On one of my recent trips to Thailand, Thai Airways Catering invited me to sample the meals being served in its flights’ first, business and economy class cabins. Little did I know just how much food would be on offer — or how interested I would be to learn about the company and its subsidiaries.
Thai Airways Catering began operations on April 20, 1960, producing just 500 meals a day. By 1967 this figure had climbed to 6,000 meals, by 1979 to 15,000 meals and by 2006 to 46,000 meals — and today the company prepares more than 90,000 meals daily.
The very first flight it catered travelled from Bangkok to Hong Kong; at the time only ten kitchen staff worked for Thai Airways Catering. Many of the recipes used at the time of its founding are still used today.
The company caters around 60 airlines that fly to Thailand and also produces meals for the airline lounges of Singapore Airlines, Eva Air and Thai Airways at Bangkok Airport. Some of its airline customers include Ana, Singapore Airlines, Eva Air, Korean Air, Gulf Air, Qatar, Mahan Air and Bhutan Air.
For the last two and a half years, cabin crew in first class and business class have been plating up passenger meals in the galley rather than serving pre-plated meals to passengers. Meals in first class are served on Patra Porcelain tableware; in business class, Royal Porcelain is used.
Let’s start by exploring some of the dishes served in first class.
First-class passengers flying with Thai will experience a mix of International and Thai meal options. Menus in first class are quite extensive and the airline serves Dom Perignon Champagne.
Typically meals are served in courses, starting with canapes and a caviar service followed by main and dessert courses.
Spiced Mince Port with Tamarind Paste & A Lobster Medallion with Basil Pesto, pistachio cream cheese ball in tartlet, Pensee flower, Balsamic Pearl, Salmon Roe, Tobiko.
English muffin, Fried eggs, champignon, Cheddar cheese and Grilled butcher ham. Pommes chateau fondant, buttered green asparagus, tomato with stem. (Right) Green asparagus onion omelette and chicken herb sausage, butter grilled zucchini, roasted turned potato, sautéed champignon, tomato.
What a great idea, using the Pineapple as a presentation piece. Featuring Kiwi, Papaya, Mango, Cantaloupe and Dragon fruit.
Most of the beef served on Thai Airways flights comes from New Zealand, and about 70% of fruit, vegetables and other ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible. The company is a signatory to an MOU with the Thai Marine Finfish Farmers Association that ensures its ability to serve high-quality fish regardless of cabin class — critically important considering that the company uses about 155 tonnes of white sea bass every year in dishes such as curries and other entrees.
I was pleased to discover that the dishes available in business class are equally delicious — so let’s take a look.
These beautifully presented Thai desserts caught my eye, made from a striking yellow bean paste mixed with sugar and gelatine. Absolutely beautiful, the attention to detail that goes into their creation is second to none.
From left to right ลูกชุบ – Look Chup, ขนมข้าวต้มมัด – Kanom Khao tom Mud, ขนมหม้อแกงไข่ – Baked egg custard, ขนมสอดไส้ – Kanom Sod Sai,กล้วยไข่เชื่อม – Banana in syrup.
Economy class customers on long haul flights will be offered a choice of two hot meal options and on shorter flights meal boxes are offered.
Here’s a quick video I put together of my experience here.
My thanks go out to Thai Airways for putting on a delicious spread at its headquarters in Bangkok — I appreciate the time and effort that the staff put into receiving me.