Well, against my better judgement we went to Southgate again on Friday night (don't worry, this time we paid cash).
We have been to Blue Train several times before and it's always nice. The one thing that sticks out is that it's meant to be notorious for having to wait for a table, but on Friday night we didn't have to wait at all.
The crowd was fairly eclectic but mostly hip young things much like myself and my partner (yeah, right).
I'm pretty sure Blue Train get's most of it's staff from the current Melbourne Backpacker population, but there's nothing wrong with that, staff are very friendly and completely non pretentious, which just makes the entire experience very easy going.
I was tossing up between the fish and chips and the burger, and so asked my waitress what she thought. She recommended the burger, and I quote, "it's really big, not a shitty little patty or anything". So I went with that. Partner ordered Ravioli stuffed with olives and riccotta in light tomato sauce with fresh shaved parmesan.
Both meals, lovely... the burger was indeed very hearty, though Partner berated me for eating it the wrong way (with knife and fork rather than just squishing it down and biting in).
My chips were a little cold... but I really didn't care.
We also ordered a couple of glasses of sparkling wine which made the event even more pleasant.
There was plenty of eye candy around as well, which always makes for an even more enjoyable experience.
All in all Blue Train is a Southgate institution... a balcony table would be nice, but to me it's more fun sitting inside watching the organised chaos of the staff. And I guarantee everytime you go you'll get served by someone different because this probably isn't a long term employer and that is part of it's charm.