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Vue du Monde - Melbourne


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On a recent trip, I had the chance to experience a "dégustation" menu at this Melbourne establishment;

I later found out that Shannon Bennett had been named best new chef for 2002 by Australian gourmet traveller...

Having had a chance to chat with him, I was amazed at the level of cooking he and his tiny brigade could accomplish.

I wonder how he is perceived as a young Chef-owner and what place he occupies in the australian cooking scene?

Thank you for the feedback....

Michel

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I ate here over a year ago and was impressed to find a restaurant of quality so close to the mediocrity that is Lygon st.. it was fantastic.

Another good french place to go in Melbourne is Soupierre, it's a great little place; not as good as Vue de Monde, but still very good.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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  • 3 weeks later...

Shannon Bennett is recieved pretty well in Melbourne. As with any young person who sticks their neck out, he recieves a bit of flack within the industry, but only the sort of piss-taking that is basically meaningless.

He opened Vue de Monde at a time when the media were all about casual, rustic eating places, and his restaurant is 'try and top this, complex, french fine dining'.

That he opened a restaurant at a time when people were saying that fine dining was dead in Melb., and when he was so young and seems so enthusiastic about what he does, makes me like him.

I hear a lot of gossip about him, but I admire his chutzbah ( sp?).

How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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  • 1 year later...

Part One

A revival of this thread is long overdue in my opinion. What, with the release of the cookbook, and coinciding recently with my birthday, I decided to eat there, even with the protestations of my father ringing loudly in my mind's ear.

About a year and a half ago, meaning early 2003, my father ate there with a cousin, along with their wives, meaning my mother was there too, but she never likes anything my father likes so...

His comments were less than flattering. I would have been there myself had I not still been stationed in London. VdM had made some ripples there too, and word on the street was that here is this this brilliant young man doing food never before seen in town. Michelin *** stuff. Stuff he'd learnt working with the masters. He'd staged. He'd travelled. And he was hungry. And no one else wanted to employ him.

So after all that, and numerous ravings from friends, we went. Mrs PCL and I. It was my birthday. I went the whole hog, 13 courses, and the sommelier's degustation. Anticipation was high, expectations, astronomical.

The table, space etc were fine.

They spent a lot of time going through the 'expression of the Chef's philosophy and creativity' which made me cringe a little... well, a lot. It was patronising in my opinion, and perhaps a little too casual. If you're paying $500 for dinner, you want to be treated with respect, not by someone leaning on the mantel piece explaining what a degustation is, and how there is not menu for dinner, and how refined the whole experience is going to be. The old adage is show, don't tell.

So I'm just going to list what I ate, or rather, what I remember because they never email'ed the menu to me as promised (several times in fact).

Anyhow...

the specials were promising, white truffle risotto for a $60 supplementary, or crayfish for an extra amount I remember not. We ordered one of each.

Two glasses of Piper's bubbly mis en cave 1999, for $16 each to kick things off.

Bottle of sparkling water, San Pel's.

Amuse was a prawn cocktail. With foam.... ouch. Thousand island foam... double ouch.

Then a blur of dishes, all well executed, but temperature seemed inconsistent across the plated elements.

The "interpretation" of Carbonara arrived, and yes, it stuck in my memory because of the following issues:

- overcooked pasta, which was a linguine

- in a crayfish sauce, with cray meat... sauce had too much alcohol that was not cooked off, and did not appear to be mounted.

- raw quail egg wrapped in the linguine didn't quite come off due to temperature

- crispy pancetta was not crispy

Then something else in between.

The Caesar, arrived... dressing was WAY TOO MUCH... each leaf of cos was smothered. And a poached quail egg this time. The pancetta this time, however, rocked, but really, I had to scrape the dressing off and considered asking for a finger bowl to rinse some leaves. However, one egg too many so far.

Seared foie gras came next. Given the restrictions on importation of foie into this country, I was surprised that they'd seared it. We only usually get foie gras entier mi cuit, that is, partially cooked, but still pink and cryo-vac'ed. They claimed that their foie is from Strasbourg, and is as close to raw as they can get it. I thought it was rubbery. The balsamic dressing in my mind, cannot be described as innovative.

The truffle was G R E A T. Nothing in the risotto to detract, and only a light green sauce to compliment.

The cray tail was great, but nothing you can't do at home. If he'd poached it in butter, then G R E A T. Champagne sauce was good, but once again, special?

End of Part One...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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:unsure: what a disappointing experience!!

just confirming, this was a meal you had 18 months ago?

this restaurant was on my list of must do's. but because of expense, it keeps getting knocked down the list for other choices.

after reading that it has not gone up the list at all! :unsure:

cheers

ozmouse

melbourne

cheers

ozmouse

melbourne

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If Dell ever get around to sending me the spart parts for my other computer so I can access my files, I'll post up my review of Vue De Monde from my dinner there in April 2004. Contrary to PCL, my night there was wonderful. I could write from memory, but I think I'd make a few mistakes with listing down the food we had.

