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AirAsia In-Flight Meals: Photos and Review

Author:

As an engineer, Mazlan had the opportunity to travel and work abroad. He has traveled to over 30 countries.

AirAsia inflight meal: photo for illustration only

AirAsia inflight meal: photo for illustration only

AirAsia Meals Menu on AK Flights

Low-cost airline AirAsia in-flight meals are optional and not included in your ticket price. You can buy your meal either onboard or online.

AirAsia Food Discount

If you buy your meal online, you get discounts of up to 20% plus a free drink. If you buy your meal on board the flight, you may not get the meal of your choice as they carry limited stocks on the flight. The choice of menu is also limited.

For flights shorter than 75 minutes, you cannot buy hot meals onboard the flight. They served only to passengers who earlier had purchased meals online.

I have traveled almost every week between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, a 2.5-hour flight, and have eaten most of their hot meals. Some are good, some are so-so.

For this article, I will share with you what are good choices and what are not, based on feedback from my friends and from my own personal experiences.

Food on AirAsia AK Flights

This review covers foods served on AK flights only, i.e. flights operated by Air Asia Malaysia and not meals served on flights operated by their subsidiary companies, Air Asia Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines.

However, some of these foods served on AK flights are also available on these flights.

Santan Inflight Menu

As part of AirAsia safety measures, the Santan Inflight Menu is not available in the print copy version. You have to download the menu before your flight if you are buying the meals onboard. Otherwise, just book your meals online up to 24 hours before your scheduled departure time and enjoy a discounted price, free mineral water, and get served first.

No Outside Food Policy

By the way, AirAsia practices the no outside food policy. Hence, you have to buy hot meals from them. In spite of this, I have seen many passengers discreetly sneaked in their own food (not hot meals though).

Onboard AirAsia Airbus A320 plane

Onboard AirAsia Airbus A320 plane

Quick Guide to Review Rating

Food Quality & Taste

10/10 = Best

1/10 = Poor

Hot & Spicy

5/5 = Very Hot & Spicy

0/5 = Not Hot & Spicy at all!

AirAsia Food Review Rating

This review rating is based on my friends and my personal taste and choice of foods that are available on AK flights. It is not rated against similar food available in restaurants in town. If the rating is 10/10, then this is the best meal served on board.

For the same price, you can get better-tasting food elsewhere in town. Since you are on Air Asia AK flights, you want to know which meal to buy from the many selections that they offer.

I will give my reasons why it deserves such a high or low rating. I will also give the spicy/hot rating; 5/5 being the spiciest or hottest.

About Air Asia

Air Asia, rated as the world's best low-cost airline for several years, is also Asia's largest low-cost airline.

This Malaysian short-haul, a no-frills airline based in Kuala Lumpur, used to operate from its own low-cost carrier terminal LCCT but has now moved to KLIA2.

As with all low-cost no-frills airlines, you have to pay for the extras and that includes food and drink.

Air Asia with flight code AK operates out of Malaysia while its subsidiary companies operate out of Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan.

It uses Airbus A320 aircraft with 180 seats all-economy class for both domestic and international flights to destinations across most parts of Asia.

Air Asia Menu

Before reading the food review let's take a quick look at the Air Asia meal menu selection. On AK flights, hot meals that are available:

Onboard and Online Purchase

  • Nasi Lemak Pak Nasser: A Malaysian favorite dish comprising rice cooked with coconut milk and served with chili sambal, spicy chicken rendang, and condiments of fried anchovies, fried groundnuts, and half portion hard-boiled egg.
  • Uncle Chin's Chicken Rice: Seasoned rice served with roast chicken, chili, ginger, and garlic sauce
  • Mee Goreng Mamak: Another Malaysian favorite, is yellow noodles stir-fried with chicken, fish cake, bean curd, eggs, and cabbage.
  • Chicken Teriyaki with Rice: The Japanese classic meal with succulent and sweet teriyaki chicken, fluffy julienned omelet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, and white rice. I have not tried this Chicken Teriyaki with Rice, so there is no food review. However, based on feedback from others, it is OK.
  • Snacks: Chicken & mushroom soup, tortilla chips with guacamole dip, choice of instant noodles, peanuts, Kit-Kat, and Pringles Original.

Pre-Booked and Online Purchase Only

  1. Bukhara Chicken Briyani: Spicy basmati rice served with hot and spicy chicken and fruit chutney.
  2. Hyderabadi Briyani: A spicy pulao with Basmati rice, green peas, french beans, and carrots. I have not tried this Hyderabadi Briyani, so there is no food review. But a friend's comment says it is as good as Bukhara.

Special Meals

Despite the varieties of food available on Air Asia AK flights, there are no special dietary meal options except for vegetarian food. Hence, there are no Kosher food, gluten-free food, low salt diet, nut-free, or any other special dietary foods.

