Traveling abroad can be scary at times, but for some people, the meals on the plane are the most dreaded part. Despite, or perhaps in reaction to, the bad reputation that airlines have received in the past for their in-flight meals, many have taken steps in the right direction, trying to please their customers with a variety of delicious in-flight foods.

Turkish Airlines is doing a great job satisfying palates of all kinds. But they might not always hit the mark with the names of the foods the offer…

We’ve encountered Turkish Airlines and their in-flight food before back in 2013, when our Japanese reporters took a trip to Turkey. They were very impressed that a real chef prepared and even helped distribute the meals on the plane. However, we didn’t get any info from them about their meal options, nor about the quality of food.

▼ They were so awed by the chefs, they even took a video.

Turkey is a pretty popular destination for Japanese travelers, often showing up on lists of the most desirable places to visit. In an attempt to accommodate more Japanese passengers, Turkish Airlines now serves some Japanese dishes on the flights connecting the two countries.

One Japanese Twitter user, Hidemaru, was very surprised to hear his meal options while aboard a Turkish Airlines flight: “Fish or Okonomiyaki?” Okonomiyaki is a Kansai specialty, sometimes called a “Japanese pancake,” consisting of a mix of cabbage and meat mixed up in a batter and cooked on a hotplate, then coated in a unique sauce and mayonnaise. As delicious as it is though, it doesn’t have much of a foothold abroad and we’d be hard pressed to say that even a Japanese airline would serve it on-board.

That apparently is not stopping Turkish Airlines, however. Excited to see what this mid-air okonomiyaki would be like, Hidemaru made his choice and ordered the Japanese dish.

▼ Wait a second… where’s the okonomiyaki

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Let’s examine the contents of his tray here. On the left side there are some salads, maybe that’s a dessert in the back. There’s a bread roll and some cheese and butter – all standard airline fare. But, since the options were either fish or okonomiyaki you’d think it’d be the main dish anyway. However, that stuff on the plate doesn’t really look like okonomiyaki to us.

▼ You see, okonomiyaki typically looks more like this.


Not that the main dish Hidemeru received doesn’t look appetizing, it just looks more like chirashi sushi, fish and vegetables over vinegared rice, or even just some kind of vegetable stir-fry on rice. Really, it holds very little semblance to the food pictured above. Hmm…

We realize that airline food doesn’t always look like a five-star meal, and the task is even harder when you’re trying to prepare a dish from a different culture, which you may have never even eaten before. Although, it seems like Turkish Airlines may have just gotten some words mixed up on this one and named the entrée incorrectly. For what it’s worth, we respect their effort to serve Japanese dishes, whatever it was supposed to be.

Don’t worry, Turkish Airlines, you’ll get it next time.

Images: Twitter (@hidekyon0503) via Pouch, RocketNews24

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