The nation’s first Formosa Railway Bento Festival begins tomorrow, featuring boxed meals offered by railway operators in Taiwan and Japan.
According to the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), which is hosting the event, the festival boxed meals are made by four TRA restaurants, as well Japanese railway operators East Japan Railway (JR-East), Seibu Railway and Keikyu Corp.
The festival is also to showcase boxed meals made by the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp and three private Taiwanese caterers, the TRA said.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The main dishes are Unagi, cherry-flavored duck, roast pork and fried pork chop. In addition to meal boxes, the TRA also presented its own toast bread and rice balls, using the ingredients found in its vegetarian meals and the popular pork chop meals.
People can see and taste some of these meals at the Taiwan Culinary Exhibition, which opens in the Taipei World Trade Center tomorrow the TRA said.
TRA Director General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said his agency had invited railway operators from South Korea, but they had to cancel due to the Middle East respiratory syndrome.
Railway meals served in Japan have more variety that Taiwan, but they are cold when purchased, so that the meal does not cause any problems for the person eating the meal or other passengers on board, Chou said.
“Taiwanese boxed meals are served while they are still warm. While the people eating them are thoroughly enjoying themselves, other passengers might be troubled because they can smell the tasty dish and might want to eat too,” Chou said.
Chou added that the TRA is to introduce pre-ordering on its express train service for pork chop meals.
This might be done when passengers book tickets online or at convenience stores, after the TRA resolves issues with credit card companies.
She said that the boxed meals would be a highlight at the Taiwan Culinary Exhibition this year. The organizer is also planning a competition on Saturday, in which the bento that is sold out in the fastest time will be crowned “King of Bento.”
To enter the competition visitors can present their entry ticket and buy one of the bentos for NT$30.
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