As an engineer, Mazlan had the opportunity to travel and work abroad. He has traveled to over 30 countries.
Air Asia Meals on AK Flights
Low-cost airline Air Asia in-flight meals are optional and not included in your ticket price. You can buy your meal either on board or online in advance.
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 stock on the flight. The choice of menu is also limited.
For flights shorter than 75 minutes, you cannot buy hot meals on board the flight. They served only to passengers that had purchased meals online.
I 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 is not, based on feedback from my friends and from my own personal experiences.
Food on AirAsia AK Flights
This review will cover 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 available on these flights as well.
By the way, Air Asia 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) and ate them quietly!
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.
You can get better tasting food elsewhere in town. But while 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 world's best low-cost airline for the last five consecutive years, is also Asia's largest low-cost airline.
This Malaysian short-haul, no-frills airline based in Kuala Lumpur, used to operate from its own low-cost carrier terminal LCCT, but have 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 Air Asia meal menu selection. On AK flights, hot meals that you can book online are varied and are as follows: UPDATED Nov 2013
- Green Curry Chicken Combo - Rice served with green curry paste cooked with chicken - NOW REPLACED WITH MEE GORENG MAMAK
- Chicken Satay Combo - Seasoned chicken pieces that are skewered and grilled, served with peanut sauce, rice cake and slices of onions
- 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 - NOW REPLACED WITH VEGETABLE BRIYANI
- Spaghetti Bolognaise Combo - Spaghetti with minced chicken bolognaise sauce
- Roast Chicken Combo - Marinated boneless roast chicken served with grilled carrots, roast potatoes, cauliflower and black pepper mushroom sauce - NOW REPLACED WITH ROAST CHICKEN WITH CREAM SAUCE
- Cheesy Chicken Pizza Combo - A small slice of pizza, with chicken strips, bell pepper, and tomatoes topping - NO LONGER AVAILABLE
- Pancake Combo - 3 pancakes topped with butter and maple syrup
- Nasi Lemak Combo - A Malaysian favorite dish comprising of rice cooked with coconut milk and served with chili sambal, spicy chicken rendang and condiments of fried anchovies, fried groundnuts and half portion of a hard-boiled egg.
- Frankster Combo - Chicken hot dog with pickled relish and honey mustard
- Fried Rice with Chicken Satay Combo - Spicy fried rice served with 2 sticks of chicken satay
- Assorted Sandwiches Combo - Wholemeal bread sandwich with grilled chicken (seasoned with black pepper), romaine lettuce, tomatoes and Caesar dressing - NO LONGER AVAILABLE
- Chicken Rice Combo - Seasoned rice served with roast chicken, chili, ginger and garlic sauce
- Panini Chicken Combo - Panini with chicken ham, spicy chicken pepperoni, sliced tomatoes and mustard mayo - NO LONGER AVAILABLE
- Bukhara Chicken Briyani Combo - Spicy basmati rice served with hot and spicy chicken and fruit chutney
- Vege Oriental Combo - Vegetarian fried rice served with soya chicken, cooked Chinese style - NOW REPLACED WITH VEGETARIAN GINGER FRIED RICE
- Beef Stew Combo - Penne, a type of pasta, served with chunks of beef and grilled vegetables.
- Tandoori Chicken Tortilla Wrap Combo - Tortilla wrap with spicy tandoori chicken, minty mayo dressing, and greens - NOW REPLACED WITH SPICY TUNA WRAP
- 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.
All hot meals combo comes with a small 100ml mineral water, but only if you pre-book online. In-flight purchase does not include a drink, you have to buy them separately.
The hot meal portion size is just nice for me, but if you are a big eater you may have to order extra. However, my advice is to stick to just one. Air Asia AK flights are no more than four hours long. If you still feel hungry you can always have another hot meal once you arrive at the airport. If this can't wait, then buy snacks or additional meals sold on board the flight instead.
