Plane food: Emirates

I used to be okay with flying, but the older I get the more I dislike it. I’m not at the Valium stage yet, so I try and give myself things to look forward to in an attempt to distract myself – oooh movies! ooooh going somewhere different! ooooh plane food! Yes, I look forward to getting plane meals! Sad, huh?

(Side note: I asked Alastair to tell me some cool things about flying. He responded, “Everything’s cool about flying! The fact that you’re thousands of metres above ground and supported by mechanical wings is amazing.”

Yeaaaaaaah…. that’s the exact part I don’t like.)

Plane food: Cathay Pacific

And we are back! We had a fantastic time in Japan and I have many, many food tales and a gazillion photos.

We flew to Japan on Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong, mostly so I could stop there and hang out with my mum on the way back. It was really nice to have that time there (even though it was stinking hot and busy).

On our first flight, from Melbourne to Hong Kong, we were served dinner and breakfast.

Dinner was a choice between braised shredded pork with preserved vegetables in light soya sauce and steamed rice or pan-fried basa with tomato, parsley and lemon myrtle sauce, mashed poatoes with green peas. There was also a vegetarian pasta choice.

Cathay Pacific food

I had the pork. It was okay. Nothing amazing but still edible.

Cathay Pacific food

Alastair had the fish. His meal looked like it was the better choice.

Cathay Pacific food

There was also coleslaw with salami and a little lamington for dessert.

Cathay Pacific food
Cathay Pacific food
Cathay Pacific food

There was no choice for breakfast – it was a croissant, a pastry, a muffin, fruit, and yoghurt. A bit too much sugar for my liking.

Cathay Pacific food

It was a short flight from Hong Kong to Japan, and we were served lunch. Thank goodness too, because we hadn’t eaten. This was Alastair’s lunch, and for the life of me I cannot remember what it was. Chicken? With rice?

Cathay Pacific food

And my lunch – fish with rice. It was fine.

Cathay Pacific food

On our way home, from Japan to Hong Kong, Alastair and I both choose the chicken (with rice, natch!). Note the little Tim Tam for dessert!

Cathay Pacific food

After a busy stop over in HK, we then headed home to Melbourne. On the flight back home, we were served dinner and breakfast. For dinner, Alastair choose the fish with potatoes. This looked pretty good. Better than my choice…

Cathay Pacific food

Which was pork strips with rice. It was okay, but it was pretty similar to all the other meals on Cathay Pacific thus far!

Cathay Pacific food

There was an ice cream for dessert. No lamingtons this time.

Cathay Pacific food

And breakfast was similar to when we flew out to Japan. There was a warm bread roll thingie with mushrooms and cheese, a muffin and a little pastry. The bread thing was quite nice but I found the muffin too sweet and couldn’t stomach more than a bite of the pastry.

All in all, economy food on Cathay Pacific? Pretty average, with the meals being mostly uninspired. The price of being in cattle class, I suppose! Ho hum. Fortunately the food we ate in Japan was a million times better – stay tuned for more!

Plane food: Qantas

We spent last weekend in Wellington to attend the wedding of our good pals, Benisa. We flew Qantas across the ditch, and were served lunch. There were two options on offer – chicken or pasta.

Plane food: Qantas

I had the teriyaki chicken. It was okay despite the unappetising appearance. Chicken in a sweetish sauce, rice, a sliver of carrot and a small amount of floppy Chinese broccoli.

Plane food: Qantas

Alastair had the pasta with peas and pumpkin. It looked cheesey!

Plane food: Qantas

The meals were served with a green leaf salad (with a sachet of balsamic vinaigrette) and a bread roll.

Plane food: Qantas

For dessert, ice creams were handed out.

Plane food: Qantas

On the flight home, we were sitting right at the back of the plane. By the time the trolley got to us there was only the chicken option left. It was similar to the meal I had on the way over, except the chicken was in a slightly different sauce.

Plane food: Qantas

Dessert was again ice cream!

The meals weren’t terribly inspiring, but we have flown on enough budget airlines over to NZ to be grateful to be fed at all!

While we were enjoying ourselves in Wellington, bushfires were sweeping across Victoria in the worst natural disaster in Australia’s recorded history. On our flight home on Monday, we flew over the Latrobe Valley, and saw evidence of the bushfires – not just burnt land but also plumes of smoke from fires that were still burning. My thoughts are with those who have been affected by these horrific events.

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Plane food: Air New Zealand

On our recent long weekend in Wellington we flew Air New Zealand. With a flight time of approximately three and a half hours, just a short hop across the Tasman, a full meal wasn’t served.


On the way over to Welly, we were served a light dinner. We were right at the back of the plane and it took SO LONG before we got food. I was starving and the food smells wafting out of the kitchen at the back didn’t help!

One meal choice was shepherd’s pie and potato salad, and the other wasn’t memorable because I can’t recall it! The shepherd’s pie was a cottage pie (beef mince rather than lamb mince) and was actually rather good. The pastry was light, and the filling was adequately seasoned. There was, naturally, a packet of tomato sauce provided. The potato salad was less successful and needed a bit more zing (some mayo would’ve been great!) – and I did wonder about serving a potato topped pie with more potatoes on the side. Carb city!


