Cafe Vue

340 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9691 3899

I’m currently on a burger phase, on the hunt to find Melbourne’s best burgers. So far, the David Blackmore full-blood wagyu burger from Rockpool leads the chase, miles ahead of its nearest competitors.

Hearing Jan say that Cafe Vue‘s burger was the most decadent thing she’s tried, I decided to make a visit today. I was originally planning to rock up at 11:30am before it got really busy but circumstances made me miss my bus into the city and so I didn’t get there until just after 12pm. Every single table was full and there was a line of three people (one guy alone, and lady and a guy as a couple). Apparently this was the line to get in. Given that the bubbly waitress said that there would only be a 10-15 minute wait for a table to clear, I decided to get in line behind the couple.

As I surveyed the inside of the cafe as well as the walkway which housed about four large tables, I noticed how a few of the tables consisted of young guys in suits who were obviously finished with their meals (the check was sitting there untouched at the table). The guys had clearly noticed the growing line in front of them but they made no move to clear. And it’s not like they were talking about anything important – they were talking about Melbourne Victory, ffs. Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m at a casual restaurant and I see a growing line of people at the door, I try not to dwell over my meal for too long. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I try to eat in 30 seconds, but at least wander elsewhere once you’re done with the meal and not sit there for another 15-20 minutes!  I suppose the blokes had every right to remain seated at their table  but I just think it’s a little bit selfish. Anyway. I was getting irritated by the second but I didn’t know whether it was just me channeling Larry David or whether anyone would have felt just as pissy if they were in my shoes. Secondly, the young guys had a sense of grandeur about them which irritated me – like they thought they were top sht for eating at this establishment. It was like, bitch please, it’s just Cafe Vue.

Okay, so the first guy in line finally got a table at the walkway – a four seater all to himself. I thought that Cafe Vue would perhaps make like a casual Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant and sit the couple in front of me on the same table as the lone guy but they didn’t. I suppose Cafe Vue thought it wasn’t proper which was fair enough but I wouldn’t have minded, really.  At this stage, I was just happy to sit anywhere. Then the weather got a little chilly just as a table of suits cleared. The waitress invited me to sit at that table but because it was right by the main entrance and because it was right in full view of the now-growing queue, I politely gave that table to two chicks standing behind me. And they walked right over to the table without so much as a ‘thank you.’ Rude bitches, I hope you choke on a prawn and die.

Finally, after 25 minutes, a space at the window of the cafe opened up. A waiter immediately gave me a water jug and cup while I asked for a latte and a pistachio macaron.

My Illy latte ($3) tasted as good as it looked. It was smooth, melodic and sweet like good quality coffee should be. My pistachio macaron ($2.50) was pretty good – it was light and delicate with the yummiest creamy filling in the middle. Apparently they are no way near as good as a “real” French macaron but heyyy, it tastes good so who gives a crap, right?

My Vue burger and fries ($12). Okay, I’ve heard that this burger is notoriously small so I was surprised to see that it was, well, bigger than I thought. It was about the size of a Maccas cheeseburger but maybe a little bit taller and fluffier. The fries were of the shoestring variety that you get from Maccas. To me, this looked like a toffed up Maccas meal but just how good was it? Time for me to find out…

Except that I did NOT get a fork.

I got a single knife, which was odd, but NO EFFING FORK. I flagged down a waitress (not the bubbly one but one who looked like she wanted to go home) and asked for a fork, to which she rolled her eyes and said, ‘I’ll be there in a minute’ even though the forks were right behind her and she could have just done a 180 and handed one to me in two seconds. She then floundered off somewhere and did not appear again. I was worried that my burger was getting cold so I gingerly lifted it up with my hands and attempted to eat it without cutlery. Feeling somewhat like a barbarian from Gaul, I decided that I couldn’t eat the burger using my hands so I asked another waiter for a fork and he simply plucked it out of the canister behind him and that was that. Geez, that wasn’t so hard, wasn’t it?

Anyway, the burger came in a sweet brioche bun which was sweeter than a Maccas bun but nevertheless tasted pretty good. The wagyu pattie was leaner than most others, but I felt that it erred on the coarse side. I think a little bit of fat in the patty wouldn’t have hurt – it would have made it tastier, if anything. To top it off, there were a few fresh lettuce leaves, two slices of bacon, pickles, french mustard and melted gruyere cheese in the mix. While I thought the burger hit the right notes, I didn’t think it was as good as everyone says – it was a bit overrated. Still, it was a steal at $12 and I was able to call myself ‘full’ as I left (though this could also be because of the latte as well).

I’ve been to Cafe Vue on many occasions, but today’s poor service by the rude waitress and some of the patronage made me not want to go there for a long time. Still, the fact that Cafe Vue’s menu has extended to offer pies with yummy-sounding fillings such as chicken and porcini has not made me completely swear off this place. I will, however, make sure that I go BEFORE 11:45am or AFTER 2:00pm!

