Wednesday, July 17, 2024

World class dining

You expect nothing but the best when you’re invited to have a taste of the newly curated menu offered by Qatar Airways, the multiple award-winning airline, 10 years in a row. And they didn’t disappoint, says FARIDA MASTER.

On board Qatar Airways, Airbus A350-1000, the immaculately dressed flight attendants get busy preparing for service, as we are briefed on the relaunch of Gulf carrier’s direct flights from Auckland to Doha.

It’s not often that you board a flight mainly for a culinary experience. Or maybe you do, on a long-haul, flight after you’ve finished watching three movies in a row and try to get some shuteye.

An invitation to dine business class, gets off to a flying start with a choice of the finest wines, champagne and mocktails. A motley group of the media representatives and trade partners make themselves comfortable in the Qsuites.

Chris Paykel, country manager New Zealand, Qatar Airways shows the guests around the spacious Qsuites—single, double, twin and quad—all at a push of a button. The movable panels in the Qsuite allows you to transform your personal space into a social area for two or four for you to work, dine or socialise with your family and friends at 40,000 feet. Dim lighting, with a seating area that glides into a bed is just what every traveller dreams of!

Richard Styles, regional sales director mentions that the award-winning business class meal is available on-demand. Passengers can decide when they would like to dine.

The unveiling of the latest business class menu begins with the appetiser—perfectly done poached crayfish and prawns with a sprinkling of salmon roe, paired with basil pesto and avocado. The exquisite art on the plate tastes as good as it looks. It is served with artisanal bread rolls, silverware cutlery and white linen. None of that disposable plastic cutlery which tests your cutlery skills apart from the mountain of eco wastes!

Verdict: if the newly curated meal is anything to go by, it’s worth the extra dosh for business class tickets.

The flight attendant makes you feel like you are walking on air, literally, as she presents a plate of premium Yuzu beef, sitting pretty on a green bed of snow peas and edible flowers. The Gulf carrier’s latest business class menu shines a light on local produce.

For the mains, I opt for the pan fried hapuka fish with herb butter mashed potatoes, cabbage, baby carrots and parsnip, cooked to perfection. The smooth flavours have us savouring every morsel. There is a good reason it’s called fine dining.

Equally tempting is the other option of grilled beef tenderloin with thyme jus dauphinoise potatoes, roasted radish, and sugar snap peas.

For dessert, the chef makes an impression with a rich and decadent chocolate fondant crème anglaise strawberry and chocolate swirl. A culinary masterpiece!

After a perfect menu tasting experience, a pure seduction of the tastebuds, the only thing missing is that the flight of fancy doesn’t take off – to any of those 160 destinations worldwide. Instead, we are back to ground reality! It’s time to disembark, and head to the office, to write this piece.

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