In the meantime, as a taster, we got a brief overview of Bennett's food philosophy, but I pretty much forgot it straight away. We were originally going to have 5 courses, but after some smooth talking from the waiter, we ended up going for 6 - which we were greatful for. We found the service to be superb - the waiters were humourous, they looked after our needs, and by the time we got around to the second round of dessert wines, we were happy to trust the sommelier (he just chatted to us for a few moments and returned with a superb dessert wine).

I can understand why Bennett's food will polarise people. What he does is ambitious, and on a given night, I think he'll either crash through or crash (especially with the size of his kitchen). Having said that, I would expect him to crash through much more than he crashes. Reading his cookbook, he does seem to live on the adrenaline of cooking. So with that in mind, I think that on a given night, if things don't click, it could turn into a very disappointing experience.

I've dined at Vue de Monde three times since its opening, so I've seen and tasted how the restaurant has evolved. During my first and third dinners, the food was so good that I was reduced to giggling with joy. If he stays in Melbourne over the next decade and longer, I think he has the potential to blossom into a truely extraordinary chef.

As a final comment, I'm a pretty avid reader of PCL's posts. I have nowhere near the knowledge of food that PCL has. I can pick out some missteps in cooking, but I couldn't do it to the same level as PCL. So, anyone who decides to dine at Vue de Monde based on my review should keep it in mind that I'm a very keen amateur rather than someone with a truely deep understanding of food.

Edited by Shinboners (log)
Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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It would be interesting to compare his book with Keller's French Laundry just to see!

"My Vue" would shiver in the shadow cast by the French Laundry cookbook - not that it would be alone in that regard.

Anyway, now that I've got my computer back up and running, I can write up my review of Vue de Monde. After we had the dinner, I got onto the Vue de Monde website and wrote down the dishes we had. The only ones I couldn't find the details of were the fish course and my dessert, so my comments on these will be sketchy.

My partner and I went on April 17, and here's a rundown on what we had (the order of dishes will probably be a bit dodgy though).

I know we started off with asparagus purée set with duck egg white, oven baked in the shell,topped with it's own yolk. Now, as someone who was brought up with salted duck eggs in congee, tasting a duck egg like this was a revelation. The lack of salting in the duck egg gave the flavour a richness that I had never previously experienced. The asparagus was sweet and provided a good counterpoint to the flavour of the duck egg.

I'm pretty sure that our next dish was Strasbourg foie gras wrapped in brioche and baked, accompanied with cinnamon apples and dressed with walnut oil. When we ordered, the waiter asked us if we were vegetarians, if we had any food allergies, and if we had any special requests. I asked for a course that contained foie gras (as I had never tasted it before). Sometimes when you look forward to tasting something for the first time, it can be a disappointment. In this case, I got a feeling of familiarity (wow, this tastes like liver!) and wide eyed joy (sure, it tastes like liver, but it's so much more rich, smooth, and subtle). It put a very big smile on my face.

Next in line was a Ferron Arborio risotto, infused with ceps and finished with a cep essence. Put a menu in front of me, and you can guarantee that risotto will be a dish that I won't be ordering - I've never understood the fuss over this type of rice dish. So to have this dish put in front of me gave me a little bit of trepidation. After eating this, I'm still not likely to order risotto, but only because it's not likely to match up to this one. The rice was like little clouds, the flavour of mushrooms filled my nose and mouth, both my partner and I ate this course very slowly to take in as much of it as we could. We started to giggle.

My notes are unclear, but I am fairly sure that the next course was roasted trout with vanilla sauce. It wasn't the extraordinary experience of the previous courses, but the quality of the dish was still very high.

We then moved onto the crown of rabbit with cauliflower puree, a crayfish sausage, pomme Anna and ventroche dressed with a rabbit veloute

and caper butter. Sublime, just sublime. We were reduced to a giggling mess, just in awe of just how good food could be. I remember eating little bits of each part of the dish, just trying to figure out which bit was the most heavenly. The flavours were bursting on the tongue. We could have just cried with joy.

My partner, as she always does, had chocolate for dessert. In this case, it was an interpretation of Michel Bras' classic self-saucing Valrhona chocolate biscuit with pistachio ice cream and cream anglaise. She always has the first taste, then offers me a bit to taste. In this case (and so far, the only time), she refused to share. She still talks about this dessert.

My dessert (and my memory is very ropey here) was a buscuit with ginger sauce, possibly a cinnamon ice-cream and sprinkled with five spice. It was recommended by the waiter, it was unusual, and it was very good - but unfortunately, didn't blow my mind as the chocolate dessert did for my partner.

I can't remember the wine we had through the night, nor the two dessert wines we had. However, I do remember asking the sommelier to suggest a second dessert wine and he gave us a sublime pear flavoured wine - it was a perfect way to end the dinner and kill time as we waited for our taxi.

