The Best Restaurant in Australia. And that’s official.

Posted: October 14, 2015 in Popular Culture et al
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“Vue de Monde is thrilled to be awarded number one in Australia for the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Restaurant awards,” Shannon Bennett, Head Chef of Vue de Monde said. “For us, not only does it give a true indication of how our customers feel about the experience we offer but also what we need to do to keep improving and striving to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Shannon Bennet

Shannon Bennet

Positioned on the 55th floor of Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building, diners at Vue de Monde can enjoy a sweeping view across the city and beyond.

Chef Shannon Bennett tries to create an unparalleled dining experience and has evolved the menu from classical European roots to a more natural menu.

All ingredients are sourced locally and one TripAdvisor reviewer commented:

“This is unlike any other restaurant, we absolutely loved every mouthwatering meal, the beautiful French champagne, the decor, the atmosphere and the personal service from the waiters and chefs.

Not to mention being served by the owner.”

Screen shot 2015-10-14 at 4.35.00 PMThe full list of Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Restaurants in Australia:

1. Vue de Monde – Melbourne, Victoria
2. The Fish House – Burleigh Heads, Queensland
3. Chianti – Adelaide, South Australia
4. Quay Restaurant – Sydney, New South Wales
5. Muse Restaurant – Pokolbin, New South Wales
6. Aria – Brisbane, Queensland
7. Tetsuya’s – Sydney, New South Wales
8. The Stunned Mullet – Port Macquarie, New South Wales
9. Sage Restaurant – Canberra, ACT
10.Coda – Melbourne, Victoria

Congratulations to Shannon and his team. We must admit, our choices would be somewhat more prosaic. And cheaper. If you want our advice for a fantastic feed that won’t break the bank, try Chef Tandoor on Whitehorse Road.

With its plush carpet unruffled by other Indian restaurants moving in around it, it stands firm like its stiff linen while young, rowdier Indian street-food joints grab the limelight.  In its 19th year, Chef’s Tandoor is an elder statesman of north Indian restaurants and the Punjab tradition of the Tandoor oven.

Chef Virender Bist​ (who worked at India’s Taj Hotel group before opening Chef’s Tandoor) works the vertical clay-lined oven in the semi-open kitchen, slapping naan against its side walls, and dipping in skewers threaded with chicken destined for your butter chicken – because you are destined to have butter chicken.

The description on the menu transcends a rollcall of ingredients and characteristics, saying just: “choice of millions”. It’s not hyperbole either, considering the dish was created at Delhi’s famous Moti Mahal restaurant – now in its 95th year. The Moti Mahal is credited with popularising tandoor cooking generally, experimenting with meats and marinades to meet the demand for lighter (less oily) dishes. These days, it’s a 150-restaurant franchise serving more than 100,000 butter chickens a year.

Chef's Tandoor remains a neat local restaurant.

Chef’s Tandoor is doing its bit to add to the butter-chicken count. Char-tipped tandoori chicken pieces are cooked twice, the second time in thick terracotta-coloured gravy that’s creamy and tomato tangy. Irresistable.

The restaurant also wins points for offering Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish which, of course, doesn’t even exist in India, having been created in the UK, where it is now the national dish. That makes the restaurant doubly popular with expats and British visitors. It’s basically chicken tikka cooked with onion, capsicum and tomato in a thick gravy and utterly addictive.

Dhal Makhani was also invented at the Moti Mahal, as a vegetarian alternative to butter chicken using the same sauce. Here, it’s much deeper and earthier than butter chicken – the soft black lentils in a mellow onion-and-tomato based gravy finished with cream. Spoon some out of the copper-handled pots onto a bed of impossibly long fluffy rice, or let it pool on your plate and swipe it with naan hot off the tandoor.

And why stop at staining those bright white tablecloths with just orange and brown splatters? Add a splash of green, and order a Palak Paneer, fresh cubes of paneer cheese bobbing just beneath the surface of a silky smooth, spiced spinach puree. As with all the curries, of which there are nigh on 50 (including vindaloo, korma and masala) you control the heat, nominating mild, medium or hot.

Palak paneer.

Do Come toting that nice bottle of dry riesling from the fridge; there is no corkage.
Don’t Mind a cleansing lager? Kingfisher is on the drinks list. Or match an astringent high-chilli count curry with a bone dry Japanese Asahi.
Vibe Discreet and neat and not trying to be anything it isn’t. Which is a suburban curry house, and a damn good one.

492 Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills Victoria.

Tel: 03 9830 0655

The view is crap, however.

  1. michael Lynch says:

    That curry house is the venue for our next evening out with Lou….he will have to change his view on Asian food. six pints a plate of popadoms gunga din…


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