Moving Kitchen, known as Taiwan’s most beautiful train, started its services. Drawing attention with its concept and design, Moving Kitchen is Taiwan’s first gourmet rail experience and the latest addition to The Future, a private sightseeing train that has been in service since 2019.
Initially described as an “an aesthetic catastrophe” by local media, Moving Kitchen is today referred to as Taiwan’s most beautiful train. Moving Kitchen’s originator is Johnny Chiu, founder of Taipei-based J.C. Architecture.
When the images of The Future train appeared, Chiu, who liked the idea of the train but compared the design to a hospital room, wrote a letter to the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), presenting his projects for the modernization of the train, and the idea was accepted. Within seven months, Chiu and his crew rebuilt an ancient locomotive that was once known as the Chu-Kuang Express.
Next to the historic orange color of the train, black was added to create a luxurious look. The interior of the train was inspired by the natural environment of Taiwan. Wood textures and black stones represent the mountains that continue along the Taiwan coast. Tickets come in an envelope, just like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
After all these changes, the train, which was praised in the local media, won the Japan’s Good Design Award for Transportation Design in the field of design in 2020.
The Future 2.0: Taiwan’s first gourmet train
Following the success of The Future, Taiwan Railways Authority decided to manufacture The Future 2.0 – Moving Kitchen gourmet train. In order to create a gourmet train in an environment with no electricity and water and very limited storage space, when it arrives at a new station, fresh water is added to the train and kitchen equipments are changed. In order to provide a quality meal service on a moving train, attention is paid to the timing of the meal service. Every meal served to the guests bears parallels with the landscape of the region. For example, when the train arrives at Turtle Island, famous for its mollusks, guests are served abalone, and when it arrives at the east coast seascape, seafood salad is served. In areas with the most beautiful scenery, the train slows down or stops.
The train features two new dining cars with 54 seats, as well as a new bar and kitchen. The marbles on the train, where attention is paid to the theme of sustainability, come from Hualien province, while the rattan come from the indigenous tribes of southern Taiwan.
The train features special spotlights and a phone stand next to the table to make the food look delicious and Instagram-friendly.
Moving Kitchen puts offering more than just a dining experience at its core. An event where a local rice farm and fish port is visited to show how the food arrives in front of the guests is also included in the train route.
Tickets for Moving Kitchen, which opened on March 30, are sold out until September. For now, the two-day program of the train, which operates on one or two-day routes, leaves the train and spends the night in a nearby hotel. Moving Kitchen runs six tours each month.
(Source: CNN Travel)