For me, Vue de Monde was comfortably my best dining experience in 2004, and sits comfortably in the top 5 of my time. The service was excellent, the food was sublime. We went to bed that night, in a dreamlike daze, wondering if the night was as great as it seemed. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep with a big, dopey smile on my face and I know that I woke up with one. My parter and I chatted the next day about it, just recounting the meal and our emotional reaction to it. We still talk about, and smile about, that night at Vue de Monde.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Almost exactly a year ago I spent two weeks eating my way through Melbourne and Sydney and Vue de Monde was by far and away the most exciting meal out of a number of excellent meals. Not perfect, but there was real creativity and ambition.

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  • 1 month later...

Being an e gullet virgin I thought it pertinent that my 'first time' pick up the commentary regarding what I believe is one of Melbourne (actually Australia's!) finest dining 'experiences' - Vue de monde. Since its inception in 2000 I have had the pleasure of dining at Vue de monde on countless occasions - some with a gastronomic group to which I belong and others more informally with my wife and close friends.

Without exception these experiences have been outstanding and Bennett's execution of his highly ambitious cuisine close to flawless. It has been our experience that the tailored menu gourmand that is offered at Vue de monde is not merely a set degustation but an amazing opportunity to be cooked for and we are always torn between requesting our favourites and trusting Bennett's whim on that particular day (each of which are equally rewarding!)

It is with surprise that I read PCL's comments and with confusion that I note Shinboners' willingness to concede to PCL's apparent culinary knowledge. Especially considering that this is based on only one visit and is in parts blatantly incorrect! I am a firm believer that it is both unfair and unwise to critically judge a restaurant based on only one visit - (ok, do so in your own mind and in the privacy of your own company but to wax lyrical about it on a forum??)

I am familiar with most of the dishes listed by both PCL and Shinboners and intimately so with some of them as they are thoroughly recorded by our gastronomic group. The carbonara of which PCL speaks was a highlight; and his incorrect assumption of an alcohol based sauce (which it was not) and of crispy pancetta (which was in fact the most delicately sliced piece of Spanish ham not cooked but wrapped around the pasta) leads me to question his understanding of the dish entirely!

I have yet to eat foie gras in this country which rivals Bennett's many interpretations. In my experience it is only in France that this sort of execution is encountered. My understanding is that the foie gras used by Bennett is demi-cuit – which is pasteurised and the same as PCL refers to, yet the perfectly peeled grapes and walnuts, the apple and the eight spice that accompanied the seared version I had was sublime and finished with a delicate sauternes emulsion - I was in fat goose heaven!

Shinboners - congrats on continuing to list Vue De Monde as a favourite and Oz Mouse - make it happen - the majority of commentary on this site re VDM is glowing - don't let the one experience of one deter you!

Where expense appears to be a recurring issue I challenge you all to out value Vue de monde's lunch menu - at $26 (two courses and a glass of wine) it is unbeatable!

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It was pancetta. They said so. So there, hah!

As for sauces, there had to be something vaguely alcoholic in it no? I mean, the dude's all French trained and is interpreting classics for the Aussie scene no?

And foie, cook the fresh stuff man, and don't do it at all if you can't get it. Demi-cuit in a brioche is about as good as it gets with the demi stuff. But hey dude, it's only ME who feels this way.

But whatever... at those prices, one visit should be enough. Think of all those saving up for the one trip. One doesn't go to a place like that with compromises in mind. It's unthinkable. And to repeat one ingredient across 3 dishes?? Two, maybe, but it better be damned good, but three??

Back to consistency once again, an unfair comparison might be Macca's. If you ask for fresh fries, they're always fresh and perfect. The gastronomic group may not approve, but billions do, and with Macca's chips as the exception, I'm happy to go with the billions on this one. But to go to Mighty Bennet's and get dooshed on the first go? I will spend the rest of my life asking these questions, but hey, the truth is out there.

For the record, lunch will be attempted there.

And aren't we allowed to not like something? Free country last I looked, let's hope it stays that way.

And also, welcome to eGullet Fat Goose.

Edited by PCL (log)

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 2 months later...

According to today's Epicure, the new Vue de Monde is due to open in the city on May 26 - around two months behind schedule. The report also said that he will not be keeping the old Carlton site.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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  • 2 months later...
Do tell what happened!

I sat down to jot out a few lines, and ended up with this! Here goes:

Uhhhhh … I suppose it was pretty spectacular. I guess. Kinda. Sort of. It’s really hard to say.

I can hear you already: "Whaddaya mean you ‘guess’ it was spectacular? Either it was or it wasn’t!!"

It’s just that the place is so ramped with hype and opinion and the attendant aura of a Culinary Pissing Contest that an opinion "in a vacuum" is pretty well impossible.

So the best I can offer is to try and divorce The Food from The Experience. Depending on your perspective, then, you too might equivocate. To me, and only me, the food was spectacular. The Experience was less so. But then, I like Food, and am not all that keen on Experiences, in restaurants at least.

THE FOOD

7 courses. Let the sommelier pair the wines. Didn’t take notes, and I noticed early on a strong internal resistance to "internalising the experience", so going from memory, almost certainly wrong about various bits.

1. Amuse was … I forget. Barramundi? Wagyu? Something. Heh heh. Potato foam and a drizzle of truffle oil. Fairly unamusing, but I was distracted by other things (see The Experience, below).

