430 Little Collins Street
Bistro Vue was the second place I visited in my Restaurant Express Lunch week. Yeah, I had a pretty lavish week of THREE express work lunches during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – alternating with baked beans on toast to even the wallet out. Sarah and I (I was going to choose a pseudonym for her, but given that I know about 3,000 Sarahs I believe her identity is pretty safe!) duly lobbed at the restaurant for 1.30. Told our table wasn’t quite ready, we amused ourselves perching at the bar and scoping out the Cafe Vue section of the restaurant, with outdoor seating and a plant wall. Pretty.
Bistro Vue didn’t offer any choices in their menu selection for the express lunch, but we made the choice to split the entree and dessert so as to try each and every dish. The first dish was a chicken terrine with pickled vegetables and dijon mustard. Interesting. Being a recent veteran of terrine entrees thanks to PM24, I had high standards for this one, and it… fell short a tad of the PM24 version. Not as rich, because it didn’t include chicken liver; the accompaniments weren’t as good; and the pickled vegetables were much harder to share than lavishly spread onion toast. PM24 1, BV 0.
The next dish was roast lamb shoulder with mashed potato, french beans and jus. It was fantastic. While I found the PM24 lamb a bit meh, the flavours were terrific in Bistro Vue’s dish (PM24 1, BV 1 for those playing at home). The lamb was pink and tender and who doesn’t love green beans? And the mashed potato… again, lashings of butter would have gone into that, but I’m not even a huge mashed potato fan and I could have eaten this all day. Silky and delish.
The presentation was really good as well. Sure, you could probably make this dish at home – but would you?
Now, pretty much one of the reasons I was convinced to come here is that my coworker had gone earlier in the week for the express lunch and came back raving about dessert. I love sitting near foodies: she talked me through the entire menu, high points and low points, and for her the high point was definitely dessert. I was rather excited for the pistachio souffle with creme anglaise.
It was great. Light and wobbly, the creme anglaise went well with the pistachio flavour, and hint of chocolate dusted on the surface of the souffle. The inside of it was a super light green and – why don’t I just show you the inside?
The dessert was very different to the PM24 dessert and each were remarkable in their own way, so I’ll give up the game of comparing the two now. By the way, I’ll just add though – the complimentary bread was also better at PM24.
With our coffees we also got complimentary caneles, which when they arrived, looked burnt, but tasted wonderful. Later research informs me that they might be supposed to look burnt (read: caramelised) with a custardy centre (which no doubt is why I liked them). Also? They look funny on the plate.
Service was good and we left Bistro Vue having enjoyed the experience of the Express Lunch. II felt a little bit like the Express Lunch here was more of a production line, especially as I saw about 50 terrines being plated up well before we were invited to our table. No choices on the menu also gave that impression, a little bit. and Another blogger who had a very similiar experience to ours was Kat of Spatula, Spoon and Saturday, who liked the same things. I’d come back to Bistro Vue to check out other dishes on the menu – which is the aim of the game for the restaurant, isn’t it!