Saturday, July 23, 2005

Vue de Monde

Introduction: Now at 430 Little Collins St (Ph 96913888) Shannon Bennett is a true master of modern French cooking I have now been to Vue de Monde four times at its new home. On every occassion the food has been outstanding
Ambience: The entrance to the building is not quite finished which sets a slightly unsophisticated tone. The dining areas are comfortable, the decor simple, the tables well spaced and initially set with rustic style crockery.

Service: Initially very slow. I was peeved at being asked to come at 7.30 rather than at my preferred time of 8.00 pm and then to find myself waiting almost half an hour before a waiter arrived to discuss the menu and a little more irritated when the ice water, poured from an elegant jug was slightly warm and had no ice

Food: The main task was to choose how many courses to have (We chose 7) and ensure that any food fads or restrictions were not breached. After that the menu was a series of surprises - I should say delightful surprises

An initial offering a cup of truffle jelly covered with potato mousse with truffle oil was rich in flavour and an excellent start. Our first course was a cervisce of scallop on shredded celeriac on a remoulade sauce decorated with dots of squid ink around the margin. This was a delicacy most beautifully prepared and presented. This was followed by a mushroom rissotto using reconstituted cep mushrooms, you may know them as porcini mushrooms, which had a rich very strong flavour and was a little oversalted to my taste.
The next course was a cherry tomato creation including tomato on milk fed buffalo cheese, a Sorbet, a tomato torte.
The next course was a terrine of foie gras. Sandwiched between a leaf of Savoy cabbage and layers of Spanish pork proscutto the foie gras was served with Pui lentils and the most delicate small leaf cress salad
The next course, even more outstanding than its predecessors was a tain of linguini flavoured with truffles, beneath a delicate barely cooked quail egg, and surrounded by a delicate crustacean meat which I presumed to be crab
We then had a superb palate cleanser a clear tomato consomme with small cubes of jellied tomato
The next course was a duck cassoulet with Spanish style ham sausage and white beans
Another chef's offering a miniature bomb alaska with a raspberry sauce got us ready for the dessert
The mystery dessert was a trilogy including a rich chocolate tart chocolate pudding.
Finally we were offered a selection of petit fours served on a cute silver multi level candle stick like device (for want of a better word)

For the record here is the menu
Thursday 21st July 2005

Ceviche Saint-Jacques
Ceviche of scallops over a celeriac and apple remoulade,
bound in truffle mayonnaise, completed with Yarra Valley salmon roe

Risotto aux ceps
Ferron Arborio risotto infused with ceps

Tarte Á la tomate confie et au fromage
Confit tomato and mozzarella filo pastry tart with marinated anchovy,
crispy sage and Ligurian olives

Terrine de foie gras
Terrine of Strasbourg foie gras, layered with braised cabbage,
confit rabbit, wagyu salami and a duxelle of wild mushrooms,
served with sautéed Du Puy lentils and sherry vinegar

Linguini 'a la carbonara'
House made linguini wrapped with Spanish Cardoso ham,
accompanied by a soft quails egg and spanner crab

Consomme froid a la tomate
Delicate tomato consommé with gazpacho jelly

Cassoulet de canard
Duck cassoulet set into a puff pastry vol au vent with white beans,
roast breast and duck sausage

Fondant au chocolat
Manjari chocolate fondant, blood orange granita
encased in chocolate bread, served with milk ice cream
Notre sélection de cafés, thés, infusions et petits-fours

A selection of coffee, teas, infusions and miniature teacakes

Wine: Extensive range of Australian French and Italian from about $50 upwards. We had an excellent 2003 Calledonia Pinot Noir from Gippsland.

Price:We paid $110 a head for the food

Coments:
It was odd that the expensive heavy cutlery did not rest on the raised edge of the plate and kept sliding onto the plate. Minor irritations aside this is a culinary experience worthy of the best restaurants in the world. Shannon Bennett is a most imaginative and creative Chef a master in his field For more information and reviews see their web page at www.vuedemonde.com.au
Score: 18.5/20

For those really interested we sat at the Kitchen Table, see comment and here is the menu
friday 16th september 2005
Mousse de saumon fumÉ et d’estragon façon
‘tom cooper’ au caviar
‘Tom Cooper’ smoked salmon and tarragon mousse,
salmon crisp and Beluga caviar
~Risotto aux truffes
Classically inspired Italian summer truffle risotto
~Ballantine de faison au foie gras et À la mousse de pistache
Ballantine of pheasant with foie gras and pistachio mousse,
served with quince jelly
~FRICASSÉ DE COQUILLAGES
Braised prawns and crayfish sitting in a crispy puff pastry case,
the juices emulsified with butter and tarragon
~CONSOMMÉ FROID À LA TOMATE
Delicate tomato consommé with gazpacho jelly
~SuprÊmes de volaille strasbourgeoise
Poached Kangaroo Island chicken breast, leg meat tortollini,
served with albaforino sauce and white asparagus
~Echine d’Agneau pochée au cous cous de safran
Roasted loin of lamb with saffron cous cous, espice sauce,
babaganoush and aubergine crisps
~Soufflé aux fruits de la passion
Passionfruit soufflé with raspberry sorbet, dusted with strawberry sugar
~Coupe de chocolat, trois parfums
Chocolate espresso cup filled with caramel mousse, orange syrup,
Grand Marnier and milk cappucino
~Notre sélection de cafés, thés, infusions et petits-foursA selection of coffee, teas, infusions and miniature teacakes

