Three months after temporarily shutting, Vue de Monde, its sister venue Lui Bar and function space Vue Events have reopened with new looks and menus. The changes were reported to have cost $3 million, but the Vue Group hasn’t commented.
Multi-award-winning architecture firm Elenberg Fraser led the renovation of the three spaces, all located within Melbourne’s Rialto Towers. At Vue de Monde, they updated the tables and kangaroo hide tabletops, as well as the lighting throughout. The kitchen now features Shou Sugi Ban timber cladding, fresh tile treatment and in the show kitchen, a new pastry section.
The restaurant’s private dining room has also had a complete overhaul, and now features a custom, hand-blown light feature by Leisa Wharington, timber cladding matching the kitchen and a dedicated hanging space for the restaurant’s well-known artwork ‘Gordon Bennett Notes to Basquiat: Liberty 2000’.
“We’ve been working on the changes to Vue de Monde and Lui Bar for a few years now, and it is wonderful to see everything come together,” says Vue de Monde’s executive chef, Hugh Allen.
The restaurant, one of Australia’s most awarded, also has a new menu, though, like previous iterations, it highlights Australian produce. Dishes from the opening menu include grilled lamb sweetbreads with asparagus sourced from Koo Wee Rup and drizzled in a fermented macadamia sauce; padron peppers filled with heirloom eggplant; and marron tail slowly grilled with a paste made from fried native herbs.
Dishes can be paired with your choice of 2000 drops from Australia and around the world, handpicked by wine director Dorian Guillon and head sommelier Mathieu Gobin.
“Taking a few months away from the day-to-day has helped us create what we believe are really special menus across the restaurant and the bar,” says Allen.
At Lui Bar, capacity has increased significantly. The aim of its design is to create a sensory journey using Australian materials like granite, sheepskin, natural brass and smoked glass. The design was inspired by the land with earthy, muted tones and natural finishes. In keeping with the sustainability theme, all furniture was made locally in Moorabbin, Victoria.
The menu now includes a larger range of snacks, including Sydney Rock oysters, Blackmore wagyu ribs and roasted macadamias with saltbush. The bar’s manager Elisabetta Lupi spent the break travelling the world visiting its most influential bars.
Cocktails on the opening list feature ingredients like sunrise limes, Geraldton wax, Tasmanian wasabi leaf, quandongs and macadamias. Lupi’s favourite drink on the menu is Margot, a spritz of Davidson plum, rhubarb and lacto-fermented yellow tomato. Lui Bar guests can also order rare cigars, vintage spirits or from Vue de Monde’s wine list.
Vue de Monde is open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday and lunch on Friday and Saturday. Lui Bar will open on Wednesday, November 8, and be open Wednesday nights and Friday and Saturdays from 11:30am.