Complementing its gourmet international menu, First Class customers on Emirates flights to and from Japan can now experience traditional Kaiseki (multi-course meal) cuisine and Business Class customers have the option of a newly designed bento box. Emirates, which was named World’s Best Airline 2016 at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards 2016, is the first Middle Eastern Airline to serve Kaiseki-inspired meals on board.
Emirates collaborated with Gate Gourmet Japan to develop and produce the new menu items. Gate Gourmet Japan, which is located in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, offers a farm-to-table experience. It has established a system to source freshly-picked vegetables from local farms, such as the Hokuso Vegetable Farm, that are all within a one-kilometre radius from their facility. This means the freshest locally-grown ingredients are used to prepare Emirates’ onboard meals.
The First Class Kaiseki cuisine features five courses, including cold appetisers, a hot dish, flavoured rice, pickled vegetables, miso soup, and is finished with a serving of “wagashi”, which are traditional Japanese sweets typically enjoyed with a cup of green tea. ‘Wagashi’ sweets are prepared using a variety of ingredients and methods and come in different shapes, sizes and textures.
“Kaiseki” is traditional Japanese multi-course haute cuisine. Its origins date back centuries ago in the simple meals served at tea ceremonies. Today, Kaiseki is enjoyed on special and celebratory occasions and served in specialised restaurants and at Ryokans (Japanese-style inn). The ingredients are natural, of high quality and change seasonally. Each course is served soon after it is prepared so as to maintain the freshness of the ingredients. The food design and serving style is a reflection of shapes found in nature including forests, mountains, islands, flowers or leaves. The balance between the colour, texture, flavour, consistency, and shape of the food and the aesthetics of the tableware is also carefully considered.
Business Class offers a specially-arranged bento box in a high-end Japanese catering style, perfect for eating onboard. Bento is the art of arranging one’s lunch in Japan, and has a history of over a thousand years. Although commonly known to be a take-out meal, bento boxes can also be enjoyed as celebratory meals that are elaborately prepared. Attention to detail and care is given to its taste and presentation. The aesthetics of the lunchbox, the texture of the food in each section of the box, demonstrate the “kodawari” or dedication of the maker and the skill in preparation and artistic presentation.
To create a truly authentic Japanese dining experience onboard, Emirates also collaborated with renowned Japanese tableware maker Noritake to develop exclusive tableware designs for the new menus based on the concept of “miyabi,” meaning elegance or refinement.
Noritake experts worked closely with the Emirates product and catering teams on the tableware designs, paying attention to the finest details to ensure that the tableware complements the food and enhances its presentation. With tableware that reflects Japanese traditional design, Emirates seeks to further enrich the customer on board experience. Japanese customers will feel at home when they are served the food trays, while our non-Japanese customers are able to enjoy an authentic Japanese meal experience.
The menus are served with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including Asahi beer, which are only available on Japan routes.
Emirates flights to and from Japan cater to the needs of Japanese travellers with Japanese-speaking cabin crew on board. Emirates award-winning entertainment system, ice, offers up to 2,500 channels of audio and visual entertainment, including Japanese movies such as “If Cats Disappeared From The World, as well as Hollywood blockbusters dubbed in Japanese such as “Zootropolis.” There are also hundreds of channels of music, audio books and games. Emirates passengers can enjoy a generous baggage allowance, with 50kg for First Class, 40kg for Business Class and up to 35kg for Economy Class passengers.