In our continuing week-long journey into airline food, let's turn our attention to what else you'll find on your meal tray... or, increasingly, off your meal tray.
While first class diners have seen proper silverware on fine china and posh linens for some time, long-distance business class flights have also been getting in on the trend of sprucing up the table setting.
Emirates, for example, has upmarket cutlery from British design house Robert Welch, designed for the airline and with the Robert Welch signature on the back.
The airline has over 1.2 million pieces of the cutlery in service in first and business classes.
Now, it would be a rare business traveller who picked an airline based on its cutlery. But small touches like this -- combined with service on silver trays rather than galley kitchen carts -- are all part of the attractiveness of one airline's business class compared with another's.
Elsewhere on your business class dining table, Virgin Atlantic has recently swapped its amusing aeroplane salt-and-pepper pots (a favourite for swiping, with "Pinched from Virgin Atlantic" printed on the bottom) for a cocktail-shaker design that ties in neatly with the airline's James Bond sponsorship.
Don't try to nick the new ones, though -- the crew will be keeping a careful eye on them, and will be collecting them after your meal.
Air New Zealand's self-righting wine glasses are an absolute stroke of genius too, which is fortunate since the Kiwi carrier serves some fantastic drops of red on board. No need to choose white wine as the safe, spill-free option!
Here's a quick video proving that they actually work:
And rounding out the meal, we reckon that you have to go a long way to beat the elegant design of Qantas' Marc Newson cups, saucers and tableware in Noritake china, originally designed for the red roo's first class passengers but now seen in business class and in Qantas' business lounges.
In terms of practicality the teacups a little lacking -- there are times we'd give anything for a decent-sized mug of coffee the morning after an overnight red-eye flight -- but as a classy design icon, they're absolutely brilliant.
What's your favourite "off-the-plate" aspect of business class airline food? Share your thoughts in comments below... and don't forget the rest of Australian Business Traveller's Food Week coverage!
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.