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Air New Zealand Introduces New Seasonal Menu with Local Flavors

The new menu, along with brand-new cocktails, are now available to Business Premium passengers on certain long-haul flights

by Fergus Cole

July 28, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has just launched a new onboard menu, which draws its inspiration from the rich and diverse cultures and ingredients of the South Pacific island nation.

Named ‘A Taste of Aotearoa,’ the new menu is an extension of the carrier’s ‘Aotearoa on a Plate’ concept launched in June last year. It is now available to all Air New Zealand’s Business Premier passengers and those on selected long-haul flights.

Photo: Creamy kawakawa mushrooms. Courtesy of Air New Zealand

New, locally-sourced flavors that passengers can expect to dine on include hot horopito peppers, traditional kawakawa leaves, rich mānuka honey, and intriguing seafood dishes and cheeses from across the country.

These options include a Superfood Salad with horopito-dusted New Zealand salmon and Creamy Kawakawa Mushrooms, served on rye toast with sautéed spinach, and grilled tomatoes. Ahia smoked moki on kawakawa blini, and a delicious Grass-fed New Zealand Lamb Rump with horopito rub are also available.

Photo: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Passengers can also select a bite-sized tasting menu to sample a wide range of locally-inspired cuisines.

Leanne Geraghty, Chief Customers Sales Officer of Air New Zealand, said that the new ‘A Taste of Aotearoa’ draws on locally-sourced ingredients and recipes and is also inspired by the Maori tradition of hospitality – manaakitanga.

New In-Flight Cocktail Menu

In addition to new food offerings, Air New Zealand is adding seasonal cocktails to its onboard menu and fresh food offerings.

The new cocktails, made in partnership with local tonic maker East Imperial, will be available to Business Premier passengers on certain long-haul routes between late August and October, including on flights from Auckland (AKL) to New York (JFK) and Chicago (ORD).

Photo: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

“We believe it’s our privilege to showcase the best our country has to offer and share that with the world – and one we take very seriously,” said Geraghty.

The new seasonal drinks pay homage to local ingredients with a touch of creativity and offer a sample of New Zealand’s best flavors. According to the airline, the initial beverages feature gin as the base, but they can also be served as a non-alcoholic alternative.

Photo: Superfood salad. Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Along with the cocktails, customers of the airline can still relish the extensive New Zealand-based wine menu that has always been provided in premium classes.

“Whether it’s on a plate or in a glass, we want to serve up an authentic taste of New Zealand onboard and in our lounges. Our country’s unique flora and produce are a treasure trove of flavors and ingredients that have inspired us to create a dining experience that celebrates the special flavors of Aeoteaora.”

Photo: Grass-fed New Zealand lamb rump. Courtesy of Air New Zealand

“There’s something truly magical about the flavors of New Zealand – from the peppery spiciness of horopito to the earthy goodness of kawakawa. By infusing our dishes with native ingredients, we pay homage to the traditional uses of these ingredients while creating a modern and memorable dining experience for our customers.”

Geraghty has stated that the in-flight menu features abundant produce grown in New Zealand, showing that they are working closely with well-known local suppliers.

“Other menu items showcasing New Zealand include Asia smoked moki sourced from the people of Ngāti Porou, Ōra King salmon from Marlborough, New Zealand hāpuka, smoked mussels from the Coromandel, cheeses from Oamuru and Hawke’s Bay extra virgin oil,” she says.