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Experiences

Vue de monde: Why This Melbourne Dining Experience Tops Every Foodies’ Wish List

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“If you come to Vue de monde, you know you’re in Australia.” – Hugh Allen, Executive Chef, Vue de monde

The lift doors part on level 55 of Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building and you step into a world of reflection. Sultry lighting complements the mirrored walls that frame the entrance to The Lui Bar, the sleek cocktail lounge of famed fine-dining restaurant Vue de monde. Gold and black leather couches adorn the room while a premium grey stone bar commands centre stage.

Words by Shylie Rimmer

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In less than five seconds, you’re greeted warmly and whisked through the temperature-controlled wine cellar, home to most of the restaurant’s 2000-odd bottles, many of them sourced from the wine regions surrounding Melbourne, with a range of expertly curated vintages celebrating the history of Victorian winemaking. This is the entranceway to Vue de monde. This is the beginning of your dining experience.

Light floods in through the giant wrap-around windows, luminating the corrugated iron walls and infusing the deep brown kangaroo leather that covers the tables and chairs. The spectacular views make you feel as though the shimmering city is at your fingertips; wherever you look is yet another aspect of the seemingly endless Melbourne skyline.

Then there’s Ziggy. The colourful Emily Floyd-created parrot installation sits as a gatekeeper in the far corner of the restaurant, as if ready to join you for lunch.

To learn more about Experiences and how to book them for your next Luxury Escape, click here.

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The ambience hits that sweet spot between rarefied and approachable—often difficult to find in a venue of this status. A white marble-framed kitchen is the centrepiece of the room, where the quietly controlled commotion amongst the chefs offsets the guests’ anticipatory hum. This is where the culinary magic happens.

Native ingredients drive an ever-changing menu of whimsical, quintessentially Australian dishes. Think: Tasmanian sea urchin with caviar and bunya bunya (a local pine nut), cured kangaroo with salsify and wild garlic, and Western Australia marron “curry”.

With 19 years of fine-dining history behind it—the original Vue de monde was in Carlton—you might expect the whole experience to feel a little outdated. Quite the opposite. The reputation for stuffiness often associated with restaurants of this calibre is belied by the genuinely friendly atmosphere and innovative focus on preserving the environment.

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“In the very near future, we’ll have a restaurant with no plastic waste… we’re trying to close the loop,” says Hugh Allen, Executive Chef, explaining his goal of pushing the restaurant to eventually become entirely carbon neutral. Their current Shuck Don’t Chuck shell recycling project aims to restore the ruined shellfish reef at Port Phillip Bay by recycling their oyster and shellfish waste that is then laid on the seafloor, aiding oyster reefs to once again grow naturally.

Aiming to showcase what is uniquely Australian, Vue de monde also strives to stand out from the crowd. “We want to be able to offer things that a lot of restaurants can’t offer or don’t offer,” says Allen. “We like to make people feel special. There is no set menu. It’s a really tailored, personalised experience which not a lot of restaurants can do.”

To learn more about Experiences and how to book them for your next Luxury Escape, click here.

vue-de-mondeFrom the hundred-year-old Louis XIII cognac that takes pride of place on the gold-trimmed bar cart and is available for purchase at $550 a glass, to the walnut wood cheese trolley presenting a lavish selection of Australian cheeses, and the intimate conversation you have with the chef at the open kitchen as he shucks your oysters to order—dining at Vue de monde is a truly unforgettable experience.

Luxury Escapes has partnered with Vue de monde to offer an exclusive 12-course degustation for lunch or dinner, with a welcome glass of sparkling wine and Chef’s selection canapes on arrival to whet your appetite. Exclusive to Luxury Escapes customers, this experience is bookable when you next purchase a Melbourne Luxury Escape.

To learn more about Experiences and how to book them for your next Luxury Escape, click here.

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