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David Ross

Airline Food-The good, the bad and the ugly

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@MetsFan5 My sympathies.   I despise United. So many bad experiences....

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@KennethT I daresay you weren't sitting in "the back of the bus". Looks good.

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9 hours ago, ElsieD said:

@KennethT I daresay you weren't sitting in "the back of the bus". Looks good.

Actually we were in the back of the plane. Thus flight only has biz and prem economy. We were PE and got a great deal about a year ago. It was like $600 each way.

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That's a great deal you got.  $600 in air fare in Canada doesn't get you very far.  That is one veeeeery long flight.  The longest I've been one was 13 hours direct from Toronto to Honolulu.  Thought we'd never get there.

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In Singapore airport...

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Shrimp nuggets on a stick

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15 hours ago, KennethT said:

Peas and crackers? I'm visualising a plane full of folk trying to keep little green peas on a cracker during turbulence lol. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Two "meals" from my recent flights from Hong Kong to Edinburgh, Scotland via Dubai on Air Emirates.

 

HK-Dubai

 

hkg-dbx.thumb.jpg.eebed4a5f1537961e7b48ebd63f4cd19.jpg

 

After the pleasant cheese panini (not pictured), I went with the noodles.

 

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This wasn't terrible, but the saucing was a bit over-powerfully flavoured and the greenery overcooked.

 

DBX-EDI

 

dbx-edi.thumb.jpg.fc6b541aecc8d97076c41bac35bbd65e.jpg

 

By the time they got to me, the turkey sandwiches had run out, so I was forced to settle for the mozz and cuke. It was OK.

 

20190627_105040.thumb.jpg.6a4947f65ef2760ed7527c718374238a.jpg

 

I did enjoy the date and ginger cake (to my surprise), but I can't find the picture I'm sure I took.

 

For lunch, I warily chose the chicken chana dal*, but first I had to deal with the appetiser - pasta salad. It looked great but lurking under the orzo (which I love) and black beans was the dreaded yellow insult to food. Pass!

 

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Back to the chana dal. This was by far the least appealing dish visually, but was by far the tastiest. I would have been happy to pay serious money for that in a restaurant.

 

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I even enjoyed the milk chocolate mousse, despite a notorious lack of sweet tooth.

 

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Despite the c*rn disgrace, I had a really nice meal.

 

At some point I forget, some cheese and crackers also turned up.

 

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I'll post the return flights when they occur. I'll have the dal for sure, should it be on offer again.

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I flew Emirates once- they just started their direct NY to Milan route and had crazy cheap fares as a promotion. It was several years ago and don't remember the details, but my impression was favorable.

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Just now, KennethT said:

I flew Emirates once- they just started their direct NY to Milan route and had crazy cheap fares as a promotion. It was several years ago and don't remember the details, but my impression was favorable.

 

I've used them a few times quite happily (as far as flying can be happy). I only asterisked the chana dal as I once flew from Bangkok to London on Bangladesh Airlines via Dakka. 

 

Worst flight of my 100s of flights.  Every meal was chick pea/garbanzo.curry. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or extracurricular snack!

 

And, like an idiot, I booked a return flight.

 

Two. 10 hour curry fart extravaganzas.

 

When I booked my flight this time, through a company I have a close business relationship with and get trade prices, my friend/contact asked which airlines I preferred. My only stipulation was that I'd heard of it and it wasn't Bangladesh. Love the country, but sorry, your airline sucks.

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6 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Two "meals" from my recent flights from Hong Kong to Edinburgh, Scotland via Dubai on Air Emirates.

 

HK-Dubai

 

hkg-dbx.thumb.jpg.eebed4a5f1537961e7b48ebd63f4cd19.jpg

 

After the pleasant cheese panini (not pictured), I went with the noodles.

 

20190627_055232.thumb.jpg.6d91aa4a5ef9f69d5ba61b303b1a242a.jpg

 

20190627_055218.thumb.jpg.bd84dd0c03d1bfd79f05841193c7e1a3.jpg

 

This wasn't terrible, but the saucing was a bit over-powerfully flavoured and the greenery overcooked.

 

DBX-EDI

 

dbx-edi.thumb.jpg.fc6b541aecc8d97076c41bac35bbd65e.jpg

 

By the time they got to me, the turkey sandwiches had run out, so I was forced to settle for the mozz and cuke. It was OK.

 

20190627_105040.thumb.jpg.6a4947f65ef2760ed7527c718374238a.jpg

 

I did enjoy the date and ginger cake (to my surprise), but I can't find the picture I'm sure I took.

 

For lunch, I warily chose the chicken chana dal*, but first I had to deal with the appetiser - pasta salad. It looked great but lurking under the orzo (which I love) and black beans was the dreaded yellow insult to food. Pass!

 

20190627_155424(1).thumb.jpg.8c86ce44376f10acae920a02124dd2ea.jpg

 

20190627_154520.thumb.jpg.83843b75ff2cc03365ce4f73925f5fcd.jpg

 

Back to the chana dal. This was by far the least appealing dish visually, but was by far the tastiest. I would have been happy to pay serious money for that in a restaurant.