Is Air Asia Food Halal?

Based on the statement made on the Air Asia website, food served on board AK flights is halal although there is no sticker to say so on the meal packaging.

AirAsia Meals Review

1. Nasi Lemak Pak Nasser

Nasi Lemak is probably Malaysia's favorite meal and is eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for the die-hard as in between meals during a coffee break. It is actually eaten any time of the day!

It sounds ridiculous, but Malaysians are food crazy. If they are abroad, they will look for Malaysian restaurants that served Nasi Lemak or the moment they touch down on Malaysian soil, they will stop by at the food stall and asked for Nasi Lemak.

That is why Nasi Lemak on Air Asia AK flights is the most popular hot meal and is available both online (cheaper) as well as on board the flight.

Its popularity is not because it is Malaysia's favorite food, but the version on Air Asia tasted great. This Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak (as it is written on Air Asia menu) is one of my favorite hot meals on Air Asia and I highly recommend it to anyone who flies on AK flights.

Nasi Lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf and served with varieties of side dishes and condiments. It is a versatile dish and you get different versions and variations in various food stalls, restaurants, and homes.

Pak Nasser's Nasi Lemak version is served with its special chili sambal, spicy chicken rendang, half hard boiled egg, fried anchovies and ground nuts.

It is a bit hot and spicy, but if that's okay with you, book it now.

Overall RatingHot/SpicyPriceAvailability

10/10

4/5

RM16 - check AirAsia website for updated online and onboard price

Pre-Booked and Onboard

2. Uncle Chin's Chicken Rice

Chicken Rice, cooked with chicken broth and served with roasted or barbecued chicken, is another Malaysian's favorite dish. Air Asia's version of Chicken Rice is a recipe from Uncle Chin and my overall rating for this dish is slightly above-average.

Uncle Chin's special secret chili, garlic, and ginger sauce was okay but could be better if it had more garlic and ginger. You pour this sauce over the roast chicken slices and eat together with the rice.

Uncle Chin was a management pilot and had over 39 years of flying experience and he apparently learned this recipe from his landlady during his cadet pilot days.

Overall RatingHot/SpicyPriceAvailability

7/10

1/5

RM16 - check AirAsia website for updated pre-booked and onboard price

Pre-Booked and Onboard

3. Bukhara Chicken Briyani

This is one of my favorite hot meals on Air Asia. The long grain basmati rice was perfectly cooked in the special blend of spices and served with the spicy Bukhara chicken chunks and sweet fruit chutney.

I always enjoyed this meal and if you are okay with spicy food, try this Bukhara Chicken Briyani on your next trip on Air Asia AK flights. You will not be disappointed.

Overall RatingHot/SpicyPriceAvailability

10/10

4/5

RM12 - check AirAsia website for the updated price

Pre-book only

Bukhara Chicken Biryani on Air Asia

Bukhara Chicken Biryani on Air Asia

4. Mee Goreng Mamak

This meal was introduced in November 2013. Mee Goreng Mamak, or Fried Noodle Mamak style, is one of the most common and popular Malaysian food and is also one of my favorite. Despite its high-calorie content of 660 calories and high carbo content, it is still top in the list of Malaysian favorite food.

Hence, I was eager to try, and compare how good Air Asia Mee Goreng Mamak is.

A good Mee Goreng Mamak should be moist and not soggy, greasy and slippery, but not oily. It should have just the right lick of spice and a good combination of eggs and vegetables. I don't fancy Mee Goreng Mamak that has chicken, beef or prawns in them and I was glad they left these out in the Air Asia version of Mee Goreng Mamak.

The secret to a good Mee Goreng Mamak is the paste that is used for frying. In Air Asia, the ingredients are chili powder, squid, garlic, onion, chicken stock, salt, and soy sauce. These are a good combination but could have been better if they had vinegar.

So, how was the taste? Not bad for airline food although it tasted a bit too sweet probably from the sweet soy sauce. It is otherwise, a good choice.

The 'effect' of heating the meal in a microwave oven before serving, had spoilt the calamansi lime and tomatoes, turning them soggy, but they are still edible.

If you don't mind the hot, spicy noodles then Air Asia Mee Goreng Mamak is a good alternative to rice meals.

Overall RatingHot/SpicyPriceAvailability

7/10

3.5/5

RM16 - Check AirAsia website for the update prices

Pre-booked and onboard

How to Order Air Asia Meal Online

There are two ways to pre-book your Air Asia food online:

  1. When you buy your ticket online you will be taken to another page asking you to enter additional options that you wish to buy, such as food.
  2. If initially, you did not opt for pre-booked meals and now changed your mind and decided to buy Air Asia in-flight meals, then go to the home page, click on 'Manage My Booking'. It will take you to the food selection page. You can do this up to 24 hours before your scheduled departure.

