Singapore Airlines – Ruchi Thali
One of the best airlines and airports according to me is Singapore Airlines and Singapore airport. I was recently invited to try a new traditional, Indian set meal called the Ruchi Thali that the airline has launched for its Business Class passengers travelling between India and Singapore. The best part is that this menu is specially curated by renowned Chef Sanjeev Kapoor from Singapore Airlines’ International Culinary Panel. So if you are flying Business Class on Singapore Airlines from India to Singapore, you can enjoy this three course (yes, you read that right) Indian meal.
There are two variants – vegetarian and non vegetarian and the thali is served with favourite accompaniments including chutneys, kachumber salad and pot of yoghurt! Chef Kapoor’s Ruchi Thali is designed to replicate the plethora of taste, textures and aromas; synonymous with Indian cuisine. From tenderly braised meats to gently simmered vegetables; an exquisite selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, prepared delicately with the perfect balance of flavours will satiate your taste buds. Ruchi Thali is currently being offered on the Mumbai and Delhi flights. It will progressively be introduced on other Singapore Airlines India sectors.
At the event I had a chance to catch up with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor who quite charmed me with his unassuming demeanor. I started by asking him what made him say yes to a project like this and he said it took a long time for him to agree to the same and even when he did it was after taking customer feedback on what they would like to eat in an 8 city survey!
Speaking at the launch Paolo Zambrano,Manager – Food & Beverage, Singapore Airlines, said “we have put together a selection of dishes, which will give Singapore Airlines passengers, a sense of dining at home. Combining the best of seasonal produce and authentic Indian tastes; we hope to provide an unparalleled dining experience, 30,000 feet in the air!” Chef Sanjeev Kapoor added, “Preparing a menu for inflight dining is a combination of science and creativity. Staying true to the familiar Indian flavours; Ruchi Thali is a hearty meal that travelers can indulge in as well as stay nourished during their travels.”
I tried the vegetarian version of the thaali and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor was honest to tell us that the food was not cooked by him and was cooked 12 hours before in the flight catering unit. So the idea was that it would taste exactly like how it would be on the flight. So it would be fair that we taste the exact kind of food. Held at the Shangri-La hotel in Bangalore, the setting was perfect to taste this lovely meal.
I was first served the appetizer – the delectable Caprese Beet Tikki with Kasundi cream served with basil and mozzarella that was so soft that it melted in my mouth. We were told that food on flights must have enough mositure and flavourful to appeal to the palate and this one scored a perfect 10! Next was the main course that had the Saunf Mirch Paneer made with creamy cottage cheese cooked with fennel seeds and black pepper. The taste of this was mild and the paneer was really soft. The Makai Kaju Hara Pyaaz, was easy to eat almost felt like a quick snack made with American corn and cashew nuts with a dash of ginger and green onion. The Dal Haveli or lentils tempered with spices from Rajasthan, was just right – not one bit oily. All of this teamed perfectly with the Indian bread and the Zaffrani Mewa Pulao a fragrant rice tossed with saffron and nuts. The best part was that curd was set neatly and tasted divine, without any hint of sourness at all. The final course was the delectable dessert – the Vanilla Mascarpone Phirni that was topped with a mixed berry compote and saffron cream. The interesting part was that although the elements seemed distinct, the came together beautifully. the mild sweetness of the phirni, the typical smooth taste of saffron and the slight tangy taste of the berries ensured that the entire bowl was polished off in no time. And that says a lot for a non-dessert eater like me. In all this was a different experience – having an inflight meal at a hotel but one that showcased the culinary prowess of the formidable combination of Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Singapore Airlines. Another winner from Singapore Airlines. So what are you waiting for – get, set, jet – go!
All pics in this post are courtesy Singapore Airlines.