When booking flights to Japan, I was willing to endure a couple of layovers to get to fly with All Nippon Airways within my budget.
My main concern with long flights is the food. There is little you can bring through security, and you can’t rely on the options at the airport. Some airports have decent food, but it’s difficult to plan ahead since food varies from terminal to terminal, gates may be announced late or change, and places may be closed around departure time. That leaves you with notoriously awful airplane food. Worse yet, there were times where the airline didn’t even have a meal for me.
ANA impressed me from the get go. For starters, their site lists several different meal options that worked for my dietary restrictions. Another reassuring sign, was a glowing review of ANA’s food that included a useful timeline of when to expect the meals. As if that wasn’t enough, ANA’s meals were actually voted on and chosen by customers.
Despite these high expectations, ANA still delivered above and beyond. The food was delicious, and the incredibly friendly crew members made it taste even better.
After takeoff, a crew member confirmed my meal choice and put a sticker on the top of my seat to avoid confusion. Shortly after, it was snack time. This wasn’t your typical dry pretzels though. ANA’s snack was amazing seaweed rice crackers. The sweet and savoury treat was clearly marked as vegetarian, and a crew member also reassured me it was suitable for me when they handed it out. I spent the rest of the trip searching for a similar snack in grocery stores.
It wasn’t long before the first meal arrived. The hearty main consisted of rice, spinach, and tofu marinated in a vegetable tomato sauce. There were also two sides, and a dessert. The leafy greens came with lemon dressing, which I used for the grilled tofu and vegetables side. The dessert was juicy fruit pieces. It’s worth noting how ANA’s attention to detail made the meal exceptional. The tofu in the main was cooked in flavourful sauce to keep it from being bland, while the grilled tofu and vegetables weren’t drenched in oil. The salad had a variety of leafy greens, rather than the standard iceberg lettuce. Finally, the fruit wasn’t dry or artificially sweetened, instead it actually tasted like freshly sliced fruit.
The drinks in between meals were also lovely. The hot/cold Japanese green tea, and the Aromatic Kabosu were both welcome changes to the concentrated juices usually served on planes. If you travel in First Class with ANA, you’ll also get to enjoy an authentic bowl of matcha.
Before the final meal, I woke up to nibble on a cute finger sandwich filled with grilled vegetables. Then two hours before landing, a mouth-watering vegetable noodle dish was served. There were sides, but I was fully focused on the perfect seasoning of the noodles. This was definitely a meal I can’t wait to replicate at home.
Enjoyed this post? Subscribe here!