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Emirates in-flight meal options?

Will be travelling Houston-Dubai-Kolkata in January, and trying to figure out the best meal option to choose.

I'm Indian, non-vegetarian, will eat just about anything, but have had it with the usually bland "chicken or pasta" options. Love Indian and Pakistani food.

The options I'm interested in are Asian Vegetarian vs Hindu Meal vs Muslim Meal.

I don't have any religious restrictions. Just looking for something tasty.

I would appreciate it if you could reply with specific examples of what you were served.


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  1. I have not been to Dubai, and as such these are not personally-vouchsafed recommends. But, I read a marvelous article in Gourmet, June '08 that may offer you some perspective if you can source it. If you can't, I'd be most happy to send you the information the publication offers on specific restaurants and experiences. It sounds like you can get some very decent (and some better than that, even!) food there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      I apologise - I was not clear in my original post, and now I can't edit it either.

      I am looking for meal options for the airline Emirates i.e. inflight meal options.

      I too have heard that there is great food to be had in Dubai, but sadly we will not have time to explore the city.

      1. re: mamachef

        I will try to find the Gourmet article. If I cannot, I will ask you for the recos. Thanks

      2. Go for the Hindu meal or veg Asian meal. Muslim meal contains very gamey tasting mutton botis. I can't remember any other items on the flight except for breakfast which was alu ki bhujia and omlet. I do recall feeling that it was the best South Asian food I have had in a flight. Have flown Emirates many many times and always strongly regret if I ever forgot to order the veg meal, the mutton is that bad.

        1. What a great idea for a post! Just yesterday I was staring at all the options on the Emirates site wondering which I should choose as well! I wish they'd serve Middle Eastern food!

          BTW luckyfatima, I wanted to get a hold of you to ask you a few questions, but I didn't find a contact link on your blog. (I wish chow had a private message option! Are you listening, chow?) :)

          3 Replies
          1. re: junglekitte

            I just updated my profile to list my email addy, which I will keep up for a few days. You are most welcome to contact me.

            Yes, I too wish CH had a private message option.

            1. re: luckyfatima

              Got it. I will email you now. You can take it off now if you like! Thank you!

              1. re: junglekitte

                luckyfatima: thanks for the info. I think I too remember the lamb/mutton being somewhat gamey on a past flight.

          2. I just returned from my trip to India on Emirates and really enjoyed the food! I went with the standard meals and was very happy with what they offered.There were menu choices with Indian and continental foods. The baigan bharta, dal makhani, and rice was actually really tasty! :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: junglekitte

              I just got back from my trip as well.

              Outbound : IAH-DXB=I ordered the Hindu Meal and wife ordered the Muslim Meal
              I had some teriyaki-ish chicken (was supposed to be chicken curry per menu, but I think it was misprinted). Wife had the lamb stew, which was suprisingly good - not gamey at all. Breakfast was paratha and sabji for me, cheese omelet with sausage and country potatoes for her. The sausage and cheese in the omelet were not very good though the omelet itself was quite good.

              DXB-CCU= We both had the fish biryani - pretty tasty

              Inbound: CCU-DXB= I opted for the standard meal option and was very pleased. Had the kosha mangsho (kind of like goat/lamb curry but mashed up a little bit)

              DXB-IAH= Achari lamb, and upma with puris for breakfast. Four cheese pizza for a snack,which I did not care for, but to be fair was a good effort - it was warm and soft not plastic/chewy like airline heated bread items usually get.

              At the end of the day, Emirates entertainment and food is the best I've expereinced yet! Until I fly Singapore or Thai maybe?

            2. I imagine if you're flying business or first you can pretty much get what you wish, as long as it conforms to Halal and there's no alcohol involved. Although, from what I hear, Emirates, Singapore, ANA, Swiss and Air Tahiti Nui's economy is equivalent too many airlines' version of first. Check out airliner meals at http://www.airlinemeals.net. Passengers give decent commentary on the meals.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bigmackdaddy

                I flew business on Emirates to India and there was lots and lots of alcohol offered.

              2. I am seeing this board now - so my response is a bit late for caliking - but hope it will be helpful for others.
                I was on LAX-DXB-CCU r/t in October/November, and based on what I saw, here is what I will do for the next trip in economy on Air Emirates - order the Hindu vegetarian meal. I am an avowed non-vegetarian person, but my reasons for choosing the vegetarian meal is as follows:
                1. The non-vegetarian meal comes in a small tray which had 3 components - a pullao/pilaf rice preparation, a vegetable/dry dal, and a non-vegetarian preparation - whether chicken, lamb, or fish. The non-vegetarian portion was only 1/3 of the total volume of the tray, and while tasty, was fairly smallish in portion. If I had chosen the vegetarian option, this would have been replaced by another very tasty vegetable/dal dish - I saw my seatmate get this - and it would have been no great loss for me as a non-vegetarian.
                2. The Hindu vegetarian meals came early to the recipients. Depending on where I sat in the cabin, I observed the special meals were fully consumed, or more than half consumed by the time I got mine. And in some segments (CCU-DXB), there were not many options left - I got the last non-veg tray, and the couple behind me got the western meal - which looked much worse - but that could have been me!

                On a different trip to Saudi Arabia, I have flown Emirates Business Class - and it was one of the best airline experiences for me - the food, and the alcohol, and the service was superb. I have not flown Business class in Singapore or the other 5* airlines - but I have flown in Lufthansa, Air France, Swiss, and most recently Kuwait Airways and Egyptian Airlines - (best not to speak about United and Saudi Arabian airlines) - Emirates was the best. Lufthansa and Air France were good too, but a touch less than Emirates.

                1 Reply
                1. re: suvro

                  Just traveled business class LAX-DXB-RUH-DXB-LAX. The Indian food served in business class was outstanding. On the LAX-DXB route one of the snack items was lamb kofta with biryani - I will say it was better than most lamb koftas in Indian restaurants in LA, and comparable to some of the best koftas I have had in India. At 36,000' it is not an easy feat. On the DXB-LAX route also the murg dish they served was superb!
                  Going next month LAX-DXB-CCU-DXB-LAX in economy. Will have to see how those meals compare!

                2. Hi,
                  I have just booked an Emirates flight from NYC to New Delhi. I am going by the Emirates for the first time. I am not sure which meal option should I book for my journey.
                  I am hindu vegetarian but I eat eggs. What if I chose the standard meal as an option?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: dgupta

                    Standard meal will give you meat or fish. I would go with the vegetarian or Hindu meal only.

                    1. re: junglekitte

                      FYI Hindu meal is not vegetarian - it includes chicken. Rightfully so, since India for one is chock full of non-veg Hindus. If meat/nonveg makes you queasy, then you should order the Asian Vegetarian Meal. Sorry, if your travel date has already passed, but maybe it will help for the future.

                      Every time I fly Emirates, someone has a conniption because they ordered a Hindu meal and found chicken in it. Emirates spells out what the different meal options are on their website, so it helps to take a look.