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Old Jan 24, 11, 12:52 am   #121
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MAHE to DUBAI (SEZ-DXB) on Emirates A340-500 in first class

After a day rushing around the island I was exhausted by 10:30pm and so made my way back to the airport rather early for check in. Actually exhausted doesn't begin to describe how I was feeling. I was constantly nodding off and waking myself up as my head drooped even while walking. I was worried if I sat down I'd fall into a coma so I forced myself to wander around the open air landside part of the terminal in an effort to stay awake. There isn't much to it, though, some check in desks, a bar/cafe, a single shop and a covered walkway to the domestic terminal with baggage storage service halfway in between. I did a few laps while I waited for check in to open.

There were a few flights departing in the middle of the night and check in seemed to only cope with two at a time, so the boards (no electronics here!) denoting airline and cabin which hung from hooks were moved from desk to desk to cater for the ebb and flow of check in queues.

When I thought it was about time for our flight check in to open I wandered back to the check in area. There was already a lengthy queue for economy class, and a moderate one for first class (who seemed to be mainly old Russian guys with their young wives/mistresses). So I decided to wait in the business class line as this was fairly short and the passengers in front looked low maintenance. While I was waiting the station manager came by and asked my final destination, and then took my passport. A few moments later I had a boarding pass for my onward flight, but not for this flight. Since I have no bags to check it would have been easier for him to give me both boarding passes?

Eventually it is my turn at the check in desk and I'm soon given another boarding pass. The agent wanted me to put on a garish F class tag on my carry on, perhaps to ensure security won't give me any problems? Any way my carry on for this trip is tiny and so a tag is pointless and I refused it. I would have looked silly if security had made me go back to check in, but I thought the odds were low and indeed there was no issue.

I was also given an invite card for the Salon de Valle de Mai lounge. There was no queue at security and, after a brief look at duty free I made my way upstairs to the lounge.

The lounge is quite nice. Spacious. Quiet. Cool relief from the hot & humid air outside and the warm terminal. Food and beverage is okay - not fantastic but not too bad either. Better than the typical Flagship lounge for example. Champagne is Raoul Collett - yeah I'd never heard of them either, although there are some islands north of New Zealand called Raoul I somehow don't think they are related to the bubbles.

There is one shower but it was locked. I thought about asking for the key from the lounge staff but realised I was so tired I could fall asleep and possibly injure myself in there. Instead I caught up on some messages on one of the computers.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 1:02 am   #122
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Just before our scheduled departure the skies which had been threatening for several hours finally opened with a burst of rain hammering the roof accompanied by a back beat of thunder. I was sure our flight would be delayed given the safety of loaders, crew and passengers on the open apron. However, 10 minutes later the rain ceased as the thunderstorm moved out to sea. Boarding was announced a moment later to each passenger personally - no noisy PAs in this haven.

Downstairs and boarding was underway. No separate line for premium or elite passengers. This flight was much fuller in all cabins - nearly full in first and business and perhaps half full in economy. In first class I didn't see the family who'd been waiting in the F check in line. Hmmm.

Pre-departure drinks (bubbles, juice or water). Hot towel. Date and arabic coffee. Slippers and menu. Asked if want to eat early or late in the flight. I opted to eat early so I could control how much sleep I get on this red eye (no being woken up 2 hours before landing for me). We pushed back on time at 2am.

I was awoken at top of descent, feeling somewhat better for the couple of hours sleep but still a bit sleepy. We were on track to arrive early but did some long loops over Oman and also the Persian Gulf. We touched down on a far runway and so had a long taxi to reach our gate on the opposite side of the terminal complex - at least it was a gate and not a stand.
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Old Jan 24, 11, 1:03 am   #123
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Emirates
First Class menu
Seychelles to Dubai
January 2011


Bar Service

Aperitifs

Campari - Campari Bitter, Vermouth Sweet/Dry - Martini, Sweet Sherry - Harvey's Bristol Cream, Dry Sherry - Tio Pepe

Beers

A selection of international beers including Heineken, Budweiser and Amstel Light

Cocktails

Black Russian, Bloody Mary, Bucks Fizz, Champagne Cocktail, Cosmopolitan (US routes), Fantasy Island, Kir Royal, Manhattan, Martini Cocktail Classic, Screwdriver, Vodka Martini

Mocktails

Jumeirah Delight

Spirits

Premium Scotch Whisky - Chivas Regal Royal Salute, Single Malt Whisky - Glenfiddich 21 Years Old, Bourbon - Woodford Reserve

