Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vue De Monde for My Birthday

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.

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

For Dessert
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.


  1. I am so incredibly jealous. What a lovely lunch celebration for your birthday. I was just saying to my partner I want to go there next time we're in Melbourne. The closest I've come is breakfast in the cafe!

  2. Julia,
    It really is worth the trip down. I am also very lucky to be able to lunch at "Jones the Grocer" in Chadstone, another brilliant idea from Shannon Bennett. Everything on the menu is brilliant and very affordable. All of the produce is also to die for.

  3. Happy belated birthday. You obviously had a fab time. Can you see me green with envy?

  4. Yes, as I would be if you had eaten there.

  5. oh, i so wanted to go there while we were living in australia. two trips from sydney down to melbourne, and i couldn't get a reservation either time!