In other news:

-I have a huge research essay to write and I’m finding it difficult to get started. I need a 25/40 to get a guaranteed pass on the subject (which is all that I’m hoping for), a score that should be easy for me yet the task seems as hard as climbing Mt Everest.

-I was supposed to get a haircut at Renaissance @ Tivoli Arcade this afternoon (I finally gave in and decided to let a
n Asian cut my hair for the first time in ages) but I got a call from a guy there this morning to tell me that the hairdresser who was supposed to do my hair was sick and so I had to change my booking to Saturday afternoon. Booo. I suppose I can deal with revoltingly unkempt hair for another 48 hours.

-I could have gone to Body Balance this afternoon but after trying to do my essay at RMIT business library and not getting much done no thanks to fobs who wouldn’t SHUT UP, I got the hell out of there and went home, not wanting to bum around the city for another two hours. Just as well I did though, it started pissing down rain just as I entered the house.

-I really want a red Birkin bag now. Not an over-sized one and not one that is made out of crocodile/ostrich/unicorn/mythical beast but something simple like calfskin. I was planning to put my next few tax returns towards a share portfolio (which Adam is going to manage) but hmmm… shares or Birkin? shares or Birkin?

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11 Comments

  1. Hmmm I had a different burger to you! Did you have lettuce in yours? Coz i had rocket in mine, and I totally loved it.Oh, I didn’t get any cutlery at all. I got a spoon for my cafe mocha though.http://peach-water.xanga.com/681802341/cafe-vue/Here's my review from last time :)Who did you make an appointment for your hairdresser? I really like one of the hairdressers there because he went through all the options. i cant remember his name though.Oh, how long is your research essay? I’m finishing off my 5000 word audit essay on some american legislation. Sigh.

  2. Shares damn it! Shares shit out money – more funds for eating and Birkin bag later down the track. Capital gains & dividends.Mmkay. So is this the second best burger in Melbourne then???:D

  3. @peach_water – Oh, thanks for the link! I was going to look for it on your xanga but it was only going to take me ages…There was only one burger on the menu and that was the one above. Maybe they changed the recipe – I’ve seen photos on food blogs where the bun had sesame seeds. Getting no cutlery for the burger is fine and all, but it didn’t make sense for me to get a knife and NOT a fork.When I made the booking, the dude asked me which hairdresser I wanted and I said that I didn’t mind. He gave me the name of a lady (can’t remember the name). I’m sure they’re all competent though … I guess I’ll find out on Saturday! Ohh, how much was your haircut again? And do you know if they give student discounts? My research essay is nowhere near as long as ours – 3000 words – and you’d think that I’d be okay with writing it, but I’m having a mind blank. Doesn’t help that the topic is so dull either! @icesabre – Yeah, I know I should go for the shares but *sigh* …. :(I suppose it *is* the second best burger I’ve tried, but I need to do “further research” as I feel that my sample size is way too small for me to conclusively make such a declaration, hahaha.

  4. Doesn’t the service almost account for most of one’s dining experience? Well, I think so, anyway. I’m so easily put off when I’ve been met with rude attendance staff. It’s just not on! But the cafe still looks worth a try, especially for $12 bucks a burger. Which reminds me, I just revisited Cafe Beelzebub on Smith Street (I’d actually spelled it incorrectly on your page awhile ago when I was raving on about it. Douche.) so should perhaps share that particular experience at some stage, too. The second experience wasn’t as fantastic as the first but ONLY marginally. I’d be eating there again the next time I’m factory outletting.

  5. @jtngu8 – Cafe Vue’s staff are usually quite friendly and I’ve never had a problem in the past, so I think today was a one-off thing. At least, I hope so.Ahhh yes, I was actually looking up that cafe earlier this week on the internet to see if anyone’s reviewed it (no one has except for one guy who said that the coffee was pretty good). Adam’s work isn’t far from Smith Street and I’ve been going there more often lately so I’ll definitely be paying a visit very, very soon. It’s still a bit of a walk from our usual joints but I’m sure it’s worth it. November 13th still on?

  6. @peach_water – I ended up having a chick called Junko. She was alright but when I asked her to give me a blunt fringe, she gave me a slightly choppy one so I wasn’t impressed. The rest of my hair was good though. I’ll try Oscar next time, I think 🙂@chaoness – Yeah, haven’t been going to Balance (or the gym for that matter) because I’ve been busy with uni – assignments, essays etc are all piling up now. I did go to Brent’s class this afternoon though – my first Sat class in like, forever. Wow.@princesstrang – Heard of Danny’s Burgers. I’ll suss it out, thanks Trang!

    1. I have no problems with eating a burger with my hands if I’m eating at say, Maccas. However, we were at Cafe Vue and I was given a single knife with my burger, was it unreasonable for me to 1) assume that I would also be getting a fork and 2) to ask for said fork when I didn’t get one… and was it too difficult for a waiter/ess to simply reach out behind her and grab a fork, something that would have only taken her 0.00000042 to do? I think not.

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