Tasting Degustation

Vue De Monde – Personality on a Plate – Round 2

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The last time I had visited Vue De Monde I was crazy impressed to know that my belly could not eat the next morning. Maybe it was because we had devoured an entire degustation menu, who knows. I was so convinced this time round that I’d know the menu off by heart but I was entirely wrong.

The adventure begins

Flashbacks appeared when I walked into the restaurant and was welcomed with Melbourne’s CBD view, but this time the night sky. Photos don’t do this restaurant any justice!

That view

We were first greeted with the pumpkin and all. Simplicity was a key for this course. Texture was whipped to perfection like I was eating air with hidden gems of walnut pieces to bring you to the crunchy side of things. The dip had a creamy outcome with a whiff of Indian cuisine and a tinge of curry taste. It went pleasantly well with the bite-size house made naan bread.

Pumpkin and all

So this is what it feels like again using top notch fork and spoon. This was the only time I would appreciate and carefully use utensils as I was told by the waiter it costs hundreds and thousands of dollars. I did my Google research and yeah I can confirm I would need insurance if I ever snapped these babies…YIKES!

Them baller cutlery

For our second course we had turnips with fresh milk curd and emu which had a variation of Asian herbal flavours that was topped with a few petite pieces of chicken skin crisps. This dish had a heavy fragrant of turnips and blended so heavenly with the milk curd

Turnips with fresh milk curd and emu

The third dish had arrived in a raw manner that I thought we were eating beetroot but I was fooled by the looks and only discovered closely that the dish had charred seasonal greens and buried underneath raw squid with smoked chicken fat, and fermented Davidson plum as a intriguing sauce. It was fascinating munching on these strings of charred greens as it somehow reminded me eating those packets of Korean seaweed snacks and the noodle like squid played well with the plum dressing.

Raw squid with charred seasonal greens, smoked chicken fat, and fermented Davidson plum

Full speed ahead and VDM train brought us Western Australian marron. The three ingredients ran and swirl so well together, amplifying each other’s flavour of pine mushrooms, macadamia and glued so well with the tender piece of marron sure got my belly squealing for some more, I almost shouted out “ENCORE”.

Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

Uncovered the Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

The world is your oyster when our cleansing plate of moonlight flat rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle had arrived. I was fueled by the tangy, sour and vinegar flavours on my taste buds.

Moonlight flat rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle

One would weep just to touch the crusty curves of the beer and fennel bread as it was still warm, crunchy and brown. Sitting beside was a rolled up cultured butter that compliments so well with the bread. Ahhh….Breaking Bread.Haha.

Beer and fennel bread with cultured butter

Next up was the Mark Eather kingfish with spanner crab and beach herbs, which I personally wasn’t a fan of due the the acquired taste of the beach herbs that had overtaken the spanner crab. On a happy note I was amazed by the tiny froth bubbles surrounded the greens which seemed like this dish was living on the wild wild side.

Mark Eather Kingfish with spanner crab and beach herbs

By now you can almost hear my expandable dress burst it’s last stretch but the show must go on and we had the bright and beautiful Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and a mountain of marron coral. This was seasoned to savoury perfection and made good friends with the beer and fennel bread.

Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and marron coral

Close-up of Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and marron coral

My eyes fell instantly to the Davidson plum sorbet with sorrel and flowers. It sure was a promising delightful taste. Picking up my silver spoon, I spooned out a dollop of sweet, tangy plum sorbet which was bathed in liquid nitrogen. The pleasant smoothness of the sorbet blended perfectly with the bitter-sweet taste of sorrel and flowers.

Davidson plum sorbet with sorrel and flowers

A unique flavor experience was tasting the raw kangaroo with figs and muntari berries.It wasn’t a typical dish you’d have on the menu but an eye popping experience for your tastebuds. I felt the figs and muntari berries overpowered the chunky cube pieces of kangaroo meat, however it’s a taste you’ll need to try it yourself to explore.

Raw Kangaroo with figs and muntari berries

Just its aroma won me over was the sizzling wallaby snag and how can I not include the part where a chef comes out to greet us and cooks right on our table with a transferrable hot stone pot. We’re big fans of a good sausage (no sexual jokes intended ;P) but have you tried a wallaby snag before?

