A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Published July 1st 2015
Affordable fine dining in luxurious railway carriages
A catch up with a friend for lunch is always good and the venue goes towards the experience. I love trying new places and this time we dined at Platform One, within Bankstown Sports Club. I was excited when Google first showed me what this restaurant was all about and it didn't disappoint.
Elegance abounds in two restored train carriages decked out in royal red and green tones with plush chairs, window drapes and lighting that brings to mind images of the Orient Express in movies. The detail of the decor with lamps on tables, stained glass panels and gold trimmings easily makes you feel like you're in company with the rich.
Unexpectedly though, the price tag for lunch or dinner (Mon-Fri) is not extravagant like other similar restaurants in carriages. For a two course meal, you're looking at $30 and for 3 courses, the cost is $35. The good thing is if you can't fit in 3 courses but are a dessert lover, you can choose the two course meal and satisfy your sweet tooth with either an entrée or a main. In fact, you can have whatever courses you like together. It is a set menu with 2 options each to choose from for entree, main and dessert. Each season the menu changes.
The winter menu gave us the choice for entree of chicken and mushroom soup or sizzling garlic prawns. My friend chose the prawns but, as I'm not a fan of either mushrooms or seafood, I opted for an entree on the tapas menu - chicken chorizo with sherry glaze. Love the flexibility here with only an extra $4 on top of the 3 course price. Both were liked and went down well.
Main course was a choice of beef fillet stroganoff with potato gnocchi, sour cream and parsley or fillet of silver Dory with classic lemon butter, endive salad, smoked bacon chunks, potatoes and grana padano (cheese). We both went for the lighter fish so we could fit in dessert. Very nice and smooth fish, cooked well.
The service was great with food coming out quickly but still with enough time between courses to digest and talk. My favourite course was next and two beautiful desserts were available - orange chocolate fondant with vanilla gelato and candied orange; and New York-style, baked berry cheesecake with Galliano-macerated berries. Yum, yum, yum.
A great place for a romantic dinner, Platform One also does high teas (Sun-Fri) and at one end of each carriage is a sliding door sectioning off a private room for functions of up to 10 people.
We did walk some of the calories off by strolling around this huge club, checking out all the different eateries and areas. A multitude of cuisines exist, from Italian to Asian, in restaurants, cafes, bistro and alfresco styles. With eight restaurants and seven bars, there's plenty of choice for all tastes.
The great decor and atmosphere is not limited to Platform One either. Certainly it is special with the sandstone-like entry of a Victorian-era rail station but there's also a rainforest lounge with a huge manmade tree (looking very real) over a walkway, white wisteria hanging gracefully, waterfalls and koi fish in a pond, a piazza that brings back memories of Venice for me, a theatre which hosts lots of great entertainment acts, a grand ballroom for events, and for the children, the popular Monkey Mania play centre.