It was just your regular weekday when I got a text inviting me to lunch at Vue de Monde. My friend Joyce had been invited to a special lunch event there and kindly asked whether I wanted to come as well. Hell yes! I hadn’t been to Vue de Monde since it was located in Bank Place when lunch there was a much cheaper proposition.
The Vue de Monde experience starts from the conicerge desk on the ground floor of the Rialto where you are directed to a special lift which speeds you to the very top floor where all of Melbourne is laid out before you from the Docklands to the Dandenongs. It’s a million dollar view but no expense has been spared in the interior of the restaurant either.
The colour palette in the restaurant is moody black and grey, putting all the focus on the views and the cloud like sculptures hanging above the bar. Attention to detail is evident in everything from the kangaroo leather table covers to the amazing Échiré butter Vue de Monde imports from France.
Because I was there for a special function I didn’t have the full degustation experience at Vue de Monde, but instead a light three course lunch. To start, some pumpkin roasted until it was sticky then teamed with flakes of pearly crab and dabs of creme fraiche. The sweetness of the pumpkin highlighted that of the crab but tiny pieces of frozen gel jarred against the rest of the dish.
In contrast, the barramundi was perfect. The fish flaked apart and was teamed with a light tarragon sauce. A topping of kale and watercress added some greenery.
To finish there was tea (although there was no sign of Vue de Monde’s infamous tea sommelier) and the most amazing tiny chocolate lamingtons. The lamingtons were filled with a rich berry jam and dotted with popping candy so that when you bit into them you got a hit of chocolate and a little explosion in your mouth.
Shannon Bennet’s showpiece restaurant is the home of the most spectacular dining in Melbourne. The jaw dropping setting makes even a short lunch there a memorable experience but the views probably outshine the food.
Details: Vue de Monde, Level 55, Rialto, 525 Collins St, Melbourne 3000 (Ph 03 9691 3888)
Damage: Budget breaking.