If you know me, you’ll know I absolutely love food, and, If you know travel, you’ll know one of the dodgiest parts of any flight can be the meal. Ergh! I can’t tell you how many bad airplane meals I’ve had. From the dry to the soggy, from the way-too-spicy to the totally bland, from the tiniest portion to the ‘WTF even is that?’… So I was equal parts shocked and intrigued when Matt and I scored an invite to the Santan Food Festival, a celebration of AirAsia’s new in-flight menu, held in Kuala Lumpur.
Now, look, when I first started this blog I had hoped, at most, we would get the occasional free meal. Getting an invite to fly over to Kuala Lumpur for a menu launch was never even a possibility that entered my mind. I’m constantly amazed by the opportunities that come our way and so incredibly thankful for them. Today, I wanted to share with you all the BTS action from our trip. A few photos and our video, plus the inside scoop on whether the food is actually any good.
First things first, you need to know I went into this event like a super-sleuth. I felt like it was my duty as a citizen, a representative of the people, to work out if the new menu lives up to the hype. The event was held at RedQ, which is AirAsia’s super fancy headquarters located right next to KLIA2. You guys, we walked in and this place is huge… seriously, like a Google office or something! While all the festivities were going down in the middle of a huge open space in the building, everyone else was busy getting on with their regular work day. I snuck a look at a few computer screens, hoping to catch people looking at Facebook or watching YouTube vids, but they were all 100% working.
The event was amazing! There were over 100 members of the media and key influencers from places like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Brunei, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and India. From the moment we stepped inside, the place was buzzing! In fact, it was the largest in-flight food tasting event in Asia.
Here’s what I liked about it – it was FUN! The whole event was fun. We go to a lot of events and, for the most part, they’re pretty serious. This one was so full of energy and fun, including some really great moments from AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes. Tony was getting in on all the dancing, spoon feeding influencers and really enjoying himself, which set the tone for all of us to have a fun time too. There was a dance performance, loads of food to try, fun props to play with, cooking demonstrations and so much energy and hype – it felt like a real festival.
So, how did the food stack up? You guys – it was great! There was an Indian vegetarian option, which is great for me because I live for Indian food. There were also some other really yummy dishes too, like the signature Thai green curry with rice and prawn pad Thai. Matt did what was required, in the name of research, and got stuck into as many meat-eater dishes as possible, scoffing down every last bite of each one.
It’s great to see an airline put some focus on the food because when you’re trapped on a plane with no other options, it can be really annoying. So I gotta give AirAsia credit where it’s due – they’ve taken a wide range of flavours from across Asia and created a great in-flight menu with really yummy options for travellers. Another thing I really like is AirAsia have plans to implement green packaging – an important move given the large number of individually packaged meals served by airlines. Kudos, AirAsia!
A huge thank you to the team at AirAsia for having us, we had a wonderful experience. The food was fantastic and the event was really fun! I don’t know about you guys, but the rise of budget-friendly airlines has made travel possible for Matt and me, so here’s to AirAsia… making travel affordable and in-flight meals delicious. You guys know what the people want.