Restau­rants in the sky

Be a gourmet trav­eller with Time Out’s es­sen­tial guide to the best in­ter­na­tional in­flight dishes, from busi­ness to econ­omy. By James Wilkin­son

Time Out (Melbourne) - - TRAVEL -

Busi­ness

1 Air New Zealand

Di­jon mus­tard baked chicken breast with pump­kin, lentils, Swiss chard, lemon tar­ragon jus Air NZ’S culi­nary team, led by Peter Gor­don and Michael Mered­ith, have cre­ated a menu in Busi­nesspremier that con­sis­tently de­liv­ers, es­pe­cially this dish, with chicken so juicy it tastes like it’s just come off a ro­tis­serie. This is our top air­line meal of the past five years.

2 Qan­tas

Katsu pork ra­men with udon noo­dles, bok choy and edamame beans Aus­tralian food scene leg­end Neil Perry has been the tal­ent be­hind Qan­tas’s in­flight din­ing for over 20 years and on ev­ery flight in Busi­ness Class there’s a dish find­ing in­spi­ra­tion from one of his eater­ies, span­ning Rock­pool to Spice Tem­ple. 3 Amer­i­can Air­lines Lob­ster ravi­oli with sautéed spinach Things keep get­ting bet­ter at AA, from the seats to the food on board, par­tic­u­larly on flights from Syd­ney to Los An­ge­les. The lob­ster ravi­oli in Busi­ness will have you calling for sec­onds.

4 United Air­lines

Ma­cadamia and co­conut crusted chicken with tomato-basil sauce, au gratin pota­toes, car­rot, yel­low squash and zuc­chini United’s new Po­laris Busi­ness is about en­hanc­ing the trav­el­ling ex­pe­ri­ence and while the sleeper ser­vice might be bet­ter than it has ever been, the food has also gone sky-high, like this chicken dish that has been a favourite on re­cent flights.

5 Jet­star

Lamb rump roasted and sliced, served with a creamy potato gratin, green beans and a tomato basil olive jus It might be a low-cost air­line, but not when it comes to the Busi­ness Class ex­pe­ri­ence, where you get pre­mium wines and three choices of top qual­ity main cour­ses, in­clud­ing lamb rump, cur­rently on flights to Hawaii.

Pre­mium

1Bri­tish Air­ways

Grilled fil­let of Aus­tralian grass-fed beef with red wine bal­samic sauce, potato and ched­dar au gratin and mixed veg­eta­bles You’ll be think­ing you’re in Busi­ness Class when you have din­ner on Bri­tish Air­ways in Pre­mium. This dish is also served up the front on other flights for good rea­son: the beef is al­ways per­fectly medium and never dry.

2Sin­ga­pore Air­lines

Beef ragout: beef stew in red wine with sea­sonal veg­eta­bles and mashed pota­toes Sin­ga­pore Air­lines’ global culi­nary panel in­cludes top chef Matt Mo­ran, and the food on board, from Econ­omy to First Class, is al­ways high qual­ity. The beef ragout is one of the air­line’s best dishes on flights from Aus­tralia. 3Vir­gin Aus­tralia Cot­tage pie with gar­den veg­eta­bles Vir­gin Aus­tralia’s Pre­mium fea­tures a three-course menu crafted by Luke Man­gan, along­side a choice of 14 wines by the glass, so even if you’re not in ‘the Busi­ness’, you’ll be sip­ping on top Aus­tralian drops with your de­li­cious cot­tage pie.

4Cathay Pa­cific

Szechuan chicken, pak choy with steamed jas­mine rice Pre­mium is avail­able on ev­ery Cathay Pa­cific flight from Aus­tralia to Hong Kong and the cabin con­tin­ues to serve up Busi­ness Class-qual­ity dishes, par­tic­u­larly the Szechuan chicken that’s not too spicy.

5Qan­tas

Smoked sal­mon and spinach quiche with braised beans and sautéed mush­rooms It’s firmly about a lux­ury food ex­pe­ri­ence on Qan­tas in Pre­mium as well as Busi­ness and First, along­side wines that are also served to cus­tomers at the pointy end from take off to land­ing.

Econ­omy

1Hawai­ian Air­lines

Kalua chicken with steamed rice and veg­eta­bles Paci­fica Honolulu owner and chef, Chai Chaowasa­ree, leads the air­line’s culi­nary team and the re­sult is favourite lo­cals’ dishes from the Hawai­ian Is­lands, like the slow-cooked Kalua chicken that’s one of the world’s best econ­omy class meals.

2Air New Zealand

Scram­bled eggs with chicken sausage, baked beans, fresh fruit and yo­ghurt You’ll want to wake up for the econ­omy class break­fast on Air NZ, which will see you ask­ing for a sec­ond help­ing of sausage and fruit as the flight at­ten­dants pass by. 3Bri­tish Air­ways

Slow-roasted Wilt­shire pork belly with cele­riac mash and sautéed broc­col­ini Bri­tain’s flag car­rier cer­tainly wants to keep you happy at the back of the jet: serv­ing up slowroasted pork belly will al­ways get our at­ten­tion. This is a dish you can pre-or­der be­fore your flight.

4Cathay Pa­cific

Stir-fried spicy chicken, bean curd and steamed fra­grant rice Cathay Pa­cific likes to give you a taste of where you’ll be fly­ing to when you take off and the Hongkanese dishes served in econ­omy, such as stir fries, are what you must or­der when given sev­eral choices.

5Vir­gin Aus­tralia

Roast chicken breast with bar­be­cue sauce, creamy mashed pota­toes and but­tered sea­sonal veg­eta­bles Luke Man­gan’s culi­nary cre­ativ­ity can be found from nose to tail on Vir­gin’s wide­body jets, es­pe­cially on the new flights to Hong Kong that fea­ture this Aus­tralian clas­sic.

Air New Zealand

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