Wednesday, 21 September 2011

snacks on a plane

it is hard to eat properly when you're travelling.

by properly i mean 1. healthy, and 2. within reasonable intervals called 'meal times'—that's hard because a. you're travelling, and b. you are on a student i-saved-this-money-from-my-horrible-part-time-job and now-i-am-rewarding-my-self-by-spending-it-travelling then going-back-to-an-equally-horrible-part-time-job-to-save-for-my-next-trip budget.

the most meal routine i have is found on 10 to 20-hour-long flights. where you are systematically fed every four hours with snacks in between... which is great because, i really like plane food. something about the microwaved tin foil amongst thousands of others that really just delight my taste buds. i have fond memories of plane food served by singapore airlines, mainly because it was the first few meals cooked by someone (or thing) else after 3 years of my mum's cooking.

two years ago i flew korean air, and realised their plane food had the closest resemblance to their national cuisine! my eyes actually widened from the sight of being served bibimbap on a flight. who needs plastic surgery to have bigger eyes when the surprise of excellent plane food can do the same trick. you'd probably just need to be surprised by excellent plane food on a constant basis...

flying back from europe i found myself on an emirates flight, my life was changed again and i do not think flying any other airline will ever make me feel as satisfied. though the staff seemed a little all over the place, and i was asked to change seats twice so i didn't divide families (we all know families can't sit behind each other, they have to be next to each other!) the plane food was hands down the best ever.

eva air deserve a special mention for having fruit meals. i had the funnest ride from the natural sugar high to and from taiwan because of that.

this is useless information (like everything else) but i really like being 'vegetarian' when i fly. the food look and taste better. there is no risk of getting pork, (or beef or lamb). plus it comes before everyone else so you don't have to keep an eye out for the trolley and pretend you just saw it as they get to your row. when really you have been eyeing them the whole time muttering under your breath to roll faster! roll faster! get to me and ask whether i want the chicken or the fish before the fish runs out!

which airline do you think serves the best plane food? (if you say air china i will throw a cold dumpling from their menu at you. just kidding!) i think most people dislike plane food, i guess i haven't lived to taste enough good food to push plane food out of my idea of 'good (plane) food'.

but do share with me your favourite, and/or least!


  1. Emirates was okay in my experience, QANTAS was pretty good from what I remember but I can tell you who has horrible plane food - China Eastern. I fly to Shanghai every couple of years and always through China Eastern because it's the cheapest and the food is horrid every time. These are the choices: mystery meat in brown sludge and rice or alternative mystery meat in brown sludge and noodles.

  2. air new zealand does a pretty good job i reckon. i'm sure cathay is amazing too cos it's cathay!

  3. the best plane food is 3 minute noodles- and all airlines have that right?

  4. best post-title EVER!

  5. I love plane food, just like I love camp food.

    I think my excitement for novelty means that there is very little to dim the fact that "Oh. My. Lord. I'm eating, but not just eating, I'm eating at however-many-kilometres-an-hour-however-many-hundred-thousand-feet-above-sea-level!!"... and to that novelty (only afforded to me every 2-4years), taste merely heightens my experience (heh. heightens).

    Even Air China did not waver this excitement! Howeverrr, Eastern China Airlines' meal was almost negligible.

    I don't know if I'll ever get to taste luxury in the air, though the fact that I am so easily amused is a wonderfully bliss naivety :)

  6. "plus it comes before everyone else so you don't have to keep an eye out for the trolley and pretend you just saw it as they get to your row. when really you have been eyeing them the whole time muttering under your breath to roll faster! roll faster! get to me and ask whether i want the chicken or the fish before the fish runs out!" -- This part seriously made me LOL-ed into my computer... HAHAHA HOW TRUE. or at least how true for me... that's exactly what's on my mind every single time I eyed the trolley many many rows down the aisle but had to pretend to be calm and cool about it... There is just this anticipation about what food is on the menu today that makes me really excited while on a plane ride... Hee.

    My favourite plane food would be All Nippon Airways (altho I can't remember what I had but I did remember raving about how yummy it was throughout the entire journey...), korean air, singapore air and qantas isn't bad either.

    Worse plane food would be from south african airways when i flew from johannesburg to ghana... think overcooked pieces of beef cubes in dried up curry and undercooked rice... not exactly appetising especially when you're already jet-lagged...

    Plane food do make or break a flight experience I think!

  7. lola, I don't think I remember a china eastern but china southern once served a bun with preserved cabbage filling in aluminium foil for breakfast and that was all you got for breakfast: a bun with preserved cabbage filling.

    jeff, air new zealand looks after their kids the best, I didn't have time to do or play with everything that was available for the flight, (and they didn't even have TVs).

    emma, OMG YES! but I am always so full from everything else I rarely order that.

    madeleine, hee hee hee I was pretty proud of that.

    nikki, of course there is luxury in the air! you can BYO hahaha, nothing like endless chocolate in the air :)

    fei, make or break touche (very first world problem haha *hides in shame*) I also get really excited when the airline serve magnum as dessert. That always, always make my flight hehe.

  8. Aleksandra00:46

    i love unwrapping all the different compartments of plane food too, even though the extra cup sometimes takes up space you really need on the little tray. it's funny how food can take up so much of your attention on a long flight, because there's not too much else to focus on after a while.
    anyways, austrian airlines has the best plane food i've ever had, and they also have these pretzels and chips in lots of cute shapes, like the heads of different characters and stars and things.

  9. aleks, I always feel like they waste so much plastic on the wrapping of everything. AND totally know what you mean about the extra cup! (which sometimes is really hard to tear open and you end up spilling half of it all over the place anyway). ooh pretzels, that is different, they should hand out them in letter shapes so you can make words and play hangman. or you can just... eat them. haha :)

  10. This post is hilarious. I also love being vegetarian on long flights, not just because you get your food first but also they make you feel extra special when they come and confirm you are vegetarian and put that little sticker on the back of your seat. I especially love this when the person sitting next to me isn't vegetarian (especially if said person is a crazy old alcoholic that smells like 10000 cigarettes and makes you get up 5 times because they need to pee after drinking 5 cans of beer) and they look longingly down at the tray and you can sense their jealousy.

    Singapore Airlines do good food (love the mini cornetto desserts), Cathay Pacific are ok too. The worst is Thomas Cook because unlike Ryanair and Easy Jet who are very open about how stingy they are, Thomas Cook presents itself as a 'classy' low-priced airline but really, they are just as dodgy as the rest with their overpriced Starbucks, Pringles and suspicious 'Tikka Masala' frozen meals.

    Eva air sounds amazing. As does Austrian Airlines. I want to go on holiday now.

    Just realised this is a super long reply and I am way too passionate about airline food.

  11. Ally! oh yes! how special they make you feel, and people around you look almost envious at your extra attention haha. Oh but yes it goes with beer guy too (I hope I never have to sit next to one...)

    I LOVE mini magnum desserts. But yeah short distance flights and budget airlines, it's better to bring your own food heyyyyy.

    And we all have our passions, there is nothing wrong with it lying in airline food. hehe I should be worried too perhaps, writing a post on it and all :\

  12. Am I finally able to comment?
    Well, this post reminded me how excited I was to go to Vietnam last year. Because of the wonderful landscapes? Because of buddies I left there? because of a new project?
    Yes, but most of it because of the unlimited instant noodles that Vietnam airlines provides to their passengers!
    (Does it sound like advertising?)


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