You've got to watch out for this train, one blink and you might miss it! This old decommissioned train carriage shipped all the way from Melbourne, houses an American style diner inside it and has only been open for a couple of months. Step-A-Side Diner faces the busy Hume Highway in Cabramatta and can easily be missed, but I was on a mission to find it.
A long overdue brunch catch up with a good friend meant that we needed somewhere to go (good food mandatory). I thought that I would venture out west to meet her and I'd heard of many great places popping up in Sydney's west but when I stumbled across this little diner on Urbanspoon, I was excited to go and check it out and so was Miss Tran after I sent her links to the website and to one of the blog reviews with photos.
We instantly fall in love with the funky fit out inside. The vinyl stools and booths, the old records, the black and white photos of old rock 'n roll or movie stars. There's even a funky vintage juke box.
We're a little wary as it seems as though we're the only customers, but we were there for brunch so either arrived after the breakfast crowd or were early for lunch. We noticed that there was one person ordering take away when we sat down and another two customers came in while we were dining but apart from that no one else came at all. It seems that not many people know about this place yet, but as I said, blink and you'll miss it.
There's tables with stools to sit at...
Or there's comfy booths, which we opt for.
The vintage juke box pumping out happy tunes.
Girls, Audrey Hepburn, or Marilyn Monroe?
The inside of the train carriage has been kept intact in it's original state, apart from the addition of the tables and stools and decorations. The booth seats are the original train seats which have been re-furbished. You can even sit in the driver's seat and drive the train if you feel inclined to.
All the essential condiments, including American mustard. I love how they recycled old vinyl records and turned them into holders for the condiments.
The menu isn't huge but pretty much covers all your American basics, some classic burger options along with a few gourmet burger options. There's two PO Boy's, either a chorizo or prawn filling and a hot dog. Drinks include milk shakes, spiders and sodas. Dessert options consist of waffles, sundaes, melbas and a banana split.
Prawn Po' Boy - Sauteed prawns in a garlic chilli salsa, with lettuce, tomato and Tiger sauce. Served on a 12 inch baguette.
The garlic chilli salsa grabbed Miss Tran's attention so we agreed to order one of these to share. I forgot that it was a 12 inch baguette but I am sure that what came out to our table was a lot larger than that.
The baguette had just enough crunch on the outside and was soft and fluffy on the inside. The prawns in salsa were spicy enough without being too overbearingly hot offset by the cooling crunch of the lettuce leaves and the Tiger sauce was like a light mayonaise binding everything together. The more I bit into it, the more I loved it. We both agreed we could finish off an entire one.
The only issue I had was that it got quite soggy towards the end with sauce dripping everywhere on my plate. But I think it's just that I am a messy eater as Miss Tran's plate was squeaky clean. I left the end bit of my baguette behind and ate all my prawns because I wanted room to try the burger.
Cheeseburger - 100% beef pattie, with sauteed onions, lettuce, tomato and a side of chips.
I thought we couldn't come to a diner and not have a burger. The burgers come in 2 pattie sizes, 120g or 180g. Beetroot is optional but Miss Tran says no. We opt for the 120g classic Cheeseburger so we could have room for dessert but we never had room for dessert :(.
The burger was a little cold by the time I got through my share of the massive prawn po' boy but I still enjoyed it, what I could fit in anyway. I did find that the mountain of cheese on top was a little rich but the pattie was well seasoned and juicy and the hamburger bun was soft and fluffy. The chips were nice and crispy but even a potato lover like me couldn't finish them after the po' boy and the half burger I had just eaten.
Caramel Milkshake, Lime Milkshake.
I had not had a milk shake in such a long time that with the opportunity right then and there before me, I jumped and ordered a caramel milkshake. I'm glad I did because I enjoyed every drop. It wasn't too sweet and had just the right amount of caramel.
Even coming with empty stomachs we both struggled to finish our food, the servings are very generous (or we are just tiny eaters).
As we are leaving, we're told by the owner to check out the other end of the carriage where it is a different set out. The kitchen separates the two ends of the carriage and one end can be closed off for parties and large group bookings.
It would be a pretty nifty idea to have a party in a train carriage diner.
I came to this train carriage not really knowing what to expect but am glad that we decided to go. It might not be Jazz City Diner but for something that's all the way out in the western suburbs of Sydney, it's quite a unique addition for those who don't want to come all the way out into the city. Go on, go and try it out for yourself and decide wether or not you like it. I think they deserve a chance. I'm definately coming back to try the waffles!
Step-A-Side Diner is located at 40 Roebuck St, Cabramatta, NSW, 2166
(Corner of Hume Highway and Cabramatta Road)
Open 7 Days 11:00am - 10:00pm, 8:00am - 11:00am on weekends for breakfast.