Before I talk about food in flight, I should preface my comments by saying that I am an extremely picky eater (I really wish I weren't, but I am and that is that)...so my opinions may not necessarily be a fair commentary on the quality of the food, and may only reflect my pickiness.
My international flights this year were on NH
, and SQ
. My domestic flights were on CZ
, and MU
(all of my domestic flying was in China this year).
Domestically in China, MU
hands down. I flew CZ
, and the meal choices on both flights were exactly the same, either chicken and noodles, or beef and noodles. On SHA
, I chose the chicken...the noodles were dry (overcooked), and the chicken had bones in it. Since I was traveling with my wife, and she is a vegetarian, I got a double portion. On CAN
, I chose the beef and noodles (and again got a double portion). The noodles were better, and the beef was a kind of ground beef, which was of reasonably good quality, but it was in a sort of tomato sauce that had vinegar and sugar in it
was much better, when the wife and I flew SHA
(for our honeymoon to Hong Kong and Macau...I demanded to go into SZX
so I could experience the A300). I don't remember the meal we had on SHA
(probably since I was so excited to be on an A300), but it must have been okay, since I completely ate a double portion (remember that my wife is a vegetarian). On SZX
, the meal was catered by Shenzhen Air Catering, and was very good...the meal was beef and rice...the food on the main course tray was neatly arranged...the rice was tender but not overcooked, the beef was lean and *excellently* spiced (I wish I knew what the spice was, it was so good), and the veggies were not too oily and still just slightly crisp. The side salad and fruit plate also were very well done. I did not get a full double portion since my wife ate all of my veggies, salad, and fruit
Internationally, back in January my wife and I flew PVG
, and CO
, to visit my family here in Connecticut. My wife and I did not fly together PVG
, so I don't know much about her experience. I was on NH
, and the meal was meatloaf with rice, and some Japanese sides. I have heard somewhere that "Japanese cuisine pleases the eye" and the Y meal I was served lived up to that saying. The entire tray was very carefully assembled, and looked very pleasing. The meatloaf and rice was excellent. The sides looked good, but I did not eat them, since they had things like mini prawns in them that I don't eat (remember that I am picky, picky, picky).
) was a tremendous surprise to both of us. Normally, my wife and I avoid flying on US or European carriers Asia-USA (our preferred carrier ex-PVG
)...there are very good reasons for that (CO int'l check-in at EWR
being at the top of the list), but food has not turned out to be one of them. We were both VERY impressed with the quality and quantity of food offered on CO
. Firstly, CO
offered printed menus, something we had only seen before on SQ
, a "premium airline". The portions were generous, and quality quite good. Since I purchased these tickets, I ordered the vegetarian meals for my wife (she refuses to order them herself), and she *inhaled* them. Ex-NRT
, I had Gyudon-style beef, which was very good. For the second (breakfast-style) meal, I wasn't hungry, and I asked the friendly FA
for just the fruit plate, which she happily gave me, and later brought me a second one since they had extra. Ex-EWR
, I was pissed-off (because of the int'l check-in), drunk, and on Ambien (truly a lovely combo), so I don't remember what we had, but my wife says I ate everything, so it must have been good, and I trust her.
was also a surprise. I flew SQ
back in Nov 2009 PVG
, and I remember that I hated the food. I don't know if it was because of the quality of the food, or just that since I am a picky eater, the choices didn't appeal to me. However, this past July 2012, I flew one-way (unfortunately without the wife...waiting on a USA immigrant visa for her) PVG
(specifically chose this routing to experience the A380 on SQ026...what a fabulous airplane!), and the food was excellent. I don't remember what I had on PVG
, since the booze cart came by at least five times before meal service and I and my seat mate (playing IFE games against each other) were pretty sloshed, but it was all very good. On FRA
, much to my surprise, one of the meal choices was gnocchi, something I would not expect on a Singaporean airline. Being from Connecticut (I grew up in NIMBY-land just two blocks from BDR
), we take our Italian food seriously, and for Y-class fare, it was excellent. What I appreciated most was that the tomato sauce was not heavily salted (which is common in in-flight meals), nor was it very acidic, which is also common in Italian restaurants which either over-roast their tomato sauce, or purchase it from those distributors like SYSCO. Whoever catered the SQ026 flight in FRA
was pretty damned good.
As for the rest of 2012, I ain't going anywhere else, so that's that. Internationally, SQ
, and CO
, whatever the hell it is now) were all "very good" to "excellent". Domestically, MU
was "quite good" and CZ
was "meh...better than nothing (which is what we would have gotten in the USA)".