JAL will expand the supervisory role of the Kyoto Cuisine “Mebaekai’ to cover even more flights departing from Japan to ensure that the Japanese meals served onboard JAL are of the highest quality. From September 1 2007, JAL’s `Mebaekai’-inspired Japanese meal options for the first in-flight meal will be available in JAL Executive Class - JAL’s business class - and JAL First Class on all flights serving China, Europe and the USA (including Hawaii) that depart from Tokyo (Narita), Osaka (Kansai), and Nagoya (Centrair) airports. Currently this menu option is available only on some flights operating out of Tokyo (Narita) to Europe, Singapore and the USA.
Found throughout Japan, “Mebaekai” are special associations of long-established restaurants set up with the purpose of maintaining and promoting traditional Japanese cooking techniques and cuisine. Member restaurants have been owned and run by generation after generation of the same family and are held in great esteem.
Since 2004, JAL has collaborated with the “Mebaekai’ to assist in creating the airline’s in-flight Japanese meal option served on selected routes in first and business class. JAL specifically chose to work with the Kyoto Cuisine `Mebaekai’, as Kyoto is where the `haute cuisine’ of Japan known as kaiseki-ryori was born.
Under the guidance of the Kyoto Cuisine `Mebaekai’, JAL offers for the first in-flight meal a full-course kaiseki-ryori style Japanese option made only from the freshest seasonal ingredients. It usually includes a number of small dishes that have been steamed, simmered or grilled accompanied by miso soup, rice, and Japanese pickles. This is normally followed by a traditional Japanese sweet, green tea and seasonal cut fruit.
The main course is changed each season, and may vary depending on the route traveled. This September, passengers traveling in JAL Executive Class can enjoy, for example, sashimi style fillet of sea-bream and squid on the Tokyo - San Francisco route, and braised pork in egg yolk soy sauce on the Tokyo - Beijing route.
Previously only one main dish option was available to passengers who selected the Japanese menu for their first meal. However, starting with the Narita - Chicago daily flight in July 2007, JAL has gradually started to introduce a second Japanese main dish option to the menu on US routes (excluding Hawaii) and selected Europe routes.
In addition to a Japanese meal option, JAL also offers passengers a Western-style menu on all its flights. Passengers choosing the Western menu for their first meal option can select from two entrees, one of which is a JAL Healthy Menu Selection: a low calorie, nutritionally balanced option for the health-conscious.