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Friday, September 2, 2011

JAL updates business class meal service and introduces full a la carte menu on LAX route!

Japan Airlines (JAL) has once again update its business class meal service starting this month. Both long haul and short haul business class menus received an update. On top of that, the full a la carte menu finally arrives on LAX route! So now all on the US flights will have the full anything and any time meal service :) Below are more details on the changes rolled out this month
Full a la carte menu on LAX route Before we only get limited options on LAX-NRT (JL061) flight and only sandwiches and cup noodles on NRT-LAX (JL062) flight possibly due to the relatively short flight time (compared to say JFK flights). Instead JAL served a second meal before landing. But from September 1 2011, JAL will be replacing the second meal with the a la carte menu and passengers can pick from a wide range of Japanese and Western dishes at any time and as often as you want. Now all of the continental US flights have full a la carte second meal service in business class. Below is the a la carte menu on NRT-LAX flight for September 2011
JAL September 2011 a la carte menu on JL061 (NRT-LAX)
Below is the translation (I tried the best I can :p)
[Order in the Sky] Fried Egg Balls with Octopus (Takoyaki) Some kind of Salmon Rice Bowl [Mariage ~for the side of your favorite wine~] Assorted Cheese [Sky Bistro] Japanese Beef Hamburger Steak with Demi-glace Sauce JAL’s Specially Selected Curry with Steamed Rice Spaghetti with Seasonal Vegetables Fresh Seasonal Salad with Cod Roe Dressing Beef Stew ~Specially created by chef Mamoru Kataoka, Restaurant “Al Porto”~ Original Air Mos Burger ["SORA MEN TEI" ~Noodle Shop in the Sky~] Japanese Sano Ramen topped with green onion Japanese Hot "Udon" [Boulangerie] Sandwich with Deep-fried Shimp Cutlet Baguette Sandwich with Roasted Beef and Mozzarella Cheese [Japanese Finger Food] Assorted Sushi ["SORA-GOHAN" ~Japanese Set Plate~] Kobachi Kelp roll with roasted chestnuts / Japanese Pickles Dainomono Salt-grilled Salmon Steamed Rice / Miso Soup ["GOCHISOU-PLATE" ~Western Set Plate~] Main Dish Crepes with Raspberry Sauce Yogurt [Dolce] Premium Ice Cream Fresh Fruits
For comparison, below are what we used to get on JL061 and JL062 JL061 (LAX-NRT) Snack Menu in June 2011
Refreshment "Yamucha" - Steamed Chinese Snacks "Hiyashi Chuka" - Cold Chinese Noodles Croissant Sandwich Fresh Fruits Assorted Cheese Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato from CIAO BELLA GELATO Assorted Chocolate [JAL Original snack noodle] RAMEN de SKY UDON de SKY SOBA de SKY
JL062 (NRT-LAX) Snack Menu in July 2011
[Refreshment] Sandwich with Deep-fried Pork Cutlet Bagaette Sandwich with Brie de Meaux & Bacon Chocolate Assorted Cheese [JAL Original snack noodle] RAMEN de SKY UDON de SKY SOBA de SKY
And before arrival we will get something like this JL062 (NRT-LAX) Breakfast Menu in July 2011
Japanese Japanese Plain Congee Salt-grilled Salmon / Simmered Cod Roe rolled with Kelp Braised Edible Plants & "Yuba" Simmered Bamboo Shoots with Dried Bonito Flakes Fresh Fruits Green Tea Western English Muffin with Grilled Egg, Cheese & Ham Hash Potato Yogurt Coffee / Tea
Long Haul Japanese Meal Option Change (Downgrade?) Somehow I feel like the long haul Japanese first meal option has been downgraded. Before, JAL used to serve the Japanese meals in different courses - first with 8 side dishes and then the main dish/entree of your choice (usually have option of meat and seafood) with rice, soup and Japanese pickles. But from September 1 2011, JAL has eliminated the main dish from the menu, instead, you will be served 9 side dishes together with rice, soup and Japanese pickles. This is exactly what they serve on the Haneda red-eye flights to San Francisco and Paris. But there is no change on the Western menu and the two options of entree remains. Below are the comparison of meal options on long haul flights. [NEW] 2011 Fall Menu - Japanese Option
JAL Fall 2011 Business Class Long Haul Japanese Menu
[OLD] 2011 Summer Menu - Japanese Option A
JAL Summer 2011 Business Class Long Haul Japanese Menu
I wouldn't traded my main dish with an extra side and what will you think when you see your neighbor who opted for the Western option get served a multiple course meal like this? :o 2011 Fall Menu - Western Option A
JAL Fall 2011 Business Class Long Haul Western Menu (Option A)
Now you know why I used the word "update" instead of "upgrade" in the intro? :p Short Haul Meal Change For short haul flights, JAL has changed both of the Japanese and Western menu on flights departing from Japan. The meals will be more aligned with the meals served on SE Asia medium haul flights. JAL rolled out updated meal service on these medium haul flights last March. For Japanese option, you will get the "Samurai Zen"-inspired menu consisting of a main dish, a couple of side dishes, rice, soup and pickles. For Western option, JAL will be serving main dish together with a couple of side dishes, salad and bread. The two entree options remains for Western meals. Below are some pictures for comparison on meals served on NRT-HKG flights. [NEW] 2011 September Menu - Japanese Option
JAL September 2011 Business Class Short Haul Japanese Menu
[OLD] 2011 August Menu - Japanese Option
JAL August 2011 Business Class Short Haul Japanese Menu
[NEW] 2011 September Menu - Western Option A
JAL September 2011 Business Class Short Haul Western Menu (Option A)
[OLD] 2011 August Menu - Western Option A
JAL August 2011 Business Class Short Haul Western Menu (Option A)
Personally I like the new presentation of the Western meal and they are more similar to what you get on medium haul flights. More importantly they look more Japanese too :p For more pictures and details on JAL business class menu, you can refer to JAL website and search for the specific menu on your flight. (Unfortunately it's in Japanese only) Pictures Source: All meal pictures are the official pictures from JAL website.

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