Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vue de Monde (2) - Melbourne

Our previous visit to Vue de Monde had been mind-blowingly awesome. As such, when we were organising a last minute trip to Melbourne, we decided to see whether or not they had a dinner reservation available and to our luck, we were offered a 8.30pm seating on a Monday night.

Our expectations for this dinner were high (due to our great experience last time). And despite being 8.30pm, hubby still opted to do the 10 course degustation. We were greeted warmly by our waiter who asked about our food preferences (of which there are various things I do not eat), and they tailored our amuse bouche and our degustation accordingly.
sticks and stones
Again, being playful with rocks and logs, our amuse bouches comprised of several things. We got chips again, which was much to our delight. It came with an awesome creamy and tasty macadamia dip. As I don't eat wallaby, a lone slice of wallaby meat was rolled on a salt block before carefully placed on the rock. Hubby said that it was tasty but in the chewy, textured kind of way. I got a herb gel in place of the wallaby which was tasty enough. The carrot with mussels and brown butter cream was deceivingly simple looking but amazing! Loads of flavours came in all at once with the humble carrot stick. Likewise, the marshmallow sprinkled with truffle and nuts was delicious! Sweet and savoury and chewy and soft and crunchy all at the same time. The smoked eel was a bit of dubious one... toffee-like substance coated the eel (most probably the white chocolate), then topped with caviar. It was really sweet, and the toffee got stuck to our teeth. 
chips with macadamia nut cream
salt cured wallaby
carrot with brown butter
truffled marshmellow
herbed gel
white chocolate eel
Amuse bouches over, our first course was the trout - or at least their play on a trout sandwich. Dehydrated powdered trout with breadcrumbs, egg cream and, fish roe and snowy wasabi - all plated nicely and all  played their different roles in offering the range of taste, flavours and textures. The powdery trout carried intense flavours and when eaten with the icy wasabi - it was YUM.
trout sandwich
You could smell our next course from a mile away. The Melbourne onion soup was boiled and scientifically dealt with a the table. Supposedly, the soup enters the top bulb, soaks in some more smoky and oniony flavours, before the flame goes off and the soup goes back down. Really though, the waiter admitted that it was just for the theatrical WOW value :P. It was sooooo intensely sweet and oniony.  with the intense broth was onions done a few different ways. Hubby loved it. I loved it too, initially anyway, until it just got a little too much.
melbourne onion soup
The next course was one of my favourites. It was simple looking but amazing! The marron was cooked perfectly - juicy and sweet, and when combined with the brown butter and pork floss?!?! Flavour explosion and then some. I could just lick up that brown butter and pork floss creamy combination.
marron with brown butter and pork floss
The bread basket again came with warming stones. The bread was crunchy on the outside and fluffy whiteness on the inside and was quite delectable when eaten with the creamy french butter.
bread with warming stones
delicious creamy butter
There was then a great big runny duck yolk with green beans, powdered peas, crunchy Parmesan crisps, apple discs and mint. The yolk broke into a nice gooey runniness.
duck yolk with pea, mint and apple
runny yolk :)
The palate cleanser was the same as last time - simple refreshing flavours of cucumber and pineapple sage with the theatrics of liquid nitrogen and the fun-ness of us crushing it all up. A good show, good fun and good taste all wrapped up in a simple package :)
palate cleanser
The barramundi and banana prawn was also mindblowingly awesome. Both seafoods were cooked perfectly. bits of foam here and there and a perfectly rolled slice of potato. There was a subtle hint of garlic flavour and I LOVED the purple cauliflower. who would have guessed that such powerful tastes can come in such small packages. this came with a super crunchy deep fried prawn legs with an intensely delicious and smooth brown butter blob. The dish was amazingness!
barramundi and prawn
deep fried prawn legs with brown butter
I don't eat lamb either and so, whilst hubby got a lamb dish, I received a fish course. Hubby's lamb was from Flinder's Island. There were two different bits of the lamb - one was supposedly yum and the other, also yum but crazily 'lamby' (ie. full of lamb/game meat flavour). My Striped Trumpeter was also good. It came with leek, oyster, kale and tarragon.
Flinders Island Lamb
Striped Trumpeter
The next course was also cooked at the table. With the portable barbeque brought over, I know that it was meant to be a piece of kangaroo meat, but due to the fact I also don't eat kangaroo, this became wagyu beef for us. The wagyu was accompanied with beetroot, saltbush, their house-made BBQ sauce (that thick yellowy paste that looks nothing like BBQ sauce) and truffle.
Wagyu Beef
We were a bit greedy and wanted the cheese course too (even though we were full). The cheese cart was rolled over and I opted for all cows milk cheeses whereas hubby went adventurous and got all goats/sheeps/ewe milk cheeses. I preferred mine. It came with yummy breads, condiments and delicious fresh honeycomb.
Cheese Cart
bread and condiments
assortment of cheeses
We received a spiced tea with a frozen milk blob before our official desserts arrived. I'm not a fan of cinnamon and this was very cinnamony (or some sort of spice that I disliked).
spiced tea
Dessert time came and it was close to midnight. I think that the staff were possibly feeling tired and fatigued by now. The first dessert was the while chocolate ganache swirl with rhubarb, ground chocolate and coffee iceream. The white chocolate swirl was really rich and creamy. The coffee icecream was also quite yum. There were little chocolate crunchy balls to add the texture :)
white chocolate ganache with rhubarb and coffee icecream
The last course of the night was the chocolate souffle with chocolate mouse and creme anglaise truffle. I think that as far as souffles go, it was not a bad one. Just that I'm not a super fan of souffles... Hubby liked it though! :)
chocolate souffle
Lastly, petit-fours and coffee. There was this ice cherry thing which was intensely frozen - like a frozen pop that doesn't really melt, lamington-looking cubes with really really smooth chocolate mousse innards and a drop of concentrated raspberry sauce, these 'one penny' copper looking coins which was actually really soft and gelatinous, and my favourite of the lot - the chocolate clam shells with olive oil. Amazingly sweet and savoury - much like a lightly salted chocolate.
By the end of the meal, it was past 12.30am. We received a doggy bag filled with next day's breakfast (a loaf of brioche, muesli, tea, cookies, honey) and were personally walked downstairs. 

Was it a great meal? Yes!
Would we return? Yes! But probably not any time too soon. It is quite costly afterall :)

Food - 9.5/10
Service - 9.5/10
Ambiance - 9.5/10
Value for money - 8.5/10
Overall - 36.5/40

Vue de Monde
Level 55, Rialto Building
525 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9691 3888

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