Happiness is Good Airplane Food – and Chocolate Dessert!

In two days I’ve spent a total of 23.75 hours on a plane, most of that on two Japan Airlines (JAL) flights from Chicago O’Hare to Narita International in Tokyo and then from Tokyo to Singapore.  I’ve been unconditionally delighted with the meals four meals I’ve had thus far.
I’m a vegetarian, and so am careful to make note of that when I make air reservations, lest I be forced to eat crispy chicken tenders (ick).  Unfortunately, many airlines (and restaurants, for that matter) still think that sliced tomatoes and iceberg lettuce on (soggy) whole wheat bread constitutes appropriate vegetarian fare.  It’s always a gamble.
I’m so happy that the gamble this time paid off handsomely.  JAL has produced several four-course meals that I would gladly accept at an on-ground restaurant.

My spinach fettucini dinner
My spinach fettucini dinner
Entrees have included mini-spiral pasta with toothpick vegetables in a light alfredo; ricotta and parsley-filled ravioli with a roasted-tomato sauce; and spinach fettucini (pictured) with brocolli, mushrooms and diced peppers with a dollop each of marinara and cream sauce.  All were served hot and fresh.
I’m so amused by the ingenuity of airplane food chefs, who must figure out how to design food that can be compacted into tiny containers, stay fresh for hours, and look fabulous when served.  In my past 48 hours I’ve enjoyed:

  • a salad of slivered romaine mixed with slivered radish, red & yellow peppers, and cucumbers;
  • a mixed salad with fresh baby greens, grape tomato and thinly-sliced radish; a fruit salad comprised of thinly sliced honeydew, strawberry, and kiwi, with an orange section and two blueberries; and
  • a delightful veggie ‘tray’ with crisp slices of red & gold peppers, grape tomato with a basil pesto, asparagus tips, a slice of fresh mango, a dollop of cottage cheese.

Each of these culinary delights was artfully crammed into a delicate ¾ cup oval serving container.
A note on eating from tiny dishes – chopsticks are a must.

Chocolate torte on a Plane
Chocolate torte on a Plane
By far my favorite, however, was the adorable chocolate dessert I had on Tuesday afternoon’s flight.  This Dark Chocolate temptation consisted of two layers of flourless chocolate cake, filled and topped with a chocolate ganache, and then dusted with cocoa, served in an elegant little dish.
Happiness is receiving unexpected dark chocolate!

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