An iconic Melbourne sight is the Colonial Tram Car Restaurant - a romantic albeit slightly expensive way to watch the city pass by as you indulge in some fine nosh and plonk.
A fleet of three historic 1927 trams, which still have an authentic feel, combined with good food and kindly staff make for a novel, quaint, and very enjoyable experience.
The restaurant boards patrons near the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. As soon as you are onboard you are surrounded by the signature burgundy colour adorning various aspects of the tram including the carriage walls and the lavish tapestry.
While a majority of the route winds its way through the CBD, it also follows the tracks through St Kilda and Albert Park area.
While the restaurant doesn’t offer the option to choose a route (they have to fit in with the regular trams) all the different circuits provide interesting scenery of some sort.
The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner. While the dinner option is the more romantic and quaint of the two experiences, the lunch is ideal for tourists or groups who would prefer to economise. The cost for the lunch or dinner is all inclusive and includes unlimited wine, beer and liqueurs.
The lunch menu includes appetisers, entrees, the main course (of course) and a variety of cheese. The dinner menu also includes a choice of desserts and coffee.
While regulations mean that the food cannot be cooked onboard and is precooked; it is still impeccably presented and does not suffer for the wait. The restaurant menu is flexible and also caters to specific dietary requirements - with adequate notice.
Prices start from $77.00 per head for a three course dinner and will cost you slightly over $120.00 if you go the whole hog for a five course dinner. Weekend dinners are slightly more expensive at $137.00
I managed to get a booking easily (it was a weekday), but booking in advance is highly recommended especially for Fridays and Saturdays. While the reservation staff advise that booking for three or more is easier to get, they strictly recommend calling in advance if you are looking for a table for two.