AirAsia offered me a sponsored ticket from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur onboard their A330 service that runs twice daily from Melbourne. I’ve flown AirAsia a few times, once in 2016 in Indonesia and the other in 2014 with Air Asia Malaysia. Both experiences were good, there were a few things that I didn’t like about the meals during those experiences, but having just flown them again a lot has changed, which is great to see.
The airline provided a front-row seat in the economy class cabin; I was able to use the Xpress boarding service and managed to take this photo before everyone else boarded. There’s also a premium flatbed cabin on this flight which includes a host of other services and additions; you can read more about that right here.
MEALS ON AIR ASIA
Passengers can pre-order meals up to 24 hours before departure and cost MYR15 which is about AUD$4.95, that’s excellent value. The Santan inflight menu (A Malay term for rich and luxurious coconut milk) is well priced too. For an additional fee, you can upgrade your meal and receive a Häagen-Dazs ice-cream plus a Kit Kat and pasta entree.
Further information about their meals can be found here.
On Air Asia X flights, there are over 16 different pre-order meal options, and on this return trip I sampled:
Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak
A coconut rice dish served with Pak Nasser’s chilli sambal chicken rendang, with fried anchovies, groundnuts and egg.
Grilled chicken skewers peanut sauce and pressed rice.
Glutinous Rice with Chicken and Dim Sum Combo
Chicken and prawn dumplings with bean curd pockets made even tastier when paired with chicken glutinous rice.
Lasagna with layers of chicken, tomato sauce, cream sauce, pasta and shredded cheese, served with vegetables.
Salmon Teriyaki Rice Bowl
Grilled minced salmon in sweet and savoury teriyaki sauce with diced omelette and french beans served with Japanese rice.
Roasted Stuffed Chicken with Mushroom-Tarragon Sauce
Combination of marinated roasted chicken with minced chicken stuffing served with a mushroom tarragon sauce, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes as well as buttered vegetables.
If you forget to pre-order you can make purchases inflight, most credit cards are accepted as well as cash. If you pay by cash, the crew will give you back change in MYR. Passengers who pre-order are served first and also receive a discount.
Here’s a look at some of the onboard menu items.
MELBOURNE TO KL
I was surprised to see meal trays in economy class on AirAsia, and realised that this is what you would receive if you flew in their flatbed class. My first meal was quite tasty, and I enjoyed the dim sum too.
The rice was delicious, and the dim sum was very flavorful and most importantly wasn’t dry. The entree pasta was fresh, and the ice cream was a great treat to finish off the delicious meal.
After the meal, I went down to the back of the aircraft to stretch out and take photos, the flight time to KL was about 7.5 hours, and I had forgotten to pre-order a tablet to watch movies, so the flight was a little tedious.
I think these two were my favourites the Malay chicken satay and the famed Nasi Lemak. I sampled the Nasi Lemak in 2014, and it wasn’t that great. The current Santan range, which launched in 2015 has vastly improved.
The chicken satay was delicious. I loved the satay sauce, it very flavoursome and I would have asked for more if I could. The Nasi Lemak was also excellent, the rice was fluffy, and overall the meal was great, and not too spicy.
KL TO MELBOURNE
The airline once again looked after me and gave me a great seat and provided lots of meals to sample.
The first meal was a Chicken Lasagna served with a chocolate walnut muffin and water. I’m always sceptical of lasagna or pasta dishes on planes as pasta tends to dry out sometimes, this wasn’t the case. The meal was quite filling, and I’m glad that I didn’t have another meal to sample right away.
A few hours before landing the crew came through the cabin to offer the next lot of meals, I asked if they could delay my meals as I was still quite full from the lasagna.
Out of these meals, my favourite was the chicken; I found the Salmon Teriyaki to be a little bland. I couldn’t taste the Teriyaki and felt as though the meal was missing something. The chicken was excellent, it reminded me of a Sunday roast dish. The tarragon based sauce was lovely and the vegetables weren’t too overcooked, and while I’m not a huge fan of stuffing, it too was delicious.
I enjoyed my experience with AirAsia and wouldn’t hesitate to fly with them in the future. My favourite dishes were, in fact, the locally inspired dishes of Nasi Lemak and the Chicken Satay, I highly recommend these meals. Although the crew knew I was on board (so I can’t comment on the service), I did observe them being very friendly/helpful and attentive with other passengers.
A big thanks to AirAsia and their marketing team for collaborating with Inflight Feed.