Vue de Monde: express lunch

Posted on | December 9, 2011 | 18 Comments

Lui Bar

I love a lunch deal. So when I heard that Vue de Monde was doing a $60 1 hour express lunch that ended in November, I hurriedly booked in a lunch date with I-Hua and Maz.

Maz and I cleverly scheduled a day off work, while I-Hua snuck out for a long lunch. We weren’t aware of exactly how long a lunch it was going to be. One hour stretched into two hours… which extended to three hours. (Sorry, I-Hua’s company!)

We were a bit early for our table, so we were directed up to the Lui Bar via the snazzy nightclub style elevator. At the Lui Bar, we spread out on their couches, admired the view, and decided that: nope, 1pm was definitely not too early for a negroni. Not too early at all.

Negroni

And what a negroni – check out the massive, singular ice cube sphere. So swish.

The view

After 30 mins, our table was ready, and we were shown into the restaurant. Man cave alert (which isn’t a negative – it is what it is): the restaurant is black, black, black – black walls, black floors, black chairs, and tables covered in black kangaroo leather. And where it wasn’t black, it was shiny metal, glass orbs, and the occasional chair back covered in soft fur. Somehow, it all works together to create a very unique fit out. And the view. Yes, the view up there on the 55th floor is indeed lovely. If you weren’t enjoying your dining companions, you could always just watch Melbourne down below.

Sticks and stones

All tables had a selection of rocks and twigs laid out in the middle. We discovered during the meal that they all had a purpose – from bread plates, to salt, pepper and butter holders and cutlery and knife stands.

Chips

Upon being shown the menu, we were given a quick bite to eat – super thin, almost translucent, chips that came with a dipping sauce. If all chips were as good as these, I would never eat anything else.

As mentioned previously, we were there for a 2 course express lunch. The menu offered two choices for entrée, main and dessert, and we asked whether we could add a third course. This was possible, at $15, so we went ahead for 3 courses and made our selections.

Ham and cheese donuts

Before bread, we then received another delicious complimentary bite – ham and cheese donuts.

Bread
Bread

Bread came out in a black (natch) bag, with a heated stone in the bottom to keep them warm and was refilled during our meal.

Butter

And butter… the unseasoned French butter was scooped out in quenelles from a big wooden bucket. We (well, mainly Maz) oohed and ahhed over the butter. If you could marry butter, Maz would’ve married it. Failing that, she might’ve considered marrying the butter guy, because as the waiter remarked, “Everyone loves the butter guy.”

Cutlery

Chips, donuts, bread and butter – it was like we’d had a mini meal before our actual meal even started.

Ox tongue salad

For entrees, Maz opted for the beautifully presented ox tongue salad. The tongue had been lightly pickled, and was served with several types of thinly sliced radishes, with a combination of dehydrated and steamed vegetables. Shannon Bennett told us that the inspiration for this dish was from a very old recipe, which mostly they had kept the same – apart from the addition of dehydrated vegetables (do you like how I just casually name dropped there?) ;)

Grilled shrimp

I-Hua and I both had the grilled shrimp for our entree. Shannon Bennett brought the dish over and personally blow torched our shrimp at the table, just giving them a light char and torching some of the herbs.

I wish I could say that we received special treatment because of our awesomeness, but it looked like he did the rounds at each table. I must say that it was really nice to see him there. :)

Shannon aside, the dish was absolutely delicious. Served with a savoury fresh oyster sauce on the side, and avocado underneath, it was creamy and delightful. Definitely the winner out of the two entrees.

Pestle

After entrees, our table was set for mains and a palate cleanser. We wondered what the big wooden item was for.

Liquid nitrogen

The palate cleanser came out initially as a bowl of herbs and lime flowers. Then a waiter came around poured liquid nitrogen over them to freeze them.

Mashing

The purpose of the wooden thing was then revealed – we used it as a pestle to mash up the frozen herbs.

