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'The sambar-rice at Guntakal tasted divine'

November 19, 2015 17:06 IST
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We had asked you, dear readers, to share memories of what you ate on train journeys.

Presenting a fresh set of responses.

Ramesh Sundaram from Mumbai writes:

"My experience is about travelling between Mumbai and Chennai/ Bangalore.

"Guntakal Junction is one halt we used to look forward to, enroute our final destination.

"My elder brother (who is now no more) and his wife were loyal to sambar-rice combination at Guntakal station.

"While travelling together, I have seen him rushing to the Vegetarian Refreshment Room with a tiffin carrier and order rice and sambar with a side dish -- a sabji.

"The piping hot rice and sambar smelled delicious.

"At times I used to tease him about this habit of his, but I must confess that the combination tasted divine.

"Of late our travels have reduced in frequency.

"But, even today, when I am passing by Guntakal during a journey, I rush to a stall which serves hot upma. This too is my favourite.

"I finish it off with a glass of filter coffee from the same stall. It gives immense satisfaction to my palate.

"For me Guntakal Junction will always remain as a special station."

Kharad Zarir Variyava is all-praise for the service in Deccan Queen that connects Mumbai with Pune:

"The eats on board the famed Deccan Queen are a standard within themselves.

"My mother and I have been regular travellers on this train for the past 15 years.

"Till date I have not seen any drop in the quality of the food they serve.

"The train boasts of a dining car, which is a one-of-its kind on the entire railway network, if you exclude the tourist trains like the Deccan Odyssey, Maharaja Express, Golden Chariot and Palace on Wheels.

"The dining car offers a variety of snacks including  plain omlette, a cheese omlette, cheese toast, baked beans on toast, chicken cutlet, veg cutlet apart from sabudana wada, kaanda bhajji and wada pav that get over almost as soon as they are prepared, especially the kaanda bhajji. 

"A passenger can also request for plain scrambled eggs, a masala variant of scrambled egg (bhurji), or even a fried egg or boiled eggs.

"Besides these, passengers have a choice of potato chips, bread butter, toast butter (on all days except Sundays), and of course the regular tea, coffee, water and soft drinks.

"A veg pizza and fried fish too was available earlier, but now discontinued, since fish is expensive and the pizza was not much in demand compared to the other popular dishes.

"The train staff is also very courteous.

"Being an ISO certified train, the Deccan Queen's staff ensures that the standard of the dining car with respect to cleanliness and quality of food is always maintained.

"In 2015, the Deccan Queen got a new dining car.

"I always have my snacks seated in the dining car of the Deccan Queen, and also parcel some to take home."

Bengaluru's Arvind, aged 42, also shared his feedback:

"I used to frequently travel from Bangalore to Mysore.

"There are lot of trains that run this short distance and Shatabdi is known for its speed.

"Earlier the quality of service in the train was really appreciated.

"Now, the quantity (of food) served is less; my daughter finishes (the meal) and asks for more.

"There is no customer care at all.

"They don't understand the local language as the train comes from Chennai to Mysore.

"There’s a lot of scope for improvement.

"It's better to buy curd rice from the railway station than eat train food."

Reader R Jaikumar from Kolkata writes:

"Forget the quality of food served/available on Indian railways.

"I hope one is aware that the food packets or trays are kept near the toilets of the coach before they are served, with passengers hopping and skipping over and around them.

"The spoons provided are definitely reused. God knows if they are even cleaned.

"I am sure the 'taste' of curry or gravy in both the vegetarian or non-vegetarian dishes is the same."


Your train food experience: A hearty meal for Rs 10

'The pantry services in Deccan Queen is excellent'

'The uppuma simply melts in your mouth'

'In 1977, the waiters were prompt and courteous'

'We end up quarrelling with the pantry car staff'

'I ordered egg curry for lunch, it was stinking'

'Breakfast in Frontier Mail was 5 star'

Have you travelled by Indian Railways? Share your memories of the meals you have had on Indian trains.

If you have pictures, send us those as well. Mail us at and we will feature the best entries on Rediff.comand India Abroad.

Don't forget to mention your NAME, AGE and the place where you LIVE.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Sriram Bala/Creative Commons

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