Rialto 525 Collins Street
I recall Cafe Vue having these adorable lunch boxes which I haven’t had in a while, and our recent experience with Bistro Vue was quite enchanting. I haven’t been to Vue de Monde since they relocated to the Rialto.
Greeted at the ground floor of the Rialto, with its own entrance.
Whizzed up to Level 55, and led through a series of automated swivel doors to the restaurant.
Lui Bar is located right next to Vue de Monde and has gorgeous views of the bay, scoring the better end of the deal. Perfect for a drink or two before your reservation.
Out the doors of the restaurant, there are open decks with gorgeous expansive views overlooking Crown, Albert Park and beyond.
The view the restaurant overlooks is more industrial. Never mind that, as the courses start arriving, the wine and conversation serve as a good distraction. It’s possibly prettier at night overlooking what I imagine would be a multitude of bright lights twinkling in the distance.
Stepping in, it doesn’t strike me as much during the day, the glare with the blinds up is quite harsh. Stark, bare and minimalistic. From the leather chairs, some lined with fur, to the dark stitching on the tables.
To the assortment of rocks, slate and gnarled twigs on the table, revealing salt & pepper,
to place your cutlery, knife holders, and your bread & butter plate.
Parsnip Chips, Chestnut & Apple
As we deliberate over drinks, we are presented with salty parsnip crisps, and a slightly sweet and smoky nutty puree, with diced apple up top.
Vue de Monde has its standard carte menu and a 10-course gastronomes menu ($250). There is no indication of what is to come, as it is left to the chefs’ discretion. The sample menu on the website is a fairly good indication of what to expect. We opt for the gastronomes menu and decide on the $350 wine pairing.
Salt Cured Kangaroo
The kangaroo is placed on a slab of himalayan rock salt, which has been heated up to 65 degrees.
The kangaroo is warm, tender and soft, surprising for such a lean animal and not gamey in the slightest, wrapped around a herb emulsion.
Smoked Eel, White Chocolate & Caviar
The eel is coated in the thinnest crackly bruleed sugar like coating, topped with caviar.
Sweet spongy marshmallow is soft on your tongue, but you can feel the truffle crumbs and gorgeous truffle flavours swirl around in your mouth.
Celeriac & Sunflower Seed
Soft puree within the parcel, an unremarkable mouthful, though I must admit I’m not the biggest fan of celery.
2009 Luis Pato ‘Vinha Formal’ Bairrada, Portugal
Very light and aromatic, low on acidity, making it a great way accompaniment to the first course.
Pumpkin, Squash & Goat’s Cheese
The use of flash is unforgivable, but I wanted to capture the purity of the goat’s curd snow. Warm and sweet pumpkin and spaghetti squash contrasts beautifully with the icy cold goat’s curd snow, with a light clear pumpkin juice.
I need to get myself one of these.
Assorted warm bread rolls in a slouchy leather pouch - sourdough, multigrain. The creamy butter needed a touch of salt.
2008 Max Ferdinand Richter Spatlese ‘Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenhur’ Riesling Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
We are told that the riesling is slightly sweet, citrusy, fresh and dry to complement the sweetness of the spanner crab, but balanced enough to go with the salty saline edge of the beach herb.
Spanner Crab, Corn & Beach Herbs
The sweetness of the chilled fresh Queensland spanner crab morsels draped over grilled sweet crunchy baby corn is such a divine pairing, one of my favourites at Cutler & Co. Light herbs enhance this pairing, as do the smoky fragrance of the husks, the only component of this dish that is not for consumption. The baby corn is enhanced by the shards of corn meringue which provide a rougher crunchier texture. Pickled watermelon rind recreate the visuals of corn silk.
2002 Dom Perignon Epernay Champagne AOC, France
Having spent 7 years in the cellar to gain richness in the palate, it’s a little more acidic dry and fresh.
Roasted Marron & Tarragon Butter
Using your fingers to sandwich the warm Western Australian freshwater marron tail between two pieces of crunchy kohlrabi, sliding it through the tarragon brown butter emulsion and the marron salt for seasoning, both of which are incredibly light so be generous when running it through the emulsion. The creamy emulsion is light and silky to taste but it fills your mouth with a toffee brown butter aroma. Served warm, the marron is simply gorgeous - beautifully fresh, perfectly cooked, plump juicy and sweet. The flavours shine through unhindered by the clean flavours of the kohlrabi.
1970 Lindemans ‘Hunter Valley’ Chablis Hunter Valley, NSW
In classic Australian style by being broad and rich on the palate, with acidity and minerality coming through given the course is quite creamy and rich.
Fried Duck Egg, Oyster Gascony
The gascony butter is drizzled all over the duck egg before our eyes, an old recipe brought into new age. The creamy slow cooked duck yolk is rich, with underlying heat coming through each bite from the gascony butter. The tiny delicate Flat Rock oyster is just as creamy, contrasting with the crisp and sweet radish and beetroot slices.
A palate cleanser signalling the end of the starters and onto the mains.
Liquid nitrogen is poured over the bowl of dainty herbs and flowers instantly freezing them and you use the wooden pestle to grind the herbs into a fine powder, before they scoop a dollop of cucumber sorbet on top.
Cucumber Sorbet with Crushed Herbs
The cucumber sorbet may not sound palatable, but it’s sweet icy and has underlying lemon flavours. The flash frozen herbs enhance the fragrance, making it a little savoury yet with the underlying sweetness sorbet. A delightfully light and refreshing interlude.
