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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Riini and the most expensive lunch she ever had

For Easter break, we planned on a trip to Melbourne and it was fun until Tiger Airways called up 11pm the day before our flight to say our plane was cancelled. It was midnight and we were still scrounging for flight since we have an important appointment. We found Virgin Blue with 4 times the price and we flew the next day.

The appointment we have to keep was a reservation at Vue de Monde, a top ritzy restaurant in Melbourne. Walking in it was quite obvious we were underdressed but oh well..

It was a nice space with great decor and very attentive waitpersons. Interestingly, there's a big ration between male and female attendants. That said, all the waiters are very attractive too. It was a bit weird being surrounded by handsome males, serving you. I'm so sure one of them were flirting with me with his eyes as he poured water and called me 'madam'. *gushes*

The Maitre D approached us and told us what's up with the restaurant. There is no menu unless you want to go ala carte. They have 2 degustations menu. How it was explained was one will 'spoil you' in 7 courses but the other one will 'spoil you rotten' in around 12 courses. Now, I've seen their website and I knew which one to get so we decided to go all the way. The Spoil Rotten one, please. He asked if we wanted to know the prices and we said it should be okay.

After he asked if we have any dietary requirement and left, I grabbed my mobile to double checked the price and realised we picked the wrong degustation. I'm not going to mention the price here since it almost gave us a mini heart attack but as an Indonesian saying goes, the rice has become porridge, it's too late. While we were still in our delirium, the food started to come.

Potato crisp with special sour cream dipping. See that butter with the green foil on top. That, my peep, was the best freaking butter I have ever tasted! Unfortunately, when I asked the Maitre D, he told me it probably won't be found anywhere else because it came straight from France. *sad face*

Amuse Bouche - Candied Smoked Eel. Unusual sensation while eating it. Hard candy at the top of the eel.

Amuse Bouche - Blue Fin Tuna and Bone Marrow Jelly. The jelly was so delicious I would gulp more. The sand under the bone was so yummy too. Personally the tuna soaked in sake was a bit too strong for me.

Amuse Bouche - Buttermilk. Yummy.

TOMATE, CÉLERI, FROMAGE DE CHÊVRE, CAMOMILLE(Tomato, celery, goat’s cheese, chamomile) was awesome. It just looked like a normal salad until the waiter came and pour this cold smoky tomato and chamomile consomme. The frozen goats cheese was out of this world. Beautiful.

ÉCREVISSE ET CRAB EN SANDWICH, ÉMULSION BEURRE NOISETTE (Marron served on a hot river stone, spanner crab sandwich, brown butter emulsion). This was an awesome presentation. I was very excited when it was placed in front of me. The biggest winner for me was the butter emulsion. WOW!

OEUF DE CANARD, RIS D’AGNEAU, L’OIGNON, TRUFFE (Fried duck egg, lamb sweetbreads, pickled onion, truffle). The celeriac mash under the egg yolk was awesome. I wiped the whole plate clean with bread roll.

BRANDADE DE MORUE, BETTERAVE, OS Ă MOELLE (Salted cod, beetroot, smoked bone marrow). This was another pretty presentation. It looked just pretty until they poured the beetroot dressing and the white radish (?) absorbed the beetroot colour. Making gradiation of red. So beautiful!

SORBET AU CONCOMBRE, GRANITE AU SUREAU (Cucumber sorbet, elderflower granite, frozen lime). This was the palate cleanser before our mains and it was the most delicious sorbet combo I have ever tasted. I don't mind a giant bowl of these for dessert! Very refreshing.

LOTTE, GRAISSE DE PORC, POIRE ÉPICÉE (Monk fish, pork fat, spiced pear). I think they put crack in the dressing of this dish. It was totally yummy. I tried to scoop every little bit left on the plate. They also sliced this baby veggies and it looked so adorable.

KANGOUROU, CHOU, MÛRE (Kangaroo, cabbage, raspberry). I don't normally like kangaroo because of the flavour but I could eat this. The combination of flavour was delish.

JOUE DE BŒUF DE BLACKMORE, RADIS, ANETH ET SAUCE AUX ANCHOIS (Blackmore wagyu beef cheek, radish, dill, caper, anchovy sauce). The left plate was the stickiest braised beef cheek I have ever tasted. I think the waiter said it was cooked for 16 hours. It was very rich. Although for this round the winner for me was the anchovy sauce for the beef on the right. WOW. I would have licked the plate. It was amazing delicious!

For our cheese course, I asked for soft and creamy cheese. I loved the butter so much, I asked the waiter if I could have another bread roll to finish it off. The Maitre D saw me lovingly eat the butter and he mentioned my love of butter to the chef while the chef passed by our table. Mr E didn't get a taste at all so he gave us each another disc of butter with our cheese course, while mentioning the French sometimes ate their cheeses with butter. But we didn't get to finish it. I should have brought a container. Lesson learnt!

Our cheese came. It was a triple cream Brie (HOLY MOLY it was very rich creamy) and cheddar. Delish with our companions of ciabatta breads, pear puree, cucumber and I think, fig(?)

ENTREMET SUCRÉ (Frozen lolly, popping candy, house made raspberry lemonade). There's dry ice inside that jar so it was all smoky. This is such a fun dessert. The instruction is to roll the lolly on the popping candy, bite, sip and repeat. The lemonade was out of this world. So delicious!

Smoky inside.

ROCKMELON, PEACH GLACEE (Rockmelon, peach weiss bar). Another delicious dessert. The rockmelon ice cream was easily my favourite ice cream now.

SOUFFLÉ AU GAYTIME (Gaytime soufflé). This souffle is the richest of all dessert. Look at that beautiful rise. Unfortunately it was so rich and I was getting full I couldn't finish it but Mr E came to the rescue.

Petit Four - Sour lolly.

Petit Four - Raspberry Lamington. Delicious chocolate mouse.

The most extravagant petit four. It's an ashtray with 2 cigarette butts. The ash (sherbet), cigarette (mango licorice) and sauce were tasty.

Petit Four - Rosewater Marshmallow

3.5 hours later, we were finished. It was an experience. If I could pick, this will be a defining moment in our culinary journey. Afterwards, they gave us a goodie bag to take home. More on that later.

Oh, we also saw a couple of comedians while we were there as Melbourne Comedy Festival was on too. A Josh Thomas and Paul Foot. Because we were seating near the corridor to the restroom, I can say that Josh Thomas got a tiny bladder. He went to the toilet in total of 5 times while we were there. And he's actually chubbier in real life than on TV. :p

Vue de Monde
430 Little Collins St

Riini, over and out!

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