On-board dining has come a long way since the dawn of commercial flight, with airlines constantly upping the stakes to ensure their customers are treated to the best cuisine.
And Daily Mail Australia has now looked into the culinary experiences you can expect when flying to and from Australia on some of the world’s best airlines.
From a Japanese-inspired lunch box to barbeque roast duck with egg noodles, here is the crème de la crème of plane food carrier-by-carrier.
Daily Mail Australia has now investigated the culinary experiences you can expect when flying to and from Australia on some of the world’s best airlines (pictured Qantas’ chicken with red rice, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, soya beans and thyme jus)
The iconic Australian airline has a three-part focus in their economy menu – consisting of a cultural, comfort and a lighter option.
When flying from Melbourne to the US, guests can divulge in American-style chipotle chicken, braised beef brisket or a refreshing salmon salad.
An option on the Perth-London route in Premium Economy is their tomato and mushroom puff pastry, as well as chicken with red rice and roasted vegetables.
An option on Qantas’ Perth-London route in Premium Economy is their tomato and mushroom puff pastry, as well as chicken with red rice and roasted vegetables
Leaving Australia on the airline is a particular treat for Qantas customers in First Class, featuring an international focus with dishes like steamed Jiangsu blue eye fish
No detail though is spared for those willing to stump up thousands of dollars for a trip across the world.
Qantas’ menu, which takes 11 months to plan, is updated quarterly in First and Business to make sure each food season gets the right amount of attention.
First Class dishes on the airline vary from the most simple in the humble steak sandwich, to an exclusive seasonal dish not featured on the standard menu.
First Class Qantas dishes vary from the most simple in the humble steak sandwich to international dishes like spinach and tofu dumplings (pictured)
For July 2019, that secret dish was Kinawooka mussels with brioche and fresh herbs – designed by TV chef Neil Perry and his company Rockpool.
A spokesman for Qantas explained in First and Business Classes, the airline uses a technique called blanching to keep vegetables fresh.
‘Crew pour boiling water on them so they are warm and soft, while still fresh and crunchy,’ the spokesman told FEMAIL.
The destination cuisine focus is clear to see on Virgin Australia’s economy menu between Hong Kong and Australia.
For dinner, guests can choose from sautéed chicken with sweet soy and jasmine rice, or braised mushroom in spicy black bean sauce with rice.
And for breakfast, a chicken and mushroom congee is available – a meal of Asian origin based on rice porridge.
Virgin Australia’s courses take inspiration from the current season’s freshest produce, such as their barbequed roast duck noodles or the watermelon and prosciutto salad (pictured the salad, available in Business Class)
Virgin’s courses take inspiration from the current season’s freshest produce, such as their barbequed roast duck noodles
In Business Class, the experience includes a champagne cocktail with canapes followed by a three-course meal.
The menus are designed by Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan, who tests the meals in a specially-designed aircraft oven at his restaurant in Waterloo, Sydney.
The courses take inspiration from the current season’s freshest produce, such as their barbequed roast duck noodles or the watermelon and prosciutto salad.
When flying with British Airways, for example, the theory of umami through ingredients like tomatoes is used to ensure even economy passengers can still taste their food despite the altitude (pictured tomato and basil soup in Business Class)
Cooking food at 30,000ft is no mean feat, but airlines have found ways of optimising the culinary experience in even the cheapest of classes.
Even when flying economy with British Airways, for example, the theory of umami is used to ensure even economy passengers can still taste their food despite the altitude.
Umami is considered to be our fifth taste, along with sweetness, sourness, bitterness and saltiness.
No detail is spared for those willing to stump up thousands of dollars for a trip across the world (pictured left British Airways’ Croxton manor goat’s curd with truffle honey marinated asparagus, and right Emirates’ crusted crispy fried prawns served with a smokey aubergine dip)
‘At altitude you lose 33 per cent of your ability to taste,’ the airline’s menu designer Sinead Ferguson said.
‘We counteract this by incorporating umami-rich ingredients into our menu selection such as tomatoes, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese.’
The implementation of the theory is clear in the airline’s Club World (Business Class) menu for their Sydney to London route – which includes tomato and basil soup and a cobb salad.
A typically English offering is also on offer in Club World, with the airline recently bringing in grazing platters featuring a cheese board and raspberry-topped lemon tarts.
The near-17,000km trip from London to Sydney, meanwhile, is made a lot easier for their First Class passengers.
They are offered white wine as well as clotted cream and jam scones for afternoon tea – and truffle honey marinated asparagus as an appetiser.
Emirates are as much of a fan of the destination menu as Virgin Australia, offering business class passengers flying to the UK an Eton Mess-themed dish of strawberry eclairs and deconstructed mille-feuille.
The bento box – Japan’s iconic version of the lunch box – is available when flying with the airline to the east Asian country.
For the main course, masala-crusted fried prawns with an aubergine dip is among the most mouth-watering options on Emirates.
The iconic bento box – Japan’s iconic version of the lunch box – is available when flying with Emirates to the east Asian country
Destination menus are embraced by Emirates, who offer passengers flying to the UK an Eton Mess-themed dish of strawberry eclairs and deconstructed mille-feuille
It’s how it’s served that matters
Emirates has its own state-of-the-art training college where the correct way to deliver and prep the food is drilled into the cabin crew
Qantas crew practice in ‘pods’ that are replicas of a cabin and are taught key skills – like always having the airline’s logo on the napkin facing toward the customer
Virgin staff are trained to prepare, style and cook meals on-board
Singapore Airlines shows why it was named as the world’s best airline last year at the World Airline Awards with its Book the Cook service.
On the Sydney route, guests can choose from up to 15 different courses varying from lobster thermidor to Tasmanian salmon.
The step-up is visible not only in the variety of cuisine, but in the elaborate processes going into food preparation.
Singapore Airlines, meanwhile, shows why it was named as the world’s best airline last year at the World Airline Awards with its Book the Cook service (pictured is the prawn and chicken laksa available using the service in First and Business Class)
A far cry from the plastic trays of economy, the food is served on plates and accompanied by ceramic salt and pepper shakers.
Singapore Airlines broke new ground in 2008 when they introduced their Suite Class – featuring double beds that go beyond flat.
And the menu is just as elaborate as the cabin’s design, with a lamb loin served with a salad garnish on offer to those happy to shell out around USD$18,000 (AUD$25,600) on a round-trip.
Singapore Airlines broke new ground in 2008 when they introduced their Suite Class and the menu is just as elaborate as the cabin’s design (pictured lamb loin served with a salad garnish)