Qantas First (London to Dubai)
So I escape Heathrow Terminal 3 and am now onboard the A380; my home for the next ~24 hours. I have my fingers crossed for some flight delays which will extend my stay onboard ( alas they do not eventuate 🙁 ). Once we’re settled in and take-off, we start with the supper menu, which is preceded by some lovely canapés. There is a lovely prawn cocktail on rye crisp and a shot of tomato consommé.
I start with a small dish (that’s the way to do supper). It is the Lamb Sausage Roll. There are soft tender lamb mince with a brittle flaky pastry that just covers the inside of your mouth. It is amazing and the smooth spicy Harissa sauce which accompanies is just perfect. This is just simple comfort food with beautiful flavours.
Next course is the Roast Silver Mullet with a curry butter, lentils and braised seasonal greens. The soft tender mullet fillet just falls apart in your mouth and the lovely seasoning adds flavour without overpowering the flavour of the fish. The firm crispy skin, the lentils and soft tender flesh is an array of textures. It’s fresh, it’s simple, and it’s just what I needed for my supper.
When it came to the wine, I opted for a different style of wine! It’s a blend from two vineyards in different regions; the Grampians in Victoria and Hunter Valley in NSW. It’s a fusion of two Shiraz; the vineyards swapped a barrel each of their 2010 vintage. It’s rare, there are only 100 cases in production. The result is a wine with the distinctive spice found in most Grampians Shiraz withe the savouriness of the Hunter Valley. It’s very creative and beautiful, although it doesn’t quite win me over. Give a glass of Margaret River Shiraz any day!
I then have my bed made and have a short rest before we land in Dubai. I have a pear and ginger energiser drink before landing. The creaminess of the drink with the grainy texture of the pear fruit is pure delight. We land and I take a quick walk through the Emirates First lounge, I love it. The layover is just too short to do much, so I can’t wait to get back on my flight. Pretty soon we are boarding for the next leg, a 13+ hour flight back to Sydney.
Qantas First (Dubai to Sydney)
Once we have lift off we are handed our menus and I see we have a tasting menu for the next flight. My host sets my table for the menu.
The first course is a Cream of Roast Carrot Soup paired with Clonakilla Semillion Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is light and goes well with the simple but amazing carrot soup. The taste of those buttery creamy carrots with the crunchiness of the croutons is just what I need to get myself into gear for the tasting menu experience.
The second course is the Veal with Tonnato Sauce, an Italian Classic. It’s paired with a Tapanappa Pinot Noir. The richness (sweet spicy and strong flavours) of the Pinot pairs perfectly with the veal. The soft tender veal is combined with a smooth tangy tonnato dressing, I feel like I’m back at Harry’s Bar for another dinner.
Then there is the main course. The Rockpool Bar and Grill style beef fillet on a bed of snow peas with a cauliflower & cheese gratin and some hot mustard on the side. The beef is succulent; it just melts in your mouth. Every bite is a taste of tender flavoursome beef – it’s perfect. The crispness of the snow peas provides texture, while the sweetness of the snow peas provides an offset to the salt and seasoning of the beef fillet. The rich cauliflower and cheese gratin is the perfect side, adding smooth creamy flavours and texture to the main. This dish is decadent and beautiful. I slouch in my seat overwhelmed by the experience. I pair it with the beautiful Cullen Diana Madeleine Cabernet Merlot. A lovely wine with that nice mix of berry and spice flavours.
I skip the dessert course, being just too full, and move straight onto the Cheese tasting. I stick with the Cullen for Cheese Course. Three amazing seasonal cheese (Brie and a couple of Cheddars) are brought out with accompaniments. I spend the next 1 1/2 hours savouring and nibbling on cheese and sipping my wine. It’s amazing! The creamy cheese, the sweetness of the fig paste, and the crumbly crackers – can’t think of a better way the end my trip.
My host notices I am enjoying the wine and regularly drops by to top-up my glass. We start chatting about Margaret River wines and I tell her about my trip, she listens oh so intently. We have a lovely chat, I am always fond of customer service staff that have that extra care and interest in their customer. It’s so refreshing.
Then I figure I need to get some sleep, I have to be at work when I land! I have the bed made and then huddle up against the soft pillows and fall sound asleep. As the sunrise of Sydney begins to enter the cabin, I awake to be served some breakfast.
I start with a Watermelon Energizer Drink (smooth, creamy and plenty of watermelon pulp) to get me awake.
Then I opt for the grilled potato cakes served with smoked salmon and grilled corn salsa. The dish is amazing, soft silky potato cakes, the oily & strong flavoured smoked salmon and crunchy corn salsa is the definition of breakfast. I just love it.
Then the plane hits the tarmac and I have to be separated from the A380 again. I travel heaps but this is always the saddest part of journey, and experience certainly don’t make it any easier. It’s painful! I belong in the sky!
I make it through the airport where an affable gent meets me to drive me home in a lovely Statesman. Alas my trip is over! Thank you to all the readers on the blog who followed the journey with me!