Reading Claire’s and Cindy and Michael’s posts on the Cafe Vue cocktail evening finally spurred me into making a booking! On Friday evenings, Cafe Vue hosts a cocktail evening, where you get five small dishes paired with five cocktails for $75. There is a different theme each month, and this month’s theme is Christmas in July.
Before I start, let me just say that I tried very hard to remember the ingredients of the cocktails and the food that we were served. Despite my best efforts, I may have got some details incorrect. So if I’m wrong about something – please excuse my terrible memory! I did note things down, but by the time the waiters had given their spiel and walked away, I had already forgotten most of what they had said. Doh.
The first cocktail was the Alfons, a cocktail made of Dubonnet, sparkling wine and a twist of lemon peel to add a citrus note. It was sweet and refreshing – a tasty aperitif to kick off the evening.
It was paired with two spiced duck and rye cookies. Layers of duck and pea pate were sandwiched between pumpernickel biscuits. There was a nice contrast between the smooth, soft pate and the soft crumbly biscuit. Very, very yummy.
The next cocktail was the Christmas Punch, made of apple juice, vodka (I think) and a cranberry, cardamom reduction (the red syrup at the bottom). It was sweet, and seriously tasted just like an apple turnover – very uncanny!
The food dish that it was paired with was a prawn cocktail. At the bottom of the glass was a mixture of mayo, tomato sauce and Worcester sauce, then avocado puree, cos lettuce and a couple of fresh prawns on top. You could taste the quality of the prawns, which were absolutely gorgeous, and the tangy sauce was so moreish. We all loved this. I’m thinking that prawn cocktails should make a comeback!
Next up was the Flight of the Silver Fizz. This one was a change from the two previous cocktails that had been quite sweet. The Flight of the Silver Fizz was made with gin, maraschino cherry liqueur, lemon juice and topped with foamed egg whites. It was sour with a hint of lavender.
It was paired with a turkey and vegetable broth. The turkey had been cooked for 12 hours before being cubed and served in the savoury broth with diced vegetables and a couple of mint leaves. On top was a lid of pastry. We were advised to break the pastry into the broth and make it all bready.
Next was a Port Cobbler, made of port, cab sav, bitters and topped with a foam of clove syrup. It had a strong port flavour scented with cloves. We were advised not to eat the clove foam as it was quite bitter and just there for the aroma. This drink felt like something you should be drinking on a snowy evening while sitting next to a roaring fire.
The dish with the Port Cobbler was a ham croque monsieur. Some of us had been hoping for bread, to soak up some of the alcohol, but instead it was a deconstructed version of a ham croque monsieur. On the bottom was cheese foam, then lettuce, gruyere cheese and ham sandwiched in a pistachio tuile. Unfortunate that there was no bread, but it was delicious! The crispy tuile, the cheese foam, good quality ham – yum!
Naturally, we couldn’t finish the evening without egg nog. Very apt for the theme. The bottom layer was made from brandy and egg yolks while the top, white layer was rum, vanilla sugar syrup, and egg whites foamed up and topped with a bit of grated nutmeg. We all started by tasting the top layer, which was sweet and light. Then we tasted the bottom layer – “heeeellooo brandy!!”. The egg nog had a pretty strong kick!
The last dish was dessert – a plum pudding souffle. It came in two parts, a tube of creme anglaise (thanks to the lovely Dany for holding it) and the main souffle.
We were instructed to poke a hole in the souffle and pour in the creme anglaise. Look! Here’s me pouring in the anglaise AND taking a photo at the same time. After four cocktails! Hopefully you’re as impressed as I was. The souffle tasted just like a plum pudding, but as light and fluffy as you’d expect a souffle to be. It was delectable and sweet, and rather boozy by the end of it.
Ah, it was a fun evening. The theme was great, and I felt that the cocktails were particularly good for Christmas in July. Some cocktails an
d dishes stood out more than others, but there wasn’t anything that I really disliked. We will definitely go again in the future!
430 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Phone: 9691 3888