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Catering - what's Air NZ serving these days?

Catering - what's Air NZ serving these days?

Old Jan 29, 06, 5:24 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 68
Catering - what's Air NZ serving these days?

I have read in one or two trip reports (not necessarily on this site) that Air NZ's Biz Class catering has deteriorated and that portions have diminished in size.

A couple of weeks ago, I flew from San Francisco to Auckland in the new Business Premier cabin, and can make these comments:

* The size of the main course had certainly not decreased in size, and the portion of the starter seemed to be more generous.

* Two desserts were still offered (one was the usual ice cream)

* Cheese now come pre-plated and with no fruit - instead, a tiny piece of quince paste and what appeared to be a kind of fig and hazelnut pate

* The fruit plate has disappeared from dinner menus.

* I did not notice liqueurs being offered after dinner

* On the breakfast front, only two main dishes are now offered, but the fruit plate seemed larger.

* The new, white menu cards look cheap and tacky. But I liked the new, assymetrical white Noritake china.

Anyway, for the record, here's the menu:

DINNER:

To Begin

Marinated Baby Bay Scallops ++ Butter Lettuce ++ Pickled Fennel ++ Tomato and Chives

Mains

Grilled Beef Fillet on Roasted Mushrooms ++ Charred Greens ++ Potato Cream or
Duck Confit with Apple ++ Braised Red Cabbage ++ Roasted Chestnuts ++ Quince Chutney or

NZ Salmon ++ Pea Tendrils ++ Roasted Carrots ++ Parsnip Mash ++ Red Onion Soubise or

Baked Ricotta, Gruyere and Parmesan Tart with Asparagus Spears

Garlic Bread ++ Olive Bread ++ Sourdough Rolls

Dessert

Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with Honey Citrus Salad or
Strawberry & Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce

Cheddar & Brie with Crackers

Tea ++ Coffee ++ Hot Chocolate


BREAKFAST

Fruit Juices or Strawberry Smoothie

Canteloupe Melon ++ Honeydew ++ Orange Slices ++ Strawberries
Plain or Fruit Yoghurt
Granola ++ Super K ++ Raisin Bran

White and Wholemeal Toast ++ Croissants ++ Preserves

Scrambled Eggs with Chives ++ Braised Beef Short Rib ++ Hash Cake ++ Tomato or

Buttermilk Hot Cakes ++ Appple & Cranberry Compote ++ Cinnamon Butter ++ Manuka Honey and Apple Syrup

Tea ++ Coffee ++ Hot Chocolate

Both meals were excellent!

What is Air New Zealand serving on other routes? Let's have your menus!
Waihi49 is offline  
Old Jan 29, 06, 5:33 pm
  #2  
 
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Thanks for that Waihi49 - good to hear that both quantity and quality were up to scratch. How about the wines, dare I ask?

I completely agree about the new all-white menus - I have only experienced them once on trans-Tasman J. I had been reading the newspaper when they handed me mine, and something about the menu's texture or the card/finish they used seemed to be a magnet for newsprint smudges - it looked distinctly grubby in no time.

I'm flying SYD-WLG this weekend and AKL-SYD next weekend, both hopefully upgraded to J, so I'll try to remember to post what they're serving in shorthaul.
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Old Jan 30, 06, 3:46 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by mad_atta
Thanks for that Waihi49 - good to hear that both quantity and quality were up to scratch. How about the wines, dare I ask?

I completely agree about the new all-white menus - I have only experienced them once on trans-Tasman J. I had been reading the newspaper when they handed me mine, and something about the menu's texture or the card/finish they used seemed to be a magnet for newsprint smudges - it looked distinctly grubby in no time.

I'm flying SYD-WLG this weekend and AKL-SYD next weekend, both hopefully upgraded to J, so I'll try to remember to post what they're serving in shorthaul.
A medical condition means I need to avoid alcohol, so I didn't take much notice of the wine list. Please let us know what you think when you do your trans-Tasman flights.
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Old Jan 30, 06, 9:16 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by mad_atta
Thanks for that Waihi49 - good to hear that both quantity and quality were up to scratch. How about the wines, dare I ask?

I completely agree about the new all-white menus - I have only experienced them once on trans-Tasman J. I had been reading the newspaper when they handed me mine, and something about the menu's texture or the card/finish they used seemed to be a magnet for newsprint smudges - it looked distinctly grubby in no time.

I'm flying SYD-WLG this weekend and AKL-SYD next weekend, both hopefully upgraded to J, so I'll try to remember to post what they're serving in shorthaul.
I'm doing AKL - MEL Thursday, and MEL - WLG next Tuesday, probably in cattle class, so I will post whether the card board box is still as bad.

Off topic, but also doing MEL - LNE - MEL while over there on Virgin Blue. I still can't help feeling that the lack of an Airpoints partner in Oz is a major negative for NZ.
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Old Jan 31, 06, 9:11 am
  #5  
 
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Unfortunately, since we can't use UA's MP to upgrade, haven't been able to experience Business or Premier Economy- however, on trans-Tasman econ flights lunch means a warm sandwich, water and some type of sweet. Not much, but still better than any Economy in the US.
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Old Feb 1, 06, 1:09 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by Waihi49
Duck Confit with Apple ++ Braised Red Cabbage ++ Roasted Chestnuts ++ Quince Chutney or

NZ Salmon ++ Pea Tendrils ++ Roasted Carrots ++ Parsnip Mash ++ Red Onion Soubise or

Baked Ricotta, Gruyere and Parmesan Tart with Asparagus Spears

Garlic Bread ++ Olive Bread ++ Sourdough Rolls
The duck is good, as is the garlic bread which I always stuff up on. These are the same standard choices they've had for a while, so I don't know if they've upped the portions since mid January. I'll see again in March.
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Old Feb 1, 06, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by unitedTS
The duck is good, as is the garlic bread which I always stuff up on.
I love the olive bread, with the mini bottles of olive oil to accompany it. Looking forward to some tomorrow... assuming my upgrade clears!
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Old Feb 2, 06, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by WellingtonFF
I'm doing AKL - MEL Thursday, and MEL - WLG next Tuesday, probably in cattle class, so I will post whether the card board box is still as bad.