 

20190627_154526.thumb.jpg.c4ad47723dda03d45002a4bad28d7dd4.jpg

 

I've often wondered why airlines try to feed us things like pasta and hot sandwiches that really don't hold up well to either cold storage or reheating. This sounds like a marvelous idea.


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Posted (edited)

Singapore Air: Singapore to New York (Newark) direct.  On this leg, they had the "Book the Cook" available. This is an interesting feature that lets you preselect your meals in advance - I selected mine a couple months ago... the nice thing is that this gives you much more choice - there are about 8 choices for dinner and another 8 more for breakfast.

 

Menu - note that they also have the standard choices for those who didn't bother booking the cook.

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@liuzhou may note the dessert in the last photo. I asked for a chicken tikka wrap and they brought me a pudding " just in case"... I didn't try it as my corn aversion is only slightly less than his.

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My dinner - hainanese chicken rice complete with chili sauce and sweet soy sauce. Chicken was juicy and tender and rice was great, but the bok choy was overcooked.

Came with:

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Roll with lurpack butter and a very tasty chocolate mousse.

 

My breakfast - dim sum

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Before opening, check out the croissant - I've had worse croissants in France - it was also served warm. Check the interior:

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The dim sum

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Siu nai, har gow, chicken and mushroom and also rice with chicken mushrooms and chestnuts

 

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The aforementioned corn pudfing

 

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The chicken tikka wrap - quite tasty - I had a few of them.


Edited by KennethT (log)
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That all looks good, but I'm still stuck on "peas and crackers" as an item. Why are those paired together? Does anyone here know? Is it English pub mooshy peas that one could scoop onto the crackers without dropping them?

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 hours ago, Smithy said:

That all looks good, but I'm still stuck on "peas and crackers" as an item. Why are those paired together? Does anyone here know? Is it English pub mooshy peas that one could scoop onto the crackers without dropping them?

The peas and crackers are actually 2 items.... dried wasabi peas or a package of crackers... why they put them together like that on the menu is anyone's guess...

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Also, to give an idea of otgher  book the cook offerings, my wife had a decent nasi biryani for dinner...

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I almost forgot. We flew Sing Air's regional airline from Yogyakarta (Indonesia) to Singapore - about a 2 hour flight... This was served as breakfast:

20190706_110236_HDR.thumb.jpg.4fbccc07b0e9b82fde76f28d7dcfaec5.jpg

Fried rice noodles (in some kind of chili sauce with shrimp paste) with seafood. I was nervous about this, but was extremely surprised - the seafood (calamari and small shrimp) were perfectly cooked. I imagine they were raw before being cooked while the dish heated.

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Posted (edited)

To talk about the “good” part: Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong to Frankfurt. Complimentary upgraded to First 🥳 ...

 

7A3C429B-DF7D-43B8-B882-F4442DACFC10.thumb.jpeg.983b8ac17d4cb1f56d3e33655bb42840.jpegE58BA82E-2406-4F9D-B8DE-75D5648D77C5.thumb.jpeg.510b7fcd6ff0745a0cf377bf3dd2095a.jpeg

 

Some Brandade amuse geule that came with the first Champagne (and some freshly toasted nuts).

 

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Caviar with more Champagne ...

 

D98BA50B-3098-4A86-A104-139165BEDB33.thumb.jpeg.3dd7c9b23a51406e549f0253d52c67ff.jpegF273F36D-E1E0-4D64-AF36-E5030A410217.thumb.jpeg.5f43f1d23bbea5d9db8cbb53d66ef856.jpeg

 

Harissa soup & Burrata not shown. Steak was great ...

 

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Breakfast (continental choice)

 

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B625DF6E-DBC6-456A-80F2-083BC98FACEA.jpeg

 

A89751C0-1BED-4AA0-B241-80E5125D585F.jpeg


Edited by Duvel (log)
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1 hour ago, Duvel said:

To talk about the “good” part: Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong to Frankfurt. Complimentary upgraded to First 🥳 ...

 

You monster!

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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24 minutes ago, teonzo said:

 

You monster!

 

 

 

Teo

 

 

I see what you did there 😜

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6 hours ago, Duvel said:

To talk about the “good” part: Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong to Frankfurt. Complimentary upgraded to First 🥳 ...

 

7A3C429B-DF7D-43B8-B882-F4442DACFC10.thumb.jpeg.983b8ac17d4cb1f56d3e33655bb42840.jpegE58BA82E-2406-4F9D-B8DE-75D5648D77C5.thumb.jpeg.510b7fcd6ff0745a0cf377bf3dd2095a.jpeg

 

Some Brandade amuse geule that came with the first Champagne (and some freshly toasted nuts).

 

E4AD980E-BDE2-4863-91CE-B61485909C42.thumb.jpeg.8baf606add4ae62c38796078e259cc64.jpeg

11F86588-F965-430D-9461-BEB92961D4F0.thumb.jpeg.bb131c8be90e077217520f45b8819dc1.jpeg

 

Caviar with more Champagne ...