Dessert was a slice of cake, wrapped in plastic. I wanted to wait until I had a cup of tea before eating it, but, just like when getting our meal, tea and coffee took aaaaaaaages. I never have been good with resisting when the food is right in front of me! The presentation of the cake slice was rather average, but happily it tasted better than it looked. It was moist and light, and nicely vanilla flavoured.

The flight went pretty smoothly, apart from the descent into Wellington when the wind buffeted the plane. It was all rather familiar. The runway in Wellington is quite short, being sandwiched between two areas of sea. Along with the frequent gusts of wind, landing there can be rather unpleasant! I have had some horrible landings in Welly, but fortunately it was relatively smooth on this trip.


On the way home, the flight left at the ungodly hour of 6.30am. On the up side, this meant that I was tired enough to sleep most of the way home! I did wake up for breakfast though. The choices were between a warm breakfast, a ham and egg croissant, or a cold continental breakfast. The croissant was passable – flaky, but a tad dry.


There was also a small chocolate chip muffin provided. It was just okay, and despite appearances it wasn’t as nice as the cake slice on the trip over.

There was also a small fruit salad of pineapple and orange.

All in all, the food was average but it was perfectly fine for the short flight. The planes were looking a tad tired, but we arrived home safely – and in the end that’s the important thing!

Plane food: Singapore Airlines

We had four flights on Singapore Airlines. Our first leg was from Melbourne to Singapore, then from Singapore to Capetown. This was the longest we had to travel, about 24 hours all up. It was 8 hours to Singapore, with 4 hours in Singapore airport, then 12 hours to Capetown. Neither of us slept on the flights, and by the time we got to Capetown we were pretty tired. Unfortunately we arrived very early in the morning (5.30am) and couldn’t check into our room. We had to face our exhaustion and do tourist stuff until 2pm. It was quite amusing trying to stay awake!

From Melbourne to Singapore there were two meals – dinner and a “refreshment”.

Potato salad

Our first meal was an early dinner, served around 5pm. The appetizer was potato salad with beef pastrami. The potatoes were quite bland, but the pastrami was rather salty so they balanced each other out.

Green curry

Savoury beef

Green curry chicken (top) and Savoury beef-tomato casserole (bottom)

The main courses were Thai style green curry chicken and vegetables with steamed rice or savoury beef-tomato casserole with oven-roasted vegetables and potatoes. Alastair had the green curry, and this was pretty good! It was very fragrant and actually better than the takeaway Thai we had eaten the night before we left. I had the beef casserole. The meat had a firm chew to it but it wasn’t too chewy. The vegetables were nice, and retained a bit of firmness.

Bread and crackers

As always with plane meals, there was cheese and crackers and a bread roll.

Dessert was ice cream – the flight attendants handed out mango and passionfruit Splices.

Chicken and leek pie

The refreshment was a choice between a chicken and leek pie or braised shanghainese noodles with seafood and seasonal greens. I went for the chicken and leek pie, which was a tad salty but the pastry was nice and light.


Alastair had the shanghainese noodles which looked okay.

After a four hour transit in Changi Airport we boarded the flight to Capetown (what a fabulous airport by the way, we had a shower, used the internet, had some food, used a free foot massaging machine and could’ve shopped shopped shopped if we wanted). On this flight we were served a refreshment when we got on the plane, and then breakfast a couple of hours before we landed. This felt like the longest flight in the world. In the 12 hours on the plane I watched 4 movies and a couple of TV shows as I was too uncomfortable to sleep (damn cattle class!). Anyway, on to the food.


The refreshment was a choice between Roast chicken with mustard mayo and lettuce on flat bread or a croissant with Thai style tuna salad and tomato.

Chicken wrap

I had the chicken wrap – BOO. This was the worst thing I’ve ever eaten on Singapore Airlines and possibly ANY airline. The “chicken” was processed meat and the whole thing was bland and uninteresting. Al’s croissant seemed to be a better choice. I would definitely have preferred a dinner and breakfast and I assume the refreshment is served because it’s cheaper than serving dinner. It was a 12 hour flight though – I think it’s long enough to serve two proper meals. Admittedly there was snack service after the lights went out that I didn’t partake of – ham rolls, tomato and lettuce ciabatta, peanuts, chocolate bars, chips and apples. Still. I wanted dinner!


For breakfast, there was fruit, bread roll, and the main choices were fried rice with chicken, peas, shredded carrot and white cabbage, shrimp dumpling or a chive omelette with veal sausage, grilled tomato and potatoes. We both had the omelette, which was a regular plane omelette. Breakfast meals on planes don’t impress much.


The pineapple and grapes were nice, but I don’t like papaya. Ick!