2. A decent porcini Risotto, porcini emulsion and powdered mushroom. Not unbeatable, but very very good.

3. Foie Gras, caramelised apples, peeled grapes and walnuts and a Sauternes sauce. I wouldn’t know if it had been imported, exported, pasteurised or from a bird raised in the backroom and slaughtered earlier that day, so won’t weigh in on that debate. But it was absolutely superb.

4. Snow crab, spinach and sorrel, small dice of apple, truffle butter sauce… I couldn’t hear the waitress describe everything on the plate, but each dish was getting better than the one before… absolutely wonderful.

5. Basil sorbet, with a shot of a clear tomato consommé and a few cubes of gelled tomato at bottom. Effective and different cleanser.

6. The "cassoulet/vol au vent", on top of a white-bean puree, I think I remember a tasty bit of pork belly on top, a cylinder of duck confit, a cylinder of seared duck breast and a cylindrical duck sausage, all lined up. A stand-out for me, absolutely the highlight.

7. We had been offered, and accepted, a supp of Wagyu beef, and were looking forward to it. We were told (after having to ask if it was still coming) that the beef was finished for the night, but that they had arranged something else: a seared lamb/crisp eggplant/babaganoush/couscous dish that was fine, if not overly memorable.

No dessert.

OK that was the food, like I said, spectacular, and the wines all matched perfectly. What was going on inside the mouth could not be faulted in any substantial way. The food that night is up there with/comparable in taste and skill to many other of the best I've had in my previous life in NYC (the best 5 years ago at least: Jean-Georges, Gramercy Tavern, etc.).

THE "EXPERIENCE"

BUT… I remain seriously unconvinced. As good as the food was, the overall "experience" wasn’t spectacular – precisely because the restaurant and its patrons were so giddy on their own spectacularness. It seriously detracted from the night for me. How so?

• There was this fresh faced group of eight late-20s-early-30ish next to us who were just shitting themselves with glee that they nabbed a table and saved up their allowance and Look At Us We’re Eating At Vue de Monde!!

• I suppose you’d have to address the issue of cost in the "Experience" column … all I can say is that, while going to VdeM isn’t difficult for us to afford, that doesn’t mean it’s not a consideration, in the context of value. In that context, I maybe found it a bit too expensive, but then I find pretty much all ‘fine dining’ too expensive, so that’s probably my personal quirk. It’s still a bucket of cash to charge for a few hours enjoyment, but what top-end restaurant doesn’t? Plus, as good as the food was, it's not inconceivable of others in town pulling off the calibre of these dishes just as well (though not the same experience), probably for slightly fewer dollars.

• Our table’s wine steward had this constant, I mean incessant, too-knowing smirk plastered permanently on her face, so while her spoken words were never condescending, her body language was. You wouldn’t win your case in court against her, because the ‘facts’ weren’t there to prove her guilt… but make no mistake, she was guilty as. Think Annette Bening.

• And: this couple waltzes in and by our table cooing to one another "Look!! They have our chairs! Ooh, and our lighting too!!" Squeals and peals of self-delight. These are not people I wanted sitting anywhere near me. On one hand, I fully realise that I can’t fault the restaurant for these garish guests, but on the other hand, the whole place reeks of this … Smug. Self-satisfied. The charge of "Sydneyfication" mentioned upthread seems perfectly apt.

Does that kind of stuff impact on your enjoyment? It does mine.

I don’t fault the guy. He’s out to make great food (which he clearly does), and he’s out to make several bucks from the "Oooh, our kind of place Hon!" set. Which he will.

So, sorry everyone, I’m not going to make the final call. Just depends on your tastes.

Some people like food "experiences."

Other people like great food.

I liked the food. Really liked it.

Edit to rectify "peels" to "peals" -- though there's a certain appropriateness to the erroneous spelling huh...

Edited by kangarool (log)
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Well done.

If the food was better the night I was there, I might have felt different.

But you've hit the nail on the head with regards to experience/setting/demographics and the potential falseness and Sydnefication of the whole thing... (falseness is my own interpretation). It's event dining.

Normally, I could divorce the experience from the food, and sometimes, will go back for exemplary food despite having been treated like crap or simply not digging the space, but if I have another experience there similar to the first one, I'd be even more upset and might write a book about it.

But I wil go back for lunch!!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Thanks for the report Kangarool. It was an excellent read.

I'm still keen on trying the new Vue de Monde, but I think I'll wait until early next year when all the posers have moved onto a new place (and my bet is that Longrain will be the next place to be seen). On a personal level, very few of my dining experiences have been tainted by the attitudes of other customers.

The attitude of the wine steward is unforgivable. They are there to help enhance our dining experience, not to show their (alleged) superior knowledge of wines.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Look, it's my own fault. I broke every single rule in the (well, my) book. Number one was agreeing to go there so early amidst the buzz. As you said Shinboners, wait til the others have moved on to the next seemingly big thing.

