A fun way to feel like you’re going on a trip…and losing weight at the same time. 

We’re now past the peak season for fukubukuro lucky bags, which are generally purchased around New Year, but you can still find some places selling them, as a way to encourage bulk purchases that provide good value for money.

One such place where you can still pick up a lucky bag is All Nippon Airways, or ANA, and what they’re selling is inflight meals.

Our reporter Takashi Harada purchased a bag called “ANA International Economy Class Inflight Meal Blue Ristorante Special Flight”, which contained 12 meals in total, two meals each of the following six different types.

  • Tandoori chicken with saffron rice
  • Paella
  • Chicken thighs with herb-flavoured red wine sauce
  • Stewed beef and eggplant with cream penne
  • Hamburg steak doria with demiglace sauce
  • Beef hamburg steak Italian tomato sauce

This haul cost 9,600 yen (US$64.60) with free shipping, which means each meal works out to be 800 yen. That might sound slightly pricey for a microwave meal, but considering they’re made under the supervision of an experienced chef, it’s actually quite reasonable.

“ANA FINDELISH Let’s travel the world of food.

ANA Catering Service is a group of in-flight catering professionals. We have turned air travel into an exciting experience through food, and we hope you will enjoy the deliciousness we create, even on the ground. As a member of the ANA Group, which travels around the world, we want to bring the intricacies of food from specific countries and regions to your home. ‘ANA FINDELISH’ was born from this idea.”

This blurb spoke to the quality of the food created by the company, and Takashi was keen to put it to the test, starting with the hamburg steak doria with demi-glace sauce.

However, looking at the pack revealed this wasn’t a regular microwave meal, as there was a two-step process involved, with thawing required — either in the refrigerator for 24 hours or in a microwave at 200 watts for five minutes — before heating.

This was another sign that hinted at the elevated nature of the meal, and when he tried a mouthful after heating it in line with the instructions…

▼…he found it to be incredibly tasty.

Takashi isn’t afraid to admit that he didn’t have a great opinion on inflight meals in the past, but the bland meals of yesteryear seem to have improved dramatically, if this meal was anything to go by.

▼ Moving on to try two of the other meals, Takashi was equally surprised by their level of quality and taste.

After eating three of the meals, he found there was one problem with them, and that was the quantity.

▼ A delicious hamburg, but tiny compared to the ones you usually see at restaurants.

With each meal weighing in at around 214-250 grams (7.5-8.8 ounces), these meals won’t necessarily fill you up, but on the plus side, they won’t fill up your freezer either.

As he made his way through the inflight meals in his freezer, Takashi found himself adding rice on the side to make them more substantial, and sometimes he ate more than one at a time without feeling like he’d overeaten.

There’s a pretty generous use-by date on the meals, with one even lasting up until December, but given that they’re so light and easy to eat, they won’t be lasting that long in Takashi’s freezer.

All in all, Takashi was happy with his purchase — not only did it remind him that inflight meals aren’t as bad as they used to be, but they’re actually quite light on the stomach, which is good for anyone watching their weight. If you do want to feel a bit fuller while flying, though, you can always stock up on the rare rum dorayaki at the airport to keep those hunger pangs at bay!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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