Off topic, but also doing MEL - LNE - MEL while over there on Virgin Blue. I still can't help feeling that the lack of an Airpoints partner in Oz is a major negative for NZ.
Did AKL - MEL yesterday cattleclass, and I have to say that the chicken and mushroom pie in the cardboard box was very tasty indeed. No problem getting my two red wines, and the service was very good ^
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Old Feb 3, 06, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by WellingtonFF
Did AKL - MEL yesterday cattleclass, and I have to say that the chicken and mushroom pie in the cardboard box was very tasty indeed. No problem getting my two red wines, and the service was very good ^
I assume alcohol is still gratis on Trans-Tasman economy?
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Old Feb 3, 06, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Explore
I assume alcohol is still gratis on Trans-Tasman economy?
It was as of 7 January-
^
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Old Feb 3, 06, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by gregdane
It was as of 7 January-
^
and it certainly was on Feb 2nd ^
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Old Feb 7, 06, 2:38 am
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Originally Posted by WellingtonFF
Did AKL - MEL yesterday cattleclass, and I have to say that the chicken and mushroom pie in the cardboard box was very tasty indeed. No problem getting my two red wines, and the service was very good ^
Did MEL - CHC - DUD today cattleclass. IMHO the cardboard boxes have gone up in standard, - a very tasty hash brown type hot breakfast this morning MEL - CHC, and the AKL - MEL leg over was similarly tasty as described before.

Much better than they were - it was a waste of time providing any meal at all before - my worst experience was a supposed beef fillet which was a synthetic beef and inedible.
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Old Feb 7, 06, 10:13 pm
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Question No Salads for Long Haul Y meals?

While we are still on the subject of catering, there seems to be a bunch of recent photos on www.airlinemeals.net showing long haul Y catering SIN-AKL-SIN using the new trays and flatware. The casserole dishes for the main courses look bigger and portions for the main courses look bigger, but it appears that that small bowl of salad or fruits (if the meal is a breakfast meal) is no longer served?

I will be trying out the new premium economy SIN-AKL soon and I hope that the salad bowl and the fruit bowl for breakfast have not been cut!
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Old Feb 11, 06, 9:51 pm
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I got my upgrade NZ144 SYD-WLG last weekend and it was a great flight, presided over by one of those fantastic NZ FAs that really give you a warm fuzzy feeling about the airline. She was called Angie, and was incredibly friendly and capable. Interestingly, she said that trans-Tasman menus in C change weekly.

I forgot to steal the menu, but from memory our flight had a starter of Marlborough salmon cakes (pretty good), followed by a choice of:
- Rack of lamb
- A fish dish
- Something cold.
...followed by the usual ice cream and berry compote and/or cheese board.
Sorry, that's not very informative!

More to the point (for all except the non-drinkers amongst us, such as Waihi49 whose thread this is and to whom I apologise unreservedly) I can remember the wines! They were:
- Nicolas Feuillate NV champers (which was also served on the ground pre-departure - I thought they only used to serve the local stuff until take off?). It's OK but a bit soft and low in acids to be really suitable for drinking inflight, but in the name of research I struggled through
- Jackson Estate sauvignon blanc (perfect airline s/b: zingy and clean)
- Highfield chardonnay (didn't try this one, but from memory it's not all that exciting)
- Mission Jewelstone syrah (quite good stuff)
- Red something (Red Rock? Red Hill? Red Shed? I can't remember, but is was a brand I'd never heard of, sorry) Hawkes Bay cab sav - excellent stuff, proof that NZ is really producing some decent cab sav these days.
- Forrest Estate botrytised riesling (or was it semillon?) dessert wine - also very good.

All in all it was an excellent (and somewhat alcohol-soaked) flight. Let's hope the upgrade clears on NZ107 tonight - it's looking doubtful at this stage...
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Old Feb 13, 06, 2:47 pm
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Got the upgrade on 107 last Sunday too. Quite a good flight with friendly service, but marred by inexplicable delays at Sydney end (they were only using one runway, for some reason).

Menu was:

Starter
Hot-smoked salmon on miso and soy soba noodles with kawakawa dressing (this was superb)

Main course
Shiraz braised venison with black pepper, spaetzle and buttered cabbage (disappointingly mediocre)
Butter chicken with saffron rice, vegetable bhaji and mango chutney (looked and smelled pretty good; I wished I'd ordered it)
Shaved roast beef salad with eggplant hummus, char grilled vegetables and sun dried tomato and lemon dressing (didn't see this one)

Dessert
Baby meringues with raspberry and white chocolate ice cream and raspberry coulis (delicious as usual)

plus usual cheeses etc. Wines that I can remember were:
- Palliser estate methode champenoise (no real champers on this flight as far as I could see. The Palliser was decent but too warm - how hard can it be to serve whites properly chilled
- Goldwater Estate sav blanc - pretty good
- Lawsons dry hills chardonnay 2002 - great as usual, and nicely aged
- A mystery red that I really can remember nothing about, except that it slipped down quite well
- Forrest estate botrytised semillon - yum!

All in all, more good experiences upfront with NZ trans-Tasman, though the main course on this flight was disappointing and the biz seats are already starting to look a bit worn.
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