Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Plane Food, Russia / Alaska

An impromptu trip to New York gave me the option to change the blog title yet again, just for a few days. Before things get back to normal in Tokyo we'll see 4 Michelin stars and two tremendous local favorites. Actually you won't see half of that, because most of the pictures are crappy beyond recognition (they claim the darkness lends atmosphere. What are they hiding?) and I forgot to take my camera to some.

But first, just in case you ever wondered whether it was worth paying the extra money to get business-class food on the plane, the answer is 'no'. It's better, but it's more a case of form over function - nice-looking food, pretty elaborate, with minimal taste. The real benefit is the space. And you still wouldn't want to pay your own money for that anyway, not for only 12-14 hours. This is JAL, for your reference.

Here's the amuse on the way over - a potato and shrimp mousse, plus pickled vegetables and shellfish.

I went with the Japanese food since it's a bit safer - many Japanese things lend themselves to being pre-prepared and refrigerated, and don't have to suffer from such treatment. The entree (appetizer, starter) was the set of 8 dishes shown here. Nothing notably good or bad.

Just a few pics of the things I thought were nicer-looking. In front is fish, some boiled in soy, some fried. In back is fish, raw and with some seaweeds.

Some grilled fish pieces (I would have sworn that the bit on the left was whale, but it's unlikely) and something that looks like spiced squid stuffing a sudachi peel (like a lime, but not). Clearly I thought it looked nice at the time, but no idea what it was.

Main dish was described as 'roast duck', which I thought was interesting. In fact the duck was the small, chewy triangle in the mid-back. The main thing was the fish on the left, steamed with fish mousse on top, and the omelette-like thing on the right, which was filled with slices of eel and was probably the best element of the meal.

Fruit and custard for dessert.
All of this comes with as much wine as you care to drink. On the way back, the guy next to me drank easily more than a bottle of Burgundy by himself. The waitresses aren't that forthcoming, so he had to keep asking, but they pour large servings when they do come. Once he got through his bottle, he started complaining that he felt sick. They were very solicitous. That's Japanese service for ya.

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