When Tata Group & Singapore Airlines came together a couple of years back to form Vistara Airlines, I was happy that Indian skies will see a new level of service and hospitality. Last weekend I got an opportunity to experience this hospitality at TajSATS facility near IGI Airport. The food tasting was planned to showcase the food philosophy of Vistara Airlines and to shed light on the thought process involved in curating a dining experience at 30,000 feet. Serving food at such height is a challenge and everything boils down immaculate meal planning. The process is elaborate and complex. Small changes in weight and cooking temperatures can impact the guest experience like replacing stainless steel cutlery with disposable ones reduces the weight in flights by a couple of tons.
Vistara serves about 9,000-10,000 meals a day with an average of 200 different kinds of meals on its network every day. There are four rotations of the menu in a day – breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. Business class meals weigh around 300 gms/meal and economy class meals weigh approximately 220 gms/meal, and this does not include soft drinks. Tea/coffee and juices weigh about 80-100 ml and water is 200 ml. It gives an option of one Vegetarian or one Non-Vegetarian meal in Economy, while the options increase to one Non-Vegetarian or two Vegetarian in Premium Economy which further increases to two Non-Vegetarian and two Vegetarian in Business Class.
Six day rotation pattern is followed for the menu and it is changed twice a year, coinciding with summer and winter schedule. The values of Vistara – innovation and intuitive thoughtfulness, is reflected in its in-flight menu which is designed keeping in mind the feedback shared by its customers. The food experiences several fluctuations in temperatures, from the moment it is prepared in the kitchen till the time it is served. In Economy class, the meal is served in a beautifully designed pack while in Premium Economy and Business Class it is served in crockery and final presentation is done by the cabin crew members.
While taking the tour of the facility, I could recall the National Geographic Channel’s show India’s Mega Kitchen which had the documentary on TajSATS. If you haven’t seen it, please do watch it here.
TajSATS is the market leader in in-flight catering business, serving many national and international flights flying from India. It is a joint venture of the Indian Hotels Company, popularly known as the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and the SATS (formerly known as Singapore Airport Terminal Services). It also fulfils the requirements of Tata Starbucks Café all across the country. Chef Arun Batra is the Executive Chef at TajSATS and more than 300 cooks work at its Delhi facilities.
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.
Cover Picture Courtesy – Airbus website