Emirates has launched locally-inspired menus for its East African passengers travelling to Dubai.
The airline said the menus are tailored to suit local and diverse taste profiles. The carrier also seeks to boost on-board passenger experiences through keeping up with culinary trends.
Passengers aboard Emirates flights will be served traditional dishes such as Dar es Saalam’s kuku paka, chicken dish with coconut-based curry, served with butter rice and seasonal vegetables.
They will also enjoy Ethiopia’s Misir besiga key wat-spicy beef and lentil stew, served with steamed rice and Kenya’s nyama na irio — beef stew and mashed peas with potatoes and corn.
Nasser Iskeirjah, Emirates regional catering manager for Africa said the menus were informed by latest food trends and feedback received from customers.
“We aim to deliver the best culinary experience in the sky and are conscious that our products reflect our cosmopolitan customers,” he said.
Mr Iskeirjah noted the airline constantly rotates its on-board menu to regional and seasonal trends.
“Rotating our menus throughout the year ensures our customers can get to experience a different dish every time they fly with us,” he said.
Over the years, airlines have spiced up their meals to woo travellers. In January, British Airways and Etihad Airways started offering ‘niceties’ to their long-haul flights after Emirates brought ugali and rare champagnes on board last year.
Kenya Airways recently partnered with celebrity Chef Kiran Jethwa to launch a new catering service that has been offering passengers on flights above seven hours an exquisite fusion of African flavours using Kenyan ingredients.
“Collaborating with Kenya Airways has been an amazing experience and it is a privilege to be the first chef to reinvent our national carrier’s on-board menu,” said the renowned chef who has hosted shows such as ‘‘The Fearless Chef’’ and ‘‘Tales from the Bush Larder.’’
For Emirates, business class passengers will also be welcomed with signature drinks inspired by herbs, fruits and as one of Kenya’s biggest exports, tea.
It takes between six and 14 months to plan and introduce a new menu in a process that involves collecting customer feedback and expert insights.
Before customers take a bite, the meals served will have gone through intensive tasting.
The airline serves an estimated 100 million meals a year. Between 2017 and 2018, Emirates has catered to over one million customers from Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Addis Ababa, on both routes.