I have a sick fascination with airplane food.
Even though I was heading to Hong Kong, a veritable cornucopia of food, I was eagerly anticipating the on-board meal. As someone who prides herself on never wasting space on unworthy food, I’m a bit embarrassed by my enthusiasm for mile-high cuisine.
As the squeaky cart rolled my way, I awoke from my nap, adjusted my seat upward, pulled down my tray and waited for the steward to ask the magic question: pork or fish? “Fish!” I peppily declared. The Astronomer chose pork with dramatically less pep.
Fish proved to be a great choice. The hunks of flaky white fish were smothered in a classic Chinese sweet, gingery and spicy sauce. The ordinary white rice paired with the savory fish and the steamed bok choy made me feel like I was already in China. The carrots looked a bit iffy, so I passed them onto The Astronomer. Aren’t I muy generosa?
Sides included a warm roll with a pat of salted butter from New Zealand and a shrimp, lettuce and cucumber salad. The roll was excellent, while the salad was pretty, but boring (see: Mischa Barton). The first dessert, tiny pearls of tapioca topped with bland squares of JELLO, was mildly interesting. But the second dessert, a mini Kit Kat bar, was far tastier.
The Astronomer’s main was a slab of pig topped with scallions and a single chili. The chop sat on a bed of shrimp and saffron rice along with chunks of squash and some broccoli. My space was too precious to try the pork, but according to The Astronomer, it tasted much better than it looked. The rice and veggies weren’t bad. Like all saffron-infused dishes, the rice’s appearance shined brighter than its actual flavor. The Astronomer’s other side dishes were identical to mine.
We arrived in Hong Kong fueled and ready to pound the pavement in search of the best eats in town. If you thought Bangkok was impressive, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.