Cafe Vue at 401

9/14/2010 07:25:00 AM

On Saturday night last week, I'd planned to have a quiet night in and cook some pasta. Then I saw this delicious looking post on Agnes' blog. I called Cafe Vue, booked a table, and we drove straight over. Oops!

Cafe Vue
401 St Kilda Road
Melbourne Vic 3004
Ph: (03) 9866-8055

For some reason it was very quiet, despite it being a Saturday night. The busy breakfast and lunchtime crowds were nowhere to be seen. In fact, apart from us, there was just one group of about 10, and only 3 other couples all night. (One of which included a fellow food blogger - HI!) Perhaps people just don't realise it's open for dinner!

For dinners, they do a fixed price menu: $45 for 2 courses, $55 for 3. It's $10 cheaper if you go for lunch. The meal starts with some delicious house-made baguette, which comes warm in a little cloth bag. It's actually a re-useable cloth envelope, interestingly enough. The waitstaff were super nice and quick to refill the bread too - one of the bonuses of coming on a quiet night, I think.
Butter is my friend.

The menu had changed a bit since Agnes' visit, so the braised beef cheek with confit potato which caught my eye was, unfortunately, not available, but the new menu had quite a few nice options as well. We both got a main and shared a dessert - I really don't know how anyone could manage 3 courses to themselves!

I went for a seafood option - poached kingfish in curry sauce.

Kingfish poached in curry sauce

The kingfish fillet was gently poached in a coconut-based yellow curry, served atop pommes mousseline (AKA really smooth and creamy mashed potatoes), with a refreshing cucumber-coriander leaf salad. Scattered around the plate was 'curry mix', kinda like Malaysian keropok - a crunchy mixture of wild rice, couscous, corn, pecans and other little spicy goodies. Such an unusual combination, but it worked so well! I absolutely loved it.

Sandra went for braised wagyu with pickled radish. Not knowing how the pickled radish would taste, she asked if it could be left out. However, our waitress let us know it was a good flavour combination, and suggested that they bring it out separately so that she could try it and see if she liked it - clever!

This came with pommes mousseline as well, although the presentation was a bit more whimsical, and "what is life without whimsy?"

Braised wagyu

And here is the pickled radish. How cute are the little pieces! They were both refreshing and mild in taste, and a great foil for the rich braise. I'm really glad we still got them.

Not having entrees meant we had room for a side! The fries were slightly chunky, with the skins left on for extra tastyness. Fabulous, although they got a bit too salty towards the bottom of the plate.
Pommes frites - $8

As soon as I saw "cookie" on the dessert menu, y'all know I had to order it! Below we have the deconstructed cookie with milk ice-cream. Ta-dah!
Deconstructed cookie with milk ice-cream

There were chocolate cookie crumbs, piped blobs of dark chocolate mousse, 2 scoops of light milk ice-cream, and a few shards of dark chocolate, which, infathomably, didn't melt no matter how long I held them between my fingers! When I asked, our waitress said they were tempered - but I still don't get why they wouldn't melt. Any ideas, food techie people?

Mmm... milk ice-cream.

The serving of this was massive, and even between 2 of us we struggled to finish it. But, of course, we did.

All up, dinner for 2 was less than $90, with dee-licious food, a nice relaxed atmosphere and great service. Great value for a special little dinner, and definitely more accessible than the whole shebang down at the original Vue De Monde. Thanks to Agnes for the heads up!

Read about my previous visit to Cafe Vue here.

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  1. YUM, that could be the best spontaneous dinner ever! :D Love the look of the kingfish, and the cookie, and... I think I need to go back again soon!

    PS: I could totally eat three courses to myself. ;)

  2. That curry mix looks crazy-delicious. I wish they'd make it and sell it online for us poor folks in the boonies (i.e. Canberra...) :P

  3. It's great that they change the menu, though it means you have to get in there quick to get the dish you want. Seems like decent value for the price... will have to go check it out too!

  4. Hi. *waves*

    Glad you enjoyed your meals. You certainly ate a lot more than we did. But of course...liquid dinner, mainly.

  5. Anonymous9:06 PM

    oooo mouthwatering! time to make use of my salary packaging LOLz.

  6. Ok... that's it! I think I may have to make a spontaneous journey soon.

  7. The food looks very good. Can't believe I haven't been to Cafe Vue yet. Must just randomly book and then rock up.



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