How to Redeem Your Pre-Booked Meal

Keep your boarding pass with you as it is proof of purchase of your pre-booked meals. Present it to the cabin crew when they come around to serve the meal.

What if I Decide to Change Meals That I had Pre-Booked?

You can change meals up to 24-hours before your flight departure time. If you opt for a higher-priced meal, you will have to pay the difference. If you choose a lower-priced meal, no change will be given!

Old Favorites But Not Available Now

These are the old AirAsia meal favorites but unfortunately, are no longer available on AK flights. For your information only.

  1. Green Curry Chicken: Rice served with green curry paste cooked with chicken
  2. Chicken Satay: Seasoned chicken pieces that are skewered and grilled, served with peanut sauce, rice cake, and slices of onions
  3. Vege Rice Combo: Indian vegetarian dish served with basmati rice that was cooked with ghee and fragrant spices and served with spicy eggplant, chickpea chalna, and sweet-sour mango chutney
  4. Spaghetti Bolognaise Combo: Spaghetti with minced chicken bolognese sauce
  5. Roast Chicken Combo: Marinated boneless roast chicken served with grilled carrots, roast potatoes, cauliflower and black pepper mushroom sauce
  6. Cheesy Chicken Pizza Combo: A small slice of pizza, with chicken strips, bell pepper, and tomatoes topping
  7. Pancake Combo: 3 pancakes topped with butter and maple syrup
  8. Frankster Combo: A chicken hot dog with pickle relish and honey mustard
  9. Fried Rice with Chicken Satay Combo: Spicy fried rice served with 2 sticks of chicken satay
  10. Assorted Sandwiches Combo: Wholemeal bread sandwich with grilled chicken (seasoned with black pepper), romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and Caesar dressing
  11. Panini Chicken Combo: Panini with chicken ham, spicy chicken pepperoni, sliced tomatoes and mustard mayo
  12. Vege Oriental Combo: Vegetarian fried rice served with soya chicken, cooked Chinese style
  13. Beef Stew Combo: Penne, a type of pasta, served with chunks of beef and grilled vegetables.
  14. Tandoori Chicken Tortilla Wrap Combo: Tortilla wrap with spicy tandoori chicken, minty mayo dressing, and greens
  15. SkyRider Club Ace Meal: Kid's meal with cheesy pasta & chicken pop. You also get a jigsaw plane! There's no review of this meal as I have not had any feedback yet.

Can I Buy Meals and Drinks on Board

Hot meals, snacks, and drinks are sold on board. However, there are limited choices and limited quantities available on board.

By the time the cabin crew arrived at your seating area, they could have run out of your chosen item.

The advantages of buying your meals online are;

  • you have more choices.
  • will get the meal of your choice.
  • will be served ahead of other passengers who do not pre-book their meals.
  • get discounts up to 20%.
  • member of Air Asia loyalty program, BIG Card, will get 2X BIG Points.

How Do I Pay for Food Purchased On Board?

For domestic flights, you have to pay in Malaysian Ringgit. On international flights, you can pay in US Dollars and the local currency of flight of origin and destination country.

However, any small change will be in Malaysian Ringgit.

Note: Air Asia does not accept the local currencies of Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

Meals on Air Asia

I hope this article has, in a way helped you in your selection of meals on Air Asia

Share with us your experience and tell us what was good, and what was a bad choice.

Enjoy the trip and do not forget to pre-book your meal.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: How much is the nasi lemak for Air Asia's inflight meals?

Answer: The price has changed and is now selling for RM15 but it is cheaper if you prebook and buy it online.

Question: Is whiskey or wine available on AirAsia?

Answer: Both are not served on AirAsia.

AirAsia X is not reviewed in this article, but I think they serve alcoholic drinks.

Question: What does it mean by Non-vegetarian Value Pack Meal?

Answer: Non-vegetarian means food that contains foodstuff that is not vegan. Value pack meal is food bundled with drinks etc. and sold at a reduced price compared to if you were to buy them individually.

Question: Are onions in AirAsia's in-flight vegetarian meal option?

Answer: I am not sure if the meal label lists ingredients, so I cannot say if there are onions in the vegetarian option.

Question: Can I order a cake to celebrate a birthday on an AirAsia flight?

Answer: I think AirAsia is open to such request. Try and talk to their Customer Support and see if this can be done. Here is the link

https://support.airasia.com/s/?language=en_GB

Question: If I buy a meal online for my Air Asia flight and pay by credit card, will I be charged the credit card processing fee as I have bought my ticket already?

