to make them, however, cannele moulds are over $100AU each.
We then went in to Cafe Vue. I spoilt myseslf by buying Shannon Bennett's books "My Vue - Modern French Cookery" and "My French Vue - Bistro Cooking at Home". All-in-all a lovely day.
I can't wait to go back again.