Qantas First Class (Los Angeles to Sydney)

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This is my first flight on Qantas out of the USA, as I normally I fly via London so it is a new experience and I can’t wait to see how the journey unfolds. I board the flight and find myself in Suite 1A for the journey home to Sydney. It has been a tiring trip, so I have my mind set on a good sleep after dinner.

The Suite

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Qantas have a unique First Class approach where the seats angle away from the aisle with a swivel such that you face the straight during take-off but after take-off you permanently swiveled towards the window to enjoy the entertainment on screen and use the dining table. It’s not a fully enclosed suite, though does feel quite private and spacious. The seat has significant storage space on the side, with an ottoman at the end for a guest to share during dinner and large TV screen with a controller featuring a wide range of video and audio entertainment.

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Here is a video of the Suite:

The background tune I have used is “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris – I don’t own the rights to the song.

Champagne and Canapes

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Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs (2006) 

The Taittinger is a simply breathtaking experience. The wonderful touch of floral and citrus notes allure the nose to begin and then there is the beautiful silky minerality on the palate with beautiful flavours of lemons and grapefruit.

Osetra Caviar Tartlet with Onion Cream

The caviar dominates the tartlet with the onion being overpowered. The rich salty minerally caviar is a flavour hit to remember, while the cream mildly balances it potency and the crumbly tartlet offers some textural contrast. It pairs perfectly with the rich acidity of the Taittinger.

Duck Sang Choi Bao

The duck is rich with its natural flavours on full display. An oriental dressing adds sweetness and mild spice while the lettuce is a cool crunch. Ideally I would have had a light fruity red to match the duck but alas I keep the canape course simple and sip the Taittinger instead.

Pretty soon we have lift-off and we are depart LAX en-route to Sydney.

Dinner

Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche with Lime, Corn, Black Olives & Coriander

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The lime and spice dressing acidity cuts through the Kingfish very well while the corn adds a nice textural crunch and the black olives flow through with a salty tarty Mediterranean flourish. There was a lovely Frankland Estate Riesling which might have paired well, but I just to stick with the Taittinger as the lesser of the paring. The acidity of the Taittinger did no nicely to triangulate with the richness of the Kingfish and lovely acidity of the dressing.

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Chermoula Lamb with Sweet Potato and Kim Chi Pancakes and Sesame

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The spice and herbiness of the chermoula do battle with the rich flavour of the lamb. The lamb is succulent and juicy with its natural flavours reflected in every mouthful. The pancakes are interesting with a textural contrast of sorts with the kimchi vegetables with their unique flavour and smoothness of the sweet potato. It is a good base and side to the lamb. The richness of the lamb is the key to the dish and its flavours are second to none.

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Leeuwin Estate “Art Series” Cabernet Sauvignon (2012), Western Australia

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I couldn’t go past the Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon – The aromas of blackcurrant and floral notes with hints of mocha and earth dance with the nasal senses. On the palate it’s all about the blackcurrant flavours. They are accompanied with gentle notes of herbs and tobacco a little bite of oak which is there on first pour. The wine has good acidity to balance the fruit flavours and some nicely balanced powdery tannins.

Spiced Donuts with Vanilla Ice Cream and Coffee Crème Fraiche

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The fluffy puffy donuts are a pure treat with the caffeine hit of the coffee crème fraiche giving the dish a nice little jolt. The light spice of the donuts makes for a rather Christmassy (not sure why – maybe it’s sweet spice reminding me of the spice of mulled wine) feel. It is a nice comfort dish to end the night. The ice-cream adds a nice temperature contrast and cleanses the palate in the finish.

Bed

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I soon ask for the bed to be made and then drift off to sleep in the clouds as the A380 roars on towards Sydney.

Here is a video of the bed being made:

The background tune I have used is “Everybody Wants To Rule the World” by Tears for Fears – I don’t own the rights to the song.

Breakfast

Toasted Wheat Bread with Avocado Crème Fraiche and Smoked Salmon

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I decide to have a light breakfast and pair it with champagne. The crunch of the bread and smoothness of the avocado is a lovely textural contrast. The crème fraiche adds a lightness to the dish while the rich oily smoked salmon infuses a lovely hit of flavour into the dish. The acidity and lemony notes of the Taittinger dance perfectly with the salmon for a harmonious taste experience.

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Landing

As we land there are beautiful views of Sydney Harbour. I couldn’t describe it in words and one photo couldn’t do it justice, so here is the video as we jet into Sydney. So ends my round the world trip.

The background tune I have used is “Good Enough” by Dodgy – I don’t own the rights to the song.