Which are the best airlines to pre-order meals? And by pre-ordering meals, I don't mean pre-ordering special dietary or religious meals, but rather first class or business class food that may or may not be offered on the regular menu. Here are my picks, and I'd love to hear if there are any other airlines with great first class or business class pre-order options.
Note that Cathay Pacific has announced that it will enable passengers to pre-order meals next year as part of a new “Catering Planner” debuting in 2015, and British Airways has also announced a pilot program for later this year enabling British Airways First Class and Club World business class passengers to pre-order a dish that's already on the in-flight menu (but without providing additional options).
Singapore Airlines' Book the Cook option is fantastic, if you're departing from any of the cities that offer the service. Currently, here are the cities it's offered from, for Singapore Suites, First Class and Singapore Business Class (except where noted that it's Business Class only).
- Amsterdam (Business Class only)
- Hong Kong
- Los Angeles
- New York JFK
- San Francisco
- Taipei (Business Class only)
- Tokyo (Haneda and Narita)
2. Thai Airways: Chef on Call
Thai Airways offers Chef on Call exclusively for its Royal First Class passengers departing Bangkok, although the Web site also notes that First Class passengers departing from other destinations can contact their local Thai Airways office for the local Royal First Class menu choices.
39 choices are offered if departing Bangkok, ranging from Thai favorites such as Thai Green Curry and Prawn Panang Curry to western options such as Lobster Thermidor or Scallop Provencale, Chinese dishes such as Roast Duck with Yellow Noodles, and Assorted Sushi.
3. Asiana: Korean Royal Cuisine
I learned too late while already on my Asiana Suites flight that Asiana offers a pre-order option of Korean Royal Cuisine when departing Seoul. Here are the available options:
- Seopsanjeok Deodeok Gui
Grilled beef patty and bonnet bellflower root
- Eundaegu Gui
Grilled silver cod with soy sauce
- Jeonbok Jjim
Braised abalone, sea cucumber and prawn
Steamed rice mixed with vegetables, sautéed beef
- Galbi Jjim
Braised short ribs
- Songi Sanjeok
Skewered beef tenderloin with pine mushroom
- Ssam Sang
Grilled beef and varous kinds of leafy vegetables
- Eureog Maeuntang
Spicy rock fish soup
- Domi Tang
Seabream clear soup
- Soegogi Jeonbok Tang
Beef and abalone clear soup
4. Qantas: Select on Q-Eat
Unlike the above options, Qantas actually only offers Q-Eat to its Business Class and Premium Economy passengers on select international flights, and the pre-ordering is from the existing menu, rather than providing new options the way Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Asiana do.
The Qantas Web site doesn't actually post the menu, and you have to log in via “Manage my Booking” to see the choices for your particular flight. Here are some of the past choices, as examples:
- Calzone with Prosciutto, Tomato, Olives and Mushrooms
- Spring Pea and Mint Soup with Chive Crème Fraiche
- Pumpkin Arancini with Tomato Sauce and Pesto
- Seared Sea Bass With Skordalia Broccoli and Tabbouleh Salad
- Cassoulet of Murraylands Lamb Filet with White Beans and Aioli Topped with Breadcrumbs
- Creamed Spinach and Pumpkin Lasagna with Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Chicken Schnitzel and Swiss Cheese Toasted Sandwich with Coleslaw
- Baked Spinach and Feta Tart with Green Leaf Salad
What are your favorite pre-order first class or business class airline meals?
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