South African Airways, with its new onboard catering partner, Do & Co Event and Airline Catering Ltd, has introduced restaurant-quality gourmet onboard menus in Business and Economy Class cabins on all flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg, serving a selection of high quality international inspired dishes and South African award-winning wines.
All meals are handmade from the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, along with a handpicked selection of award-winning South African wine pairings. Menus will be kept fresh and inspiring with a seasonal quarterly rotation.
New dishes on offer for Business Class customers include fresh Loch Fyne Scottish Smoked Salmon, Grilled Cod (MSC approved) from the North Atlantic served with saffron velouté, baby carrots, and mushy peas, or freshly prepared handmade Truffle Tortellini with grilled artichoke and parmesan. For dessert, there is a choice of Mango Panna Cotta, Avocado Chocolate Mouse, and Passion Fruit Tiramisu.
Economy Class customers can enjoy meals such as Viennese Paprika Chicken with homemade buttered Spätzle and broccoli or Rigatoni with a Rosemary Sauce, rocket and tomato salad, sprinkled with parmesan, followed by carrot and banana cake with cheese and crackers.
The new menus will be supported by an award-winning South African wine list, including Spice Route Sauvignon Blanc 2013, and Franschhoek Cellars Old Museum Merlot 2012.
Selecting the food and wine to be served at 30,000 feet is not an easy task as our palette differs on the ground to what it is in the air. Bongi Sodladla, SAA’s Senior Food and Beverage Manager & Sommelier, manages this process by carefully selecting wines that work with the food being served. The airline receives over a thousand wine entries, which together with the SAA sommelier and independent wine connoisseurs, are all tasted over three days, assessed and given a score.
Bongi said: “I assess the ability of the food and the wine to maintain flavour and shine even at 30,000 feet, as our taste buds may be dulled by up to 30% when flying. We taste over 300 wines each day, for three days and rate them out of 100. Only the very best wines from South Africa finally make it on board, with a selection of 60 wines on a monthly rotation. These are the ones with bold flavours that complement the vibrant and delicious menu offerings that adequately reflect our cosmopolitan airline. The new meals must be really captivating and well-crafted in order to delight our customers travelling for both business and leisure purposes.”
Gary Kershaw, General Manager for SAA UK & Ireland, said: ‘At SAA, we are always striving to better our customer experience. This past week has seen SAA recognised by Skytrax, winning the award for Best African Airline for the 12th year in a row, as well as being ranked in the top 10 for Best Business Class Airline Catering in the World. This recognition demonstrates our excellent product experience onboard and now, looking to the future, we are very excited to be working with Do & Co for providing our customers with a gourmet onboard food experience. We are exceptionally proud to be able to offer our Business and our Economy Class passengers the very best gourmet culinary experience during their journey to Southern Africa.”