Eating our way through Melbourne was the plan.  As great fans of Chef Shannon Bennett we thought we would try some of his restaurants.  Luckily one number can book all, so the message of Gluten Free was transferred through.

Our first Restaurant was  Ike-Jime Seafood . Fabulous service, and food that was meticulously prepared – our table was directly in front of the kitchen so we could view the food preparation – we had three sharing dishes and two deserts.  Hard to pick a favourite , however we did notice many patrons ordering the unique Fish & Chips .  Have a look at the pictures of the presentation.

For lunch the following day we went to Jardin Tan at the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens.  Again, the waiter went through the menu, made suggestions was very confident about Gluten Free Options and as a  result a beautiful fresh and full of flavour lunch – two shared dishes.

Vietnamese Pancakes/Lettuce Cups and Chicken Curry

The piece de la resistance – Vue de Monde

As much as we loved the other Restaurants, it seems we saved the best till last.

Great way to spend a Saturday night in Melbourne.  Located at the lovely Rialto Tower.

The night starts with a greeting by the Hostess who directs you to the elevator for the ride to the 55th Floor.  However the floors only go to 54!!   The door opens and we are greeted by another Hostess and taken through the Secret Doors via the Cellar to the Restaurant – breathtaking views await.  So here is the Secret 55th Floor.  That was the start of a wonderful dining experience.

We are greeted with smiles and given the history of Vue de Monde from its inception and original location to 2011 when it moved to the current home .  Chef Shannon Bennett the owner and pioneer of this Restaurant has much to be proud of. The Staff are attentive, proud and know their stuff – the wines are proudly recommended, the region of origin explained .  They also knew we were visiting from interstate and in fact that we had already been to two of Chef Bennett’s other Restaurants.

Now the theatre of the dining experience.   The menu is a degustation menu, but we are not given any idea of what the 10 courses are ahead of us (another Secret) .  Obviously the fact that we had requested gluten free was discussed and we were assured that it was not problem at all to cater for.  Sit back and enjoy. Over the next two hours we are treated to a culinary fare that we have never experienced before. (Dinner at the Ritz in Paris was nice but nothing like this).

The menu is as described under each of the pictures below.   I didn’t mention that this was also a birthday gift from my daughter, we travelled from Adelaide for Fashion Week and this Food Extravaganza .  When she had finalised the payment, I mentioned what a great birthday present. Next minute we are invited for a full tour of the kitchen – which was completed at the Patisserie with a final birthday gift and a goody bag to take home (gluten free of course).   It now seems that the only way to celebrate a birthday is a dinner (with its ever changing menu) at Vue de Monde. Not to mention his fabulous Lui Bar right next door with its own breathtaking views

Chef Shannon Bennett has much to be proud of, not only his great success in building this food empire, but he has a fabulous group of employees who are proud of their Restaurant –whichever one they are working at.

with Executive Chef – Hugh Allen