Australia’s quirky dining experiences

Last updated 09:47 05/06/2014

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So much of travel is about food. No one has time for a mediocre dining experience, but even less so while on holiday.

Even fine dining can get same-same after a night or two, with great dishes leaving a bad taste in your mouth if the atmosphere's is lacking.

"World-class food and wine experiences are on the rise across Australia. Add the many quirky dining options on offer and you'll build some great holiday memories," says Rachel Mancini, House of Travel's Australia product manager.

So why not try something different?

House of Travel's top five quirky dining experiences in Australia may not seem relaxing, but they all involve good food and memories to boot.

COLONIAL TRAM CAR IN MELBOURNE

Fairly self-explanatory, this restaurant is set in a fleet of historical trams.

A little glossier than your standard public transport, however, these lush rooms on wheels are the first travelling tramcar restaurants in the world.

While cruising city streets, diners can enjoy quality Australian food and wine while getting a tour of Melbourne. A perfect setting for a first date - as the passing sites provide non-stop conversation fodder.

Also a great gift for a special couple or a party (each tram can fit 36 passengers). But don't be late - the car won't wait!

SOUNDS OF SILENCE IN ULURU

With Ayers Rock as a backdrop, Sounds of Silence offers the best of the Red Centre.

Guests feast on canapes, a three-course bush tracker inspired buffet, scrumptious desserts, washed down with beer, wine, port, or non alcoholic drinks - take your pick.

All this under an outback sky, entertained by Aboriginal storytellers and dance performances.

You can even ride a camel to dinner, for an extra $100 (check out Camels to Sounds of Silence).

FLAMES OF THE FOREST IN PORT DOUGLAS

An exciting alternative to a Port Douglas or Palm Cove restaurant experience, this rain forest experience is a must-do for anyone interested in national history, or even just a romantic night out with a difference.

Aboriginal culture is explored through storytelling and music, as you nosh down on a tropical tasting menu and premium wines. 

LENTIL AS ANYTHING IN MELBOURNE AND SYDNEY

A not-for-profit organisation throughout Australia, Lentil as Anything is a chain of vegetarian restaurants where guests contribute what they feel their meal and experience is worth, in line with what they can afford.

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The philosophy has been working for 13 years, with restaurants Melbourne and Sydney.

The financial model is built on trust, generosity and respect, and the company believes "everyone has a right to feel valued and respected, money should help bring people together not divide us".

Search Ted Talks for more info.

INTERACTIVE THEATRE IN SYDNEY

Self-described as "part game, part theatre, with dining and drinks, set in the streets", this so-called production is certainly a unique take on dinner.

Tripadvisor gives it 4.5 stars out of 5. Small audience groups navigate the city streets, piecing together clues of a mysterious, entertaining plot.

Throw in some drinks and food along the way and you have a great recipe for fun.

Have you had any quirky dining experiences in Australia or around the world? Tell us about it in comments.

- Stuff

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