Friday, 6 January 2012

Vue de Monde, Melbourne

Oyster, venison roll, celeriac and sunflower seed, smoked eel with white chocolate and caviar

Shannon Bennett is Australia's answer to Heston Blumenthal - just add a blonde surfie dude wig.

For my 21st again birthday, TPG took me to the 55th floor of the Rialto building, overlooking Melbourne's city skyline, for champagne and indulgence at the magical extravaganza that is Shannon Bennett's Vue de Monde.

Spanner crab, green strawberry, saltbush, parsley

Bennett's French style is hammed up with creative theatrics - each plate as gorgeous to look at as it is to taste. Surprises abound. Who would have thought smoked eel, white chocolate and caviar would be a match of the gods? How about about Blackmore wagyu beef, rose petal and anchovy dust, or ling, herb emulsion, prawn and smoked bone marrow? Do not attempt this at home.

Fried duck egg, lamb sweetbreads, pickled onion, truffle. Yes, seriously.

The scene is pared back sophistication with artwork and furnishings reflecting Australian culture (yes, it's not all about Crocodile Dundee and cricket). Knocking dead the theory that a glamorous view is in direct inverse proportion to the quality of the food, this - Australia's first carbon neutral restaurant - uses home grown and small farm organic produce as far as possible, and keeps bringing home the awards in the process (including Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the year in 2006 and 2007) and was the first restaurant to be rated 19/20 by The Age Good Food Guide in 2006. I loved the place 7 years ago, and it's still got it.

If you visit for nothing else, visit for this - the chocolate soufflé,
chocolate mousse and creme anglaise is to die for

If you're a chops and 3 veg purist, this will not be for you. But for a night of fine dining and theatre all rolled into one, it's pretty hard to beat anywhere on the world stage.

4 courses a la carte costs $150, or the gastronomes degustation is $250.

PS. TPG just reminded me of my favourite course of all - the butterscotchy, butter poached marron with kholrabi, caviar and tarragon butter. Oh my....

Vue de Monde, Level 55, Rialto, 525 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic Australia
+613 9691 3888

I also love "Shannon Bennett's Paris" which has been my trusty guide to Paris' bistros and foodie gems for some years - recommended for any Francophile. Bennett has also more recently published a guide to New York and a guide to France which I wouldn't mind getting my hands on.

Vue de Monde on Urbanspoon


  1. Happy Belated birthday and this place sounds fab! I need to get my hands on those trusty guides. =)

  2. Welcome back & happy birthday (belated!). Missed you on t'internet!

    (ps this looks fab - esp the sweetbread course)


  3. Jealous, Jealous, Jealous. I last went to Vue De Monde when it very first opened (for a set lunch that cost about $35 - those were the days). Must now wait patiently for special occasion to go back. How annoying that my birthday is not until July.

  4. Tony from Ballarat11 January, 2012

    A real pity the owner keeps posting on twitter that he'd prefer not to pay his staff their legal wages...

    check @vuedemonde if you don't believe me

  5. Hi Kay - the Paris one is really fab.

    Hi Niamh - thanks - I've had quite a break, but have been keeping in tune with all your successes in the UK! Congrats.

    Hi Gourmet Chick - I can't believe it was that price - bargain!

    Hi Tony - It's been an interesting debate, and quite a bit of exaggeration from some of the key voices. I think there's quite a margin in their prices that they would have to work with at Vue de Monde!


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