Why not start off with one of Melbourne's iconic eateries. To tell you the truth, I didn't get my hopes up when we decided to give it a shot, but it surprised my socks off. This isn't a fine dining experience in the pure sense of the word. It's a sightseeing tour with fantastically prepared food and insanely friendly service. Sounds like I loved it, doesn't it? Well I think I did too.
The tram is a restored 1948 beauty that has been fitted out in luxurious old world style. Definitely a bit of first class "Orient Express dining car" going on here. Once seated, our maitre de introduces himself and his staff and makes us all feel very welcome. Sparkling wine is served with an exquisite pate and dip platter. The tram trundled along into the city and then back out to St. Kilda at a comfortable pace that allowed us to enjoy our food and the views with out spilling a drop.
There are two dinner sittings each evening. We chose the early sitting so we could enjoy the sights in daylight. The later sitting would definitely be more romantic. I really was bowled over by the beautifully kept old homes that were along our route. Melbourne is such a beautiful city.
The set menu gave us a choice of a chicken or beef dish. The idea of a set menu had me worried from the start but both choices of the main course were cooked to perfection. The Mediterranean style chicken was delicate and tender with delightful vegetables. The eye fillet beef was a study in the art of steak cooking. I overheard dinners commenting on how this was probably the best steak they had ever had. It melted in the mouth and was a very generous portion indeed. Fantastic.
Throughout the meal, the wine kept on coming. Delicious Victorian reds and whites especially selected to compliment the menu. By the time the tram rolled down Acland Street in St. Kilda I was in foodie heaven. Now it was getting dark and the lights around the boulevard, Luna Park and St.Kilda beach added to the magic.
The desserts were not a disappointment either. The softest most delicious sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce, or a white chocolate passionfruit panacotta with praline were a hard choice to make. Of course we shared each others deserts so we got to try both. Just wonderful.
The whole meal was finished off with coffee and liqueurs as we settled back and enjoyed the rest of the journey back to the starting point tramstop opposite the crown casino. I was totally enthralled by the whole experience. I didn't notice that we had been travelling for nearly two hours. Time flies when your having fun.
The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant certainly is something special that all Australians should visit and be proud of. A real slice of Melbourne. For prices and booking information you can visit their web site http://www.viator.com/tours/Melbourne/Colonial-Tramcar-Restaurant-Tour-of-Melbourne/d384-3412TRAM?pref=02&aid=g1201
I know this sounds like an advertisement but it's not. This is one venue that really impressed me. It was a great night out. One last thing before I sign off. A huge thankyou to Carl, Dot, and Katrina for working so hard and making our night so memorable.