Eateries Make Highways Heaven or Hell
By Das Sreedharan | Published: 12th September 2015 10:00 PM |
Long road trips are very common in Britain. Whether for work or leisure, people enjoy a good drive to destinations, sometimes even crossing the borders to reach France and European countries, for holidays. With an ever-increasing city population and huge business opportunities, roads are full with vehicles and traffic jams. It is important for road authorities to provide facilities for comfortable stopovers.
Welcome Break, the independent motorway service company in the UK, has world-class outlets with large spaces of food court, petrol station and clean toilets. These are located on both sides of the road in every 20-mile distance.
Most of the successful food chains have their outlets in every Welcome Break stops. They provide excellent food of consistent quality throughout the 24-hour operation. The infrastructure that you will find on these motorways makes you wonder how brilliantly they planned this operation 50 years ago.
Indian highways are also getting busier but there are no adequate roadside facilities. Restaurants on highways need to improve a lot on quality and cleanliness to make them comfortable places for families and foreign travellers.
Such facilities for travellers on roads leading to tourist destinations are incredibly important as people will only be interested to travel if they get good on-road services. A trip to Rajasthan from Delhi, undertaken a few years ago, was superb as the road was dotted with authentic dhabas serving excellent food. The food, which was a real treat of traditional north Indian flavours, was better than what we had in both the cities.
A recent visit to the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh was an enjoyable experience, but we found the roadside eateries less impressive. However, at the largest temple in the world, we had the best food and tastiest laddoos. Even though the temple kitchen was extremely busy cooking for thousands of people, the food was divine and variety was remarkable.
Most of the eateries along highway make you feel their lack of interest in improving quality. As they are busy and have sufficient business at hand, they don’t need to make any extra effort to attract people.
Tamil fast food joints are ever so popular across India and they have grown so much in the past 20 years. Dosa, idli and other specialities of the region have become comfort food and are mostly made from fresh ingredients. Roads leading to Chennai from other states have plenty of these traditional restaurants which will make your journey worthwhile and mouth-watering.
Further down in Kerala, we found eating out on highways is still developing and definitely need more planning and imagination. In the last one year, we have seen plenty of new restaurants coming up and catering to the escalating road traffic carrying tourists and NRIs back and forth. Some of the tourism department-run restaurants serve food at reasonable prices. But they could do much better if the department would take more care and efforts.
The author is a London-based restaurateur who owns the Rasa chain of restaurants