I was looking forward to testing out Hawaiian Airlines; I’d heard great things about their inflight service. I flew with Hawaiian from Narita to Honolulu; I chose Narita as I knew the airline had their new business class cabin on the route. On Narita flights Hawaiian work with Chef Lee Anne Wong from Koko Head Cafe in Honolulu, and together they create an exquisite fusion of Japanese and Hawaiian flavours inflight.
As soon as I settled in a cabin crew member came over to introduce himself, offered me the inflight menu and a choice of a welcome drink. On offer were a range of juices and their signature Mai Tai, I opted for a juice.
It was a set menu on this night flight which leads to efficient and straightforward meal service, the menu consisted of:
Garden Salad with Yuzu Dressing
Braised Chicken with Miso-Adobo Butter, Salted Fish Kamameshi and Sauteed Green Beans.
Fresh fruit, Macadamias and a Salted Caramel Pudding.
The cabin crew plate up the meals in the galley and it’s a nice touch that adds to that ‘restaurant’ experience in the sky. The garden salad was fresh, and the yuzu dressing gave it a sweet, tangy/citrus taste.
The main meal was delicious, the green beans were ok, the chicken was tasty, and the salted fish kamameshi was delicious. Kamameshi is a traditional Japanese rice dish that’s cooked in an iron pot called a kama, I loved this touch of Japanese cuisine as part of the meal.
Finally, it was time for dessert, a salted caramel pudding; this was probably the only part of the meal I didn’t enjoy. I couldn’t taste the caramel or salt at all; it was quite bland overall.
Then it was time for bed.
Before landing the crew started the breakfast service, this time a choice two meals were available. Hawaiian also offers the option of having a continental breakfast up to 45 mins before landing, great if you want to maximise rest time.
I ordered the full breakfast, which consisted of:
Tomato Edamame Quiche with Grilled Pork Sausage
The breakfast portion was just right, not too little and not too much. The pastry wasn’t too oily, and the tomato/edamame combination was excellent, yet again I enjoyed these tastes onboard.
Soon after the meal service, it was time for landing.
Towards the end of the flight, the cabin crew offered everyone a Hawaiian inspired gift. I thought this was a lovely gesture.
HONOLULU TO LOS ANGELES
Several days later I flew to Los Angeles from Honolulu and experienced the airlines domestic first-class service, as it was a day flight the service was slightly different from the previous sector.
I was offered a choice of welcome drinks and provided with printed inflight menus, I selected the signature Mai Tai drink, and it was delicious. The inflight menu offering included:
Roasted Beet Salad, Macadamia Nuts, Lilikoi Aioli
and Arugula with Maui Onion Dressing
Kim Chee Shrimp Poke with Salted Cucumber
and Pickled Maui Onions
Shoyu Roast Chicken with Sweet Corn Relish
and Creamy Mushroom Rice
Ginger Scallion Pesto Udon Noodles, Baby Bok Choy
and Roasted Mushrooms with Sesame Sauce
Passion Chocolate Cake
The service on this flight was staggered, I received my appetiser first, then the main followed by the dessert. For the appetiser, I selected the Kim Chee Shrimp.
For the main meal, I selected the udon noodles they were zesty and fresh, as though I just had ordered them from a noodle stand.
The passion fruit chocolate cake was tastier than the previous dessert offering, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I enjoyed my experience with Hawaiian Airlines; the crew were friendly, genuine and proud of their island home. The meals are carefully planned and highlight the island’s products where possible; I wouldn’t hesitate flying them again. The meals and inflight service are well thought out and executed by an engaged and happy crew.