Called Jupiter, the carriage features a similar decor to the rest of the ride: rich wood paneling and beautifully carved screens, plush floral fabrics for the chairs and suffused lighting. Once seated, passengers are served seasonal cuisine from the island of Kyushu – the part of Japan the train travels through – crafted by a team of local masters that only works with trusted farmers in the area. The quality of the food is excellent and varied, as dishes are customised to each journey, although you can expect classics like fukiyose (an assortment of bite-sized vegetables, ginkgo, and mushrooms), and omusubi (Japanese rice ball) to make an appearance.
Besides the train, guests also have the opportunity to eat at some of the region’s most sought-after restaurants, from the French La Verveine to Kyoto staple Imoto, one of Japan’s best kaiseki restaurants.
The Ghan, Australia
The Ghan, the legendary luxury train linking Adelaide to Darwin since 1929, offers a full-immersion into Australia’s wild outback. So does the food on board, which is essentially a celebration of Australian cuisine.
Guests get to enjoy not one, but three different restaurant cars, designed to have their own character and specific ambience. There’s the classically styled Queen Adelaide with its Art Deco details, which serves hearty breakfasts, two-course lunches, and three-course dinners. There’s also the more relaxed Outback Explorer, a lounge-meets-social hub where you can sip coffee or beer over a board game. And, lastly, the more exclusive Platinum Club, accessible to Platinum Service passengers only (top-of-the-line ticket holders), with decor that features quartzite tabletops, timber flooring, and leather banquette seating.
Across all of the cars, the culinary team works closely with local suppliers, farmers, and providers to source ingredients from the diverse environments the train travels through, putting on the table a regionally inspired menu that includes local lamb, saltwater barramundi, Margaret River cheeses, and grilled kangaroo filet.
Royal Scotsman, Scotland
Another Belmond train – the Royal Scotsman really is all about the journey and giving guests one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. Leaving from and returning to Edinburgh’s Waverley Station by way of the Scottish Highlands, the uber-indulgent ride places a strong emphasis on its dining offerings. There are two dining cars, Raven and Swift, appointed with mahogany-panelled walls and on-brand tweed upholstery (you’re in Scotland after all), stark white linen, and fine china.
The best of Scottish produce from both land and sea makes up the menu created by head chef Mark Tamburrini, with plenty of Scottish smoked salmon featuring alongside extravagant dishes like pigeon salad, kidgeree, and spiced roast halibut. At breakfast, the Full Scottish is a must-try if you like meat – it’s a hefty combination of eggs, back bacon, sausage, black pudding, and haggis (a type of pudding composed of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep).
But it’s not just about the food. Together with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the Royal Scotsman also does a five-day Scotch Malt Whisky Tour that, besides three-course lunches and four-course dinners (which you get on the regular trips as well), comes with tasting opportunities and distillery visits.