Down under – Grand Hyatt / Melbourne / Australia
Contributed by Jens Hoffmann
Globally there is an increasing interest in long flights, travel long distances, especially when you are invited to join the wedding of a good friend. Today I feature the foodie scene in Melbourne, got a bit of the Mexican wave in food and culture which changed the place.
There is no shortage in any kind of developments. Like in Sydney a strong asian influence is everywhere.
Starting my Victoria hotel tour in the nice Park Hyatt next to Parliament square.
Great stylish location in a booming city.
After waves of reinvention in recent years, experimentation and risk can be seen in the new buildings and everywhere in the streets.
The whole infrastructure is iconic, overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fitzroy Gardens and the cosmopolitan mix of Victorian and modern architecture this hotel is just the perfect Victoria experience.
Lets say The Hyatt offers an exclusive stay in the heart of Melbourne city. It has all the luxury a 5-star hotel should provide and finally a warm ambience and exceptional levels of personalised service and luxury amenities.
Renowned for having the largest 240 luxury rooms & suites in Melbourne with walk in robes, Italian marble ensuites and open windows, The Hyatt provides an experience of elegant, contemporary luxury. Guests are invited to enjoy the award-winning ‘radii’ restaurant & bar, a decadent Tea Lounge and our local-favourite day spa featuring an indoor aquamarine pool, spa, sauna, gym and private sun deck.
The hotel also offers a beautiful range of event spaces, specialises in wedding packages, personalised menus and a range romantic rooms and suites.
It is located near the Melbourne Cricket Ground,home of the Australian Football League (AFL). It is also a short stroll to the Melbourne Museum.
We fly to a land down under, The Melbourne International Airport is conveniently located only 25km away, it gave us a great welcome, check-in was just the usual Aussie fun procedure.
We got an upgradee and enjoyed the club lounge.
The hotel itself was “classic” yet fresh as could be. We stayed on the 18th floor. The room featured an entrance way which led to the living room, featuring a small couch and comfortable chair.The bathroom was huge, very similar in design to the one at the Park Hyatt in Thessaloniki we visited two weeks ago.
The place has a nice spa & fitness center and we had a great time.
I spent some time with the Australian culinary masters Matt Moran and Andrew McConell spent some to explore the vibrant foodie scene. Andrew is the mastermind behind 4 of Melbournes most successful restos.
Come on Aussie, come on, the Melbournians take their tasty food seriously in defining a new culture.
They show up and queue up, even in nice restos.
Resto tip im Melbourne: Vue de Monde
Located on level 55 of the Rialto building resto Vue de Monde is the showcase for chef Shannon Bennet’s modern cooking.
Shannon trained at Le Gavroche in London, and also with Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant and Louis XV in Monaco before returning to Australia.
The dining room has a striking view of Melbourne with its floor to ceiling windows, while the kitchen is set at one end of the dining room and is open to view.
The floor was dark wood, with tables to match, with no tablecloths but decorated with a series of rocks. An interesting additional decorative item was that my fork rested on a twig which turned out to be from a Penfolds Grange Hermitage hundred year old vine. It was revealing that the chef gets most vegetables from his own three acre farm near Melbourne, thus getting around the problem of poor vegetable quality that I encountered in other restaurants here.
The wine list stretches over 62 pages (around 4,000 bottles are in the cellar).
A series of nibbles appeared, presented on more rocks. Lemon and apple gel with oyster remoulade had good texture, we had venison crisp with beef tartare and green papaya dressing and smoked eel with white chocolate tuile and avruga caviar.
A dish of herbs (lemon balm, sorrel) was presented at the table, and then frozen with liquid nitrogen and served with cucumber sorbet. This dish was not just theatrical, as the cucumber sorbet had superb depth of flavour, and worked really well with the frozen herbs.
Later on we had wagyu beef, supplied by David Blackmore, the first person in Australia to import wagyu cattle from Japan and who uniquely in Australia has pure-bred Mishima cattle. These are grass fed rather than than grain fed as they would be in Japan, with the result that they have a more “beefy” flavour. Mishima cattle come from an island in the sea of Japan, native cattle that were bred on the Japanese mainland with European cattle to create the modern black wagyu cattle. The wagyu served here was perfect. Highly marbled, cooked sous vide and then seared to finish. This was served with wild garlic and cherries, the latter a clever idea as they provided some acidity to balance the richness of the quite fatty (and hence flavoursome) beef. Yummy. For dessert we had chocolate soufflé (made with Valrhona 70% chocolate) already had a scoop of chocolate sorbet inserted, and the custard was poured over it at the table, which was nice.
Coffee came with petit fours. Lemon jube was a sour lemon jelly, while there was an excellent chocolate ganache with raspberry puree, as well as honeycomb ice cream dipped in caramel with a biscuit coating.
Everything fine and yummy, a perfect dinner.