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Thursday 28 April 2016

Airline food that comes as a pleasant surprise

Unless you are flying at the pointy end of the plane, most airline food is pretty awful.

We've all suffered from stale rolls, rubbery omelets and dishes that bear very little resemblance to their description. 

On short hauls, some airlines (hands up Virgin Australia), have given up - handing over 30 grams of mixed nuts to see you through your one or two hours in the air.

On almost all airlines in economy class you'll get what you are given unless you make a special request in advance for a vegetarian or Halal option (which aren't always available). 

That's why I'm a great fan of the food offering on Air Asia and Air Asia X. You pay for it, sure, but there is a good choice of dishes that can be selected online before you fly, or once you are on board. 

Think food of the quality you'd get from a good suburban takeaway specialising in Asian dishes and you have a good idea of what to expect. 

There is the same choice whether you are flying in economy or business and having sampled three different dishes on both long and short legs this month I was extremely impressed. 

The food came hot; it was tasty and on each occasion I ate every mouthful. I can't say that very often on full-fare carriers. 

The dishes I tried, pictured below, are the chicken satay, moist and juicy with tangy peanut sauce, the nasi lemak, not as visually appealing but spicy and interesting, and - the star of the show - nasi daging (long-grain rice with coconut milk, fenugreek and shallots, served with a chicken curry and a mixed vegetable pickle. Outstanding. 

To be fair, the western food I have had on Air Asia has been less impressive. I'd stick to the Asian dishes. 

AirAsia X flies daily to Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth with up to 11 daily connecting flights to Bangkok, as well as Pattaya and other Thai airports. A range of over 100 destinations across 23 countries are serviced by AirAsia, including a Fly-Thru service to a range of destinations whereby they can connect with a single booking, have luggage transfers included and not have to clear immigration. For bookings or further information visit


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