Santan. That’s rich, you say. It is. Let’s face it, airline food doesn’t really pop into mind if you’re yearning for a good meal.

But all this is set to change with AirAsia’s new culinary repertoire.

Gourmet food on a budget carrier? That’s why this is such a rich idea. Named “Santan” – the Malay term for rich and luxuriously creamy coconut milk – the menu has been available since August this year and made up of both old favourites like Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak and soon-to-be new ones.

Think Nasi Dagang – an East Coast classic – drizzled in a luscious chicken curry or even Chicken Satay Wrap.

“Food is a big thing for us,” says Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s Group CEO during the launch. “Our food is as good as restaurant food – it’s not just in-flight food.

“With ‘Santan’, we want to introduce a new gourmet in-flight dining experience which features cuisines from across Asean.”

Seasonal offerings also abound.

This time, flying foodies can look forward to cool Christmas specials such as Shepherd’s Pie (RM15; RM16 Combo comes with 350ml mineral water), whereby moist, minced chicken and vegetables are seasoned with a litany of herbs and accented with Worcestershire sauce. Baked with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes, it’s then drizzled with shredded mozzarella and cheddar.

However, if you pre-order the Shepherd’s Pie, you’ll get it at only RM12 with complimentary 100ml mineral water.

Shepherd’s pie is on the Christmas special menu.

Shepherd’s pie is on the Christmas special menu.

Meanwhile, available on all long-haul AirAsia X flights over four hours, the festive Roasted Chicken With Cream Sauce (RM18), with its generous side dish of buttered carrot, pumpkin and broccoli, and roasted potato, is sure to warm your heart and stomach, especially when accompanied with wine.

Yes, you read right. For an additional RM22, you get a 187ml bottle of red or white wine. This item is only available for onboard sales and for a limited period.

Other items available for onboard purchase on AirAsia flights are Thai Basil Chicken with White Rice as well as Javanese Ayam Penyet with White Rice while new pre-book meals are Nasi Dagang & Chicken Curry, Ginger Fried Rice With Vegetarian Chicken and Mac & Cheese With Chicken Meatballs.

Guests are also in for a sweet ending with the introduction of the “Maximise Your Meal” option, which includes two pieces of Vanilla Cupcakes for just RM7.

Those travelling with children on both AirAsia and AirAsia X flights can now pre-book the Kids Meal which consists of two mini chicken burgers and Ribena.

“While we continue to give low fares to our guests, we are increasing the value with new product offerings and the introduction of this new gourmet experience on board is part of us moving in that direction,” added Fernandes.

With so much delectable goodies on board, there’s really no need to head to a “proper” restaurant before boarding your flight. Just remember to pre-book your meals to enjoy greater savings, and get the guarantee that your preferred meals are available. Another perk: you’ll also be served first.

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