Friday, July 06, 2007

BA 169 London – Shanghai, Fist Class (04-07-07)

Sancerre Edmond 2003, Alphonse Mellot

A very fine Sancerre, very dry yet still fruity.

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros, Cote Bouguerots, 2004, Domaine William Fevre,

Good call to start with the Sancerre as this was a much bigger wine, very dry and crisp. You don't really go wrong with a Chablish Grand Cru.

Chateau Beychevelle 1996, Grand Cru Classe Saint-Julien,

I am a huge fan of Chateau Beychevelle and 1996 was one of their best years. BA must have bought a huge proportion of the production though as they are serving it everywhere. Saint-Julien is, as the smallest of the Medoc wines, a bit of a boutique appellation but produces great full bodied and very high tannin wine. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot 20% and Cabernet Franc 10% if memory serves. Full marks to BA for this wine.

Shaun Hill's Loch Fyne, Smoked Salmon Tartare
(Owner – Chef at The Glasshouse, Worcester, England)

This was barely edible due to being barely above freezing. I have no idea what it is with BA they assemble a very grandly named BA Culinary Council stuffed with some of the great and good of the industry but they can not get a basic logistic like serving the food at the correct temperature right. I've had frozen salads and cold steak on BA flights. I don't think the idea of a cold salmon tartare was necessarily a bad idea and the sour cream dressing was not bad at all, but no good frozen.

Catch of the day – pan fried bream with colcannon mash, broccoli, and turned carrots.

The bream and the mash very quite good but the veggies where just overcooked veggies that added nothing. Actually, given how piss poor the logistics where on the salad I am impressed with the fish.

BA really needs to update its first class offering. The seats or pods are still amongst the best in the industry and the service is impeccable but the rest of the product is way behind. The wine is only ok, the food is substandard and the IFE is two generations behind even the business class offering of most major airlines (ok not US Airlines, who appear to have given up competing at the top of the market). The new Club Class IFE is a generation behind but in First they offer a tiny screen, nothing on demand and quite frankly most of the time it is broken anyway. This is at a price that is just about the highest in the industry.

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