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

Wattleseed damper being cooked

After all the condiments had arrived at our table and the snags and damper were cooked, we had the opportunity to get our hands dirty and participate in DIY snag roll. And if you’re wondering do we get to eat it? The answer is YESSSSS!!!!

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

It’s hard to dislike this Aussie fusion snag because well…I’m a sucker for theatrical presentation. I was quite intrigued with the flavours of the sausage and the damper bread.

The finished result of a Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper 

It wasn’t long the waitress returned to our table and greeted us with a very sharp knife to let us know the next course was about to arrive. Hmmmmm I wonder what do need this knife for?…

Have you seen this knife holder before?

Most desirable meat dish was the David Blackmore wagyu striploin. Each pain-steakingly selected ingredient contributed to the greatness of the dish. Wagyu melted in my mouth even before I could chew and the marron coral and cabbage puree had me salivating.

David Blackmore wagyu striploin with marron coral and cabbage

And oh did I mention during the entire degustation we had this spectacular 180 degree view of Melbourne CBD. Nothing special…haha.

Melbourne’s CBD Night View

What a way to start the dessert course was the moment a clay pot bursting with flames comes arriving at our table and I knew we’d be served with entertainment. I’ve got my fun goggle cap, have you?

Roasted marshmallows

You just could not go wrong with eating the roasted marshmallow with frozen pear hidden in the center. It tasted naturally sweet and matched so well with the warm fluffy marshmallow cover. The only sticky situation I had was it easily fell apart, but overall I was pleased with the flavours, it was pear-fect.

Roasted marshmallow

A tantalizing treat was the tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes. You cannot go wrong with something tangy towards the end of the degustation as it loosens up the bloated feeling I got after having a non-stop fulfilling meal.

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

In between my desserts I got distracted by another roasted marshmallows but this time filled with cho cho choooc…you guessed it CHOCOLATE.

Roasted marshmallows filled with chocolate

The squiggly chocolate pieces were easy to crack into with my front teeth and the squishy soaked lime sponge cake had a refreshing taste, texture and fragrant of all things citrus.

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

A chocolate treat guaranteed to make any chocolate lover beg for was the chocolate soufflé. You just can’t go wrong with chocolate especially if you are eating it in front of an amazing Melbourne view.

Chocolate soufflé

Couldn’t contain my excitement when the lamington and gumnuts had arrived. Oh I have missed my petite fours and there was no way on Earth I’d share this with anyone else besides me, myself and I. Each velvety bite of the lamington reveals chocolate mousse swirled with fresh raspberry compote.

Lamington and Gumnuts

It was a superb finish with the gumnuts as it was served frozen and it had a powerful minty flavour that was refreshing with every bite. This reminded me of an eclipse after every meal but a classier way to have it. Haha.

Gumnuts

Vud De Monde Lights

For the second time in a row the real star for the evening was when I was being farewelled with a paper bag of goodies called “For the next day”. I couldn’t contain my childish excitement when the waitress tried to explain what she’d be handing out to me at the very end. There’s a reason why this bag is called that because after we had exited the restaurant, we waddled back to the hotel in 9 inch heels. The bag contained freshly tea leaves, two fun-size croissants and muselli, which are all housemade from Vue De Monde.

Overall this was my second visit and again Vue De Monde is a very sophisticated theatrical fine dining restaurant with a sweet little price tag between $250 -$300 per person. Surprisingly this restaurant never ever ever fails to bore me and made me feel like a kid in an adult body. I have yet to visit other similar restaurants like VDM, but in the meantime I’d say it’s still my favourite fine dining place to eat in Melbourne.

“For the next day”

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Food Society – The name says it all

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It has been a while since I tried modern Eastern European cuisines and when I discovered Ouffer offer voucher which represents great value- $497 tasting degustation course for two people at Food Society in Darlinghurst, I thought  I GOT TO TRY FRIED CAULIFLOWER! Because a few of my friends repeatedly mentioned their fried cauliflower is beautifully fried and caramelised to perfection also they cater high tea during the weekend.

