Mr Smith very rarely makes a return visit to a restaurant when travelling, but for Vue de Monde in Melbourne he makes an exception. Was the return visit as good as the first? Find out about Mr Smith’s long lunch…
Let’s cut to the chase yes it was!
Arriving bang on time for what Mr Smith was hoping would be another lovely long lazy lunch at Vue de Monde the memories came flooding back. When you step out of the lift you know you are in for a great experience and soaking up the views while having a pre-dinner drink is the thing to do.
Being shown through to the table is as much part of the experience as anything else, walking through the wine room is a great way to start, but so tempting to loiter and look at some of them, but onwards through to the dining room.
As with the last visit Mr Smith had a huge table all to himself with a great view out of the window, but also with a brief turn of the head one of the kitchen. Both of which are added too by a good amount of people watching. Couples & groups of 4 all the way. It would be interesting to know what they think of people like Mr Smith dining alone, but Mr Smith definitely has it right, the focus is on the food and wine 🙂
On the subject of the food, Mr Smith of course went for the 10 course menu with matched wines, you have to take full advantage of being in such a great restaurant and try as much as you can.
As is the way there were a whole raft of snacks that arrived:
- Quail egg rolled in rocket powder – This just popped in the mouth with a lovely release of yolk
- Wallaby loin and apricot served on a warm stone, absolutely delicious
- Oyster, was this the best oyster Mr Smith has had? It is definitely up there, amazing
- School prawns with fennel powder and fennel crème fraiche, divine
That was just the snacks before the 10 course menu, what a great way to kick off.
So it was now time for the food and the matched wines, this was going to be good:
- Tuna with compressed melon, tomato water and coriander oil. Mr Smith is not a huge fan of melon, but this dish was a perfect balance, especially when all tried together. This was accompanied by a very smooth and palette cleansing Mosel with good hints of apple
- A dish in its own right, well not quite, but the sourdough bread deserves the mention. It was with fennel seeds and was absolute bread perfection
- BBQ’d new season corn, gooseberry & Marin oil. Such a great way to treat what is a very simple ingredient. The chardonnay was a great match as it had a slight smokiness without being oaky.
- Now for a bit of a BBQ. Yes, at the table. A small BBQ to finish off the hot dog at the table. This provided a lovely smokiness to it, which was served in a delicious brioche bun. There was a lovely part 2 to this dish of Marin tail with freeze dried cherry
- The next dish is one that so many people would turn their nose up at, but sweetbreads done this well are amazing. They were served with a hint of heat, either wasabi or horseradish, and had such a good vibrant green flavour
- The braised Kangaroo with courgette and daikon strips was cooking to perfection. So tender and full of flavour
- Now for what is a bit of a specialty in Australia, Wagyu beef. The Wagyu we get in the UK is very expensive and Mr Smith is sure that when people advertise in cheaper restaurants it really isn’t Wagyu, but in Australia there is a good supply of amazing flavoured and textured beef, and this was no exception, delicious!
- Next up was a little palette cleanser of peaches and cream, which was a sorbet and a peach leather. This kept up the wonderful flavours that Mr Smith had in Australia with the peaches
- And now for another revelation, Mango with flavour and real flavour! The grilled mango cheek and mango sorbet was how Mango should taste!
- Finally, it was the signature chocolate soufflé. Some may recall that Mr Smith is not a massive fan of chocolate but this is a dish to make an exception for, especially with the crème anglaise powder. A perfect end to the lunch, well nearly!
- Oops, someone appeared to put a load of cheese in front of Mr Smith, a complete weakness. The selection is very impressive and the smell when the trolley comes round is incredible. After a bit of discussion with the waiter 5 cheeses were laid out on the board. An Aussie goat, a triple brie, an incredible Gruyere, a Roquefort with amazing oomph and finally a pale ale washed rind Aussie. Mmmmm cheese! Special mention needs to go to the pear cider that was served with the cheese. Mr Smith is a cider drinker, but not pear cider. However, this was amazing and could have changed his mind. It also went incredibly well with the cheese
- Was that it? No. The petit fors arrived to finish everything off. Tim Tams, Sorbet, Chocolate Snails and Vegemite on Toast. All of them given a wonderful twist
So that was lunch, 19 individual dishes, all served to perfection with incredible flavours. The wine matching was equally as good and Mr Smith was very happy to have returned. If ever back in Melbourne he may have to make it a third time.
But the surprises were not over. At the end of the meal the Maitre D’ came over to speak to Mr Smith and asked if he would like to meet the chef and have a look around the kitchen. There was only one response to that, yes! It was great to meet the chef and have a little look behind the scenes, another advantage of single dinning, you seem to get these chances a lot more than when dinning with others.