Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another Vue

On that day, unlucky for some, Friday 13th of June I experienced one of the finest meals ever.
After an unusual and very pleasing Amuse Bouche there followed 12 extraordinary courses, beverage and petit-fours. I have never had any of these dishes before and each was a delight to the senses.
Of all the great restaurants that I have experienced only The Fat Duck, regarded by international reviewers as either the best or second best restaurant in the world, was superior to this meal. That Vue du Monde is currently rated 74th only means they haven’t been here enough.
Better than Thomas Kellers’ The French Laundry, clearly better than Joel Roubillards’ three star Vegas restaurant, The Manor, and at least the equal to Kellers’ Per se Shannon Bennett has created something very very special.
This was a new menu demonstrating, in dish after dish, imagination and flair in presentation, taste and textural combinations – visually and orally exciting. Vue has also had a new set of very attractive double blown tumblers made specially for them by Reidel to replace their somewhat cumbersome predecessors.
What next – sound effects?
Service was unobtrusive and Raoul, our sommellier, particularly sensitive to our needs in choosing a couple of wines to accompany the menu.

A remarkable meal
This was the menu

Pea and jamon soup with a jamon tartare served with a confit quail yolk on a lettuce raft. This miniature san chao bao with it's lightly cooked quail yolk over a super tasty pea soup makes my mouth water even now a week later!
King crab, sautéed, with a crab emulsion, Sterling caviar and potato tuile. Note the peeled grapes between the brick of claw meat on the right and the head meet on the left. A sweet dish good to look at and even better to eat. LINGUINI AUX TRUFFES
Linguini cooked in cep stock served with freshly shaved Manjimup truffle. These Western Australian truffles are geneticly identical to those from France but have the advantage of getting to the table much more quickly - only 3or 4 days after they were harvested and the difference is very apparent in the taste. I did not take a photo of this dish
Carpaccio of foie gras with fennel, pear and verjus sauce. Contrasting texture and taste made this an interesting, and very good, way of eating foie gras, or pears if you like. Much better than the pot or slab I usually get
Poached coral trout, with spring onion, parsley purée and spices. Cooked to a delicate pefection with a consomme added at the table. The papparadelle on the left is actually a very long thin strip of apple
Marron, poached in an orange saffron sauce with smoked clams and fennel
Liquid frozen verjus. I always wondered what I might do with verjus to impress my dinner guests - now I know
Poached breast and confit leg of chicken with handmade Brussels sprouts and mushroom reduction. The brussel sprouts were a surprise package wrapped around a ball of herb cheese. The chicken might look ordinary but it was exceptionally tasty
Poached loin of hare with a garlic purée, chestnut, yeast air and bread lattice. Another exceptional combination of tastes and textures beautifull presented
Goats curd served with sugared rose petal, rose jelly topped with goats curd ice cream. Yet another beautifully executed dish. It's hard not to be boring about how good this all was.

Fruit salad. Frozen slices of Kiwi fruit atop a pomegranite infused yoghurt fruit salad.
Pistachio soufflé with triple sec custard. Yummy
Quince foam set into a caramel sphere with white chocolate cage and frozen white chocolate soil.
An amazing dessert. Surrounded by a white chocolate filligree sphere, like one of those Chinese hand carved ivory balls there is a thin red sphere, like a X'mas tree decoration, made of sugar and containing ice cream.

A selection of coffee, teas, infusions and petits-fours
There are pic's of these on my other reviews
Handmade chocolates to take home. A small box of four special chocolates for each of us that remind us of another great dinner
I don't feel comfortable commenting on wine and asked Raoul to choose a couple of wines to go with the dinner. The Spanish white reminded me of New Zealand Savignon Semillion Blanc with a clean finish and low acidity. The Greek red was somehow different in character to Australian wines - but I like ours better!!

By the glass Champagne, Gardet brut $24/ glass
2006 L’Olivera Missenyora Maccabeu Costers Del Segre, Spain $16/ glass
2004 Gaia Estate Agiorgitiko Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece $20/ glass The food was $$250/ person.
Score:19 /20


neil said...

Amazing array of tastes and textures. Imagine being blown away 12 times in a row, one can but dream. Tough work for you Elliot.

Thermomixer said...

Thanks for your work Elliot, sounds like you really hit the jackpot with this one.

Still remember the first dish I had at the old Vue in Carlton. Shannon's take on Alain Passard's chaud-froid eggs, using duck eggs. It was memorable. He really is pushing the boundaries now and willing to experiment. Not a restaurant for dining every night but something to get the brain working instead of simply shovelling in sustenance.

I took some guests there recently and had some of the same dishes. They may have reworked the soup as I found the jamon broth under a pea froth a little insipid. Looks like they may have changed to just pea in the soup from your comments.

We also had truffles, and the table was redolent when the big black monsters were unveiled from their box and sliced over our dishes. But the aroma & flavour did not last for long. Like an old wine that just didn't have the legs. It may have been that they were early in the season and they are improving now. I still prefer Perigord, Umbrian or the little white fellows from Alba. Their perfume to me seems to be more persistent.

Foie gras in slabs is my preferred way of enjoying this delicacy. But in France, Europe or even Singapore. The mi-cuit product available here really does not do it for me. The combination with thin slivers of pear does have appeal though on a textural level.

The kiwi ice blocks were a little too cold & hard for my sensitive teeth - you may need to send me some bupivicaine.

Good work Elliot and congratulations to Shannon and his team for continuing to excite.

Anonymous said...

You can't imagine how I suffer
Tx for your remarks. There must be quite a bit of variation in things like truffles and even pea and ham soup which has been too thick and heavy at times but we got lucky with everything
Ever since a talk at Fenix where Raynond Capaldi raved about the Thermomix I have been interested in getting one. I'm grateful that I will be able to get a bit more information through your site.
Tx again

thanh7580 said...

Isn't the food just amazing at Vue. I've only been there once but the meal was so fantastic. It really is a feast for the eyes and mouth. Tough work indeed Elliot.

Anonymous said...

You're so right. Vue really is fantastic. It's a place to go for special occassions and rarely fails to please