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Taxi Dining Room

Taxi Dining Room

Sat August 4, 2012 12:29am

The new 'tastes at the bar' menu lets those on a budget hail an exquisite experience.

WHERE AND WHAT

You know the Transport Hotel. It's that geometric-shaped black hulk opposite Flinders Street Station, on Federation Square, the ground floor throbbing with pulsating lights, music and bodies on the make. Depending on your age and cultural persuasion, it either is or isn't a pretty sight. But take the lift to the first floor and an entirely different world appears - one of light, elegance and the most glamorous, shimmering views of Melbourne. This is the Taxi Dining Room, which in 2006 was named Victoria's best restaurant by The Age Good Food Guide, and was frequented by a certain Bill Clinton. Of course, you pay for the privilege. But the introduction of a new ''tastes at the bar'' menu means the less presidential among us can visit this rarefied eyrie, order a cocktail or a Japanese tea and a few exquisite morsels, and not end up with a wallet-gouging bill. Well, that's the theory. You might just need to practise saying, ''No, thank you, we really just came for the bar food,'' before you get there because the waiters are very keen on the up-sell.

WHERE TO SIT

You'll marvel at the room's cool beauty, with its soaring windows and ceilings, glowing orbs of light and a new heavenly blue colour scheme. Long marble ledges, the ''bars'', are at opposite ends of the dining room, one facing Federation Square, the other the Yarra River.

WHEN TO GO

Daily, noon until 3pm and 6pm until late.

DRINK

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