I have a slight fear of the unknown. At Vue de monde you’re not even given a hint as to what you’ll be eating. You can only pick between a shorter or longer menu, an optional cheese trolley, and then surrender your allergies or dislikes. I’m prone to researching and dissecting menus before I dine at any restaurant, so our lunch at Vue de monde proves to be a bit of an adventure.
Our choice to settle on the shorter menu plus the cheese ($240 per person) is a wise one. Each dish is revealed and explained course by course, though we’re also emailed a copy of the menu afterward.
Dispersed through the degustation are lighthearted moments of Australian nostalgia. A modern interpretation of a sausage sizzle is one of the most memorable courses. But instead of mystery meat, the sausage is made of King green prawns, served deconstructed (for DIY construction) with sweet caramelized onions and seaweed mustard in a brioche bun.
Vue de monde summons theatrical elements like cultured butter rolled at the table and grinding down flowers ourselves before Davidson plum sorbet is gently placed on top. The cheese course takes the form of a cheese trolley that’s wheeled over.
As a vegetable-lover, it’s probably to nobody’s surprise that the Jonella farm asparagus cooked in paperbark with Tasmania mountain pepper and egg yolk puree is the highlight for me. Vibrantly green, impeccably presented, and full of richness and flavor, the plate is a perfect balance of simplicity and execution.
Echoing the ode to simplicity and Australiana of the food, the Vue de monde dining room is sparse but inviting, the open kitchen is calm, and the view of Melbourne’s cityscape from the 55th floor of the Rialto is unreal.
While I appreciated the ingredients, the dexterity, and the concept at Vue de monde, many of the dishes weren’t to my taste. I’ve always gravitated towards boldness, richness, and heat. But at Vue de monde flavors are often pared back, letting each ingredient shine. And quite a few of the ingredients aren’t screaming with punchy flavors. Regardless, I’m still glad we ticked this off our bucket list.
Vue de monde
Rialto Towers, 525 Collins St, Melbourne, Victoria
Lunch Thu-Sun from midday, dinner Mon-Sun 6-9pm