Answer: Air Asia is currently promoting the no charge fee but I am not sure if it applies to meals bought online. I am sorry I can't help you. Please check with their customer service for details.

Question: Is Brandy available on Air Asia?

Answer: Good question, as I know they sell beer but not too sure on brandy. You might be able to buy them on board from their duty-free items.

Question: Is the packaging for AirAsia in-flight meals reusable/recyclable?

Answer: I believe Air Asia does send this food packaging to recycle centers. To be sure, you can also contact their customer service for confirmation.

© 2013 Mazlan A

Comments

zil on July 19, 2019:

how can i get rid of my pemding payment i wanted to cancel the pre add ons i get.its not yet paid so now i want to cancel iy

WTF on October 16, 2016:

How can you give something 4 out of 10 if you couldn't eat it!

It would be useful to see the ingredients as I booked uncle chins chicken only to find it contains mushrooms, which I am allergic to.

Clara on October 10, 2016:

Wow! You took a great effort to make this article.

I ordered their satay fried rice a week ago based on your recommendation.

It was so good. My mom and brother enjoyed it so much. We had it for breakfast and it kept us going until late afternoon.

Let me tell you this. My mom is a picky eater. She doesn't eat alot.

And for the first time in my life i saw her finished her meal yet still asking for MORE.

It's nice when you see your mom happy.

So thank you so much. This article means so much to me.

Cheers :)

Rota on November 28, 2015:

This is an amazing article - great work. I have recently travelled a fair bit and took a number of airasia flights. It would have been great to have seen your article beforehand, but better late than never. Happy writing!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on July 22, 2015:

Hi Mikkun. You should try Air Asia esp. when they are on offer, it's really cheap. The food on Air Asia are better than most full serviced airline and the menu changes quite often. Thanks for dropping by.

Joe Gibson from Philippines on July 16, 2015:

Wow! Those are amazing food out there. You did well on your review. I personally would like to taste Pak Nasser. It looks awesome! haha

Air Asia is one of the best airlines in Asia. Although, I have not ridden on their service aircraft yet. haha

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on September 23, 2014:

Hi Matt Jordan III, thanks for the praise and thanks for dropping by.

Matt Jordan from Gulf Coast on September 22, 2014:

Super informative.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 10, 2014:

Hi Julia, What Air Asia and Air Asia X should have done was to have a full description of the items, in their online booking details. Most of the time these important information are missing and we get to know them only when served with the food. Even though the ingredients are listed on the label, it is already too late.

I hope someone from the airline will read this comment and will take step to rectify this. Thanks for sharing.

julia on June 09, 2014:

Hi, pls share ur experience. I had vegetarian food but it include garlic. As for some Vegetarians garlic is a No, No. Can Air Asia X pls take this into consideration .

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 28, 2014:

Hi Stan, Thanks for sharing this info. The quality seems to be up and then down. Air Asia should manage this or else nobody will buy their food! I guess the reason for no vegetable is for easier reheating with microwave oven.

stan on March 26, 2014:

hi guys, do not order the chicken rice meal, the taste is bad and there is no vegatable beside 3 pc of chicken laying miserably with darkskin, it is the bad taste of chicken rice which i ever experienced. i have it on my return trip from Bandung indonesia.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on February 13, 2014:

Hi Nicky, thanks for the compliments. Air Asia is very efficient with new menus being introduced every now and then esp. during festive seasons and it is getting harder to keep this article up-to-date, but I will try my best.

Nicky on February 13, 2014:

A good one! thanks for the info..

Om Paramapoonya on May 20, 2013:

I've never flown with this airline, but I have to admit their foods look pretty awesome! Too bad it will cost extra to have some of those yummy-looking meals. Thanks for your detailed review. Very helpful!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on May 19, 2013:

ZungTran thanks for dropping by and commenting. I wrote this hub as I had problem before, in deciding which meal to buy. AirAsia has many meal options so this article hopefully will help readers decide.

Tran Z from Dublin on May 19, 2013:

Very detailed article on a topic I've never thought of before. Thanks for bringing this up!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on May 12, 2013:

@kidscrafts, most low cost airline business modules are to make money from any activities and this includes sales of food on board. Hence, the many selections to attract sales. Unlike full service airlines where meals are included, the choice is limited to either two or three meal option. Thanks for sharing and commenting. Cheers.

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on May 11, 2013:

Air Asia have a great choice of food to choose from! I travel mainly between Canada and Europe and using most of the time KLM and as my husband would say.... the choice is not difficult.... chicken or pasta. Sometimes it can be beef and pasta. But with KLM you can request a special meal if you have restrictions and I suppose you have to do it ahead of taking the flight.

I can't believe all the choice you have on Air Asia!

Thank you for sharing! Nice pictures to complement your hub :-)

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