Monday, September 03, 2007

Colonial Tramcar Restaurant - Wonderful Experience with new - found Melbournians!

Saturday evening, 1 September was one of the well-spent Saturday's evenings.
It was a beautiful 1st day of spring... guess the max temperature during the day was 17 deg cel. After my regular gym routine and running some errands, I set off to this much anticipated event, which I signed up about 2 months ago! Was looking forward to meeting the organizer as she was really very "organized" than some of the others I joined.
As usual, I enjoyed the weekend tram ride to the city (always nice to sit and not worry about driving and parking) and walked leisurely (along southbank) to the meeting point (Station 125 at corner of Claredon St). The tram station is quite impressive, it is a shelter specially made for this ride and there I met up with the rest of the group. We had a group of 12, occupying 3 tables of 4.
I was impressed when we board the tram, we were in this very nice colonial setting dining restaurant... and I sat with Gail, Rosie, and John. The tram had 2 cabins, separated by a small "kitchen" area, and each cabin served by 2 waiters with about 4x4 & 4x2 passengers on board. Without any delay, we started off the tram ride (at 8.30pm) and it was supposed to last 3 hours, travelling around Melbourne! Was pretty curious how we will be occupying this 3 hours ride. We we served Sparkling wine to start off with a plate of crackers and 2 antipasto: cream, liver and cognac pate and roasted red capsicum dip. All of us were chatting comfortably enjoying that appetiser, and curious about the route the tram will be taking...kindda tracking our location along the way, spotting the nice restaurants and I was fortunate to be with some Melbournians who knows and introduced me to some of the nice places as we passed them. The waiter was going around taking orders of our preference for the evening from a selection of entrees and main courses.
The entree was a choice of grilled kangaroo loin or smoked salmon and avocado mousse. I had the smoked salmon (serve with a glass of white wine) and thoroughly enjoyed it, except that I didn't quite appreciate too much of the avocado mousse. A bit too creamy and too sinful!
Chatting, enjoying the ride, looking out the windows and etc... in no time, they were serving our main course, and we were about 1 hour from the time we set off. Between char grilled chicken breast and prime beef fillet, I obviously chose the former for the same reason. Sound normal, but the taste was fabulous! I commented at some stage that it was pretty amazing how good the food can be despite the fact that it is a "tourists" type of restaurant. Usually the food is not the main focus for such attractions, but somehow, this is different. The food can be a very good draw, as they were prepared by a chef on board and served fresh and hot! As an indication, I cleaned up that dish... everyone of us did. Yummy!
We were at Albert Park when the tram stopped for a little breather for some people we needs them. I took this chance to take a photo of some of us in the group.
Then, came the serving of a selection of Australian cheese with dried muscatel grapes and crackers... we were into out last hour and obviously heading the opposite direction towards the South of Melbourne.
Shortly came our order of after-dinner drinks (pro isn't it?) I had the warm sticky date pudding while some had the chocolate mousse dome. Gosh, the pudding was sized right (not too much) and one of the nicest I enjoyed thus. I finished it craving for a little more! Finishing it with coffee and a glass of Tia Maria just topped the evening. Gosh, what a professional served 5 courses meal! The only flaw was the filter coffee rather than espresso or long black! But that disappointment was mitigated by some chocolates!
Before we realised, we did actually spent 3 full hours on the tram and were back at the starting by around 11.30pm! Didn't quite get enough of each other's companion, Sheena (organizer), John, Gail, Shella(?) and myself, head off to the Crown for a cuppa before heading home. We chatted and John was nice enough to give me a ride back. One of those evenings that I thoroughly enjoyed, with good food, a chance to see Melbourne and obviously with some new found "frens"/acquaintances.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, it certainly sounded like good fun! All the description of the good food was really making my mouth water....Maybe we could have a go at it when we are there? :o)