Cucumber sorbet

On top was then placed a scoop of cucumber sorbet. Ta dah! Palate cleanser! And what a palate cleanser: fresh, cold, slightly sweet, with bursts of basil and mint, it was very refreshing.

Fish

For mains, I-Hua had the fish. She didn’t share it with us, so she must’ve enjoyed it!

Beef

While Maz and I both choose the waygu beef. Scattered around the main piece of beef was tender braised pieces, a mustard sauce, and onions done two ways: fried and pickled.

Fried potatoes

The mains also came with sides. One side was fried potatoes, which came out cutely wrapped in newspaper and twine.

Smoked cheese and watercress salad

And the other was a smoked cheese and watercress salad with discs of red cabbage.

Palate cleanser

We then moved on to a second palate cleanser – a small glass of passionfruit liquorice beer and frozen coconut balls. The passionfruit beer was quite sweet and fizzy, but it had a strange mouthfeel. We loved the frozen coconut balls though.

Souffle

There were two choices on the dessert menu – the first was a chocolate souffle, and the second was cheese. I-Hua and I both decided on the chocolate souffle. When it was brought out, the waiter poked holes around the side and poured in vanilla creme anglaise.

Souffle

It looked amazing, and as expected it was light and fluffy. However, it was also incredibly, incredibly sweet. Delicious, but too high on the sweet scale for me.

Cheese sides

Maz had the cheese, which came with several accompaniments – three types of jam (fig, strawberry and onion) plus rhubarb, apple, pear and a couple of breads. Unfortunately, while the accompaniments came out quickly, it took a long time (at least 15 minutes) for the cheese trolley to be wheeled over.

Cheese

When it did make its way to our table, Maz selected four cheeses from the rather large selection. They were very generous with the portioning – it could’ve easily been shared amongst two or three people.

Tea

We ended our meal with coffees for Maz and I, and tea for I-Hua. VdM have a tea sommelier, so she came over for a chat to help I-Hua select a tea.

Petit fours

And finally, we received a selection of petit fours. At the back were minted marshmallows with a tiny sprig of thyme and VdM’s own golden gay times. And at the front we had raspberry lamingtons and gin jubes.

Golden gaytime

I loved the little gaytimes. So cute.

Chocolate mousse lamington

The raspberry lamingtons were amazing – squares of chocolate mousse covered in coconut with a small amount of fresh raspberry sauce. A great end to a fab meal.

Vue de Monde

It was so worth the day off – we had a very enjoyable lunch and had a fantastic time. Though I must say, service was a touch… stiff? Not terribly impressed with us? It was hard to gauge whether it was us or whether they were always like that! They were efficient (apart from when it came to the cheese) but just not that friendly. Personally, I think if you’ve got a table of people who are laughing their heads off and obviously enjoying themselves, you can afford to crack a smile or two. Or even a joke. Ho hum, never mind. We had a great time despite that and I’m still keen to head back for the full spectacle one day. :)


View Off the spork in a larger map

Vue de Monde
Rialto
Level 55, 525 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000.
Phone: 03 9691 3888
Web: vuedemonde.com.au

Vue de Monde on Urbanspoon

Comments

18 Responses to “Vue de Monde: express lunch”

  1. Hannah
    December 9th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    If you didn’t re-enact The Sword in the Stone with that knife-in-the-rock, we can no longer be friends.

    Also, ohhhhhh. Golden Gaytimes! My ice cream soulmate!
    Hannah recently posted..A Horror Story with A Happy Green Smoothie Ending

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    Agnes Reply:

    Aww, guess we’re no longer friends. :p

    My ice cream soulmate is still goody goody gumdrops, but Golden Gaytimes are pretty damn good too!

