As a bit of a background, VDM is one of the premier fine dining experiences in Melbourne and getting a booking can be a challenge at times. They only offer a degustation menu but they do have an option of a 5 or 10 course. Being the nature that we are, we opted for the 10 course.
First up was what they called snacks. It was an assortment of nibbles that started with a salt and vinegar crisp with macadamia puree. Quite interesting, I've never thought to eat my crisp this way, I can see why it was paired up with the sour and creaminess.
Smoked eel, white chocolate with caviar. It looks like a toffee but as you bite into it, the smoke eel flavour comes through to offset the sweetness in the white chocolate shell.
BBQ lamb heart with pineapple and duck tongue with pepper. This was not something that I had expected in fine dining. Both were cooked in a way that when you taste it, it is not what you expect it to be. It tasted like refined BBQ meat and unless told, you won't think that it was a non traditional part of the animal.
Oysters were served with smoked salmon caviar. They oyster was fresh and creamy.
Salt cured wallaby was next. It was presented on a bed of Himalayan pink salt rock and rolled up with a drop of herb puree. This wild game was distinctive with it's strong flavours.
Last of the snacks was the garden greens with pine smoked salmon pearls. The micro vegetables with the intense burst of flavour from the salmon pearls was an interesting combination to highlight the complementing aspects of one from the other.
Next was the barramundi with potato, caviar and chicken puree. The fish was succulent and fresh, the light crumb crust was enough for a crunch but not enough to over power it. The quince sauce tied together beautifully.
Kangaroo smoked over Japanese oak. The game flavours were balanced out with the smoky scent and pepper. The pickled onions gave the tang to cut through the meatiness.
Blackmore waygu, bone marrow and salt bush. Mmmmm succulent, tender wagyu, my only complaint was, I wanted more on the plate.
Next came the pallet cleanser. Wood sorrel came out in a small bowl, then liquid nitrogen was poured over it and the table to snap freeze and dry it. We were then ask to pound it so it became a fine crumb. Once it was nice and fine, the waiter dished a scoop of cucumber sorbet. This was theatrical and very refreshing.
Butter and bread was served after the cleanser, you might be wondering why am I talking about bread here. Well, I'm more talking about the butter. The hand churned butter was amazingly soft and silky. It took the sourdough, to the fine dining level for bread.
Eggs and toast was next, it was duck egg yolk, truffle and pear. The yolk was oozing out from under the pear and the truffle provided that salty hit.
Marron, brown butter and lemon jelly. This was my favorite dish out of the 10 course. The delicate flavour of the marron was accentuated by the brown butter. Then finished with the lemon jelly it was a good way to round up the flavors with a strong citrus hit.
Ox tongue, beetroot bone marrow. This was served with a powdered creme fraiche, the texture came out looking dry but the moment it hit your mouth, it melted and it taste like creme fraiche that just came out of the fridge. The beetroot and ox tongue were combined and when eaten together with the creme fraiche it was a combination of meaty, creaminess and laced with beetroot.
Kingfish with deep fried kale and buttermilk, this was so pretty I didn't want to ruin the plate up. The crisp kale and kingfish taste great together. Kingfish is one of my favorite fish when it comes to seafood, this one was paired with the rocket oil, mild bitterness. I loved it.
Next was the start of the desserts and it was started with a pallet cleanser of butternut, sunflowers and passionfruit. The combination does not sound like a typical pallet cleanser, but it did the job with the sweetness in the passionfruit.
The goat's milk with fennel and blueberries was next. This came with a sugar crystal that you break. The texure was like a panna cotta cross a creme brulee but served cold with shards of sugar crystal.
Tonka bean souffle with smoked chocolate ice cream. I saw quite a few of these come out of the kitchen during the meal and I was really looking forward to it. Souffle is one of those things I really enjoy but too lazy to make myself. The souffle came served with the ice cream served on table and a spoonful shoved into the centre of the souffle. Personally, I preferred it on the side as the ice cream melted too quickly inside the souffle and it didn't give me a lot of time to finish it.
Next part was my favourite part of the dessert, we got an assortment of cheeses. Since there was 4 of us, we got a large selection to try. The waiter gave us a generous range of goat, cheddar, blue, soft, white wash. Then it was pair with a cracker or fruit crisp bread. We had so much fun tasting the range and moving from the mild side to the real stinky blue. My favorite was the truffle brie, highly recommend it.
Finally it was the last course and this was a petite 4, This included penny jellies made with whiskey, menthol ice cream, sea shell chocolate with pork crackling and lamington.
Since it was an event for both Mario and Bear, the staff at VDM helped us celebrate with a beautiful message.
The service was impeccable. They did everything within their power to make the experience unforgettable. We got a goodie bag to take home afterwards and also they offered to take photos for us to keep the memory after we went home.
Overall 19/20 it was a fantastic experience. I can fully appreciate why it has the status of being Melbourne's finest. Some of the things that sounded ordinary on the menu but tasted superb or sounded oddly paired but turned out to be a brilliant idea.