I’ve only mentioned this briefly here – my parents arrived in mid December for a month long visit and it was FABULOUS. In exchange for teaching them how to use iphones and stocking mum up with computer games to play, they did all the house drudgery – buying groceries, cooking dinner, cleaning, and laundry. Life was good! I joked that it was like having a housekeeper… except I didn’t have to pay them! (It really was just like that, hah!) Sadly they left on Saturday, so it’s now back to regular life for me. Boohoo!
On the evening that mum and dad arrived, Bro and I picked them up at the airport, deposited them at home, and then dashed out the door as we were running late for Maria’s birthday dinner. Maria’s partner, Daz, had organised dinner at Bistro Vue as a surprise – isn’t that sweet!
Because there was a large group of us, we had to order off a set menu, with 2 courses for $70 or 3 courses for $80, including tea and coffee. Three or four choices of dish were available for each course.
I had my eye on the snails to start with, but Bro ended up getting them. Six snails came out, covered in a garlic and parsley crust.
I had the sardines grillees, which were served on polenta. This was really nice – the sardines were cooked well and not too fishy, and the polenta was soft and full of flavour. It was a very filling starter though! And in person, it was much less blurry 😉 (stupid low light!)
Alastair had the French onion soup. It came with a puff pastry lid – LOOK! It’s like a big mushroom! It was so cute, but the pastry lid also meant that it was so hot it was almost thermonuclear. The soup was the best starter of all, very thick and sweet with the caramelised onions. I kept stealing bits of Alastair’s pastry lid (and pie skin!) because he took so long eating it. It was the best French onion soup I’ve eaten.
For mains, Bro and Alastair both went for steak, which came with a béarnaise sauce and MASSIVE chips. The steak looked really good!
I had fish, which I think was the pan-fried baby snapper with lobster and fennel salad. And only after writing this post did I realise that I ordered fish for starter AND mains! It was fine, but unremarkable. The snapper was cooked very well, but now I think I should’ve ordered steak. 😀
A few sides meant we had more than enough food. Though… peas… euurrrghh! Obviously I had no say in the selection of the sides!
For dessert, Alastair had the crème brulee, which he was happy with.
Bro had the basket of madeleines with honey ice cream. Basket was an apt description – it looks like there were about 6 madeleines in there! This would be a good dessert to share!
And I had the lemon parfait with chestnut ice cream. And look! Awwww. I got a happy birthday message too. 🙂 I didn’t eat the chocolate birthday message, but I did enjoy the tangy parfait.
We finished with pots of tea and complimentary canelés. I’d only read about them before this so I don’t know how good they were, but the crust was *very* caramelised and they didn’t seem very custardy inside.
Overall I enjoyed our meal at Bistro Vue – it’s a very pleasant place for a meal. I think “pleasant” sums it up best in my mind – it’s not innovative, or mind blowing, or amazing. Just pleasant. And that’s fine – pleasant can be good enough! However, it is a touch pricey, including sides and wine we paid about $120 per person. I think I prefer Café Vue – the food we’ve eaten at Cafe Vue has been just about as good, and it’s much more casual and quite a bit cheaper! In saying that though, perhaps it might be different if we had been ordering a la carte – there’s some fantastic looking dishes on the menu at Bistro Vue (soft shell crab, truffle pasta… oh yeah). Perhaps I need a return visit to properly make up my mind!
For more posts on Bistro Vue, check out these blogs:
[googleMap name=”Bistro Vue” width=”600″ height=”300″ directions_to=”false”]430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC, Australia[/googleMap]
430 Little Collins Street (entrance via new Chancery Lane)
Phone: (03) 9691 3838