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The Heide Museum of Modern Art is one of my favourite places in (or rather just out of) Melbourne. Often referred to as the home of the Australian modernist movement, Heide is nestled on the banks of the Yarra and comprises of three main art buildings, as well as a sprawling sculpture park.

In 2009 the people behind the famed Vue de Monde opened one of their offshoot cafes, Cafe Vue, on the grounds at Heide. I’ve never been to Vue de Monde, but I feel like this may be a perfect example of name exploitation.

First, the good. The coffee here is 5 senses, which I find is always great. The macarons and lamingtons are enjoyable, though nothing to write home about. (Unlike the macarons at Lindt on Collins St!) Plus, there is the beautiful setting. There is also a kitchen garden on the grounds that the cafe uses—it’s is nice to stroll through and see where your food is coming from. Unfortunately all of this is overshadowed by the bad…

I can deal with bad service when the food is good. I can’t deal with bad service teamed with bad food, or worse—bad hygiene. I’ve been to Cafe Vue many times for a coffee and lamington to go, however out of the four or five times I’ve sat down here, more often than not I have had to send back either dirty cutlery or dirty drinking glasses.

Yes the coffee is good, but when I order a long macchiato I don’t want to be given a short macchiato. And I don’t want the short macchiato I didn’t order to be presented to me in a cappuccino cup.

The food is—in a word—bland. It all looks and sounds like it should be a wonderful taste experience, yet everything I’ve tried here (bar the sweets) seems as though it was beautifully thought out and created, then just before serving was put into some sort of taste-eradicating contraption. I don’t understand it.

I wouldn’t call the place a write-off, but I would suggest to enjoy Cafe Vue at Heide, grab a take-away coffee and enjoy it while you take in the gorgeous surrounding park that inspired Australian artists such as Albert Tucker, Joy Hester and Sidney Nolan.

Photo: $15 Lunch Box: (clockwise from top left) tuna & egg sandwich, scotch quail eggs, macaroni & green tomato salad, tiramisu in a cup.

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