I had a lovely day-trip to Melbourne last week on the train with my girl and one of her friends. A couple of months ago I’d booked tickets to see the Titanic Artefacts exhibition (@ Melbourne Museum) and also ‘ABBAWORLD’ (an interactive exhibition) at Federation Square. I forgot to take my camera, but did end up taking a number of mobile phone photo’s (some of which I’m sharing with you today).
Our Titanic ‘session’ was at 10am last Thursday and ABBAWORLD was @ 2pm. With two hours allocated for each event, there was of course plenty of time to sit down, take a breather and have lunch inbetween! As it happens we lunched at ‘Transport Hotel’ - Federation Square, which is actually a multi-level venue with more than one dining option. In 2008, hubby and I had dinner at the exquisite ‘Taxi – dining room’ (level 1), with beautiful Melbourne ‘night lights’ views (being the Arts Centre & Flinders Street Station and St Kilda Boulevard below). I think it was the night before we saw Michael Buble in concert for the first time and we spent 2 nights in the city as a bit of a ‘getaway’. Anyway, I was influenced to try ‘Taxi’ on Derryn Hinch’s glowing recommendation (he reviews eateries on his website under the tab ‘Hungry Hinch’). No regrets, it was wonderful (-yes, pricey with average main meals around the $44-$50 mark and entree’s around $25 & desserts $20 but it was ‘fine dining’ & I think worth experiencing if you’re foodies like us. ‘Taxi’ staff are faultless and make you feel like royalty.
Anyway, in the same building (ground level) you can buy the Transport Hotel’s gastropub lunches and at last I got to check them out! With great city views afforded by large floor-to-ceiling windows -we ordered lunch, paid and took possession of our ‘beeper’. When lunch is ready your individual pager goes off and the only way to stop it is to exchange it for your food.
My girl had the pie of the day which was ‘beef and red wine’ +chips and her friend and I ordered off the laminated menu board. I had the vegetarian lentil shepherd’s pie and teen #2 chose the crispy beef wrap with chilli sauce and fries. All of our meals were $15 each (just a co-incidence) and we thoroughly enjoyed them (and couldn’t finish them)! My girl’s pie (in a ceramic dish with puff pastry lid) – influenced me to make this weeks Mexican Beef Pies. Ok, I also had a tin of kidney beans in the pantry and there was a recipe for a Mexican Shepherd’s Pie on the label. I didn’t follow the label recipe..but in my mind I began putting a new one together.. using my usual chilli-con-carne recipe (with cocoa) which I like to dollop over homemade nacho’s. My generous ramekin’s made large, individual pies, but you can improvise. I also have proper, smaller ‘regular’ pie tins but since the Transport Hotel’s lunch pies made a statement with their size – I decided to follow suit. If you don’t have individual dishes and don’t want the expense of them, use a round or square baking dish and make one generous family pie!