This Pop-Up Restaurant Only Served Airplane Food

Air New Zealand is setting out to prove that airplane food doesn’t have to be bland or disgusting in this gimmicky new pop-up

This pop-up wants to reverse the poor reputation of airplane food.

Think about the last time you had a gourmet fine-dining experience on board an airplane. Unless you’re regularly flying first-class, the answer is probably “never.” Air New Zealand set out to reverse the stereotype that all airline food is gross or bland with a pop-up dining experience that only served airplane food.

“This Is How We Fly” was a promotional exhibit presented in London's Unit London Gallery from April 25 through 26. Visitors had the opportunity to “check in” on a virtual flight and try out gourmet airplane food like “lamb with minted peas, braised lettuce with bacon lardons, and salt-roasted crushed new potatoes with mint jelly” and a “yogurt marinated chicken tikka with saffron pilaf jeweled rice and aloo ghobi with spicy raita dressing.” Dessert was a choice between an apple rhubarb tart with rosemary cream and a very British-sounding treacle tart with clotted cream.

“When you're sitting on an airplane you want food with fresh ingredients and great texture that's going to awaken your taste buds and really excite you,” chef Peter Gordon told the New Zealand Herald. “The food served on board Air New Zealand uses the finest, fresh ingredients that are simply bursting with flavor.”


This is all very well and good, but you can’t get an accurate snapshot of how delicious (or not) airplane food tastes until you’re up in the air. The reason has to do with high altitudes affecting our tastebuds, which can make even super-spicy foods taste bland and boring.