Saturday, November 06, 2010

New at Vue (Melbourne) 11/2010

Shannon Bennett must be run off his feet with all his restaurants and a huge fit out on the 55th floor of the Rialto which is anticipated to open in April. Never the less, in consultation with Chef Cory, Vue de Monde has managed to come up with a menu of dishes completely new to what was available nine months ago. Every dish in the chef's 10 course degustation menu is a triumph of imagination and design. Each dish is a decorative art exhibition. Of course you can't eat a picture but not only do the dishes look attractive they combine the other attributes that go to make great dishes. Each had a combination of well blended tastes and textures.The form of the meal follows the general structure of evening meals i.e. light courses to main courses to desserts. If there is a criticism of the meal it is that there is an element of sweetness in every dish except the duck egg. Some were mildly sweet whilst for some sweetness was dominating. Salads had apple or pear, eel had a chocolate covering the solidified olive oil in the Tribute to Heidi, reduced apple vinaigrette, the reconstituted radish, the cocoa 'dirt', it was everywhere. If you happened not to care for sweet tastes you could not enjoy the meal. This was not a problem for us but it does represent an unbalanced structure. As always service was extremely courteous and efficient until we got to the cheese and desserts. There was a 50 minute wait until a serve of Petit Cherrot arrived from Bistro Vue. It was still well below room temperature and not at its best. The smoked ice cream and sous vide poached banana were also fairly ordinary however the pistachio souffle was outstanding. The light, sweet souffle sitting on a creame frais sauce with the pistachio nuts. Duck egg has not been a particular favourite until now but this one, served with fresh white Alba truffles was the dish of the month. The truffles had the powerful smell that is so quickly lost only days after they are harvested and complemented the egg and lambs sweet breads.
They dishes we had were:
an Amuse Bouche, which was actually three of them.

White truffle marshmallow served on a piece of granite


Blue fin tuna. Those spikes are the tuna vertebrae with a dollop of tuna in the hollow originally occupied by an intervertebral disc.

Vegetable terrine.
The meal actually began with
a buttermilk, apple, fennel, flowers salad
Then a very unusual, perhaps too sweet smoked eel, apple, white chocolate
Then came the 'dish of the month'. Fried duck egg, lamb sweetbreads, asparagus, truffle. There were both green and especially flavoursome white asparagus with this dish. I pushed the truffles aside in the next photo to show the perfectly cooked, soud vide of course, duck egg.

This tribute to the sculpyure garden at the Heidi art gallery was a sculptural creation almost to attractive to eat. Called the JARDIN DE LÉGUMES, or Heide vegetable garden, The near white pyramid at the top of the plate was solidified olive oil which could be eaten as it was or mixed with the pear juice that was poured into the cucmber immediately the dish was presented. Small broad beans nestled in the base of the cucumder and the dish well decorated with attractive edible small flowers.
A palate cleanser came next, Celery sorbet, elderflower granite, pommelo

in preparation for the roasted marron radish. The radish came in two forms, the red baby one and a sheet of reconstituted radish, barely visible in this photo. It lies over the right side of the food.

Kangaroo, rosella, coffee, chocolate, lightly smoked at the table. This was a tender and tadty piece of meat, pink on the inside, just cooked, not gamey, balanced by the cocoa and chocolate.

For those who preferred not to eat Skippy it could be replaced with chicken oysters but with this much lighter meat the chocolate was a poor match.

Served with beetroot and potato a Blackmore wagyu beef cheek, which had been cooked overnght, came with an additional slice of beef steak which had been cooked for about three minutes.

Yet another sweet dish chocolate, coffee, chicken, potato, unrecognizable to the uninitiated, also had a very tasty pumpkin puree.
Thebanana malt with smoked icw cream was very ordinary
Before the souffle we enjoyed a cheese Le petite cherrot before the soiffle. A demoulded pistachio soufflé, crème anglaise

This meal, from which nobody rose hungry, was $240 per person. Matched wine were an additional $120. They included the following:

2008 Mount Mary Chardonnay Yarra Valley, Victoria

2003 Meerea Park Semillon ‘Alexander Munro’ Hunter Valley, New South Wales

2009 Domaine Belle-Vue Muscadet ‘Granit’ Muscadet Sevre et Maine AOC Loire Valley, France

2007 Alphonse Mellot ‘Cuvee Edmond’ Sancerre AOC Loire Valley , France

2008 The Sadie Family ‘Columella’ Swartland WO Coastal Region, South Africa

2007 Sean Thackrey ‘Sirius’ Mendocino Country AVA California, United States of America

2008 Domaine de l’R Chinon ‘Les Folies du Noyer Vert’ Chinon AOC Loire Valley, France

2008 Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc ‘Noble’ Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand

2002 Baumard Coteaux du Layon ‘Clos St Catherine’ Coteaux du Layon AOC Loire Valley, France. For us the wines improved as the meal progressed. The early wines were all fairly dry and did not pair well with the food which was quite sweet. We did especially enjoy the last two dessert wines.

Vue is always distinguished by attention to detail. There have been a lot of front of house staff changes. They are keen for feedback and keep notes of customers comments, likes and dislikes.This certainly helps to make repeat visits ever more memorable.

Still top of the class but can be even better.
Score 18/20


John Salisbury said...

Dear Elliot and Sandra fantastic review. I have never eaten Mr Bennett.s food He is very high profile and like Neil Perry would be advised by marketing to never be tempted to alter appearance I suspect...
The use of sugar of some sort is almost a new frontier for chefs.It can seriously enhance flavour and texture BUT....

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi John,
Tx for your comment.
I imagine that most restaurants would change their menus infrequently and fairly gradually. At Vue they do quite a lot of testing of 'new' dishes at their lunches and incorporate them into the evening degustation menus when the get enough positive feedback.
Re sweetness. In this meal each dish was a stand alone example of fine creative culinary art. The sweetness was introduced by sweet fruit or vegetables in most cases and with chocolate in some others.
No doubt they are very concerned about marketing and it woiuld be fscnating to knowhow they are advised to popularize their brand.

thanh7580 said...

Looks stunning. I recently went back for the third time and I still loved it. I wonder what it will be like once it's in Rialto? Will it be even more unattainable to dine at Vue once they need to cover their new premise costs?

Sandra and Elliot said...

Hi Thanh,
There is a limit to what the market will bear. I don't think they can afford to get too much more expensive but we will soon find out. Meantime they continue to produce excellent dishes.

famous restaurants in melbourne said...

nice post i like it about restaurant and it's lovely food thanks for this such information.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Famous,
Great to have your support.

Executive Cars said...

Looks stunning. I recently went back for the third time and I still loved it.
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