Most airlines around the world naturally have to offer a variety of international cuisine which reflect the distinct route networks they fly. Japanese routes always stand out from a passenger experience perspective, as the dining experience is so different from traditional Western culture that not only new menus but new tableware has to be developed to satisfy Japanese tastes.
We have reported in the past on ANA’s drive to source new Samurai chefs, Singapore Airlines tireless efforts from four trained sushi chefs to cater for Japanese routes and even Finnair as they celebrate the Sakura festival with specially produced Kimonos for cabin crew. There has always been something special about Japan that brings out the foodie in every carrier that visits.
Emirates New Japanese Menu
When TheDesignAir exclusively spoke with Robin Padgett, F&B Director at Emirates back in 2014, we learned how the carrier doesn’t just cater based on destination, but instead caters based on passenger demographic. Being a one-stop carrier for most passengers, Emirates has a more diverse passenger demographic than most.
However, catering to Japanese tastes, the airline last month unveiled a Culturally sensitive Japanese menu for First Class and Business Class customers on flights between Dubai and Haneda, Narita, and Kansai airports in Japan. Emirates’ catering team in Dubai conceptualised the new menu options and created them in collaboration with a local caterer in Japan, utilising the freshest farm-to-table ingredients possible.
Being the first Middle Eastern airline to serve the traditional Kaiseki-inspired meals on board, Emirates has complemented its existing extensive international menu. First Class customers on flights to and from Japan will now experience traditional Kaiseki cuisine while Business Class customers have the option of a newly designed bento box.
Working in partnership with Gate Gourmet in Japan, Emirates has established a system to source freshly-picked vegetables from local farms, such as the Hokuso Vegetable Farm, that are all within a one-kilometre radius from their facility. This means the freshest locally-grown ingredients are used to prepare onboard meals.
To create a truly authentic Japanese dining experience onboard, Emirates also collaborated with renowned Japanese tableware maker Noritake to develop exclusive tableware designs for the new menus based on the concept of “miyabi,” meaning elegance or refinement.
Noritake experts worked closely with the Emirates product and catering teams on the tableware designs, paying attention to the finest details to ensure that the tableware complements the food and enhances its presentation. It’s this attention to detail that makes flights to Japan a joy, no matter which airline you may fly on, however, looking at this Kaiseki offering, Emirates is up there with the best!