And I also agree that rarely if ever do other patrons impose on my enjoyment or even notice, but this night, it was rife -- so much so that it was a palpable component of the night. No one's fault but my own (and the posers of course). I really do reckon that that onslaught of "too-much-money-too-little-sense" will fade very soon from Vue.... which is when the real opinions will be worth listening to.

Curious if anyone else decides to have a look in the near future, if so please don't be shy to post your take on the place.

One thing you do have to acknowledge, we're here talking about Vue de Monde and not others!

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Do tell what happened!

7. We had been offered, and accepted, a supp of Wagyu beef, and were looking forward to it. We were told (after having to ask if it was still coming) that the beef was finished for the night, but that they had arranged something else: a seared lamb/crisp eggplant/babaganoush/couscous dish that was fine, if not overly memorable.

btw, I'd be pretty p*ssed off if that happened to me. Supplementary dishes are usually something pretty special, and as much as I love eating lamb, it doesn't quite fit that special catagory. And if you're running a top resturant, they should know how many diners can be satisfied with a given dish (although maybe they could be given the benefit of the doubt as they're still settling in).

Did they ask you if you wanted the lamb as an alternative? Did they take the cost of it off the bill?

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I was irked... less that it was unavailable, but more because they presumed that the substitute of lamb was something we wanted, rather than just skipping the extra dish. She hemmed and hawed about it, then rushed to say how they'd "created" something "just as good" ... which in all likelihood wasn't. It was the presumption more than the act itself, but then, things don't always work out and that doesn't bother me. More dissapointed in the way it was handled, more so than the food itself. I didn't look to see if we were charged for a supplement that wasn't, as I just assumed it didn't happen, so the charge wouldn't happen... now I'm wondering? surely not.

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Sorry to hear that your experience was less than lovely, Kangarool. I am glad to hear non-gushing reports about any restaurant I have been to, as it seems to tell me that I am someplace well away from the main lode of hype. Not that there really is much hype here on eGullet, but there you go. :smile:

I managed to get into VDM a couple of weeks ago after much plotting and saving up for a lightning trip to Melbourne with my Boy. We had scored a late-seating lunch slot and a dinner slot for the next night(for dinner with relatives with whom we were staying), on the understanding that if the lunch proved it was all hype we would cancel dinner.

We didn't cancel the dinner booking. :biggrin:

I didn't see too much of the smarmy self congratulation here, either on diners or staff. And the staffers I spoke to were clearly very happy to be doing what they were doing. The closest thing to a smirk I saw was an excited grin on our dinner waitress at the thought that one of us hadn't had truffles before - and had decided on the truffle supp.

The cutlery was all Laguiole (I didn't know they made crumb scrapers :blink: ..) and handled beautifully. The attentiveness of the staff was pleasantly short of intrusive, and they were all nicely knowledgeable about dishes and wines.

It is a testament to the standard of the food that several times we were served items that I have known the Boy to vehemently refuse. But in this setting he was willing to give them a try - and liked them! He later admitted that he was amazed by this.

I loved that fact that the kitchen was separated from the dining room by nothing more than a granite prep counter, and so you could see the blowtorching/carcass breakdown etc. This was even more fun after lunch as they'd clearly started dinner prep so I was able to chat to a few as they were doing their thing. I even caught a couple of the pastry folks leafing through the El Bulli cookbook. :rolleyes:

I did manage to speak to Mister Bennett, and he seemed quite relieved to find out that it was all about the food for me, none of that "i'm so thrilled to be here..!" stuff. He was very nice and before I knew it was telling me how they made their Pommes Souffles, and the chili caramel in the Wagyu dish. It is nice to see a chef who is always in the kitchen of their restaurant for a change.

I guess it's inevitable that when a skilled, passionate chef wants to do something slightly different (and break away from the usual Mediterranean menu, in this case) then hype will follow. I'm just glad to have found substance under the buzz. :smile:

" ..Is simplicity the best

Or simply the easiest

The narrowest path

Is always the holiest.. "

--Depeche Mode - Judas

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They never sent me a copy of mine either. I think it's something you have to arrange with your particular server, as the maitre'd didn't seem to know how. I think it is the server who picks what your degustation will consist of - ours was saying that the management recently declared that none of the tables in a particular server's area was allowed to have degustations that overlapped by more than two dishes, so their creativity was kept fairly hopping.

Here's the printed Prix Fixe menu from lunch on Tuesday 19th July:

Entree

Risotto de Champignons Sauvages

Wild Mushroom Risotto

or

Coquille St-Jacques cuite au four servie avec une puree de Petits Pois

Baked scallop with fresh garden pea puree and a bouillabaisse sauce encased in bread dough

Main Course

Joue de Porc Braisee aux Epices

Braised Pig Cheek in spices, with sweet and sour carrots and apple mousseline

or

Filet de Snapper Poche, Brunoise de Legumes

Gold Band Snapper poached in its own stock, brunoise of vegetables, gratinated with a herb crust and mussel sabayon

Green Leaf salad with a hazelnut dressing $6.50

Pommes Pont Neuf $6.50

Pommes Puree $6.50

Dessert

Bombe Alaska au Citron

Meyer Lemon infused cream parfait moulded into a ball and surrounded by baked Italian meringue

or

Fromage

St Nectaire, Auvergne, France.

