Not-So-Plain Plane Food

Terminal 5 food

There’s a good reason to love British Airways’ new Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, despite what you may have read about chaos after the facility opened last month. (North American flights, delayed after baggage problems, will start flying in on June 7). The open design by Richard Rogers (of Pompidou Centre fame) is one of them. The food is the other. Not only did I have a tasty meal of chicken and ramen at Wagamama, the newest outpost in Alan Yau’s noodle chain, but I savored my bowl of spicy broth in zenlike serenity (well, for an airport), floating high above the hustle and bustle on the main floor while looking out at surreal views of planes gliding along the runways.

After lunch, I went next door for coffee and dessert at Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, a full-tilt restaurant with the deliciously retro feel of the ’50s, the era when flying really was glamorous. And what a dessert—lime parfait and pineapple with a sauce of caramel, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, and star anise—made by Nathan Johnson, a long-time Ramsay protégé who cooked with him at Boxwood Café and Claridge’s. (When was the last time you ran into a talented chef working at an airport?)

One thing you won’t find at Terminal 5: McDonald’s, or any other fast-food chain (other than coffee bars).

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