For my 4th visit we had several previously untried dishes including a crabclaw and shredded crabmeat in a light creamy tomato sauce and a "deconstructed" cassoulet both most excellent I highly recommend them.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

i look forward to trying it one day!

Elliot said...

Anonymous ty for your comment Keep it up

Elliot said...

Enjoyed another remarkable night at the kitchen table last night. I do not recommend the kittchen table because it is rather isolated and quite noisy. There is a constant level of concentrated activity from a team of about 10 young chef's doing a little cooking and a lot of plating and it is interesting to observe but the usual restaurant ambience is missing = a different sort of experience. I will post the entire menu in a few days.

Elliot said...

This was THE BEST meal I have had at VdM
FRIDAY 14TH APRIL 2006
CRUMPET FOURRÉ AU PÂTÉ DE POISSON ET DE CAVIAR
Toasted crumpet filled with fish and caviar paté, smoked salmon,
Californian Sterling caviar and carpaccio of pine mushroom
SALADE DE CRABE CHAUD AUX AMANDES
Warm spanner crab salad with roasted almonds and lentil shoots, resting on sweet corn purée, finished with almond inspired bouillabaise
RISOTTO AUX CEPS
Ferron Arborio risotto infused with ceps
TOMATE CONFIE ET AU FROMAGE
Confit tomato with buffalo ricotta and mozzarella,
anchovy salt and house made Ligurian olive oil
FOIE GRAS ET AU YOGHOURT
Foie gras and yoghurt mousse set with a fig jelly,
partnered with ox tongue rillette and fig foam
LANGOUSTE POCHÉE
Poached crayfish, cannelloni filled with lobster mousse
and liquorice root sauce
CONSOMMÉ FROID À LA TOMATE
Delicate tomato consommé with gazpacho jelly
BŒUF WAGYU ‘SAVEURS D’UN SANDWICH’
Slow cooked wagyu beef layered with tobacco onions, baby watercress,
lemon ketchup and chickpea fries
MILLEFEUILLE AU CHOCOLAT ET CARAMEL
Chocolate leaves with caramel and chocolate mousse,
hazelnut doquoise, kumquat marmalade and caramel ice cream
NOTRE SÉLECTION DE CAFÉS, THÉS, INFUSIONS ET PETITS-FOURS
A selection of coffee, teas, infusions and miniature teacakes

Anonymous said...

Another magnificent meal ($250 / head for the food) Without doubt Vue now belongs in the top 10 restaurants in the world Matched wines are expensive but very interesting.

Kerryn said...

Love this blog...discovered it about 3 months ago and we use it to see your reviews on places!

Want to comment on Vue De Monde..I have been to Vue De monde twice now. Once in 2008 and I had the 10 course degustation, but not the matching wines.

The highlight for me was actually the dessert, in particular the pistachio mouse which came served in half egg shells.

Then I thought it was the nicest, but most expensive place I have ever dined at.

I took a colleague there about 1 year later and we had the 10 course but this time with matching wines.

I didn't want the wines as I thought it was a rip off at $20 a glass but he was paying! We were seated near the kitchen, and I agree with the person earlier...for such an expensive place, there was no ambience.

The service was good, food good although not as nice as last time. All flashily presented but just nice. No mousse this time.

The wines were very disappointing and made up half the $800 bill for 2 people!

Nice place but you can get better food and better ambience at a third of the price at their cheaper end (Bistro Vue), or at many of Melbourne's many other fine restaurants.

Cheers, Kerryn

Elliot said...

Hi Kerryn,
As you can see we've eaten at many fine restaurants and rate Vue de Monde among the best. We also think they are expensive but you cannot really find an equivalent restaurant in Australia. Bistro Vue is not a patch on VdM for imagination, variety or delicacy but it does have a nice atmosphere.
We found Raoul, the sommelieur very obliging. If we did not like a wine he replaced it and if we did like one he offered more. It was only $12/ glass last time we were there. None the less $800 for dinner in Australia is very expensive and I'd feel badly about someone paying that much for me for just a 'nice' meal.
Try Attica for a less expensive interesting dinner.