We didn't actually decide on the prix fixe, and went with a la carte instead. Here's what we had for lunch:

Amuse:

Scallop marinated in yuzu, pumpkin puree, bouillbaisse foam, yuzu oil, potato tuile

Entree

Him: Wild Mushroom Risotto with ceps, Cep capuccino

A glass of Tgallant 2004 Tribute Pinot Gris

Me: Seared Strasbourg foie gras with cinnamon apples, peeled grapes and walnuts,

Sauternes emulsion, and a sprinkle of seven spices (which I don't remember)

(who the hell peels walnuts?! :blink: )

Palate Cleanser

Basil sorbet with Tomato consomme and fresh tomato gelee

Main

Him: Confit of Wagyu beef, sweet-sour crispy brisket and tripe, bearnaise sauce,

Spring onion and crushed pea puree

Me: Crown roast rack of rabbit with cauliflower puree, Pommes Anna, quenelle of

sweetbreads (with chicken mousse), ventreche bacon, double rabbit veloute and

caper butter

Pre-Dessert

Lychee foam with chili-strawberry syrup, cardamom-peanut crumble. (sounds bizarre but it worked)

Dessert

Him: Manjari chocolate fondant with blood orange granita, milk ice-cream, chocolate

bread.

Me: Pistachio and Valrhona souffle (the souffle of the day)

Afters

Coffee and Petits Fours:

Malteser Ice -creams, lemon-basil meringue tarts, white peach jellies, lime-poppyseed tuilles, Earl Grey chocolate truffle logs.

The dinner experience we had was quite similar to the menu that Kangarool posted, except for one superlative course that blew me away.

It was a Rack of Hare. The fanned-out rack of ribs was roasted, and placed atop a thick cylinder of the loin, which had been thinly wrapped in a truffled chicken mousse and seared, so the centre was effectively blue-rare. This rested on a cube of polenta which had been crumbed and fried, then hollowed out and filled with a Sauce Epice - a mild curry sauce which worked quite well. A naturtium flower was perched jauntily on top of the structure. A fragrant truffle 'tea' was poured from glass teapots around the base of the stack at table.

I want to go back.. Hell, I want to eat there every fortnight for the rest of the year...

(drool)

I'll just have to wait until I'm over there again. PCL, Shinboners, you lucky ducks - you're at least only a quick drive away! I'll just sit here and quietly turn green with envy.. :laugh:

" ..Is simplicity the best

Or simply the easiest

The narrowest path

Is always the holiest.. "

--Depeche Mode - Judas

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  • 10 months later...

Shannon's come a fair way since this topic was first started. Among other things, he's moved VDM to a better location in the city (Normanby Chambers) and won the Restaurant & Catering Australia Restaurant of the Year award in 2005. He's regarded very highly in Melbourne.

I did the Vue de Monde degustation last week and was not disappointed. The new location is gorgeous, the service is impeccable and even now I still have a mad craving for the food. When we sat down, we were asked if we wanted a drink. I said I was in the mood for something minty and refreshing, not too alcoholic, with a bit of sweetness. I felt like I was being a pain but the waiter returned a few minutes later with a divine drink that was just what I asked for - mint, strawberry vodka, soda and muddled lime.

We ended up selecting a 7 course degustation with a supplement of black truffle (sorry guys, not sure of the exact names of some of these dishes, described them as best as I could!).

Pre-Dinner

Three discs of mousse on a skewer - green (basil), pink (pork), green. Basil oil poured over. Creamy, complementary flavours.

1. COQUILLES SAINT-JACQUES

Canadian scallops placed over sweet potato puree with jus, topped with popcorn and herbs. The scallops were firm and tasty but it was the sweet potato puree that really surprised me - so delicious.

2. RISOTTO AUX TRUFFES

Classically inspired cèpe and Perigord truffle risotto topped with shaved black truffle. Best dish of the evening.

3. FOIE GRAS AU YOGHOURT

Foie gras and yoghurt mousse set with a fig jelly, ox tongue rillette and fig foam, lemon breadcrumbs and a cube of foie gras. Interesting, unique flavours that came together very well. The breadcrumbs tasted better when blended with the foam. I've never been a fan of figs but the foie gras mousse with fig jelly was sublime.

gallery_45628_3020_21408.jpg

Palate Cleanser

Delicate tomato consommé with gazpacho jelly and overflowing with dry ice, served in a test tube. I'd read about this palate cleanser and it did not disappoint, crisp flavours and very cleansing.

4. LIMANDE ET CHIFFONNADE DE CALMARS À LA MEUNIÈRE

New Zealand flounder cooked à la meunière’ with lemon, bone marrow and butter sauce, finished with lavender oil. Best flounder I've ever eaten, perfectly cooked. The lemon-y flavours balanced the creamy sauce beneath the fish.