 

D98BA50B-3098-4A86-A104-139165BEDB33.thumb.jpeg.3dd7c9b23a51406e549f0253d52c67ff.jpegF273F36D-E1E0-4D64-AF36-E5030A410217.thumb.jpeg.5f43f1d23bbea5d9db8cbb53d66ef856.jpeg

 

Harissa soup & Burrata not shown. Steak was great ...

 

75E59910-F73C-4AF1-955C-456056D682A7.thumb.jpeg.5be1b3be260e57d26ab326ed18facb07.jpeg

 

Breakfast (continental choice)

 

F10AF166-8F47-458A-95B6-758B755611BF.jpeg

6C6782E0-56A9-4F0E-ADCB-65F17723DB0E.jpeg

B625DF6E-DBC6-456A-80F2-083BC98FACEA.jpeg

 

A89751C0-1BED-4AA0-B241-80E5125D585F.jpeg

 

 

Looks similar to Air France transAtlantic business class.    Your wine glass much nicer.    i have long Quibbled with airlines about their tryying to serve steaks and chops.    For food safety reasons, they have to be overcooked (for most people) and even assuming that they start with good meat, the final result is clumsy and disappointing,    Why, I've repeatedly asked in letters to management, can't they serve a really good braise that takes well to reheating?    Beef or lamb both work well, and the cuts would be cheaper to boot.   Another question I've had is why the food is always better flying out of San Francisco than on the return out of Paris.    Logic says that the French should be able to "do it better" but we have always had worse meals on the westbound leg.     I always attributed it to the difference in exchange rate, i.e., spending the same amount of money per passenger, they had a bigger budget out of the US than out of France.    Or something else...

 


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5 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

Looks similar to Air France transAtlantic business class.    Your wine glass much nicer.    i have long Quibbled with airlines about their tryying to serve steaks and chops.    For food safety reasons, they have to be overcooked (for most people) and even assuming that they start with good meat, the final result is clumsy and disappointing,    Why, I've repeatedly asked in letters to management, can't they serve a really good braise that takes well to reheating?    Beef or lamb both work well, and the cuts would be cheaper to boot.   Another question I've had is why the food is always better flying out of San Francisco than on the return out of Paris.    Logic says that the French should be able to "do it better" but we have always had worse meals on the westbound leg.     I always attributed it to the difference in exchange rate, i.e., spending the same amount of money per passenger, they had a bigger budget out of the US than out of France.    Or something else...

 

I believe that it doesn't really have much to do with the airline itself.  I'm not sure, but I think airlines contract out the food service to companies in each locale they offer service. So, for example, I just flew Singapore Air from NY to Singapore direct - the food was very different on the two flights - so they're not bringing food from Singapore to NY for the return trip, they're getting it from a NY based supplier. Some airlines are better than others probably because they use different service providers or pay a higher price - as in you get what you pay for.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I believe that it doesn't really have much to do with the airline itself.  I'm not sure, but I think airlines contract out the food service to companies in each locale they offer service. So, for example, I just flew Singapore Air from NY to Singapore direct - the food was very different on the two flights - so they're not bringing food from Singapore to NY for the return trip, they're getting it from a NY based supplier. Some airlines are better than others probably because they use different service providers or pay a higher price - as in you get what you pay for.

I understand and agree with what you write.    But there was such a difference in quality on the different directions, same airline and service level.     I assumed they probably had a fixed budget per passenger and that the money just went farther at one terminal than the other.    When the dollar was 1 and euro 1.30, there is a huge difference in available product quality.    Now, not so much.


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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I'm of the opinion that airline food is not trying to be all things to all people.  It's not swinging for the fences, aiming for a Michelin star. No, it's aiming to be inoffensive to the greatest number of people and within budgetary confines. Consider your neighbors and co-workers: You, the e-gulleter, are the biggest foodie among them, yes? Your specifications are two standard deviations removed from the mean.  I guarantee if AA or Delta could partner with a fast food chain, they'd do it in a New York minute.

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19 minutes ago, fondue said:

I'm of the opinion that airline food is not trying to be all things to all people.  It's not swinging for the fences, aiming for a Michelin star. No, it's aiming to be inoffensive to the greatest number of people and within budgetary confines. Consider your neighbors and co-workers: You, the e-gulleter, are the biggest foodie among them, yes? Your specifications are two standard deviations removed from the mean.  I guarantee if AA or Delta could partner with a fast food chain, they'd do it in a New York minute.

United did partner with McDo in the early '90s.     Fizzled out.   

Actually, business class menus often have at least one main course "designed" by a 3* Michelin chef.    Absolute waste of money, IMHO, but it is being done.    (re United, Air France)


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3 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

United did partner with McDo in the early '90s.     

 

Yes, sorry, I should have clarified: Economy class was the group I was describing. Business/First Class passengers tend to be the ones who support the cutting edge restaurants. 

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Posted (edited)

Understood.    I think Duvel catapulted the thread into premium classes and, dare I say, carriers.    Many American carriers have given up on food service while touting it on their sites.    I was floored at dinner service in first class (bumped up) one transcontinental flight.   The sloppily attired attendant sloshed DH's main course sauce all over the plate and tray.    Her only comment was "Eats the same."      Doubtless this has become a family retort for anytime there is a serving mishap at home.
  


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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