As the art of the journey, not just the destination, becomes ever more important to the modern traveler, as does the appeal for train travel. Deftly tapping into this demand is Belmond, which has just announced chef André Chiang as culinary curator onboard its newly re-introduced Eastern & Oriental Express.
In his position as culinary curator, Chiang – best known for his two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Raw – will oversee the train’s onboard menu, pulling on his own innovative style and native Asian ingredients to craft dishes that honor the culinary cultures through which the train passes. Signature dishes are set to include laksa bouillabaisse, black-bone chicken consommé and jungle spices cacao ganache.
Chiang will also work closely with Belmond’s partners to craft one-off menus and dishes for special itineraries, including the recently announced Veuve Clicquot Solaire Journey. During the three-night trip, which travels through Malaysia, guests will be able to taste the champagne Maison’s finest expressions alongside Chiang’s expertly paired cuisine.
Along with a new culinary direction, the revamped Eastern & Oriental Express has been brought back into service with all-new plush interiors – a signature characteristic of the Belmond portfolio. The train has eight sleeping carriages, two elegant restaurants and an open-air observation car, as well as the atmospheric Piano Bar, which offers live musical entertainment every evening.
Guests are able to choose between three cabin options: Pullman, State and Presidential. Each is elegantly decked in rich cherry wood panels, with interiors designed to reflect the landscapes the train travels through. The Presidential Suites – i.e., the top key – are characterized by rich gold embroidery; the State cabins reflect Penang’s marine landscape via blue and green hues; and the Pullman cabins are inspired by Kuala Lumpur, with colorful accents reminiscent of the city’s skyline.
Carefully designed to be a private haven at all hours of the day, cabins are configured to have unique day and night layouts, going from calming lounge-style spaces in the day to cozy bedrooms at night.
Veuve Clicquot’s Solaire Journey from 22–25 April, 2024; from $6,800 per person, belmond.com