Vue de Monde | Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

I believe that in life, there are dining experiences that provide you with satisfaction and happiness. Dining experiences so bazaar that they would be the centre of conversation during friend gatherings and linger in your memory for a long, long time.  Those dining experiences are so special that you almost don’t want to share them with others because they belong to you, exclusively…

It’s been a long time since I had an experience like that.  Last time had to be that cold winter night when the other travel bunnie took me to Le Bernadine for our 10:30pm dinner reservation. I had been disgruntled before our arrival, upset at the fact that I was unable to pick a perfect outfit for the occasion and that I had no Choos to match. Despite my initial emotional unstableness, the dinner turned out to be a fantastic affair and to this day, I still remember it. Vividly.

And the time before that, was on the night of our engagement, we celebrated at Esquire right after the other travel bunnie kneeled on the floor and presented me with a “oh-it-hurts-my-eyes” sparkly from Canturi.

But I think those fond memories have been superseded by our recent dining experience at Vue de Monde, a fine dining restaurant located on level 55 of the Rialto Building in the centre of Melbourne.  Winner of Three Chef’s Hats, Shannon Bennett’s well established Vue de Monde has been on our bucklist for a long time. Somehow, I didn’t know what to expect. I was afraid that it would be a rather rigid affair in a room full of pretentious people who think they know wines because the price tag has three digits.

Oh I was so wrong…

The moment when I arrived at the restaurant, I was in love and my tensed muscles were relaxed. We were taken to our window table via their cellar.  The restaurant felt spacious yet intimate. The open kitchen in the centre of the restaurant was perhaps the only decoration that they needed to complete the setting. Snowy white linen was nowhere to be seen. Instead stones and Penfolds Grange vines were artistically placed on the dark leather tables. Oh and the chairs, they were so comfortable that I literally had to stop myself from continuously stroking the kangaroo hide stitched to the them. 

Soon after introductions with our host and the sommelier, bread and appetisers arrived at the table. Pebbles and stones revealed salt and pepper, Penfolds Grange vines turned into rests for the beautifully carved cutlery by Christofle, Paris. The visual tease marked the beginning of what felt like a breathtakingly beautiful culinary performance. The steaming bread was rested on a hot stone hidden inside of a leather pouch, and the butter… well the butter is worth a story in itself. Sure, Per Se source their superlative butter from a particular herd of Jersey cows in Vermont, but the butter here at Vue de Monde deserves the red-carpet treatment.  A huge tub of Échiré butter, imported from France of course gets presented in front of you, before the perfectly quenelled butter is placed at your table. I could eat that butter on its own and no it wouldn’t be weird, because I’d blame it on my pregnancy.

It all started with potato crisps with macadamia butter, then the appetisers arrived one by one. From emu jerky served with smoking gum leaves, salt cured wallaby and candy coated smoked eel, white chocolate, caviar to truffle marshmallow and herb gel. The kitchen was really thoughtful in preparing something different for me and mini bun.

The entrées followed after a brief rest for our tummies, Greenvale farm pork, marron, wild herb cream for the other travel bunnie and duck, apple, pine mushrooms, Gascony butter for me.

I found the portions to be perfectly sized, just enough for me to savour the flavours but not too much so that I wasn't looking forward to what was yet to come.

The palate cleanser was both visually and sensually enticing. We were given a wooden pestle each and mortar with filled with wood sorrel, pinapple age flowers, tiny lime grains, fresh lemon balm together with baby parsley shots which were placed in front of us. Liquid nitrogen were then poured into the mortar and we were asked to grind up the frozen ingredients before a cucumber sorbet was placed in the mortar by our waitress.

The mains, Blackmore Wagyu, pear, onion, saltbush and Flinders Island lamb, olive, Australian anchovies, sunflower were both extremely tasty, but my favourite was definitely the soft, melt-in-your-mouth wagyu.

Before the desserts arrived at the table, we asked the tea sommelier to bring us some of his recommendations. Both types of tea he selected were delicious, very soothing and well suited to the food.

I had the privilege of having two desserts that night so while the the other travel bunnie tried an assortment of cheeses, bread, jams, I quickly finished my rhubarb, white chocolate, coffee dessert. A shot of kale, celery, coconut juice later, the second round of desserts came. Pear, Amaro, smoked milk ice cream and chocolate soufflé.

As we sat at our table, looking at the view outside, the petit-fours arrived and just like the rest of the meal, they were nothing short of creative brilliance.

The dining experience at Vue de Monde was exceptional , and the impeccable service provided by the team at Vue de Monde only made the exceptional experience even more memorable.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $361 (plus tips)

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  1. Looks sensational! how far in advance did you need to book?


    1. Thanks Corrie :) we made the reservation in November last year (pretty much as soon as we decided to go to Melbourne)