Saturday, 14 May 2011

Cafe Vue at Heide

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Multicultural Cuisine of... France

Cafe Vue at Heide
7 Templestowe Rd,
(03) 9852 2346
Visit Website

I'm very lucky to have a best friend who enjoys her food as much as I do. Ms Em has spent a lot of time working around food and wine and the hospitality industry in general, so I always love dining with her - she always knows the good places to go and the best food to order!

So when I got a phone call earlier in the week from her to tell me "I'm taking you out for a lunch date!" I spent the rest of the week in eager anticipation for my surprise location lunch.

Ms Em turned up at 11:45am today to collect me for our lunch date, and as per the theme of my blog entries so far, it's really, really cold. Like icey, biting cold. I jump in her car and off we go. She's not telling me where we're going, but I trust her food judgement. Half an hour later, we arrive at Cafe Vue at Heide, in Bulleen.

 We walk into the (thankfully) warm restaurant, to be greeted by one of Ms Em's friends, who happens to be working there today. She ushers us over to our table, right in the middle of the restaurant; we can see the cake window, kitchen, other diners and their food, and the lovely gardens outside through the large windows. With a gorgeous little herb pot on our table, we're served a glass of champagne each, and handed our menu, and the ever knowledgeable Ms Em proceeds to explain..

I knew Cafe Vue was part of the Vue de Monde family of establishments (The restaurant is located in the Melbourne CBD, Bistro Vue is located on Collins St in the City, and their cafes are located at Heide, St Kilda Rd, and the Melbourne International Airport), but Ms Em further enlightened me as to their ever changing and evolving menu, due in part to not only the seasonally available ingredients, but also to the chefs, who rotate around the different locations. 

From our menu, we are presented with a few options: We can order any of the three dishes on the specialty menu, or any of the three sides, or we can elect a 2 course lunch for $35, or a 3 course lunch for $45. Ms Em decides to go with the 3 course lunch (entree, main and dessert), while I got with a 2 course lunch (main and dessert), and a side, as neither of the entrees appeal to me today.

The entree choices are a chicken liver parfait with brioche, or a soft shell crab with a tomato and cumin sauce. Ms Em opts for the latter, which has been recommended by her friend in the know, and although I'm really not much of a seafood fan, the bite I try is actually surprisingly nice. The sauce had a beautiful flavour, not over-powering, but definately a stand out.
Soft Shell Crab with Tomato and Cumin Sauce
 Next up is our main course - option one was braised lamb neck with vegetables, but Ms Em and I both decide to try the second option, the Spanish mackerel and pepperonata (a traditional Italian dish of gently cooked peppers and onions, which is slightly sweet from the bit of sugar used in it). In a word: devine. The fish was cooked perfectly, a bright white inside, and melt-in-your-mouth soft. The pepperonata was just as perfect as I'd expected, and being Italian, my expectations are always high for Italian dishes. The baby potatoes were a lovely touch, and soaked up everything in the bowl so well.

Spanish Mackerel and Pepperonata
 My side of pommes frites were delicious, just what I was hoping for; yummy, floury potatoes, roughly chopped, skin on, some super crispy, others soft and golden. 

Pommes Frites

Last up was dessert. Ms Em went with the creme caramel, and being the chocolate addict I am, I couldn't go past the chocolate fondante. The creme caramel looked delicious - a toffee, goey bottom with apples, topped with creamy goodness.

Creme Caramel
The fondant was just beyond words. It came with candied kumquats, and a tangy kumquat sauce. 

Chocolate Fondant with Candied Kumquats

The bite of the kumquats and the sweetness of the chocolate were a perfect match, and I almost squealed when I opened it up to see the gooey chocolate lava flowing out... my only fault was that it was too small!
I went in with high expectations, and was not disappointed. The food was beautifully made and presented, the flavours flawless, and I'm already looking forward to another visit to Cafe Vue - perhaps this time for a lunch box with one of their burgers or pies!

Would rate it an 8 out of 10.

Café Vue at Heide on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I got so hungry just reading this post! And the killer was that gush of liquidy chocolate lava centre at the end. Holy heck that looks good! :D