5. ASSIETTE DE LAPIN, SERVIE SUR UNE POMME DE TERRE CONFITE

Assiette of farmed rabbit, placed over confit potato, dressed with a chicken veloute and lavender oil. Very beautiful, inventive dish. My partner said that the rabbit was a bit dry and the potato was nothing special but I thought it was very tasty.

gallery_45628_3020_953.jpg

Pre-Dessert Palate Cleanser

Orange icy pole licks with sherbert for dipping

Pre-Dessert

Large spoon with a dollop of mousse (tasted like burnt toffee) and pastry shards on top. This was so delicious and light, I could have eaten several more spoons.

Drink

Rutherglen Tokay

6. Demoulded Grand Marnier soufflé. Good consistency but a bit too sweet for my tastes.

7. Chocolate gateau, toffee shards, jelly, vanilla ice cream, choc sauce, candied peel.

Everything on this plate was delicious, the tangy flavour of the jelly set off the richness of the gateau.

Petits-fours

At this point my partner and I were too full to really enjoy the teacake selection. The chocolate pieces really stood out, as did the mini banana ice-creams.

Sensational meal. Our waiters were fun to talk to, very tolerant of our likes/dislikes in designing the menu and helpful with explaining what everything was. I particularly enjoyed the entertainment of being seated right next to the marble counters of the kitchen, watching dishes being plated and whisked away.

Can't wait to go back. Too bad they're booked out about 2-3 months in advance.

Edited by of_corset (log)
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Shannon's come a fair way since this topic was first started. Among other things, he's moved VDM to a better location in the city (Normanby Chambers) and won the Restaurant & Catering Australia Restaurant of the Year award in 2005. He's regarded very highly in Melbourne.

I did the Vue de Monde degustation last week and was not disappointed. The new location is gorgeous, the service is impeccable and even now I still have a mad craving for the food. When we sat down, we were asked if we wanted a drink. I said I was in the mood for something minty and refreshing, not too alcoholic, with a bit of sweetness. I felt like I was being a pain but the waiter returned a few minutes later with a divine drink that was just what I asked for - mint, strawberry vodka, soda and muddled lime.

We ended up selecting a 7 course degustation with a supplement of black truffle (sorry guys, not sure of the exact names of some of these dishes, described them as best as I could!).

Pre-Dinner

Three discs of mousse on a skewer - green (basil), pink (pork), green. Basil oil poured over. Creamy, complementary flavours.

1. COQUILLES SAINT-JACQUES

Canadian scallops placed over sweet potato puree with jus, topped with popcorn and herbs. The scallops were firm and tasty but it was the sweet potato puree that really surprised me - so delicious.

2. RISOTTO AUX TRUFFES

Classically inspired cèpe and Perigord truffle risotto topped with shaved black truffle. Best dish of the evening.

3. FOIE GRAS AU YOGHOURT

Foie gras and yoghurt mousse set with a fig jelly, ox tongue rillette and fig foam, lemon breadcrumbs and a cube of foie gras. Interesting, unique flavours that came together very well. The breadcrumbs tasted better when blended with the foam. I've never been a fan of figs but the foie gras mousse with fig jelly was sublime.

gallery_45628_3020_21408.jpg

Palate Cleanser

Delicate tomato consommé with gazpacho jelly and overflowing with dry ice, served in a test tube. I'd read about this palate cleanser and it did not disappoint, crisp flavours and very cleansing.

4. LIMANDE ET CHIFFONNADE DE CALMARS À LA MEUNIÈRE

New Zealand flounder cooked à la meunière’ with lemon, bone marrow and butter sauce, finished with lavender oil. Best flounder I've ever eaten, perfectly cooked. The lemon-y flavours balanced the creamy sauce beneath the fish.

5. ASSIETTE DE LAPIN, SERVIE SUR UNE POMME DE TERRE CONFITE

Assiette of farmed rabbit, placed over confit potato, dressed with a chicken veloute and lavender oil. Very beautiful, inventive dish. My partner said that the rabbit was a bit dry and the potato was nothing special but I thought it was very tasty.

gallery_45628_3020_953.jpg

Pre-Dessert Palate Cleanser

Orange icy pole licks with sherbert for dipping

Pre-Dessert

Large spoon with a dollop of mousse (tasted like burnt toffee) and pastry shards on top. This was so delicious and light, I could have eaten several more spoons.

Drink

Rutherglen Tokay

6. Demoulded Grand Marnier soufflé. Good consistency but a bit too sweet for my tastes.

7. Chocolate gateau, toffee shards, jelly, vanilla ice cream, choc sauce, candied peel. 

Everything on this plate was delicious, the tangy flavour of the jelly set off the richness of the gateau.

Petits-fours

At this point my partner and I were too full to really enjoy the teacake selection. The chocolate pieces really stood out, as did the mini banana ice-creams.

Sensational meal. Our waiters were fun to talk to, very tolerant of our likes/dislikes in designing the menu and helpful with explaining what everything was. I particularly enjoyed the entertainment of being seated right next to the marble counters of the kitchen, watching dishes being plated and whisked away.

