Sunday, May 17, 2009

Melbourne - Bistro Vue

Helmed by Shannon Bennett, Vue de Monde offers classic French inspired cuisine in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. Situated at Normandy Chambers since 2005, the location does inspire a sense of arrival into something traditional, yet modern in decor. Its bistro - Bistro Vue - next door, which can be entered via the side lane, however is a nice throwback into provincial France, where some of the classics can be enjoyed.
On this late morning, I was ushered into the bistro from the main restaurant, and woke up to the day with a Flat White while taking my time to pore over the menu. The waiter, who had a sense of humour and some great recommendations, was of great help.
We started with the French onion soup with beer, topped wtih gruyere. A light contrast to the classic, the beer lent a nice twang which made for an appetising start. And the gruyere, oh my, has got to be one of the best I've had in a long time. Combined with the pastry which was crisp over the top and chewy around, yummy!

At our waiter's suggestion, the plat du jour for a Friday was a decadent but oh so good Pied de cochon - pig's trotter stuffed with chicken and liver served with a buttery smooth mash. The trotter served like a sausage was softly chewy on the outside with a hearty inside which was meaty in some parts and livery smooth in others. A good variety of textures within one serving and made even better with the mash and excellent reduction (probably a combination of the meat's juices with a madeira of sorts). Traditional goodness. And served with a regional Pinot Noir and salad on the side, it was quite a bargain.

The seared tuna, wrapped in crispy bread, served on a bed of Asian coleslaw was better than it sounded. The tuna was of decent quality and a nice melty smoothness in contrast to its crispy bread coating. The Asian interpretation of the coleslaw was cool and crunchy with Japanese sprouts and Coriander in addition to the usual cabbage and carrot julienne in a mildly sweet dressing. Very fresh.

Of course, any trip to a French bistro is never complete with Pommes Frites - and these did not disappoint. Fresh cut potatoes deep fried in a fragrant fat. Mmmm...
Unfortunately, that left absolutely no room for dessert from an enticing classic French dessert list but with a 3-hour drive ahead, I just couldn't possibly risk falling asleep at the wheel, could I!?

430 Little Collins Street (entrance via New Chancery Laneway)
Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: +61 3 9691 3888

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