Thursday, 25 September 2014

Air Plane Food

As I mentioned last week, I went on one great adventure to China, Taipei and Hong Kong at the beginning of August. I want to make blog posts about the trip but I thought I would do a post just about the plane food because man, I missed out!
Air Canada removed the "turn off your phone" rule so I managed to snag this picture which I thought was kind of cool.

Over the years, I constantly hear people complaining about how awful the plane food are. I always thought it was ok. It was served hot and it kept me full during the 12 + hour flights. I am always happy to get food. 

For the first part of my trip, it was from Vancouver to Beijing to attend my friend's wedding. The first meal was chicken with noodles (they are more like pearls), chopped veggies in a Greek dressing and chocolate mousse. The chicken and noodle was cooked in a tomato sauce. Surprisingly the chicken was tender and not over cooked. I enjoyed my chicken very much. The noodle was weird. The flight attendant called it noodles but they are more like small bubbles from bubble tea but not as chewy. I am not sure how to describe it. It is basically pasta in little ball form. I liked it despite the weird texture. The salad was ok, basically just cabbage with green beans and other veggies tossed, or rather drenched in a dressing I say is close to Greek. The green beans was cooked well. I have an irrational fear over the squeaky noise that green beans make against your teeth. So if the bean does not squeak against my teeth, I consider the dish done well. (Just thinking about it right now makes my teeth ache) The chocolate mousse was ok. It was not too sweet and I only had half of it to be "polite" and not over eat. Hahaha.

Plane meal #1: Chicken in tomato sauce, noodles (?), bun, vegetable salad in Greek dressing, and chocolate mousse. 
 It was rather smart of the airline to give out meals soon after the flight takes off. Because I fell asleep right after they picked up the garbage.

Meal #2 is usually instant noodles and I always wake up from the smell in the cabin. Unfortunately for me, we ran into too much turbulence so they handed out turkey sandwiches instead. I don't think I was fully awake because I did a very idiot move. The sandwich is basically two thin sandwiches in one pack, though my fuzzy memory says it was three thin sandwiches. Silly old me actually ate it as different sandwiches. I had the turkey sandwich first, thought it was the driest sandwich and wondered what was going on with the airline kitchen. Then I had the veggie sandwich and thought it was too soggy due to the tomato slices. Finally it all clicked!!! I was supposed to eat it ALL as one sandwich. DUH! (I didn't take a picture because I thought it was nothing spectacular)

Meal #3 was surprisingly heavy for "breakfast", but I guess it is actually lunch since it was close to lunch time in Beijing. I almost missed it but the grandma next to me woke me up to have the meal. She was such a sweet grandma, she constantly tried to take care of me like making sure I get up to use the bathroom and eat my meals. It was penne in a Bolognese sauce with some cheese on top, with a fruit cup. The pasta was pretty bland and over cooked, as expected. So the juicy fruits in the fruit cup was very welcoming.
Meal #3, penne with cheese in Bolognese sauce, bun, and fruit cup.
That concludes my meals from Vancouver to Beijing. It was ok but I did wish I had noodles instead of sandwiches.

Few days later, I embarked on the second part of my trip. From Beijing to Taipei, aboard Hainan Airline. I can't remember what I had and if I had a meal for the 3 hour flight. But I do remember the choice of coconut juice, which I was really happy to receive. Coconut juice in China is unlike that in Canada. Over here it is a yellowish clear liquid that has a hint of sweetness but not much of coconut flavour. In China, it is more of a diluted coconut milk. It is a milky liquid that has a strong coconut flavour.

Onward to the third part of my trip, where I took EVA airline from Taipei to Hong Kong. I just have to say that I really appreciated the check in attendant's help. I asked him regarding luggage and explained I would like to check in two pieces of luggage. He explained that unless I pay an additional $100 for the excess weight, since they use weight for checked in luggage allowance and not pieces, I would have to do it as a carry-on. After he could not change me to a later flight which allows me more luggage weight and a business class seat, he managed to change my seat to just behind business class so I have more room to put away my luggage.

The moment I sat down I was so impressed. The economy flight has their own noise cancelling headphones! Just that was enough to blow me away. When I sat down, I saw the BIG TV screen with a remote control that pops up from the side. Their program was well designed and the selection of TV series, movies and music is large enough to please everyone. 

Enough raving about the TV and headphones. So the flight from Taipei to Hong Kong is about an hour, so I assumed I will get a drink and some snack. Such is the norm with a short flight within Canada. So imagine my surprise when the flight attendant came and gave me a full meal!

Meal #4, BBQ & Shrimp fried rice, salad, orange juice, and passion fruit geelee.
I had BBQ pork and shrimp fried rice, salad juice, orange juice and passion fruit geelee (I am pretty sure that is how they spelt it). First of all, all of the cutlery, bowls and cup, are plastic. They are not the really soft clear or white plastic containers. They are like something you would have at home for your child. It's plastic so it won't break but it is still considered as cutlery. Yay! I am a big kid now!

Back on topic, the fried rice was quite good. It was a fluffy and the meat was tender with just enough sweetness. The orange juice was a bit bitter, so you know it does not contain as much sugar as other brands. The salad was not remarkable since I can't even remember what is in it. The passion fruit geelee, was interesting. I thought it was misspelling on jello but it is not. It is thicker than a jam but not as solid as jello. It was sour due to the passion fruit though I am not sure why they had specks of basil seed in it. It was definitely the best plane food I ever had and I FINALLY understand why people says Air Canada food sucks.

Now I am done raving about the best plane meal I had, I should finish the post with my meals from the return flight.

Meal #5, it was beef in some kind of sauce with mashed potato, some kind of salad, and brownie. Everything is so forgettable after my meal with EVA. I had an upset stomach on the day of my departure and I had to take some Imodium just to make sure I can sit through my flight. So a typical Western meal was not an appetizing sight. The mashed potato was lumpy and the meat was meh at best. The salad was meh as well, as I really can't even remember what is in it. The brownie was the best part of the whole meal since I couldn't see the layers of grease.
Meal #5, Beef in some sauce with mashed potato, salad, bun and brownie

I may have slept through the snack portion of the flight because I do not remember what I had for the snack. I thought I had the instant noodles but I may have been dreaming about it.

Meal #6, final meal before I am on Canadian soil. It was another western meal, with baked beans, potatoes, eggs and a fruit salad. With my stomach still recovering, I did not want this breakfast at all.  Plus, I know from my previous work that they can make the fluffiest eggs from just powdered egg mixes, so it makes me wonder if this egg is from actual eggs or mixes. I only remember the fruit salad because it contained watermelon and dragon fruit balls. The lightness of the salad was the least upsetting portion of the food.

Meal #6, beans, baked potatoes, eggs, bun and fruit salad.
That is all the plane meals I had during my trip and I gotta say, I am still dreaming about EVA airline's meal. It was really not that expensive since it only cost me a little over $500 to fly from Beijing to Taipei and Taipei to Hong Kong. That is about the same as a return flight from Calgary to Vancouver. To have similar level of service in Canada, you would probably have to shell out $1,000 so EVA is definitely drool worthy. Definitely recommend using EVA to fly to Taiwan if you are planning to travel there. Though I am not sure if they fly from Canada to Taiwan, but if they do, I would definitely shell out the extra money and fly with them.


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