Air Canada Flight, Japan to Vancouver

Needless to say the return trip on Air Canada was just as great as my flight to. Once again we were late to departure. Last minute planning and miscalculations had us sprinting to the gate with an hour to our flight. After a stressful train ride and the possibility of sleeping in the airport becoming a possible reality. We made it, just in time. Just in time to get a stern finger wagging. Luckily we weren’t the only ones begging our way on to the flight. Here Air Canada proved that they take of their Canadians, and they certainly go out of their way. The clerk rushed us and another party of three through the whole experience. Running us through bag check in, luggage x-ray, boarder check in, and immigration clearance. She was quick in heels. We got to the gate in time to see the other passengers board and to join in at the end.

All that rushing, only to be boarded, seated, strapped in; and told there would be a delay in our flight. That we do not have communication with a tower, so a new flight path would have to be planned out. It will be a longer path, we will have to avoid volcanic activity. We will arrive in YVR later, 1 hour and 30 minutes later. And all I could do is feel bad for my ride, hopefully they knew to check the flight number and that it would reflect the new arrival time. I just wished that we still had access to wifi, so that when we were made aware of this we could make arrangements accordingly.

Once again the meals to come were listed on the touch screen television sets in front of you. A tap of a button and you could anticipate your entree. Dinner has you choosing between beef or chicken. And now reunited and heading home with my partner I could see, taste, and blog about both. Basically it was two different proteins done in two different cuisines. North American meat and vegetables and a light Japanese dinner with familiar Japanese vegetables.

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Braised beef and red kidney beans in a wine sauce. Served with a side of mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and sautéed mushrooms. A very hearty meal, cooked more like a stew with everything tender, and kidney beans to fill. I appreciated the rounding of the potatoes. They definitely tried to dress this one up, mimicking a steak dinner.

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Roasted chicken with Japanese radish, soya sauce, eringi mushroom, carrot, konnyaku, snow peas, and steamed rice. I really liked how the rice, topped with black sesame seeds, was separated from the meat and veggies in their own liners, just like in a bento box. I didn’t know what most of the listed elements were, but I would soon learn. I was sure there were no snow peas and that I was missing the radish. The green things resembled celery, but with a taste and texture more similar to squash. Was this Japanese celery? And the purple looking cube was a mystery. I couldn’t identify it through taste, but I liked its texture enough to finish it in two bites. It was like a stiff jello.

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We were however most excited by the round buns that sat fluffy in a basket. Golden brown atop of the airline push carts. Bread is just not the same in Japan as it is in Canada. And these were not the same cold, hard ones I got coming on the plane from Vancouver. My partner cleverly melted the butter that was kept cold, by resting the container over the hot entree. It worked. We had spreadable butter.

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For salad it was listed as a bean and Japanese vermicelli salad. I didn’t see or taste bean, but there was shredded carrot and seaweed with all the clear strands of noodles. Tangy, salty, with a slippery texture, and not much else. But I learned last time, you eat it all because you don’t get more in between set meals, unless you want cookies for snack. It almost feels like you are being rationed. I eat a lot more than my partner, out of the fear of being hungry with nothing to eat, so I cleaned both his and my trays.

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Dessert was a chocolate mousse cake. Gold flecks decorated the top of the square, making it pretty fancy for an airline. The cake was four layers, a sponge at the bottom, two types of mouse in the middle, and glossy chocolate on the top. I am not a big fan of mousse, but once again I saw the need to clean my plate. Overall it was too sweet and needed something crunchy to balance the smooth creamy textures.

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Complimentary beer and wine on a plane? When did this happen? In a plastic bottle of course. It made for a nice after meal drink to accompany my after dinner movie.

To our delight the pre-arrival meal was breakfast. And same as before the screen listed two options, one very North American in style, the other more suited to Japanese tastes.

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A plain omelette served with tomato sauce, potatoes wedges, and buttered broccoli. The presence of broccoli was a new one for me, but considering that the omelette was essentially a mound of plain egg, I ate the broccoli and it together. Beautifully presented but nothing worth writing home about. Ironic, as I am recording it here. The whole entree was bland. I usually don’t add salt or pepper to anything, but this needed all of both. I emptied both my little packets. There was hardly enough ketchup to split between egg and potatoes. It was more like a tomato paste anyways. The potatoes, which should have been the best part were disappointing, gritty and sandy, they were just empty carbs. Orange or apple juice served with sliced seasonal fruit, and bread with butter and jam. All the above was served cold and tasted as expected. A mix of kiwi, apple, and orange; and a round bun, not unlike the one from dinner.

The Japanese style rice congee with sticky egg sautéed takana mustard and white sesame wasn’t even an option. Looking at us we got the egg without pause. I was too timid to inquire. Plus I was more keen on the omelette after reading the two descriptions anyways.

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The last post to round out my amazing trip. Until my next adventure.