Air New Zealand Asian Vegetarian Meals

In complete contrast to the awful airline meals last time we flew with Qantas, Air New Zealand once again served outstanding special meals on our flight from Auckland to San Francisco.

My partner and I both ordered Asian Vegetarian Hindu meals.  This is described as “Spicy vegetarian combinations Indian style with limited use of dairy products.”  For this particular flight, I was upgraded due to my airpoints status to Premium Economy and my partner stayed back in regular economy.  Our meals were the same but with some slight differences.

The first meal of the flight was dinner.  The service I find in Premium is always a little odd, they give you a tray with both a starter and a dessert.  The idea is you eat the starter, they take away that dish and replace it with a main.  My tray below in the top row is a lemon and current cake (dessert), plain yogurt, spicy tomato chutney, gulab jumun (dessert), cutlery wrapped in a linen napkin.  The both row is plain crackers, chedder cheese, margarine and then a salad consisting of diced melon, mesclun greens, red chilli and chargrilled eggplant and zucchini in a spicy marinade.

Comparing notes with the economy meal, he didn’t have the spicy tomato chutney or the gulab jumun.  He had a different salad, his was a diced cucumber, onion and lettuce mix – without dressing.

So they then took away my salad dish (I’d also eaten the cheese and crackers as there was a delay with the hot meals due to an oven malfunction) and served the main meal.  This was a chickpea curry with a dhal and a spicy green bean and potato curry, served with rice.  Both of these were spiced and very flavoursome.   Definitely a cut above the regular meal service.

There was a fresh bread basket with a choice of breads, I picked garlic bread, this was a sliced french style loaf served warm with garlic butter.

The economy meal was similar but with slightly different curry’s – he had a larger portion of dhal, a small amount of chickpea and a potato and cauliflower curry.  Served with a wholemeal roll.


Towards arrival into San Francisco, breakfast was served.   Starting with a fruit salad, choice of juice and tea or coffee.  One of the first things I noticed was that the yogurt was Fresh’n’Fruity – this isn’t a vegetarian friendly yogurt as it contains gelatine.

We were also offered a choice of cereal with milk.  I declined this.

Next was hot, buttery croissants with strawberry jam.  Yum!  The flight attendant also apologised as she had by then realised she had given me the wrong tray (hence the cow hoof yogurt).  She handed over the vegetarian friendly, plain yogurt and a muffin.  There was also a soy milk container on the tray which I declined since I wasn’t having the cereal.

Then came the hot dish, again an India style breakfast.  A dhal on the left and a dry eggplant dish and a spinach and potato dish on the right.  In the middle was Idly, a lightly spiced rice cake.  Again this was delicious, the eggplant was outstanding!

Meanwhile in economy, the main hot meal was much the same, but without the cereal or croissant.  The fruit salad was also much smaller.IMG_3077

So an interesting contrast between the two cabins.  I wonder what those in business class were having?  🙂



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