Wednesday 29 September 2010

The Food of Travel 1- Going East

Recently I had the pleasure of flying to and from Europe with Singapore Airlines. We had some intriguing meals along the way. They serve two choices in cattle class- one asian and one western. I learned to ask for the asian choice nearly every time, and came off better I believe, given the pallid scramble eggs and ordinary chicken that my Western eating husband was served.

It was early morning, and I was astonished to find decent looking food at Charles Kingsford-Smith, so I got the eggs and silverbeet hash from the  Danks Street Bistro outpost. The eggs were ok, but the silverbeet hash was awful- potatoes that were the wrong texture, and so hot I managed to burn my hard palate as my final act before leaving the country.

Imagine how thrilled I was to get an airline version of the same meal just a few hours later. I remember eating the eggs even though they were overcooked and somewhat rubbery and the yoghurt.

Some kind of fish curry from memory. It was kind of hot actually, and the cauliflower undercooked.

Imagine my absolute terror as a parent who has to fill out a permission note about once a week so that my child can eat a piece of birthday cake that another child might bring to school, to see Singapore staff blithely handing out packets of peanuts! Do they not know that a large proportion of the Australian population suffer from peanut allergies so severe that a mere sniff in a playground can kill them? What about when a  whole section of economy rips open their cheap packet of peanuts at the same time? Surely that's an antigen load likely to knock off even the hardest Aussie? But do you know there wasn't one call for a doctor or an epipen after the peanut serving? Shocked I was, shocked. 

Changi airport in Singapore  is allegedly one of the best airports in the world. It's certainly big, and seemed nearly empty all the time we were in it, which was quite a bit with the coming and the going. Still it's not that easy to get a good feed there. I remember ordering this because it had a ridiculous name, and I'd been in Singapore for a week by now, and was somewhat emboldened.  It was perhaps the worst thing I ate in Singapore. 

Flying over Afghanistan at something like 0400 local time and what do they give you? Chili prawn noodles. Naturally. Given the flight originated in Singapore those were proper chilies too. Not namby pamby ones. I can't remember if that's apple juice or wine. I hope it was wine, but fear it was apple juice. 


Hannah said...

I love seeing airplane meals! So much guilty fun. Those eggs look like UFOs... and I'd've happily eaten your cauliflower. I like it raw anyway!

Louise said...

Airplane meals are fun to look at, especially if you don't have to eat them. The eggs do look like UFOs now that you mention it, actually I think NASA could have used them for those heat resistant tiles they put on the outside of the space shuttle that seem to fall off. These wouldn't fall off. I don't mind raw cauliflower if it's supposed to be raw, but this was supposed to be cooked, and so was just annoying. Sleep deprivation and mild hangover had nothing to do with finnickiness I suspect.