January 06, 2013

From Paris to Beirut: Air France Business Class on Boeing 777-300

RATING:82/100

Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: Soon

I am going to say it as it is. I don't understand how people still travel with MEA on 'Beirut-Paris' and 'Paris-Beirut' route when the prices are the same on-board Air France yet with a service that is 30 times better.  Friendly and professionally trained staff, exquisite French wines Grand Crus, a Michelin starred chef menu, individually canned soft drinks, a high end menu which changes regularly and much much more... While, as a small reminder, on MEA you are served by an untrained staff, poured soft drinks from plastic bottles, eat the same menu that has been served for the last decade or more, restraint choice of movies... For the price this Business Class seat costs, Air France is the choice to take. On today's menu:
  • L'amuse-bouche: Goat cheese and artichoke caviar: Sun-dried tomato, lemon, goat cheese cube, artichoke caviar, lightly crunching with an end sour taste
  • Gourmet appetizer and seasonal salad: Slow-cooked foie gras terrine, smoked salmon, blini, baby spinach
  • The special selection of cheese: Petit chèvre, Camembert
  • Desserts: Fresh cheese mousse with raspberry compote, caramel cream puff, chocolate crisp
  • Sorbet and ice-cream with fresh fruits
Today's suggestions:
  • Pan-seared tenderloin of beef: Béarnaise parsnip julienne, carrot and watercress puree
  • Orecchiette pasta with calamari and arugula served with tomato sauce with coriander prepared by Guy Martin
  • Pumpkin puree: Sautéed vegetable brunoise, sautéed sugar snap peas, squash seeds
The High-end fine dining experience on-board: Memories of holidays, colors and scents have inspired Guy Martin to come up with classic and inventive recipes. Enjoy these dishes up in the air, subtle blends of flavors for an original and contemporary culinary experience on board:
  • Sautéed shrimps, pasta shells and zucchini caviar, coconut sauce enhanced by Espelette chili pepper
  • Orecchiette pasta with calamari and arugula served over tomato sauce with coriander
  • Sautéed chicken with orange and maniguette pepper, endive and pearl onions
  • Breast of duckling, and a fennel and mango compote
Sautéed shrimp, pasta shells and zucchini caviar, coconut sauce enhanced by Espelette chilli pepper: «The shrimps are lightly sautéed in olive oil, accompanied by flavorful pasta shells with Indian saffron and coconut-lime sauce with a touch of Espelette chilli pepper and cumin. Served with zucchini caviar with cashew nuts, this dish is my contribution to the tropical islands.»Orecchiette pasta with calamari and arugula served over tomato sauce with coriander: «Orecchiette pasta with calamari and Italian parsley is presented over a light tomato sauce flavored with coriander. The spicy taste of arugula enlivens the dish, along with a flavorful garnish of finely shaved Parmesan cheese.»Sautéed chicken with orange and maniguette pepper, endive and pearl onions: «A delicious breast of chicken gently cooked in chicken broth is flavored with orange. Maniguette pepper, also called “paradise seed” or “Guinea pepper,” enhances the dish with its sweet piquancy. This dish is accompanied by endive braised slowly in orange juice and by tender pearl onions.»Breast of duckling, and a fennel and mango compote: «Tender roasted breast of duckling is served with a delicate juice flavored with fennel seed, in Provençale style. Mangos gently cooked with cider vinegar and acacia honey bring a sweet-and-sour touch to the dish, which is also enhanced by the liquorice notes of fennel.»
My choice for Lunch: (I am sorry to say it bluntly but MEA would need a million years to offer something that refined)
  • Orecchiette pasta with calamari and arugula served over tomato sauce with coriander: «Orecchiette pasta with calamari and Italian parsley is presented over a light tomato sauce flavored with coriander. The spicy taste of arugula enlivens the dish, along with a flavorful garnish of finely shaved Parmesan cheese.»
  • Perfectly seasoned, coriander and tomato giving it an additional finesse, calamari not crunching and pleasant on the teeth, pasta aldente activating all your palatial buds
  • The overall mix was a bit too salty
  • Circular pasta like shells
  • A very generous portion of a colorful mix
The details I loved:
  • A continuous dimmed lighting in the cabin
  • Every flight starts and ends with the Air France wet refreshing towel
  • How they present the bottle of wine for you to see it before pouring
  • Presenting and preparing the tray, putting the salt and pepper and salad mix straight in front of you - with a smile.
  • Tea proposed by the famous Fauchon
  • Last time's sorbet was a special baked apple and today's is Speculose biscuit. Every time a new surprise awaits
Minor things to be fixed:
  • The 777-300 has no stopper for the feet. When reclining the seat into a bed, your body slides down to the floor. A stopper like the ones on the Airbus planes is a must
  • Screens should be bigger and brighter with a touch feature specially in 2013. Technology is running fast and we are obliged to follow it
What an experience! It makes you want to travel more... Four hours of enchantment transporting you away from the earth's chaos to wake up in another country and start fresh again.
Categories: Airlines Travel




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