Japan Airlines Launches New Inflight Menu With Daisuke Hayashi
Japan Airlines (JAL) has introduced a new limited-time exclusive menu on select flights between England and Tokyo. The airline said the food offerings come from a unique collaboration with a ministry within the government of Japan, a foods export promotion council.
JAL is also partnering with award-winning Head Chef-Owner and Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador Daisuke Hayashi, who supervised the menu. The airline also noted the new inflight fare is gluten-free and is made in Japan.
Available for a limited time
For the month of February, JAL will offer a menu featuring Japanese rice flour noodles to first and business class passengers on flights between London Heathrow Airport and Tokyo Haneda Airport. The airline said its “Rice Flour Noodle with Seafood in Starchy Sauce” resulted from a special collaboration.
“This is a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the All Japan Rice and Rice Related Foods Export Promotion Council (AJRFC), a certified export promotion organization for agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and food products, to expand exports of rice flour products,” the airline said.
In a seminar sponsored by MAFF at Westminster Kingsway College on January 23rd, Daisuke Hayashi, a Japanese chef active in the UK, gave a lecture on the “Allure and Versatility of Rice.” Hayashi, an ambassador for promoting Japanese food, is also the supervisor of JAL’s first class and business class meals on flights from Europe to Japan.
Photo: Embassy of Japan in the UK
The carrier said the seminar became a PR event for rice flour noodles, as the expert chef explained how the noodles differ from others.
“Rice flour noodles have a flavor of rice and a different taste from wheat flour noodles,” Hayashi said. “The chewy texture unique to rice-flour noodles makes them suitable for a variety of other dishes as well.”
About the chef
According to JAL, Hayashi performed his apprenticeship at age 18 to the third owner and chef of “Kikunoi,” a prestigious and traditional Ryotei in Kyoto. In 2008, he was appointed Head Chef of two Japanese restaurants in the Windsor Hotel in Hokkaido. In that role, Hayashi’s reputation grew, eventually allowing him to oversee the Japanese cuisine at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, an event for various non-governmental organizations, activists, and civic groups to congregate and discuss a multitude of issues.
In 2009, Hayashi moved to Europe to promote Japanese Food Culture, and in 2020, he was awarded the title of Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador. Two years later, The Government of Japan awarded Hayashi the Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food.
In December 2021, he opened his Japanese restaurant, “Roketsu,” in London. The restaurant features traditional kaiseki cuisine based on dashi and the seasonal ingredients’ flavors.
An ongoing partnership
JAL and Hayashi have partnered before to introduce new seasonal menus on flights. The airline has offered its first and business class passengers an autumn menu on flights from London to Tokyo.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
In 2016, JAL featured a course menu consisting of five seasonal delicacies: a bowl dish, hors d’oeuvres, UK-grown fresh vegetables, fish, a main dish with seasoned rice and soup, and dessert. In 2019, flights from London and Frankfurt to Tokyo featured grilled seabream and roasted pork rice bowls.
JAL said the new gluten-free rice flour noodles are made in Japan with 100% Japanese rice. The carrier hopes the menu will appeal to several people, leading to further expansion of rice flour demand and exports.
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