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The moment we walked in the door we were greeted by the lovely charming Polish waiter wearing red patterned collared shirt with an adorable bow tie on his neck as a themed dress code.  The decor is stunning with a theme of homely feel to it and even the ladies restroom continues the same theme.  The atmosphere was created flawlessly with immense music, a sensational and relaxed vibe. It felt like a date night in here with the light dimmed low and candles on every table. Not to mention a fresh rose sitting still in a recycled miniature perfumed bottles on our table.

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Rewind back the time with the classic telephone and office furniture.

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Look closer and there’s a map laid out with Food Society menus.

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We were offered the cocktails menu and agreed to try their signature watermelon caiprioska ($16) – a blend of melon vodka, zytnia preium rye vodka, fresh lime, realtea watermelon ice tea and watermelon ice cubes.

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Those watermelon cubes were refreshing and infused with alcohol . Yummy!

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Being a fan of green tea I had to order the cucumber and green tea caprioska ($17)– contained cucumber vodka, kremlyovskaya, cracked pepper vodka that I have never heard of, green tea, fresh mint and line.

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It was fun to see a lot of things on our table like cups of water, fresh flower,  set cutlery and our first tasting menu arriving before we sat down.

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It was comforting to see the House-made soup arrive first as it provided a delicious smooth blend of tomato and garnished with dried chives.

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Not long after we finished our tasting one the Lee, potato and sauerkraut pierogi with chive sour cream arrived rather cold. I found the pastry to be interestingly tasty and if you spread the sour cream evenly it  would taste ten times more delicious.

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The wait was over for me as I longed for their signature fried cauliflower with paprika , parsley, watercress and red wine vinegar served on a wooden bowl. I can safely state that the cauliflower we ate here were the finest. A golden caramelised layer provided a mouth-watering sweet crunch. I instantly felt like a child popping those large chunks of crispy cauliflower in my mouth as if they were popcorn.  The best part of this were the portion! There were like 20-30 pieces shared between 2 people. Cauliflower overload! But I ain’t complaining. Tehehe

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We dug into the society-style goulash, slow-braised beef cheek with flour dumplings and paprika sauce with our new set of cutlery that the lovely waiter had provided us. The beef cheeks was so tender that the meat easily separated. An enormous smell of paprika sauce fragranced around our table. For the flour dumpling, we honestly didn’t know what we expecting. It was soft and fluffy but a bit bland, however dip it into the sauce and texture and flavour will come out.
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There’s a huge hype going around for twice cooked lamb ribs with sliced potatoes, tomato, eggplant and rosemary. Smoked steam started to come out of the meat meant it came straight out of the oven. We found them to be crazily addictive, the lamb so juicy and tender that the bones started to slowly crumble as soon as we took our first bite.

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Don’t forget the vegetables underneath were reasonable flavoursome. This is the best way to eat these tasty sliced vegetables. Although I hoped it served a bigger portion so I can tell myself I am a good girl for eating my vegetables.

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Besides the plank  of lamb ribs the baked apple and fennel salad is hearty enough to serve as a meal on its own. The plastic white bowl filled out with warm chunks of baked juicy soft apples and fennel, vinegar, olive oil and fresh green rockets.  Mix it together and it creates the best interesting flavours.

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But the best part of the night would be the Bulgarian style mini doughnuts to end our tasting degustation.  OH MY GOD! The mini doughnuts were made fresh , and served covered in walnut sugar, a large dollop of raspberry compote on the side and underneath the doughnuts drizzled hot Belgium dark chocolate. The doughnuts were piping hot and fluffy and a challenge for us to devour due to the simple masterpiece it was presented.

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After our degustation was complete the bill arrived in a cute glass retro jar.

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Such a plain simple looking banner that has so much meaning to it. Simply love it!

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Food Society offers exceptional friendly service and the place you’d be absolutely amazed. Every dish was outstanding. Surprisingly my most favourite dish was the fried cauliflower. It’s a must order! The cocktails is certainly different to other places I’ve tried, very unique in flavours.

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