Apart from trams, another major highlight of being in the City of Joy is the delicious food. The fragrant smell of biriyani wafts from a small roadside stall, tantalising and full of the promise of basmati and soft chicken with potatoes in their golden jackets. Another stall has steaming momos with spicy red sauce sitting on the counter. Turn your head and a huge wok full of chicken noodles grabs your attention – even with a few rupees in your pocket, you’ll never run out of good, cheap and mouth-watering food options.
I suppose then, the universal Bengali love for food and their fondness for the slow, trundling tram would somehow merge at some point and it has. Tram restaurants cropping up in the city allows its patrons to bask in the nostalgia of erstwhile colonial splendour while enjoying hot, spicy kosha mangsho with soft luchis. *drool*
In a bid to avert the fading popularity of the tram, Calcutta Tramways company had come up with a new air conditioned tram restaurant. The tram, stationed at Esplanade, not only satiates the hunger pangs of ravenous Kolkattans but also serves as a relic from the past.
The tram has artifacts and information from the past which upholds its heritage status.
It even runs on heritage routes, creeping though lanes passing by Government House, General Post Office, St Andrews Church, the Black Pagoda, Rabindra Bharati campus, Jain Temple, Presidency College, Calcutta University, Ashutosh Museum and Coffee House.
And customers are delighted with the novel concept. As Aakash Agarwal, a regular customer states,
A very affordable nice restaurant the tram associations have made. I come here for around an hour during day, take rest and some juices to avoid dehydration in this heat. It’s a nice place to hang out. Whenever I get some leisure time from my work I come here to enjoy heritage in a cool way!