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 statement made on Air Asia website, food served on board AK flights are halal although there are no sticker to say so on the meal packaging.
AirAsia Meals Review UPDATED Nov 2013
1. Chicken Satay Combo
Satay is a seasoned meat that is skewed and grilled over a wood fire. The traditional version used the midrib of coconut tree frond as the skewers, but most commercially produced satay will use a thin bamboo stick.
On Air Asia, the satay was pre-grilled and used bamboo stick skewers. It came with spicy peanut sauce, rice cake and red onion pieces.
You get five sticks of chicken satay which are quite chunky and well marinated with spices and lemongrass. However, when the cabin crew preheats before serving (with microwave oven, I presume), the satay turned out dry and not moist and juicy.
Despite this problem, it was still a good meal as the spicy peanut sauce helped to revive the otherwise bland and dry satay.
Portion wise, it was okay if you are not so hungry and wanted a light meal.
RM12 (about US$4)
2. Air Asia's Spaghetti Bolognaise Combo
When you open the packaging to Air Asia's spaghetti bolognaise, your initial reaction would be regretting buying it.
This spaghetti with minced chicken bolognaise sauce looked uninteresting. But with most of Air Asia's food presentation, despite the bad visuals, it tasted okay. So if you want pasta, this selection is not that bad after all.
3. Pancake Combo
For this pancake combo, you get three pancakes served warm with butter and maple syrup. This carbo-rich and low-protein snack was a surprise and it tasted good, actually. It exceeded my expectation and not at all disappointed with this choice. If only they have ice-cream on top!
To enjoy this snack, you have to pre-book online as they are not sold on board the flight.
RM9 (about US$3)
4. Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak Combo
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.
Update: Air Asia has reduced this popular meal from RM12.00 to only RM10.00. See below for detail. In the first week of January 2014 I had this nasi lemak for my early morning flight and was greatly disappointed as the meal that I had was salty and the rice was soggy. Common Air Asia, step up on your quality control and make sure your popular meal remains consistent in its taste and quality.
New reduced price at RM10 (US3.12) RM10 if purchased on board but without drink
Available on AK flights
5. Frankster Combo
Fransker Combo is chicken hot dog served with pickled relish and honey mustard. Although Air Asia's Frankster tasted good, I still prefer the hot dog sold at IKEA!
RM9 (US3) RM10 if purchased on board
Available on AK flights
6. Fried Rice with Chicken Satay Combo
I ordered Fried Rice with Chicken Satay for one of my mid-morning 9:30 am flight hoping that it will last me until dinner.
So did this heavy brunch manage to control my hunger pang until late evening? Yes, it did.
I knew I will not have time for lunch so I decided to go for something nice and filling.
Thank God this spicy fried rice tasted good and it was a heavy meal. The two sticks of satay that came with the fried rice, however, was too dry, but bearable.
Be warned though, it may not look presentable.
7. Uncle Chin's Chicken Rice Combo
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 experiences and he apparently learned this recipe from his landlady during his cadet pilot days.
RM12 (US$4) RM15 if purchased on board
Available on AK flights
8. Bukhara Chicken Briyani Combo
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.
RM12 (about US$4)
9. Beef Stew
Air Asia's beef stew is served with penne, a type of pasta that is cylinder-shaped, and a good portion of chunky beef and steamed carrots, capsicum, tomatoes, and onions. According to the label, it was cooked with coulis, black and white pepper, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, and parsley.
It sounds good, but my serving was too salty and the beef cube was tough. It was so tough that I did not manage to swallow any of the beef cubes.
I could not finish this meal as it was also too salty for my liking.
It was a shame as it could have been a good meal, but with this experience, I will never order this beef stew again.
RM12 (about US$4)
10. Mee Goreng Mamak
This is new to the Air Asia menu and was introduced in November 2013. Mee Goreng Mamak, or Fried Noodle Mamak style, is one of 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 vegetable. I don't fancy Mee Goreng Mamak that has chicken, beef or prawns in them and I was glad they left these out in Air Asia version of Mee Goreng Mamak.
