Speakeasy tram and express lunches at MFWF 2014

And just like that it was all over.  Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is done and dusted for another year, and like every year I wish I had managed to make it along to even more events.  This year I started with a bang with visits to The Immersery, Eat.Drink.Westside and the Travelling Samovar.  Then I had a bit of a festival lull due to a trip to Brisbane (post coming up on that soon) before finishing off my festival with some express lunches and a trip on the Speakeasy tram.  

Melbourne Food& Wine Festival

Pei Modern
Despite its awkward setting wedged next to the entrance to The Sofitel hotel, I really like the food at Pei Modern and the minimalist fit out.  The express lunch menu offered tiny fried whiting all crispy crunch. Usually I’d eat bones and all in a fish like this but the bones on these were lethal so it was a little bit fiddly picking them all out.  

Swordfish at Pei Modern

Continuing on the seafood theme I also had a meaty piece of swordfish topped with some walnuts for crunch.  Service was a little slow for an “express” lunch, but it was a good way to eat at a top restaurant for a reasonable price.    

Details: Pei Modern, 45 Collins St, Melbourne 3000 (Ph 03 9654 8545)
Damage: Reasonable. Express lunch of two courses with a glass of wine for $40.

Pei Modern on Urbanspoon

Steak tartare at Bistro Guillaume
Steak tartare at Bistro Guillaume

Bistro Guillaume
Classic French food is the order of the day at Bistro Guillaume.  I’d eaten here once before for a work lunch so was impressed to see the Express Lunch options were drawn from the standard menu, offering an opportunity to get a true experience of Bistro Guillaume.  I started with steak tartare as if you are ever going to eat raw meat, it’s best to eat it at a top notch restaurant like Bistro Guillaume.  The meat was silky and tender and I loved the home made crisps that accompanied it.  

Boudin noir at Bistro Guillaume
Boudin noir at Bistro Guillaume

A main of salmon fillet was seared on the outside then almost rare inside, letting the quality of the seafood show through. However the boudin noir had a mealy taste and my sister who was my lunch date struggled to finish it.  Love the French accents of all the waiters here (swoon) and the fit out which like a modern Parisian bistro despite the fact Bistro Guillaume is in the Crown Casino complex.  

Details: Bistro Guillaume, Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank (Ph 03 9292 4751)
Damage: Reasonable. The express lunch of two course with a glass of wine is $40. 
Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

Inside the tram
Inside the tram

Speakeasy tram
The highlight of the festival for me this year was The Everleigh’s takeover of the Tramcar Restaurant. It was so much fun feeling like a tourist in Melbourne as the tram lurched around the streets while enjoying some quality Everleigh cocktails.

Smoked salmon
Salmon “ceviche” on the Speakeasy Tram

I think I’ve found a new favourite cocktail as well, a Tom Collins done Everleigh style. The mixture of gin, lemon, sugar and soda was slightly bitter and oh so grown up. Shout out to my excellent cocktail tram companions Anastasia, Amber and Melinda. If you go on this next year bear in mind it includes a four course (fairly average) meal. I thought there were just snacks so we all ate dinner beforehand. Oops.

Details: The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, South Melbourne 3205 (Ph 03 9695 4000)
Damage: Pricey.  $110 includes all food and drink.  
9/10 The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I think you did very well to pack so much of the MFWF in, plus a trip to Brisbane! Well done, I love the tram setting and the Salmon Cervice looks so good!!

  2. The steak tartare and potato chips @ Bistro Guillaume look amazing, likewise the ceviche on the Speakeasy Tram! Looks nice and cosy in the tram – would’ve been a fun experience. 🙂

  3. The festival went by far too quickly for my liking 🙂

    Looks like you had such a good time though – I’ve always wanted to try the Speakeasy Tram, but have always told myself it’s only for tourists ;P

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