Thursday, July 12, 2012

Urbanspoon Island Hopper Trip * The Flight

A birdseye view of Oahu
The very second you sit down in the Hawaiian Airlines plane at JFK, the mere energy in the cabin gently squeezes your shoulder and hushes you to calm down.  Sunkissed attendants with flowers in their hair greet you with a glass of POG, a blend of passion fruit, orange, and guava that I will forever crave and associate with my time in Hawaii (I have even been stocking my hotel fridge with cans of it from the local bodegas!)

Flying anywhere can be intimidating, especially on a ten hour sojourn over the ocean.  And so of course you find yourself superficially assessing each fellow passenger, and determining which role they would play in your new version of "Lost".  But the truth is the new direct flight from JFK to Honolulu is surprisingly comfortable, even enjoyable.  It was so smooth, in fact, that not once was did the fasten seatbelt sign light up other than at take-off and landing.

Soy-ginger Mahi Mahi with bok choy, a colorful beet salad, and spicy island chicken are 3 of 5 in-flight meal options.

Besides the fact that from the computer/cinema/playstation built into my seat I was able to watch on demand music videos of Britney Spears, back episodes of Kath & Kim (the Australian cast!), and a documentary on a Tokyo sushi chef, one of the highlights of the journey is actually the food.

I nearly stole my neighbor's slice of tiramisu torte.

Hawaiian Airline's Executive Chef Chai Chaowasaree, one of the island's most renowned chefs (and television host), recently developed the new meal service for both first class and coach passengers.  And while airplane food is notorious for its mediocrity, the offerings on our flight were far from mediocre, and actually exceptionally delicious.  From a menu card of five options, we were invited to choose three--a fantastic luxury, especially for someone like me who always worries I overlooked a must-try dish.  There's nothing worse than ordering the stuffed chicken only to realize your neighbor's veggie lasagna is the bomb-diggity.  With the "sampler" approach from Hawaiian Air, guests are sure to enjoy the variety.  And we enjoyed not one, but two in-flight meals, along with frequent steamed towels to refresh our faces.  From the genuinely outstanding (and even sometimes very sweet) service, to well-designed morsels that acclimated my palate to island flavors, it was not only a relaxing, but very enjoyable flight--the perfect introduction to the generous spirit and hospitality of the islands I would soon discover just beyond baggage claim.


Anonymous said...

You have made me hungry for airline food. Surely a miracle!Have a great trip'!

Anonymous said...

Looks great but I would forfit all of it if HA could fly some POG in.

Dena Kessler said...

Looks great but I would forfit it all for a supply of POG.

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