Dull, bland, sometimes terrible—these are the adjectives that usually come to mind when we think of airplane food.
It’s something we’ve gotten used to when flying. There’s a science behind it, anyway, and it’s not entirely on airline companies. According to Charles Spence, Oxford University’s professor of experimental psychology, our senses of taste and smell become different when we’re thousands of feet above the ground for various reasons, including lack of humidity, lower air pressure, and background noise.
If you’re a business class passenger flying to North America on Philippine Airlines, in-flight dining might just be a whole lot better for you with PAL’s elevated—literally and figuratively—gastronomic experience featuring the stunning creations of Bamba Bistro’s Chef Tina Legarda.
The delectable 10-course in-flight menu highlights Chef Tina’s brilliance in more ways than one, bringing it from what she calls her “humble kitchen” to different corners of the globe.
The one-of-a-kind experience kicks off with some Amuse-bouche, which is French for "mouth amuser." There's The Filly with duck adobo, scallion cream, and caramelized lychee, and Maria's Toast featuring homemade longganisa, guava jam, arugula, and salted egg cream shallots both on toasted French baguette, with each one meant to be devoured in a single bite. You shouldn't miss out on the Kalabasa Soup made even more exciting in terms of taste and texture with candied pili nuts and the Luzviminda Salad amped up with ricotta and lychee vinaigrette.
And now, we go to the main courses. The Crab Mie Goreng is perfect for those who love noodles with a bit of spice, while the Breakfast Burrito is for travelers who don't mind getting messy at some point. After having both that are equally strong in flavor, the Pan-Fried Snapper with whipped sweet potatoes, roasted garlic butter sauce, lemon chimichurri, and steamed asparagus could give your taste buds the balance they need.
Focusing on the Filipino cuisine are the Nasi ng Bayan, which is special boneless chicken barbecue with stunning hints of coffee, annatto, and pineapple scallion salsa, best enjoyed with peanut paste and coconut rice; Gyu-Silog featuring beef yakiniku in sesame butter, egg roll, and roasted leeks fried rice; and Milkfish Inasal served with banana fried rice, garlic aioli, and atsara.
End your meal—and flight—on a sweet note with the Banana Budino Trifle with layers of banana cake, Spanish natillas, walnuts, milk chocolate, caramelized bananas, and whipped cream.
In crafting the menu lineup, Chef Tina had the intention of making sure that guests would talk about the food even after their meal—just like in her unassuming restaurant in Parañaque. "Our guests come in, experience, and talk about it when they get home. They don't forget about the experience. They can go home and say the food was well thought out, or it could also be the service was really warm and accommodating. Or they could also say 'that was also very Filipino.' That became my inspiration," she said.
The 10-course in-flight menu is now being served during nonstop flights from Manila to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Honolulu, Vancouver, and Toronto to PAL's business class passengers.