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Gemima Cody, Food & Drink editor at Time Out Melbourne, on Vue De Monde:
Vue De Monde is the jewel of chef-restaurateur Shannon Bennett's impressive empire, and possibly the most glamorous canvas for sustainability in the world. In a sharp departure from the opulence many restaurateurs like to pour into their venues to justify extravagant price tags, you'll find the decor here dominated by decidedly earthy, environmentally conscious ideas. Tables, designed by local furniture builder Ross Didier, are coated not with starched linen, but with stretched black roo hides. A treelike neon light sculpture by artist Joseph Kosuth stretches across the wall and is a nod to Charles Darwin.
Tables feature centrepieces of twisted tree roots and smooth, grey river stones. Those rocks conceal salt, and serve as platters throughout a theatrical dining experience: two long strips of raw wallaby (Australia's most delicious marsupial) are wheeled out on a heated salt slab before being rolled up and transferred, cured, salty and warm on to the rocks. Rarely has an environmental agenda been so explicitly stated, in such a digestible way - it doesn't feel in the slightest like your fuzzy, ethically sourced roo-hide chair is giving you a lecture on utilising native resources, but it is.
Vue De Monde. L55, Rialto Tower, 525 Collins St, Melbourne, Australia. +61 3 9691 3888. www.vuedemonde.com.au.
More on Vue De Monde from Time Out Melbourne