Airasia Penang to KL Intercity Food Delivery Service Review

On Monday, August 15, airasia has launched its intercity meal delivery service. In a frenzy of panic, I immediately placed an order for Wednesday August 17th, the closest option available.

If you haven’t heard, airasia’s food delivery branch now offers people in the Klang Valley the option to order food in Penang, with deliveries made every Wednesday.

We are also not talking about frozen or dry foods. These are hot meals cooked in Penang and delivered the same day to your doorstep.

We wrote an article about the questions we had regarding the service. Can we answer it today?

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Penang, I think of char kuey teow. So, I pre-ordered a set of three duck eggs char kuey teows (the lowest amount I could go) from Tiger Char Koay Teow.

The only time slot I could choose was 5-5:30 p.m. This time slot seems to be the only option offered by airasia at the moment, which makes sense, since the food is cooked on the day of delivery.

Our office address in USJ was not working for some reason so I decided that the food would be delivered to my apartment in KL. Here’s how the whole experience went.

Not unreasonable prices

Although the long distance delivery fee is only RM3, there is also an additional fee of RM2.99 which is counted as delivery fee. In my opinion, RM5.99 per order is actually not bad at all. After all, the orders in Klang Valley can easily match this or even beat it.

Intercity food delivery can be found in the food section of the airasia super app

The whole order cost me a total of RM50.09. The set of three was priced at RM44.10, making each dish cost RM14.7.

A bit pricey for some char kuey teow, I admit it, but it is served with duck eggs and also prawns, so I’m not too angry.

To make deliveries worthwhile, only bundled options are available. That means no, you can’t just order a plate of char kuey teow from Penang.

This is perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of the service, because what am I going to do with a pack of three char kuey teows? Of course, if you have friends or family members, that would make sense, but for those who live alone, you will be eating the same dish for the next few days.

Become a guinea pig for airasia food

A problem I have with airasia is that I never find my real address in their location search bar. So I messaged AVA aka AirAsia Virtual Allstar to resolve the issue.

Halfway through, I received a call. It was an unknown number, but seemed quite legit, so I took it.

The person on the other line introduced himself to me as a representative of airasia food and told me that she would like to interview me about the long distance order since I am one of the first group of customers that she serves.

With enthusiasm, I accepted. I didn’t know then what I was signing up for.

My driver was called “Testboy 1” at the beginning with a vehicle number “ABC123”

On the day of delivery, I first received a call from my delivery guy at 5:03 p.m. He said he was 10 or 15 minutes away. Four minutes later, I received another call, but from a different number.

Turns out it was the airasia rep. They announced that they were in the lobby of my apartment and would like to talk to me and film some content.

I was a little surprised, but since they were already in the lobby of my apartment, I was okay with the plan.

While waiting for the courier, the representative briefly explained how intercity delivery works. First, riders will circle Penang to pick up the food, which will then be placed in the cargo section on a passenger flight.

From our conversation, it appears the food is packaged in secure boxes labeled “fragile”. Once at the airport, the food is apparently picked up by passengers who bring it directly to customers.

This information differs from what was shown to me on the airasia app, which appears to show the runner is from KL Sentral. But the app could be wrong as my driver’s plate number was also listed as “Test 123” on the app, which I can assure was not true.

The Airasia Food representative also said that the traders participating in the service are currently lesser-known names, as famous stalls in Penang simply do not have time to prepare packages for Airasia.

However, airasia is asking for more Penang merchants to join the program, so hopefully in the future, customers can have more options.

And maybe if this model proves to be quite beneficial for traders, we could see the bigger names start to infiltrate the service.

On time and well packaged

One of the main questions we had about this service was how fresh the food would be and how securely it needed to be packaged.

The food was actually still a bit warm when I received it

By the time it reached me the food was already repackaged in a nice brown paper bag from airasia (which ended up a little wet as it was raining). The bag also came with a lovely thank you note from airasia. Each item was individually wrapped in a plastic bag.

I was actually shocked to find that the bottom of each dish was still quite warm. Now, this could be due to the heat of the pilot’s vehicle, the way the food was flown over, or even the airasia team warming it up when it arrived.

Disclaimer: I don’t really know the ins and outs of how airasia’s intercity food delivery works, so these are just guesses for now.

Upon unpacking the food, I noted that everything had been properly contained, with no leaks or breakages, although some condensation had accumulated in the containers (which is nothing unusual).

There were also a few Airasia wet wipes packed inside the paper bag, a thoughtful touch for anyone who might eat on the go.

Each dish was wrapped in a plastic container, with a rubber band tying it together. There were no other seals on the container which was surprising, but it could have already been removed by the airasia food team.

The brown bag came with my name and a thank you note

Time for a tasting

My first impression of the actual food was that the char kuey teow looked appetizing (although my colleague said I might have been hungry).

There were no strong smells and the noodles stuck to each other a bit, but that’s completely normal for char kuey teow.

There was also a fragrant banana leaf placed in each container, which made the food all the more presentable and attractive.

It was still rather damp and cool

As for the taste of the food, it wasn’t exceptional in itself, but it was really good. The prawns tasted fresh and the noodles had a nice chewy texture. The duck eggs were a little dry, but still rich in flavor.

In short, the food was… good. It was delicious, actually. If I hadn’t placed the order myself, I would have had a hard time guessing that it was a plane from Penang.

Final Thoughts

Probably one of my biggest gripes with the intercity food delivery service is its limited schedule so far. It’s quite unfortunate for me because I’m usually still in the office at 5pm on Wednesdays.

That was delicious

If it was offered, for example, on weekends, I might actually become a regular customer from time to time. Heck, I’m kinda craving Penang mee white curry as I write this… There are vendors offering the dish, but I’m quite worried how they’re going to package it.

Another issue with the service is that I had to order a set of three, but only wanted one. So I kept the food in my fridge overnight and took it to the office the next day. However, he had started to smell rather suspicious.

According to my colleague Joyce, the flavor of the dishes from the day before is not bad, but the texture is off, especially for the seafood. She thinks we could probably have more delicious and cheaper char kuey teow nearby.

Joyce is right, I guess. It’s not like char kuey teow is non-existent in the Klang Valley. As of this writing, she’s literally gone out to freshen up char kuey teow.

Overall, I appreciate the novelty of the idea, but the intercity food delivery service seems somewhat unnecessary.

In its current state, if I had to describe it in one word, it’s your usual food delivery service with extra steps and at a minimum, a 24 hour wait time.

Naturally this is in its infancy and in our experience airasia has always been bold in experimentation as well as prioritizing execution first and foremost and then refining it over time.

We’re definitely keeping an eye on this service to see how it takes off over time.

  • Learn more about airasia cuisine here.
  • Read other articles we have written about airasia here.