Vue de Monde
Given Vue de Monde's reputation, a meal at the restaurant comes with expectations nearly as high as its lofty location. Luckily, celebrity chef Shannon Bennett hits the mark with some of the best dining in the country. Located 55 floors up, on what was the observation deck of the Rialto, the restaurant’s third home boasts an impressive 360 degree view of the city, spanning from the Docklands to the Dandenongs. In 2019, Bennett passed the executive chef reins over to Hugh Allen, who's steering Vue away from its European-leaning beginnings towards an offering more informed by native Australian ingredients and techniques.
Complementing the dramatic view is a $10 million fit-out that’s dark and sleek with a modern Australian twist. The tables are covered with kangaroo leather (fitted by the Captains of Industry) and are large enough to seat a whole family, yet are generally dedicated to couples. They hold a simple scattering of river stones that cleverly double as salt and pepper-shakers, butter vessels and cutlery holders. 'Roo makes another appearance, in the form of fluffy chairs (and on the menu).
Each dish is brought to the table and explained by one of the charming and insightful chefs. There's one set menu – which ranges in size between 14 and 17 courses. The menu changes daily, but past highlights have included sea urchin with a bunya nut emulsion; cured South Australian kangaroo with native mountain pepper; barbequed baby corn with macadamia miso; and marron tail curry with a bisque made from native lemongrass, wild garlic, marron heads, barramundi bones and Tasmanian mussels.
Dining at Vue is as much an experience as it is a meal. Theatrics seem to infiltrate every aspect of dining, from the open kitchen to the staff and of course the food itself. With such seamless service, it’s very easy to put your complete faith in these hospitality professionals and let the drama unfold.