For you foodies, Australia's leading cooking reality show is "Masterchef," and the train was lucky enough to have Alana Lowes as chef and culinary guide. Guests even had the opportunity to try their hand side-by-side with Alana in a test kitchen.
When it came time to really eat, the Master Class Sunlander travelers were treated to a 5-course degustation menu designed by Chef Lowes to showcase all of what Queensland has to offer in fresh produce. The seafood plate featured three tapas-style dishes, with the standout being local mud crab in a cucumber and mint essence. We hadn't even hit the main course yet. And then it arrived: spice-scented Dorper free range lamb with a harissa gremolata. When in Queensland, eat lamb!
The dining experience didn't stop once the journey continued over water to Hamilton Island. The final night of the 4-day trip had Alana hosting a masterclass where she created an entire 6-course meal in front of the table, while asking for a few helping hands. Our faves of the finished product were the scallop & prawn stuffed zucchini flowers for a starter, and the baked whole snapper for a main. The evening then finished with a fantastic homemade honeycomb painted with dark chocolate, topped with salted peanuts.
Fine dining is best accompanied with fine wine, so each meal was paired with vintages from the Queensland winery, Sirromet. From sparkling to dessert wines, each wine was handpicked by the vineyard's master sommelier to complement the chef's menu. And still we can't believe most of this went down on a train, of all places.
Discolure: We traveled as a guest of Queensland Rail, but all of our photos and opinions are completely our own.
[Photo: Rayme Gorniak for Jaunted]