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Travel Food By Michelin-Starred Chefs To Prestige Champagnes: Here’s How You’ll Dine On Japan Airlines' First And Business Class

Food By Michelin-Starred Chefs To Prestige Champagnes: Here’s How You’ll Dine On Japan Airlines' First And Business Class

Food By Michelin-Starred Chefs To Prestige Champagnes: Here’s How You’ll Dine On Japan Airlines' First And Business Class
By Tatler Asia
October 03, 2019
On Japan Airlines, you are signing up for more than just comfort, convenience and excellent service—you are in for a top-tier gastronomic journey, too

Imagine a restaurant where you can enjoy exquisite dishes that showcase the full breadth of Japanese cuisine, prepared by not just one superstar chef, but several of the country’s best. Transport this restaurant tens of thousands feet into the sky, add all the comforts and amenities of a first or business class seat on a stellar airline, and you have Japan Airlines’ BEDD concept, whose title combines the word “bed” with an extra D for “dining with delicious food in dreamlike comfort”, and dubbed “the most luxurious restaurant in the world”.

Japan Airlines’ BEDD concept offers a culinary journey in the privacy of your own luxurious seat
Japan Airlines’ BEDD concept offers a culinary journey in the privacy of your own luxurious seat

In order to craft an elevated culinary programme above and beyond your usual first and business class offerings, Japan Airlines (JAL) has collaborated with chefs who helm some of the best fine dining restaurants in the country. From proposing new recipes to devising novel preparation methods, the airline works closely with these culinary artisans to create unforgettable dining experiences.

For instance, the chefs came up with a unique method to reheat food to ensure meat dishes are as succulent as intended. Another highlight is the seasonal menu onboard, with chefs utilising ingredients that are unique to a particular season, be it spring or autumn.

At Sushi Tsurutei, the plain wooden counter and traditional decor create an almost theatre-like atmosphere as you enjoy fresh sushi made before your eyes by trained chefs
At Sushi Tsurutei, the plain wooden counter and traditional decor create an almost theatre-like atmosphere as you enjoy fresh sushi made before your eyes by trained chefs

A Lounge For All Senses

As is expected of Japan’s national carrier, the curated culinary experience begins when you check into its relaxing first and business class lounges. The food menu comprises freshly baked bread by Maison Kayser, soup by Soup Stock Tokyo and cookies by Qu’il Fait Bon, as well as the airline’s popular beef curry. You can even watch as hand-rolled sushi is freshly prepared in front of you. The food is complemented by equally stellar drinks—Hasegawa sake is available at the first class lounge, along with Laurent-Perrier champagne.

Chef Yosuke Suga of Sugalabo trained under legendary chef, Joël Robuchon
Chef Yosuke Suga of Sugalabo trained under legendary chef, Joël Robuchon

Michelin Stars In The Sky

The decadent dishes at the lounge are just a glimpse of the haute cuisine that awaits in the sky—a front-row seat to rare fine dining experiences that offers access even to those hard-to-book restaurants on land.

Those flying first class can look forward to culinary creations by Hideki Ishikawa, who has spearheaded several restaurants including the eponymous Ishikawa, which was awarded three Michelin stars, as well as restaurants Kohaku and Ren. He is accompanied by his Kohaku apprentice Kouji Koizumi, who was recognised as the youngest chef to work in a three Michelin-starred establishment in 2015. Meanwhile, Sugalabo chef-owner, Yosuke Suga, who trained under Joël Robuchon, offers his seasonal French-Japanese dishes on board.

Chef Shinobu Namae, grand chef of L’Effervescence in Tokyo, a two-star Michelin restaurant
Chef Shinobu Namae, grand chef of L’Effervescence in Tokyo, a two-star Michelin restaurant
Chef Jun Kurogi pursues authentic Japanese cuisine with his secret ingredient, "sincerity"
Chef Jun Kurogi pursues authentic Japanese cuisine with his secret ingredient, "sincerity"

A Table For One, Reserved

Those in business class can enjoy the authentic offerings of Jun Kurogi, the chef‑owner behind Kurogi, who claims his secret to success is cooking with a key ingredient—"sincerity". Tasting the dishes created by what is known as one of the most difficult restaurants to reserve in Tokyo is a breeze from your seat on Japan Airlines.

Travellers can also indulge in the creations of Shinobu Namae, grand chef of two Michelin‑starred L’Effervescence, a restaurant that has been recognised for its commitment to sustainable culinary practices so much so it won the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018. 

See also: The 5 Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In Tokyo And Karuizawa, Japan

From wine to tea, all the drinks have been carefully chosen to pair well with the meals on board
From wine to tea, all the drinks have been carefully chosen to pair well with the meals on board

A Curated Array Of Bottles

Of course, an impressive food menu would be incomplete without the drink offerings to match, which is why the airline boasts a luxurious selection of wines, sakes, teas and champagnes. In first and business class, wine bottles are all hand-selected by Japan Airlines wine advisers and masters of wine, Kenichi Ohashi and Motohiro Okoshi, while a variety of sakes and shochus are also available.

First class passengers can enjoy prestige champagnes such as Salon 2007 and Louis Roederer Cristal 2009, as well as Royal Blue Tea, a luxury bottled tea that is cold-brewed using the mizudashi technique, essentially infusing its flavour to fresh water for a period of three to seven days. 

This creation by chef Shinobu Namae uses seasonal Japanese ingredients
This creation by chef Shinobu Namae uses seasonal Japanese ingredients
Enjoy dishes with a French-Japanese inflection on JAL's premium cabins
Enjoy dishes with a French-Japanese inflection on JAL's premium cabins

All In The Details

Immaculate attention has been paid to all the details of your meal, right down to the bread, which is prepared specially by Maison Kayser for the airline’s Western-style meals. Founded by Éric Kayser—known as the top bread maker in Paris, where he first started his business—Maison Kayser swiftly soared in popularity since opening its first store in Tokyo in 2001. The finale of your meal is also courtesy of another French master, chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin, who has created original chocolate flavours exclusively for the airline. From the welcome drink down to the dessert, travellers on Japan Airlines are assured of a culinary journey even before you arrive at your destination. 

See also: Autumn On A Plate: A Culinary Journey In Tokyo And Karuizawa With Tatler Travel

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Travel Japan Airlines Japan Airlines BEDD First Class Business Class Michelin Star Luxury travel

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