Thursday, 1 March 2012
Vue De Monde
Mr HSH treated me with a visit to Vue De Monde for my 27th birthday. A bit of background history-Vue De Monde was my first fine dining experiences from many years ago and since then I have always compared other restaurants of similar calibre with Vue de Monde, thereafter coining the phrase "well it wasn't as good as Vue De Monde"
So you see, I had and always will have very high expectations for this restaurant as not only does it produce some of the finest food I had eaten at the time (I think my 1st visit was in 2008), I was also completely blown away by the level of service we received at the old VDM.I have since been to many restaurants recommended by bloggers and the good food guide and none of them have quite lived up to my expectations (when compared to Vue De Monde)
Anyway, we went in late November 2011 on a very rainy Saturday evening. We were greeted at the foyer by a VDM employee and were shown to the lift which took us up to the 55th floor. We felt a bit lost when we came out of the lift as there was no restaurant and no one to greet us. We had in fact arrived on the right floor but the lifts opens out to the Lui Bar. It took some time to get the bartenders attention as we had no idea where to go. In fact VDM was so sleek that we totally did not see the entrance and mistakened it as a mirror or a wall.
We were finally greeted after a short time in the Lui Bar and was escorted through the doors into the actual restaurant. The restaurant was very sleek and glamorous. Very unique and interesting and was mostly black. The tables were a very respectable distance apart. The chairs were comfortable. Both the tables and chairs were made out of Kangaroo hide and were just exquisite.
It's been that many months now since I ate at VDM that I don't remember the details of each course anymore. I can say that the quality of the food is still top notch but having been to a lot of other fine dining restaurant such as Attica, Ezard, Cutler and Co, the food is very comparable. I wouldn't say that it was miles ahead of the others. When we left the building, the girl at the foyer handed us each a take home bag with bread, honey, cereal etc for "the morning after" I thought that was a very nice touch. Ultimately though, what set the old VDM when compared with the other fine dining restaurants I've been to was the service.
Service at the old VDM was impeccable. The dining room was like a theatre and I felt like every dish had its very own performance. The new VDM also displayed that. We had liquid nitrogen, old coffee machines turned broth infuser etc.Shannon Bennett himself came to our tables a few times to serve his dishes. BTW, he is a very nice and humble man. There's no sense of arrogance about him at all. Anyway I digress, I found the new VDM was lacking slightly in its service performance.
It did not run like a well oiled machine accustomed to its every day job. It still had several glitches that needed to be smoothed out. When we asked for the bill, the eftpos machine wasn't working and we had to sign the papers some other way. It was only cash or credit card, no eftpos (ie savings). We signed with pen bought from Coles as oppose to the Mont Blanc pen I remember signing with at the old VDM. We left the building having to ask for our coats, then had to wait stupidly looking around, expecting it to come to us but it didn't until much later. We were not escorted or fair welled to the door. All very little details, I know and really not that important. It wouldn't have really bothered me that much except that I remembered the old VDM as achieving all of the above in flying colours.
For a restaurant of this calibre, I was hoping was slightly more. Overall though, I still have a marvellous night filled with wonderful food and I applaud Shannon for recreating a fantastic restaurant. Truly a culinary gift for Melbourne.