Bad airplane food is a cliché for a reason, but Air New Zealand is bucking the trend, Food & Wine reports. The airline's new in-flight menus feature culinary creations by New Zealand chef Michael Meredith and Peter Gordon, the Kiwi-born executive chef of London’s popular The Providores and Tapa Room. To promote their revamped meal options, Air New Zealand launched a free, two-day pop-up restaurant in London that serves nothing but airplane food.
The temporary outpost, called This is How We Fly, is running out of the Unit London gallery in Soho, but it's only sticking around for two days—April 25 and April 26 (which is today, which means you've only got a few hours left to give it a try). Patrons sit in airplane chairs and dine on options including “lamb with minted peas, braised lettuce with bacon lardons, and salt roasted crushed new potatoes with mint jelly" and a "yoghurt marinated chicken tikka with saffron pilaf jewelled rice, and aloo ghobi with spicy raita dressing,” according to Food & Wine.
Vegetarians were able to indulge, too, as the airline’s meatless dishes included “soy marinated tofu brown rice seaweed with sesame miso dressing and a chunky vegetable” and “tofu coconut curry with spinach and coriander green rice.” New Zealand wines and desserts like apple rhubarb and treacle tarts were also on the menu.
Air New Zealand didn’t simply wine and dine prospective flyers—they also surveyed them on their attitudes about airline food. The company questioned 1000 adults, and found that 25 percent of respondents preferred hospital menu options to airline cuisine. Meanwhile, half of respondents said they disliked airplane food. Still, customers were willing to reconsider their relationship with sky grub if it were made from fresher ingredients, or if menus featured a wider array of options.
Air New Zealand isn’t the only company in the South Pacific that's rethinking its approach to airplane food: Airlines flying out of the state of Queensland, Australia, have teamed up with a charity called OzHarvest Brisbane to collect uneaten sandwiches and snacks, which are then donated to more than 800 charities.
[h/t Food & Wine]