All Nippon Airways – Food Onboard

If you still think that “airline food” is an oxymoron, try flying ANA, Japan’s five-star airline. About three weeks ago, I flew from Tokyo to Chicago, and absolutely enjoyed what was served. (I chose the Japanese meal.)

Note: Description first, then picture follows; click to enlarge:

First, Amuse Bouche:
Cheese stick mixed spice flavor
Marinated shrimp and cucumber with basil sauce
Duck terrine orange flavor
Campari with soda

I opted for the Japanese Cuisine – Washoku – prepared by Masayoshi Nishikawa, a 2-star Michelin chef:

Zensai (A selection of morsels)
Mackerel sushi Flounder and vegetable rolled with kombu kelp
Dried green laver fishcake and shrimp fishcake on skewer
Field mustard rolled with smoked salmon
Dressed new potato, smoked duck and spring onion

Kobachi (Tasty tidbits)
Common orient clam and yuba bean curd tofu with green bean sauce

Kobachi (Tasty tidbits)
Octopus and bamboo shoot with sansho leaf miso
Then the main course – Shusai
Grilled sea bream with soy-based sweet vinegar sauce
Steamed rice, miso soup and Japanese pickles
The rice was Yumepirika rice from Ginzan, Nikicho, Hokkaido (produced by the Ginzan rice study group)
Next, was a selection of desserts by Pierre Hermé, named the world’s best pastry chief in 2016, or an ANA original dessert of lemon and mango mousse tart or cheese and fruits, which I asked for:It was a long flight, and seven varieties of light dishes could be had at any time; so a couple of hours before I landed, I asked for Japanese cuisine – Washoku – again:

Kobachi (Tasty tidbits)
Dressed shredded kombu kelp and vegetables

Shusai (Main course)
Grilled Spanish mackerel
Steamed rice with dried young sardines
Japanese soup and Japanese pickles
Throughout the flight, one type of champagne, two types of white wines, two types of red wines, two types of sakes and two types of shochus were available. In addition, there was a special selection of seven ANA’s Special Wines.

Here’s a digestif I had after the meal:

Friends who flew on economy class told me that the meals they were served, though, not as fancy as what I enjoyed, were also rather good.

I gallivanted in Chicago, Michigan and New York, and then flew from New York to Tokyo; and it was on ANA again.

As always, Amuse Bouche:
Marinated mushrooms in sherry vinegar
Chickpea tartelette
Crab meat and zucchini with mango
A glass of Kir
Next, Japanese Cuisine, Washoku:

Zensai (A selection of morsels)
Soy sauce-cured firefly squid
Dressed heart clam and bamboo shoot with sansho leaf miso
Broccolini rolled with prosciutto
Simmered sweet potato in lemon sauce

Kobachi (Tasty tidbits)
Simmered short-necked clam and pak choy in soy-based sauce

Otsukuri (A selection of sashimi)
Seared tuna Seared kombu kelp-cured sea bream
The main course – Shusai – this time was simmered mackerel in soy-based ginger sauce accompanied by steamed rice, miso soup and Japanese pickles; the Yamagata Masamune Junmai Ginjo Omachi sake I chose to accompany the meal was outstanding! I had fruits and cheese after the meal:
The flight was about 14 hours, and again, a huge selection of light meals could be had; though the famous Ippudo ramen was available, I opted for udon soup:
And just before landing, I had another Japanese meal:

Kobachi (Tasty tidbits)
Simmered chicken ball in soy-based sauce

Shusai (Main course)
Saikyo miso-grilled goldstriped amberjack
Simmered vegetables in soy-based sauce Steamed rice
Miso soup and Japanese pickles
What great food! At the expense of my waistline!

Not that I minded!

Each dish was perfectly executed – the hot dishes were hot and the cold dishes were cold at the right temperature. The almost obsessive trait of the Japanese to focus on aesthetics applies to food too and each item offered was visually very pretty and appealing. Above all, they were tasty!

And that’s the main thing!

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