When Orient Express reached Japan

As a child I was a big fan of Dr. Sherlock Holmes and M. Hercule Poirot and wished to travel on board the Orient Express and perhaps even solve a mystery or two as in Agatha Christie stories.

More or less, you all have heard about the Orient Express, the iconic train, which started in 1883 with a route from Paris to Istanbul (Constantinople at the time) inspired by Georges Nagelmackers’ vision of a luxurious “sleeper cars” taking you on an over-thousand-mile journey across the continent. During the years, the Orient Express gained an aura of mystery, intrigue, adventures, romance, and of course, luxurious travel and to date remains immortalized in a number of stories, movies and other pieces of art.

The glorious days of the original Orient Express are long gone with the wind and air travel industry progress. However, it is still possible to board one of the replica trains for a luxurious journey from London/Paris to Venice or the Southeast Asia version from Bangkok to Singapore.

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A lounge in an actual former Orient-Express rail carriage. A ta gueule Orient-Express, Tokyo.

Not only travelers were inspired by the Orient Express. Chef George Somura, the only Japanese chef who worked on board the Southeast version of the Paris-Simplon-Venice train for a number of years, had a vision of a restaurant, which would combine French cuisine and the train carriage. He managed to buy one of the railroad cars and built the restaurant around it. Opened in early 2012, off the beaten path in Kiba, Tokyo, the A ta gueule Orient-Express” offers superb French cuisine with an added essence of each country the Orient Express runs through.

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A ta gueule Orient-Express, a French restaurant in Kiba, Tokyo.

Every dish is carefully prepared and takes you to a culinary journey without actually leaving Tokyo.

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Kamakura Tomate Panache avec Crab et Ormeau Aromatique / Avaron,Crab,Kamakura tomato ensemble Parfum Aromatique

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Poisson du jour / Fish of the day

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Marquise au chocolat a la Com chez soi avec glace a la Pistache / Chilled chocolate Terrine side with pistachio ice cream

After the dinner you will be invited to a lounge in the actual carriage for a coffee and petite fours. Just sit back, enjoy the atmosphere and… maybe put a new item on your bucket list as I did – to travel the actual Orient Express one day.

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