The secret to a good Mee Goreng Mamak is the paste that is used for the frying. In Air Asia, the ingredients are chili powder, squid, garlic, onion, chicken stock, salt and soy sauce. These are the good combination but could have been better if they had vinegar.
So, how was the taste? Not bad for an airline food. Although it tasted a bit too sweet for my liking, maybe 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 hot, spicy and greasy food and looking for Asian food, then Air Asia Mee Goreng Mamak is a good alternative to rice meals.
Available on board AK flights
New Menu on Air Asia
The following new meals quick review are as follows:
- Roast Chicken with Cream Sauce RM12.00 Quick review: Good and overall rating 7/10
- Mee Goreng Mamak RM12.00 Quick review: Good and overall rating 7/10. For longer review, see comment above
- Vegetarian Ginger Fried Rice RM12.00 Quick review: Disappointing. Overall rating 1/10 If you must have vegetarian meal, try vegetarian briyani instead. If that is too spicy, then have a good meal before flight. The 'soya drumstick' is aweful!
- Vegetarian Briyani RM12.00 Quick review: Good and overall rating 7/10
- Spicy Tuna Wrap RM9.00 Yet to try this, will give my review later
How to Order Air Asia Meal Online
There are two ways to pre-book your Air Asia food online:
- 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.
- After buying your ticket online, should you later changed your mind and now wished to buy Air Asia in flight meals, then go to the home page and click on 'Manage My Booking' It will take you to 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 meal. Present it to the cabin crew when they come around to serve 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!
Can I Buy Meals and Drinks on Board
Hot meals, snacks and drinks are sold on board. However, there are limited choices and quantities available on board.
By the time the cabin crew arrived at your seating area, they could have run out of stock of your preferred meal.
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
Updated Menu of Meals Available for Purchase on Board as of January 2014 onward, including the New Breakfast Menu
Foods Served On Board Air Asia AK Flights
If you do not pre-book your meal online , you can still buy meals on board the flight. As mentioned earlier, meals that are available on board AK flights are limited and are as follows:
These are Updated menus as of March 2014
- Green Curry Chicken - RM15 (US$5)
- Pak Nasser's Nasi Lemak - RM10 (US$3.50) Previously RM15
- Uncle Chin's Chicken Rice - RM12 (US$3.75) Previously RM15
- Vegetable Curry with Briyani rice - RM12 (US$3.50) This is a new addition to the menu
- Spicy Tuna Wrap - RM10 (US$3.50)
- Frankster - RM10 (US3.50)
- Roast Chicken with cream sauce and Coke - RM15 (US$5) This is a new addition and is good value for money
- Chicken Mayo with Apple Sandwich - RM10 (US$3.50) Another new addition
- Triple Choc Muffin - RM6 (US$1.70) Previously RM8
- Mee Goreng Mamak (Fried noodle, Indian style) - RM12 (US$3.50) A new addition
Some of the snacks sold on board are:
- Cookies - RM6 (US2)
- Instant Noodles - RM6 (US$2)
Drinks and other snacks - Please see photo below for drink and snack options on Air Asia AK flights (Updated as of March 2014)
New Breakfast Menu
Breakfast menu is now available for flights that departs at 5.30am up to 11.00am only. The combo meal that comes with free coffee or the tarik (Malaysian frothy tea with milk and sugar) will be choice of nasi lemak (RM12), roti canai (RM10), pancakes with butter and maple syrup (RM10) and scallop congee (RM10).
I have tried the nasi lemak, but not the other breakfast menus. Will give my review once I have tried them. If you have, please share your review of these meals by entering your comment below.
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 do not accept 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 a good, and what was a bad choice.
Enjoy the trip and do not forget to pre-book your meal.
Questions & Answers
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.
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
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: 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.
© 2013 Mazlan
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.
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 (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 (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:
Mazlan (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 :-)