Travel Industry News at TravelNewsAsia.com since 1997
Tue, 10 January 2023

China Airlines Partners Toutouan and JIA to Upgrade Japanese Inflight Cuisine

(10/01/23)  China Airlines has partnered with Toutouan, a famous restaurant in Tokyo, to offer Premium Business and Business Class passengers with “natural style” Japanese cuisine on all the Taiwan-carrier's Japan routes.

Scheduled to commence on 15 January 2023, the food will be served on new Japanese tableware to enhance the experience.

Toutouan, a premium banquet restaurant passed down through three generations of the same family, is part of the Kurochaya Restaurant Group which was founded more than fifty years ago.

China Airlines partnered Toutouan and JIA to upgrade its Japanese inflight cuisine. Click to enlarge.
China Airlines partnered Toutouan and JIA to upgrade its Japanese inflight cuisine

Passengers flying Premium Business and Business Class on China Airlines’ flagship Japan routes, including Taipei (Taoyuan) to Tokyo (Narita), Osaka Fukuoka and Nagoya, Taipei (Songshan) to Tokyo (Haneda), as well as Kaohsiung to Tokyo (Narita) and Osaka, will be able to enjoy Japanese in-flight cuisine created by Araki Hironaka, the Japanese head chef of the original Toutouan in Tokyo, and Wei-Ting Chen, the head chef of Toutouan in Taipei, the brand's only overseas restaurant.

The first offering will be the “Imperial Cuisine of Early Spring” with Teriyayki Wagyu Beef as the main dish. Premium Japanese Wagyu Beef is served with wasabi and teriyaki sauce alongside Hokkaido Yumepirika rice famed for its fragrance and sweet taste. The menu will change to reflect main dishes made with seasonal ingredients.

The entrée of “Imperial Cuisine of Early Spring” incorporates the “eight-inch” element from kaiseki cuisine. Arranging seasonal ingredients on one plate requires a chef with adept knife skills as every piece must be cut into inch-long, bite-sized portions. The main ingredients are locally sourced enoki mushroom, amaranth, and smoked aigamo duck. Those are turned into eight portions in the Japanese manner to create a feast for the senses that blends Taiwan and Japan. The simmered dish consists of carrots, chestnut pumpkin, shiitake mushroom and winter bamboo shoots. The fried dish consists of fried karage burdock and the pickles include persimmon and cucumber. The dessert consists of taro, ginger lily, red guava, brown sugar and purple sweet potato. All the ingredients are grown in Taiwan.

The menu also features “Magatama Tofu” and “Brown Sugar Steamed Bun”, signature dishes from the original Toutouan restaurant in Tokyo. Magatama Tofu is made from cashews, arrowroot, milk and fresh cream, and served in konbu and bonito jelly with wasabi. The 5-step tofu-making process takes 40 minutes and is topped off with a sprinkle of powdered Taiwanese mullet roe. The Brown Sugar Steamed Bun has an outer skin infused with the fragrance of brown sugar and a creamy filling of Taiwanese purple sweet potato. The steaming and frying require the precision of a master to produce a signature dessert that is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and with a texture that is everything in between.

All New Japanese Tableware

China Airlines has also partnered with JIA to introduce all new co-branded Japanese tableware to complement the new cuisine.

JIA has won many international design awards and is the supplier of choice to many Michelin-starred restaurants and 5-star hotels around the world. Its designs have also won recognition from the likes of the Victoria & Albert Museum in the U.K. and Wallpapermagazine.

The design inspiration for this latest collaboration came from the traditional lacquerware and gold lacquer crafts of Japan. The tableware features cherry blossoms in spring, fireworks in summer, red leaves in autumn and fun in the snows of winter.

The new bowls incorporate motifs based on the four seasons of Japan and the theme, “experience the beauty of all seasons through cherry blossoms, fireworks, red leaves, and snow”.

A surprise on the base of the tray will await travelers when they finish their meal, adding a memorable element to the meal.

The pickles plate, entrée plate and chopstick stand are shaped like “Spring Cherry Blossoms”. The chopstick stand itself cleverly links the plum blossoms that form the China Airlines corporate logo with the cherry blossoms of spring.

The main plate and stew plate follow the “Summer Fireworks” and have a starburst shape reminiscent of fireworks expanding outwards. The fireworks motif becomes visible at the end of the meal.

“Red leaves in autumn” is embodied by the rice and miso soup bowls, with varying hues that capture the red leaves of fall. The autumn leaf motif can be found at the bottom of the rice bowl.

“Winter snow” is presented at the end of the meal in the form of the dessert plate, fruit plate, and Japanese teacup.

The dessert and fruit plates are a two-piece plate that comes together to form a cute little snowman. The tea saucer is decorated with a snowflake motif that pops into view when the teacup is lifted, fitting perfectly in with China Airlines’ plan to give every traveler an unexpected surprise.

The elegant Japanese tableware from China Airlines takes travelers on a guided tour through the four seasons of Japan. The oval-shaped food containers come with either black, blue, red or gray lids to easily distinguish between cold and hot dishes.

The containers themselves are made from internationally certified recycled materials that reduce carbon emissions during production by at least 70%.

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