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Monday, March 30, 2009

Visiting MAS In-flight Meal Kitchen

"Will you like to have fish or chicken, sir?", is a very common question asked by the stewardess when one is taking a flight that serves in-flight meal. Have you ever wonder who cooks up this meals? How these meals were prepared? Well, I know the answer now because two weeks ago I was invited by MAS to visit LSG Sky Chefs Brahim, their partner that prepares the in-flight meal not only for MAS but almost all of the major airlines that stops over at KLIA.

We were served some yummy sandwiches as refreshment before we were briefed by the head chef of LSG about the production of the in-flight meals.

Smoked salmon, salmon, fish rendang and cheese sandwich. I think they serve these on MAS flight too.

Little known fact, when Malaysian Airlines started back in 1973, they first cater their in-flight meals from Federal Hotel. A year later, MAS setup their own catering department, which then in 1994 became their wholly own subsidiary, MAS Catering Sdn Bhd. In December 2003, MAS partnered with LSGB, until now LSGB became the production house that prepares all MAS in-flight meals.

Head chef briefing us about the history.

LSGB has the capability of preparing 30,000 meals a day for MAS and other airlines.

Even though there's automated machines that can help them fasten the preparation and cooking. Still, there's some food like the satay is still done the traditional way.

Satay Room where the satay is still cooked using the good old way.

After the briefing, it is time to visit the production. Before that, we have to wear lab coat, headcap and sanitized our hands.

This is how we look like.

Due to competitive reason, no pictures were allowed inside the production so you have to bear with me. There were a few areas that we visited. There's the pastry area where the bun roll that you get in your in-flight meals were prepared. They have a big machine just to shaped out the rolls. It saves a lot of time because it can produce like a thousand of rolls an hour.

We were then brought to the freezer where the seafood were kept, there's even lobster inside. Head chef of MAS told us that whom ever finds the lobster with a ribbon on it will get a prize but no one dare to stay that long in the freezer to find that lobster.

Next, we walked over to the chiller where all the dairy produce where kept. There's so many yogurt, milk and cheese there. Didn't see any blue cheese though. Then we move on to the Tray area, where all the food is put into tray and trays into a special trolley. Each trolley will be marked the flights that it will be going on. 4 hours before departure, the trolley will be moved to a chiller room to keep the temperature cool so that it won't spoils. The food will be reheated on the plane.

There's checking from the arrival of the raw ingredients until the meals were on the plane. For example if the fruits arrived at the receiving area above certain temperature, the whole bunch will be rejected and the supplier will be asked to send a fresh bunch. Every procedure will be documented, check and double check. So that if any complains received can be pin point to a specific procedure that went wrong.

After the half an hour tour, it's time for lunch. The lunch prepared by LSGB is also food that you might find on a MAS flight. There's chicken, lamb and beef satay. MAS is currently running a satay promotion on their domestic and international flights. Which, they will be serving Nasi Goreng with Satay for example. As, I've written above, their satay is prepared the traditional way. Yummy.

My plate of nasi lemak with the usual condiments, and prawn sambal, chicken rendang, chicken, beef, and lamb satay, and steamed prompet with XO sauce. By the way, XO means premium, it's not alcoholic. LSGB is a certified Halal food production center.

Align Center

Below is a kind of pink crystal salt that will be given to passenger in the First Class to stimulate their taste bud because according to the Head Chef of MAS. Our taste bud will lose it's sensitiveness when we're on high altitude. Thus making the food we ate on the plane taste bland.

The beef ribs country style with mint jelly and djon mustard is juicy and tender, while the lamb shank with rosemary and garlic sauce is a bit too dry.

The shiosake (grilled salmon) is nicely done with the crispy salmon skin and a bit of fish oil just under it. Those that don't like fish might find it too fishy but I like it.

This is how the tray setup on a Business Class flight.

Whether it's Economy or Business class, you'll still get Forrero Rocher.

I finished my meal with a nice mango pudding. Yummy.

We didn't go home empty handed as we were presented with apple crumble and chocolates. Courtesy of MAS and LSGB. The apple crumble is delicious, I finished it all by myself at home. There goes my diet.

Wingz loves their bun roll so much that LSGB purposely packed a dozen for him to bring home.

Kenny was there too.

Thomas is not KampungBoy's friend lol.

This is the first time meeting VKeong the BM Kia.

With the Head Chef of MAS. He has more than 20 years of experience.

While the Head Chef of LSGB oversee the productions, the Head Chef of MAS designed the MAS in-flight menu and provide the specific instruction on the preparation to LSGB.

KampungBoyCityGal, VKeong and Jonathan of Fleishmann Hillard.

Once again, I will like to thank MAS and Fleishmann Hillard for making this trip to LSGB possible. I've learned something about in-flight meal there. Now, I will appreciate the in-flight meal more and know why it taste so bland. I'll bring my own pink crystal salt on my next flight lol. Also, thank you Jonathan for driving us there.


Wingz said...

haha brader why u put funcheng pic with his bun la!!! lol

Jon said...

hahaha! No prob being driver, enjoyed the conversation with you guys :)

Besides, need your power navigation skills!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I still find the food on MAS flights unpalatable. They used to be better. A pity, coz I would love to support our local airlines.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

dont think i had a MAS meal for a very very long time..must b flying too much airasia..