On our way home, we flew from Johannesburg to Singapore. This was a slightly shorter flight than the one from Singers to Capetown, plus we stopped a couple of nights in Singapore to break up the travel. Unfortunately, again, we didn’t sleep on this flight and ended up wandering Singapore in the early hours of the morning (as we couldn’t check into our hotel). Luckily we were able to get our room at 9:30am and squeezed in a quick nap after checking in.


On the way to Singapore we were served lunch and breakfast. For lunch, we started with a pasta and vegetable salad with the main choices being a stewed chicken with mushroom in coriander sauce, seasonal vegetables and potatoes or the braised fish fillet with black bean sauce, seasonal vegetables and steamed rice.


Alastair and I both went for the fish, having been starved of seafood during our trip. The fish wasn’t bad, although the black bean flavour wasn’t that pronounced.

Crackers< As always, there was cheese and crackers as well as a bread roll. Tart

Dessert was a milk tartlet, which I found a tad sweet and kinda boring.


Breakfast was fried egg noodles with chicken and vegetables or an omelette with pork sausages, tomato and potatoes. It was interesting having noodles for breakfast. They were a tad salty but a better choice than another omelette. As per usual, there was fruit and a bread roll.

And then on the final leg – from Singapore to Melbourne. We were served a continental breakfast and lunch. The breakfast was simply fruit, a bread roll and a muffin (no photos).


For lunch we had marinated prawns with crispy romaine lettuce to start. Were the prawns marinated? I couldn’t taste any marinade. Still – prawns. Not complaining.

Perch fillet

The main course choices were wok fried perch fillet in ginger soya sauce served with stewed vegetables and steamed rice or braised beef in red wine with spinach, roasted vegetables and mashed potato.


The beef dish was exclusively created by Gordon Ramsay and finally! A great plane meal from Singapore Airlines! The beef was tender and in a tasy sauce. The mashed potato was nice and creamy and not too bland. Hooray! When I asked Alastair how his fish was, he said, “Good.” He has lots of words about many things, but apparently not about food.

Dessert was ice cream – classic Magnums.

All in all, I wasn’t that impressed with the food on Singapore Airlines. The food was better when we flew Emirates earlier this year. At least we got to eat some good food while in Singapore (posts still to come).

Plane Food: Emirates

There’s a sure fire way to gain a couple of kilos in a weekend – spend time with my family. This weekend, Alastair, my Bro and I flew to Auckland to celebrate my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. (60 years! How incredible is that?!)

From the moment we got on the plane we started eating, and didn’t finish until we got back to Melbourne. Al and I flew Emirates (the first time I had flown with them) and I was impressed. I loved the plane (an Airbus A340-500 I think), I loved the hot towels they handed out just before take off, and the food – well, considering we were 40,000 feet in the air, the food was pretty good!

On the flight over to Auckland, we were served brunch. There were two choices – an omelette and chicken.

Emirates breakfast

Alastair had the omelette with gruyere cheese accompanied by creamed spinach, tomato wedge, grilled veal sausage and rosti potatoes. I had a moment of panic when the flight attendant asked me what I wanted and I choose the omelette. Al picked the chicken and we ended up doing a swap. After I saw him eating the omelette, I wanted it back. It was super cheesey, and I like cheese!

Emirates chicken

I had the sauteed chicken with mushroom sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes, buttered green beans and carrot batonettes. Even though I had cheese envy, this wasn’t bad. The mushroom sauce was well flavoured, and the vegetables still retained a bit of crunch. The mashed potatoes could have used more seasoning but I couldn’t be bothered trying to find my tiny packet of salt amongst all the other stuff on my tray.

Emirates crackers and cheese

The obligatory bread roll, and cheese and crackers. I was happy that the butter (in a little packet) was spreadable but was intrigued to see that it was white. It was Australian butter too.

Emirates fruit

What I had of the fruit was good. There was strawberry, a couple of red grapes and some pieces of rock melon and honey dew. Al got my rock melon and honey dew as I’m not a fan. I did eat a piece to confirm that I don’t like it – yes, that dislike is still there.

Emirate dessert

Light cheesecake with strawberry topping and whipped cream. This was a bit light on the strawberry flavour. And I didn’t realise it was cheesecake until I checked the menu to type out this entry!

The flight back we were served dinner, with two choices – New Zealand lamb ragout or pan-fried blue cod. Al and I both went for the lamb.

Emirates lamb

The lamb ragout was served with roasted pumpkin, buttered green beans and creamy herb mashed potatoes. This smelt SO good. The lamb was tender and the sauce was rich and savoury.

Emirates bread

I mopped up the rest of my sauce with my bread roll. And then polished off the cheese and crackers.

Emirates salad

The appetiser was sliced charsiew duck served with marinated Thai glass noodle salad. There was also a salad with ginger dressing.

Emirates chocolate dessert

Dessert was a rich chocolate gateau/mousse with pistachio and raspberry coulis. Couldn’t taste or see the pistacho, but I enjoyed the texture of the mousse and the raspberry against the chocolate.

I’ll post about the two main meals we ate in Auckland over the next few days. There was lots of food, lots of family and lots of photos!