Friday, November 20, 2009
Cafe Vue 401
St Kilda Rd Melbourne, 3004
Cafe Vue, the latest addition to the Shannon Bennett empire is situated amongst a sea of foccacia and bain marie toting cafe's. Having worked along St Kilda rd, it is really a row of mediocrity and after perusing the menu I found myself wanting to dine along St Kilda rd rather than escape!
Plenty has been written about Shannon's Vue de Monde and having been there twice, it is a great food experience. Yes Vue does have some flaws at times, but is certainly close to, if not, the best restaurant in Melbourne and among the best in the country.
How though do you scale this down? How do you take the layers and complexity of the food and bring it down to courses that are as little as $3.50 but not diminish the Vue brand? Well I guess the approach taken is similar to BMW, they have their 6 and 7 series flagships of uber technology but also build the aspirational 1 series that represents the quality and core values of the brand at a much more affordable prices.
In fact the prices are so affordable I've been there twice in as many days so certainly a lot more affordable.
The first visit was for breakfast and I could not go past the 62° eggs on toast with some bacon. At $9.00 for eggs on toast I wouldn't think too much of it at most cafe's, $9.00 for two eggs poached precisely at 62° so that the white is translucent and cooked and a yolk that is creamy and thick would have to be the best value breakfast in town.
This was paired with a strong flat white that was made perfectly. Very good start!
The return visit was for lunch, Friday lunch. Unfortunately Cafe Vue does not take bookings for less than 8 so it is pot luck as to how long you may have to wait unless you get there early. Fortunately at 11:45am there was no wait and it was straight in to it. This time the Wagyu burger and fries, a nice juicy burger, cooked perfectly with nice crispy fries. I also couldn't help but try the quail scotch egg,
L: WAGYU BURGER & FRENCH FRIES
R: QUAIL SCOTCH EGG
Both were well presented, clean flavours and turning out the dishes at $12 and $3.50 about as good as you can get at this price point. The dishes are also cleverly portioned so that there is room for the very tempting deserts that are on display for all too see.
L: LEMON MERINGUE PIE
R: VANILLA MACAROON
First of all there is an assortment of macaroon's, all perfectly sized and in a wide array of colour and flavours, Violet macaroon anyone?
The macaroon's are delicious, but the show was stolen by the simple lemon meringue pie. This mix of Lemon curd in a nice crusty tart base is topped with a thick soft meringue that is gooey, glooey and magnificent. A desert this good in many a restaurant would command $14-$15, at Cafe Vue it is a steal at $4.50, paired with their excellent coffee it is a perfect way to finish off.
So I guess the thing that Cafe Vue and Vue de Monde share is they both provide a great food experience, they both deliver well presented and flavoursome food and both have a knack for enticing you to spend that little bit more because you want to try that next dish you are jealously eyeing off at the next table.
Cafe Vue - 13.5/20
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