For a long time it was gospel that travel food was, by and large, pretty rubbish. Horror stories of vacuum packed airline gruel filled travellers with trepidation as soon as cabin crew came a-calling. However, we’ve come a long way from dodgy chicken supremes and sludgy stroganoffs. Today, some companies specialise in delivering quality cooking, as well as getting passengers to their destination. Here are a few masters of the travel food game.
One cuisine that seems perfectly suited to air travel is Asian. Simple, boldy spiced cookery goes a long way to pleasing a potentially cantankerous aeroplane crowd. Thai Airways deliver some of the best. A typical lunch consists of lemon chicken, fried rice and tiramisu - a marked improvement on stereotypical airbourne fare.
Airlines do not have a monopoly on delicious food. Railways are more than capable of packing their own serious culinary punch, though they are certainly more exclusive. A great example is the Queen Adelaide restaurant on Australia’s Ghan train, who specialise in luxury cross country travel. The restaurant’s menu changes seasonally and features classic dishes cooked by some of Australia’s top chefs.
Great Western Railway
Considering the amount of time we spend whinging about trains, you’d never guess that Britain has its very own quality train based dining experience. On select GWR services to and from Cornwall, the Pullman Dining Car delivers exceptional British cuisine to diners as they speed along at over 100mph. With lemon sole, duck and Sunday lunch all possibilities, this is one of Britain’s best kept travel secrets.
With a reputation for quality, Singapore Airlines has long been the pinnacle for plane food. While their economy offerings are still exceptional, it is the top end choices that really impress. Lobster thermidor and Japenese Kyo-Kaiseki are just two of the luxurious options that await more exclusive travellers in first class. Better start saving.
Napa Valley Wine Train
Another exceptional culinary offering courtesy of Pullman, the Napa Valley Wine Train experience is as historical as it is delicious. With dedicated dining voyages in 100 year old carriages through America’s most celebrated vineyards, this is one travel experience that’s all about the journey rather than the destination. Award winning menus and a fantastic wine selection make this trip a must for any history loving foodie.
Great travel food doesn’t always necessitate breaking the bank. According to plane food expert (yes, that is a thing) Nikos Loukas, some of the best food found anywhere in the sky comes from Turkish Airlines. With domestic flights delivering a sandwich and Turkish meze, and long haul flights serving freshly prepped ingredients as standard, you can expect to be well catered for on Turkish Airlines.
The forerunner in luxury travel and foodie excellence, the Orient Express still offers an exemplary experience for food lovers. The train may not be what it once was and its route may have changed, but the prospect of quality food as you’re whisked across Europe is still an undeniably enticing one. Barring any murders, this experience delivers on every front.
As these options prove, travel does not have to mean mediocrity when it comes to food. If you’re fortunate to find yourself travelling with one of these businesses, count yourself lucky. You can relax and look forward with anticipation to your next mealtime.