They are often an unhappy lot, Melbourne’s train commuters, frustrated by cancellations, mechanical faults, long delays. Metro’s new suburban rail timetable, while adding more services, met with mixed reactions on the first day.
Maybe the Metro wallahs should have taken a page from New York’s subway timetable and scheduled a few dinner wagons.
The L Train to Brooklyn was a transport of delight on May 1 when 50 diners paid $US100 each to sit at makeshift tables on the train and enjoy a six-course lunch.
Every five stops the waiters would disembark to be replaced by new staff who would serve the next delicacy. Masterminding the food for the underground dining was a team of “punk” chefs in kitchens near the station.
The event was organised by theatre and culinary group A Razor, A Shiny Knife, who said they wanted to “challenge a habitual experience” – riding the subway.
The meal-on-wheels menu included:
- Flake crudo with bone marrow mayonnaise and trout roe
- Foie gras en brioche with pots of homemade port and raisin jelly
- Puree of ramps, poured warm from a silver teapot over black garlic, morels and a prosciutto crisp
- Filet mignon with “swipes of mashed potato” and pickled asparagus tips
- St Andre cheese
- A pyramid of chocolate panna cotta and raspberry, dusted with gold leaf
Alas, there was no wine-matching – the L Train isn’t licensed.
According to The Daily Mail’s online site, the the Metropolitan Transport Authority, which runs the New York Subway wasn’t too impressed. A spokesman said: “Subway trains are for riding, not for holding parties.” He would, wouldn’t he? No one is supposed to enjoy commuting.