Friday, August 17, 2007

Neethus kitchen perhaps one of the food courts (or only food court) at Tiruchirapalli railway station. When our train reached there at about 8 pm, there were no food options available, save a few vendors from Neethus kitchen. Aha, not the regular stuff, so, when these guys were selling their stuff, I thought, perhaps the railways have bought in a new vendor - quality must be good.

For those of you who have ever tried railway stuff, the food is rarely good - all that romanticism of good railway food can be safely tossed away as belonging to another day and age. So, usually in these kind of stations, you would get decent curd rice, puliyogare rice or lemon rice which was half edible, but predictable, but now, it looks like all those options are gone. "Anything liquid is always diluted, anything solid is always half cooked" - railway food in a nutshell.

All hopes of good quality went for a toss. The dosa was as thick as a frisbee and as oily as a head before an oil bath. The Sambar was mostly filtered (so, no solid vegetable) coloured water. The chapati could have been used to decapitate any unsuspecting robber - it could be used for destructive testing of teeth too. The Kurma was mostly water with a few beans floating for survival. The biryani was coloured rice mixed badly. Neethu, if this is your kitchen, I hope you have a dispensary by the side which sells a lot of Gelusil.

But coming to the point, you can give these lucrative contracts to any vendor. How do you ensure that they dont serve trash quality? As it often happens in tourist spots, pilgrimage destinations and trains - most customers are not repeat customers - so wooing the customer gets them only brownie points - whereas milking unsuspecting customers is good money.


Prasanth said...

At least some stations in Kerala - especially Trichur, has decent food options - The "Canteen" both Veg and Non-Veg are outsourced. Unlike other stations these are clean, serve tasty (Kerala) food and has effecient service. Also, unlike other stations, there is an entrance to these from outside the stations so that you don't have to buy a platform ticket to eat in there.

Neelakantan said...

I was thinking if this was some new tactic to upgrade facilities at railway stations and if so, it has failed...