Trolley treats ... Yum cha dishes from Tai Pan, Doncaster East. Photo: Marina Oliphant
Vue de monde's cheese cart is a work of art. Made in Melbourne by Arteveneta, the handcrafted walnut trolley echoes the style of a classic Australian meatsafe with ingenious drawers and shelves below a glass cabinet at table height. Guests choose from a dozen local and imported cheeses and the aroma released when the cabinet is opened is almost as good as the taste.
Vue de monde, level 55, 525 Collins Street, city, 9691 3888.
Cheese trolley at Vue de monde.
Champagne is always associated with special occasions and when it arrives at your table on a 1950s era trolley complete with a sparkling ice-bucket, a choice of flutes, coupes or tulip champagne glasses, and a selection of French labels, it's impossible not to feel that your evening is getting off to a good start. Add in a grand dining room, European-influenced menu and smooth service, and Syracuse might just be one of the most stylish places to have a glass of bubbles.
Syracuse, 23 Bank Place, city, 9670 1777.
Think you can say no to dessert? Then you haven't had to face the dessert trolley at Epocha. Co-owner Guy Holder says the trolley is all about the theatrical completion of the dining experience and the first time it's wheeled through the restaurant it always makes an impression. Chef Michael Bolam's dessert options change daily but always include a chocolate, trifle and tart option. Holder says he's never sold more desserts than at Epocha and really, when dessert so elegantly comes to you, how could you refuse?
Epocha, 49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, 9036 4949.
Champagne at Syracuse.
The Everleigh's two cocktail trolleys may only come out for special occasions, but when they do it's a real event. Created by owner Michael Madrusan from glammed-up industrial shelves for a food and wine festival event on the city's tramcar, the trolleys allow patrons to get up close and personal with the cocktail-making experience. The cocktail trolley idea went down so well, Madrusan and his team plan to give them more outings next year.
The Everleigh, 1/150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 9416 2229.
Come face-to-face with your dessert options at Epocha. Photo: Danie Sprague
At Tai Pan, trolleys loaded up with steaming dumplings make their way through the always-crowded restaurant seven days a week. Built to withstand sticky carpet, wandering toddlers and spilt food, these trolleys are oldies but goodies, and easily Melbourne's hardest working. While some Melbourne restaurants have now abandoned old rattlers for table service, yum cha just isn't the same if it doesn't arrive at your table on wheels.
Tai Pan, 239 Blackburn Road, Doncaster East, 9841 9977.