I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published December 2nd 2011
The Blue Train café is discreetly hidden at the end of the middle level of the Southgate shops and opens up onto a balcony overlooking Southbank. It successfully combines excellent food in an excellent setting. Whether you're greeting a sunny weekend morning with brunch or sharing an intimate evening dinner, you will not forget a meal here quickly.
For breakfast (served til 3pm weekdays and midday on weekends and at a steal from $5-$12.90), they generously offer hollandaise sauce, steamed spinach, hash browns and avocado salsa as 'extras'. Choose from eggs done your way, muesli, filled croissants, fresh fruit with greek yorgurt or a breakfast burrito with beans, tomato, cheese and avocado salsa - yum.
A hot breakfast
Their selection of small plates ($5-$12.90) are worthy of eating tapas-style so you enjoy a bit of each. There's roti bread with dipping sauce, thai spiced meatballs with lime and sweet chilli dressing, twice cooked pork belly with green apple and pickled ginger salad or garlic naan bread stuffed with spiced tomatoes, tomato kasundi and yogurt.
The salads ($8-$22.90) are a step up from your ordinary garden salad. Try Moroccan-spiced pumpkin with sesame chick peas, seared capsicum, yogurt and honey dressing or shredded duck and shiitaki salad with soba noodles, snow peas and spiced orange glaze.
Half the offerings of their big plates ($15.90-$22.90) join the usual café fare yet the other half is impressive. Actually, what is impressive is the sides offered. Forget half a plate or chips and measly piece of meat. Try the roast chicken breast served with chorizo, potato, spinach and tomato salsa; the sweet potato gnocci with lamb shank ragu and orange and parsley gremolata; and the crumbed veal scaloppini with lemon mash, broccolini and rocket pesto.
To top off all this delicious food, Blue Train even sells a page-long list of cocktails and wines, along with beers, hot drinks, juices and shakes. Unfortunately, we first dined here for brekky but after reading the menu, I'd wished we came for lunch - ah well, there's always next time. Visit this café and I'm sure you too will have more than a few 'next times'.