Can't wait to go back. Too bad they're booked out about 2-3 months in advance.

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Share on other sites

Shannon's come a fair way since this topic was first started. Among other things, he's moved VDM to a better location in the city (Normanby Chambers) and won the Restaurant & Catering Australia Restaurant of the Year award in 2005. He's regarded very highly in Melbourne.

I did the Vue de Monde degustation last week and was not disappointed. The new location is gorgeous, the service is impeccable and even now I still have a mad craving for the food. When we sat down, we were asked if we wanted a drink. I said I was in the mood for something minty and refreshing, not too alcoholic, with a bit of sweetness. I felt like I was being a pain but the waiter returned a few minutes later with a divine drink that was just what I asked for - mint, strawberry vodka, soda and muddled lime.

We ended up selecting a 7 course degustation with a supplement of black truffle (sorry guys, not sure of the exact names of some of these dishes, described them as best as I could!).

Pre-Dinner

Three discs of mousse on a skewer - green (basil), pink (pork), green. Basil oil poured over. Creamy, complementary flavours.

1. COQUILLES SAINT-JACQUES

Canadian scallops placed over sweet potato puree with jus, topped with popcorn and herbs. The scallops were firm and tasty but it was the sweet potato puree that really surprised me - so delicious.

2. RISOTTO AUX TRUFFES

Classically inspired cèpe and Perigord truffle risotto topped with shaved black truffle. Best dish of the evening.

3. FOIE GRAS AU YOGHOURT

Foie gras and yoghurt mousse set with a fig jelly, ox tongue rillette and fig foam, lemon breadcrumbs and a cube of foie gras. Interesting, unique flavours that came together very well. The breadcrumbs tasted better when blended with the foam. I've never been a fan of figs but the foie gras mousse with fig jelly was sublime.

gallery_45628_3020_21408.jpg

Palate Cleanser

Delicate tomato consommé with gazpacho jelly and overflowing with dry ice, served in a test tube. I'd read about this palate cleanser and it did not disappoint, crisp flavours and very cleansing.

4. LIMANDE ET CHIFFONNADE DE CALMARS À LA MEUNIÈRE

New Zealand flounder cooked à la meunière’ with lemon, bone marrow and butter sauce, finished with lavender oil. Best flounder I've ever eaten, perfectly cooked. The lemon-y flavours balanced the creamy sauce beneath the fish.

5. ASSIETTE DE LAPIN, SERVIE SUR UNE POMME DE TERRE CONFITE

Assiette of farmed rabbit, placed over confit potato, dressed with a chicken veloute and lavender oil. Very beautiful, inventive dish. My partner said that the rabbit was a bit dry and the potato was nothing special but I thought it was very tasty.

gallery_45628_3020_953.jpg

Pre-Dessert Palate Cleanser

Orange icy pole licks with sherbert for dipping

Pre-Dessert

Large spoon with a dollop of mousse (tasted like burnt toffee) and pastry shards on top. This was so delicious and light, I could have eaten several more spoons.

Drink

Rutherglen Tokay

6. Demoulded Grand Marnier soufflé. Good consistency but a bit too sweet for my tastes.

7. Chocolate gateau, toffee shards, jelly, vanilla ice cream, choc sauce, candied peel. 

Everything on this plate was delicious, the tangy flavour of the jelly set off the richness of the gateau.

Petits-fours

At this point my partner and I were too full to really enjoy the teacake selection. The chocolate pieces really stood out, as did the mini banana ice-creams.

Sensational meal. Our waiters were fun to talk to, very tolerant of our likes/dislikes in designing the menu and helpful with explaining what everything was. I particularly enjoyed the entertainment of being seated right next to the marble counters of the kitchen, watching dishes being plated and whisked away.

Can't wait to go back. Too bad they're booked out about 2-3 months in advance.

too bad they only scored 13 out of 20 in the Herald sun this week, with the reviewer likening his dessert to 'cat litter'

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too bad they only scored 13 out of 20 in the Herald sun this week, with the reviewer likening his dessert to 'cat litter'

*shrugs* Anyone who likens the food offered at VDM to 'cat litter' has clearly walked into the place determined not to like it. Much of Melbourne is aware that the Herald Sun is a tabloid newspaper at best. Their restaurant reviews consistently demonstrate a feeling of contempt towards establishments that offer fine dining and that's fine, because I've never listened to their reviews before and they couldn't have been more off the mark about VDM. John Lethlean (The Age) did say in his review that it is the kind of restaurant that will polarise diners...and then he marked them 18/20.

Highly recommended!

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I think one should read all reviews, to get both sides of the story. VdM does polarise diners, and Mr Lethlean is a major figure but then again he is only one voice, although a loud one at that.

I think judge for yourself is the way to go. So what 18/20... I don't agree with half the stuff that's reviewed and look carefully at what people are reviewing. Mr Lethlean spent a lot of time talking about the linen and tableware. I spent a lot of time there wondering how the hell I'm gonna get full...

For the record, I check both sides of every coin before I flip it.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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