I've been fortunate to fly on a variety of airlines over the last 21 years and you could say I have had my fair share of the good, bad, and awful side of the rather airline food. Arguably, it can be a pretty controversial subject.
Today, I'd like to share with you the in-flight dining experience when flying from Los Angeles to London in Premium Economy with Air New Zealand.
Technically, many airlines class Premium Economy as an enhanced Economy product with better legroom, a nicer meal (which is sometimes served on china), and an increased baggage allowance. Air New Zealand on the other hand have really gone to town with their product. Just look at that Spaceseat!
On AirNZ's 777-300's' the "W" (Premium Economy) cabin amounts to a slightly-angled seat which reclines within it's own space, a very generous seat pitch of 42", a multiple-course dining experience, on-demand entertainment, tasty snacks, an additional checked bag, dedicated flight attendants, and a cute little amenity kit. That's me sold.
On the red-eye flight from Los Angeles to London, you can look forward to dinner, snacks and breakfast; with some dishes that have been created by the acclaimed chef Peter Gordon, who sits on the airlines culinary board.
So what was on the menu?
Prosciutto with rock melon, coriander salsa and queso blanco cheese.
From the bakery
Wholegrain sourdough bread, black olive bread and garlic bread.
Wood roasted chicken with curried fruit and nut rice plaif, tahini garlic yoghurt sauce and steamed broccoli.
Soya basted cod with garlic chives and hokkiien noodles, snow peas and spring onions.
Slow cooked beef with crushed minted peas, gingered sesame carrots and red skinned potato wedges.
Pear mousse cake
Cheddar cheese and crackers
Starter, Bread Selection, Dessert.
Wood roasted chicken
The menu itself is varied, but I felt that the choices were reasonable. If I didn't like the starter, I could always make-up for it with some more of the delicious breads that are on offer. They are served with a cute little bottle of New Zealand Olive Oil which is a great accompaniment. I actually prefer it to butter.
I've always found the main courses to be of a decent size and contain a lot of flavour. Sometimes I instantly know what I want, while on other occasions I've asked the crew on what they prefer. The dessert was very light - which was a good thing considering the majority of passengers like to try and grab a few hours sleep once they've enjoyed a hot beverage or two.
Fruit selection with assorted cereals and yoghurt.
Croissants with fruit conserve.
From the stove
Herb scrambled eggs with spiced turkey sausage, sautéed skillet potatoes and tomatillo salsa.
Flaxseed grain waffles with dried fruit and apple compote, sweet syrup and vanilla cream.
Fruit selection, cereal and yoghurt.
Breakfast is something that I don't always have the opportunity to enjoy - so I actually look forward to it when flying. A fruit-plate to start refreshes the palate; and the opportunity for a slow-release carb such as Granola also goes down a treat. I admit I do have a bit of a sweet-tooth; so unsurprisingly I did save a bit of room for the waffles. They were delicious. I could go as far and say there might be a little too much choice for breakfast as compared to other carriers - but that's just because there would be no-way I could have enjoyed everything that was offered to me. I didn't even mention the croissants or yoghurt!
Doesn't all that food look delicious?
I can honestly say that it was certainly the nicest Premium Economy food I have experienced, it has even surpassed the Business Class offerings of other airlines. For a small Kiwi-based airline, Air New Zealand certainly know how to look after their customers; from the warm friendly service, to ensuring that you never leave feeling hungry.
If you want to find out more about flying in Premium Economy with Air New Zealand; take a look at my in-depth review.