I was in Australia 2 weeks ago for a short business trip. I was quite excited since it was my first time to go to the "land down under". I immediately did my research on what were the good restaurants to go to. After surfing the net and asking some friends, I had a short list of places to go. I even tried booking at Tetsuyas, supposedly the best restaurant in Sydney - to no avail since it was fully booked for the next months. We did not have much time for meals since we were quite busy, so we ended up eating out in good places just once in Melbourne and once in Sydney.
Melbourne is a city I loved, so cosmopolitan and with a nice European feel to it. For our meal there, we decided on a French Bistro, BISTRO VUE. It was a typical French bistro design restaurant, with lots of wine on the walls as decor. For starters, we had some Sparkling wine from North East Tasmania: CLOVER HILL SPARKLING 2004. Made from Chardonnay 60%, Pinot Noir 40%, this was very fresh despite the fact that it was a 2004 vintage.
We then had our orders of appetizers: We each had one order of: Garlic Snails with Parsley Crust and of course, I could not resist not ordering my Steak Tartare.
The Snails were quite dry ( I was expecting the typical Escargot Bourguignone) but they were surprisingly tasty. After seeing that they were Garlic crusted, I figured out why they would be so dry. The Tartare, one of the better ones I've tasted. It was very creamy and had the right spice to it. It was topped by a poached quail egg, which when pierced, oozed with the liquid gold egg yolk, which even made the dish richer and tastier. Definitely the dish of the night.
Since we were in Melbourne, we decided to go with a Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Coldstream Hills, which we thought would pair well with our main course.
For main course, we had: Darling Downs- 120 days grain fed fillet, with fries and Truffle Mustard. The Darling Downs is a farming region on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range in southern Queensland, Australia. The steak was very soft and perfectly cooked, although I found the fries under cooked.
Over all a good experience. We did not have time to eat in any other Melbourne Restaurants (although I had a long list: Movida, Flower Drum, Rockpool, etc..) which I hope to hit when I return some day. We then moved to Sydney, where we had some great meals which I will post soon.