2008 Cristom ‘Sommers Reserve’ Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Oregon, United States of America
Good tannin and a little dry on the finish. The smokiness in the pinot goes well with the rich and smoky bone marrow sauce. A little dark, savoury and sweet.
Barramundi, Herb Emulsion, Prawn & Smoked Bone Marrow
The warm pan fried barramundi is sweet and fresh, the smoked bone marrow brown butter sauce is poured at the table making it that much richer, with a tender glassy sheet of sous vide prawn. The leafy snow pea tendrils go well with the tarragon herb emulsion.
As we progress to the red meat, the knife holders come into play.
2007 Massolino Barolo Serralunga, Italy
King of wines, wines of kings. A distant cousin of Pinot Noir, it’s quite delicate, yet earthy and dominates the palate. The tannins are paired against the richness of the game.
Pigeon, Carrot, Clove & Orange
The braised pigeon leg and the breast cooked on the bone are both quite tender, a little gamey, with a hearty jus that is slightly sweet with hints of orange. Decorated with slices of orange & purple carrot, both sliced and fried to form delicate little flowers.
1998 Chateau Ferriere Margaux AOC Bordeaux, France
Blackmore Wagyu Beef, Fig & Pear
The wagyu rump is first sous vide then given a gorgeous colouring in the pan. Beautifully cooked, tender, rich and fragrant morsels. With caramelised fig, fig sauce, macademia shavings, wasabi leaf, caramelised pear & fresh pear as garnishing. The caramelised pear with the sauce in particular is the perfect sweet salty combination which I adore.
1999 Parker Estate ‘Terra Rossa’ Merlot Coonawarra, South Australia
Typically a sweet grape, rich plum. But when grown on soil which is dark earthy and gravelly like the Terra Rossa, it produces a wine with more spice and a little more tannin. Seasoned with French & American Oak, French for the sweetness, and American for the tannin. It helps to get through the game in the kangaroo.
Kangaroo, Beetroot, Blackberry & Chocolate
The kangaroo is seared on the outside, yet very pink within. Tender but not melt in your mouth, which is fair given the leanness of the animal. The confit beetroot is gorgeous, warm earthy and yet they strip away the harshness of the beetroot which I usually find quite offputting and it’s full of flavour. Paired with a beetroot reduction, lemon puree & chocolate dirt which is quite mild.
2005 Chateau Coutet, Barsac, France
2003 Jacques Puffeney Arbois Vin Jaune, Jura, France
Assortment of Cheese, Bread & Jam
My favourite was the Sapphire Blue, a mild creamy blue which is always good. And the far right, a creamy french camembert with an almost mushroom aroma to it. The semi hard is a little brie like, richer and slightly firmer yet soft.
And I adore the gorgeous condiments accompanying the cheese platter, the multitude of combinations and pairings were positively delightful - with rye, the crusty beetroot bread which is a vibrant shade of red and so soft within, and fruit crisps with raisins & cranberries. The chutneys were not too sweet and quite sticky - of fig sweet caramelised onion and apricot. Apricot was divine. And lastly, the gels of rhubarb, quince and a crisp tart apple hazelnut salad.
A dreamy dessert, both visually and on the palate. A modern day pavlova, with kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, passionfruit, raspberries. I absolutely adore fruits and this was quite lovely. With little pockets of mango and strawberry gel, swiss meringue that is soft and sticky, whipped cream and strawberry tuile for a little crunch.
Passionfruit, Licorice & Coconut
The coconut ice cream rounds are creamy and fills your mouth with coconut flavours. The passionfruit & licorice beer is so fragrant, light and bubbly. The passionfruit flavour dominates with the licorice being barely discernible, much to my relief. There is an undeniable pull at the end on your palate, a freshness of the licorice.
Monte Carlo Biscuit, Raspberries & Cream
A play on textures, with the fresh raspberries which are so sweet and supple, little round raspberry agar drops, a fragrant raspberry coulis. The whipped cream is sweet, with sticky crackly shards and this slightly thicker caramel milk puree, a light beige that is rich and satisfying.
1985 Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez Montilla-Moriles Andalusia, Spain
Gaining richness and colour by spending 25 years in the barrel. A lot of chocolate mocha coffee flavours coming through the palate, which adds a whole new dimension to the souffle. Just the most gorgeous pairing with the chocolate souffle. And as soon as you take a bite of the souffle, you want more of the sherry and you want it to last.
Chocolate Souffle, Chocolate Mousse & Creme Anglaise
Tipping in the silky smooth creme anglais.
The souffle is light fluffy and more mousse-like than expected. The stunning rich and thick molten chocolate goes beautifully with the lighter creme anglais, and the souffle deflates beautifully in your mouth.
Gin & Honey Jubes
And to round off, some quirky petit fours to finish off the theatrical afternoon. The cold gummy drops true to its word taste like gin but sweet.
Filled with soft chocolate mousse and a bright red raspberry coulis, with dessicated coconut flecks.
Popping Chocolate Bark & Musk
The sweet leaf shaped pink musk has a lovely crunch and is not overly sweet. As you bite through the chocolate shards, it pops lightly in your mouth, not unlike the pop rocks I had when I was younger.
Vue de Monde has quite a gorgeous tasting menu, with little treats and tricks. Each course is plated beautifully and a little bit of theatrics and fanfare within. A wondrous four hour affair.
And for the next morning, a little muesli with short crust pastry crumbs, teas with little blossoms and fruits, a loaf of golden brioche, sweet honey & gorgeous buttery cookies.