The Café at Heide Gallery of Modern Art has become the latest extension to Shannon Bennetts growing restaurant empire. Rumour has it that he will be taking over at the Rialto soon too! We visited the current exhibition of Cubist Art in Australia and stopped for lunch at Café Vue at Heide. It was pleasing to be greeted by some of the senior staff who had looked after us so well and so often at Vue de Monde. Brian Lloyd, formerly manager at Vue de Monde is now manager here and Mark Briggs, former head chef there is in charge in the kitchen The café is an inside/outside space, very open with 3 sided walls of glass and umbrella shaded outside tables.
Tables are smallish and fairly close but not uncomfortably so It was packed with diners of all ages. There is a limited lunch menu, slightly expanded for dinner. A two course ($35) or thee course ($45) lunch, served Tuesday to Sunday, is on offer with a small range of wines by the glass at reasonable prices. We tried both entrées and both mains on offer, a couple of side dishes and a mango soufflé dessert. Goats cheese gnocchi with baby beetroot salad was excellent
as was the char grilled sardines with citrus, olive oil emulsion and salted cod.
I am reluctant to order fresh sardines as they are often over powering but these retained the characteristic sardine taste without dominating the dish. The roasted ocean trout with sorrel sauce was delicately prepared
although the sorrel sauce was hard to recognize, taste wise. The rotisserie Wagyu beef served with garlic snails
– that should really have been snail, as there was only one, was a tasty piece of meat though not marked by the large amount of fat in the meat of the higher grades. It lay on a bed of potato mousse line which was so good we ordered a side plate of it ($6). Made with Exon potatos and a ratio of 3 or 4 parts butter to one part potato it had superb rich taste and wonderful creamy texture. A side dish of crunchy over cooked pommes frites ($8)
did not add much to the meal. We finished with a mango soufflé with yoghurt sorbet
which looked good and tasted good but the egg had broken down producing a course rough texture. There are hints of Vue de Monde in the decor
like the potted herbs but it is very much a cafe with it's own very pleasing character. They also have $15 lunch boxes and a range of very attractive pastries. I accidentally dented the chocolate tart!
If you’re going to Heide I’d definitely make time for a meal at Café Vue