    [Reply]

    Hannah Reply:

    I’m such a dirty bluffer.
    Hannah recently posted..Embracing My Whitey-McWhitester Paleface von Alabaster Genes

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  2. April @ My Food Trail
    December 9th, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    Wow, that looks like an amazing experience! The food and presentation looks so beautiful. It seems like a reasonable deal too for VDM.
    April @ My Food Trail recently posted..Dining Out: Steer Bar & Grill, South Yarra

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    Agnes Reply:

    It was a great lunch – a really good way to try out VdM without the usual bank busting bill. :D

    [Reply]

  3. Fatbooo
    December 9th, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

    Uh maaa ziiing! Love the pictures, the view from the 55th floor, and the dishes look so exquisite. I have photographer’s envy here, if I ever visit, it’ll have to be for lunch, lol.
    Fatbooo recently posted..Wayside Inn

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    Agnes Reply:

    Haha, yes the big windows does mean plenty of natural light during the day. :D

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  4. Matt
    December 10th, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    Great photos! As excellent as your write-up is, the pictures make it all come alive.

    The ice cubes in the negroni are fantastic–would love to see whatever contraption they’re using to make them.

    But I must admit, I’m disappointed to hear that dessert was too sweet…I was looking forward to the epic chocolate climax you were saving for the entire article.

    [Reply]

  5. msihua
    December 11th, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    Ooo.. I wanna go back already and eat more! Wow your hand model has such lovely hands.. so pretty :P

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    Agnes Reply:

    You should see her face – it’s even prettier :D

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  6. EatPlayShop
    December 12th, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

    Wow, what beautiful looking food in a most serene setting with awesome table embellishments. Must visit one day with Hubby WITHOUT kids for the experience! :D
    EatPlayShop recently posted..Batch #17 – Raspberry Dark Chocolate Ganache & Lime-Lemon Macarons

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  7. Winston
    December 14th, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    Wow!! So, uh… This express lunch isn’t that express after all, huh… Duly noted… Still, great lunch tho! I’ve only been to VDM once for mum’s bday but that was 2 yrs ago, REALLY loved it. Looks like it’s abt time for another visit! Tho, I have a hunch the price might’ve increased a bit since they moved to a more exp location? Lunch sounds like a better deal =D
    Winston recently posted..Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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  8. Thanh
    December 27th, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

    Amazing looking lunch. Equally amazing looking photos too.

    I love the butter guy too. Butter sooooo good.

    Are you saying Shannon didn’t recognise you as an influential food blogger? :-)
    Thanh recently posted..Are You A Front Or Back Shucker? – How To Shuck An Oyster

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  9. Bianca @ The Cooking Capers
    January 3rd, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    Wow, everything looks amazing! I’ve wanted to visit Vue De Monde for a long time, but being a student and all.. The express lunch sounds like it would have been the way to go, though!

    I am curious though as to how you managed to take photos! I’ve heard that they don’t allow photography there, and that Shannon has a low opinion of food bloggers!? That always put me off going as I thought if I’m paying that much for a meal I want to share it with everyone else! Especially if I’m saving up for months for it :P
    Bianca @ The Cooking Capers recently posted..Laksa King, Flemington

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    Agnes Reply:

    Really? I hadn’t heard that about Shannon. He seemed very nice when he was talking to us. Re the photos, we just whipped out our cameras and snapped away… the secret is to be unashamed and just do it. Hahaha.

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    Bianca @ The Cooking Capers Reply:

    I’m glad to hear that! I’ve read it a few times and been told by people, too. I’m never awkward about taking photos, but apparently people have been told to stop taking photos, asked to delete them, and even asked to LEAVE! Also I’m pretty sure there was a quote somewhere about him saying he disliked food bloggers and that they were just wannabe food critics or something along those lines! Maybe he realised that it’s better to be friendly to us than not? ;P

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    Agnes Reply:

    Really? Are you sure that it was my friend Shazza? (Hahahaha.) I know Georgie Pie dislikes bloggers, but I hadn’t read that about Shannon. Could be true though, we’re a pretty crap bunch – what’s there to like? :p

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  10. Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) aka Glutton Queen
    September 12th, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

    Waa waa. Why didn’t I go with you guys again? That’s right! You decided to go while I was overseas :/
    Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) aka Glutton Queen recently posted..Bistro Vue – Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2012 Restaurant Express

    [Reply]

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