Destination-centric dining is reason enough for many food-minded travelers to hit the road — but the packaged goods consumed en route to those destinations, especially those found in the air? Well, those can be far from tempting.
But you don't have to suck it up and settle for peanuts and pretzels alone, of course: Upper-class cabins often offer impeccable dining options, but they can be fussy and formal. For a sky-high twist, look out for these fun, whimsical, street-food inspired dishes you need on your next flight (and where in the air to find them).
1. Baked Mince Pork Pie
During daily Hong Kong Airlines routes from Vancouver, Canada, business-class flyers can opt for a braised pork mince, wrapped in a butter pastry puff, and seasoned with black pepper. The airline partnered with Vancouver’s Dynasty Seafood Restaurant executive chef Sam Leung and Dim Sung Head Chef Garley Leung for the special in-flight culinary program. Other menu items include hand-shredded smoked chicken. The Bauhinia signature cocktail is made with Remy Martin XO cognac champagne, freshly pressed grape juice, tea, and lemon, and is created by celebrated mixologist David Wolowidnyk of the Fairmont Pacific Rim's new restaurant, Botanist.
2. Turkey Waffle Sandwich
If Delta Air Lines travelers can’t decide between breakfast and lunch... they don’t have to. Main-cabin passengers are offered smoked turkey with apple butter on a slightly sweetened waffle. Served with strawberries and cinnamon-honey yogurt dip, the sandwich is available on a handful of flights. Though Delta has 334 destinations worldwide, you can only get this menu item during certain routes, including departures from JFK to Portland, and Boston to LAX between 5 a.m. and 8:59 p.m.
3. Carrot Chilaquiles
Mezcal-pickled carrots, and carrot-habanero hot sauce make up a carrot "chili" in this vegetarian dish, served over a bed of tortilla chips. The recipe made in-house by chefs Brad Farmerie and Nicole Gajadhar is available to JetBlue MINT passengers. The premium-class service is available on routes to and from Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle, Aruba, St. Maarten, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Grenada.
4. Kim Chee Shrimp Poke
Paradise just got even better: On Hawaiian Airlines, the Featured Chef Series utilizes recipes by top Hawaiian chefs, including Sheldon Simeon. In the first-class cabin, his kim chee shrimp poke with salted cucumber and pickled maui onions is offered for lunch or dinner on all flights from Hawaii to the continental U.S. The culinary series started in 2015, and Simeon’s meals will be available until November 2017. If you find yourself in a food coma, you'll be glad for the new lie-flat seats.
5. Chewing Gum
In July, Air France started offering exclusive cocktails to its flyers. Created by the Ritz’s head bartender Colin Field, those traveling in the La Première cabin on the Boeing 777-300 and Airbus A380 can experience his creations, with no additional charge. Every three months the drink menu will change, but the concoctions will always use basic ingredients like calvados, cognac, or Armagnac, apple juice, and champagne. But here's the fun Air France kicker: Flyers can opt for the airline’s signature chewing gum "La gomme à mâcher," available in two flavors and free for anyone aboard flights AF066 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Los Angeles and AF084 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to San Francisco.
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