Cognac - Hennessy Paradis

Vodka - Grey Goose

Gin - Bombay Sapphire

Rum - Bacardi Superior

Champagne, Port and Wines

A selection of fine wines from internationally renowned vineyards of the old and new world

Liqueuers

Baileys Irish Cream, Tiam Maria, Drambuie, Cointreau


Breakfast

Juice

Fresh fruit juice

Fruit

Fresh seasonal fruit

Yoghurt
natural or fruit

Assorted cereals

Main Course

Mushroom omelette
accompanied with tomato filled with baked beans, creamy spinach, hash brown vegetables, and sauteed chicken sausages with onions

Fried eggs on toast
marinated grilled chicken fillet and spicy lamb kofta, accompanied with fried eggs on toast, creamy spinach, roasted potato and grilled tomato

Brioche bread and butter pudding
accompanied with waffle stuffed with tropical fruit, served with strawberry coulis and garnished with orange zest

Cheese selection and cold cuts
which includes cheddar, fourme d'Ambert and Boursin cheese in tomato cup, turkey and chicken slices and lamb rolled with asparagus mayonnaise, accompanied with grilled vegetables, olives, pickles, and crudites

Bread

Bread basket
a variety of freshly baked breads, croissants and breakfast pastries, served with butter and preserves

Beverages

a selection of the finest quality teas and coffees are available freshly brewed for your enjoyment throughout the flight


EK708-SEZDXB-F-10B


First Class Wine List

Champagne

Dom Perignon Vintage 2000
The very fresh and youthful millenium vintage of Dom Pérignon is soft and approachable. Persistent tiny bubbles race up to the top of your glass, assisting in the release of the subtle aromas of hazelnut, lemon cream, pear and red apple. Ultra fine, with a very active bead that just floats across the palate. Elegant, unobtrusive and balanced. The finish is delightful with lingering stonefruit flavours.

White Wine

Condrieu 'Les Cassines', 2008, Paul Jaboulet Aine
Condrieu, the unique dry white from France's Rhone Valley is best drunk young and fresh. This example has a wonderful mouthfeel with intense peach and apricot and mineral notes that all weave seamlessly through the racy, full bodied finish. At once lush and invigorating. A wine often copied globally (as simply the grape-Viognier), but without ever achieving quite the balance you have here.

Martin Codax, Albarino, 2007, Rias Baixas
The Rias Baixas region of North West Spain has become renowned as a fine producer of the Albarino grape. It has the verve of Sauvignon but with more breadth and a lifting perfume on the nose. Bottled under screw cap to retain its freshness and delicate aromas, Albarino is best drunk young as this 2007 example shows. Martin Codax is a superb and diligent producer and we're delighted to list our first Albarino here.

Red Wine

Chateau Rauzan Segla, 2001, Margaux
After a very shaky track record in the 70's and 80's, culminating in the property being owned by ex boxer and entrepreneur George Walker. Boxers and Bordeaux were odd bedfellows and it's now owned by the couture house of Chanel. In the 90's Rauzan Segla started making wines befitting its Grand Cru Classe status. Here, the 2001 is drinking beautifully, with hallmark cedar, cassis and roasted herbs. This is quintessential Margauz.

La Sirena Syrah, 2004, Napa Valley
The manicured vineyards of the Napa are not the first place you'd look for Syrah from the USA. However, add the winemaking magic of Heidi Barret, (famed for the iconic Screaming Eagle) and it's likely to yield something very complete and heady. This rich and spicy red has a violet and dark berry scented bouquet and on the palate it has spicy bramble mingled with anis and cedar. The 2004 La Sirena is very approachable now and is topped with the archetypical Napa polish.

Port

Croft, 1998, Late Bottled Vintage Port
Established over 300 years ago, Croft produce their Late Bottled Vintage only in very good years. Bottled six years after harvest, the silver medal-winning 1998 Late Bottled Vintage is deep in colour with a rich, creamy nose of sweet blackberry and cherry fruit. With hints of dark chocolate and juicy berry notes on the palate, its gentle tannins give it a very approachable style, making it suitable for any occasion.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 1:07 am   #124
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DUBAI

Another longish walk to security. This time I'm arriving a bit later and there are huge queues at security (backed up both sides past transfer desks and into the main corridor). It took me about 30 minutes to get through - which is much less than I feared when I saw how long the queues were. Back up to the lounge and first call is a shower.

I then caught up on some messages after being offline for a day, while trying to ignore the paint smell from the construction zone just outside the business centre. I noticed that one set of toilets were out of order and another seemed to be closed for cleaning for a very long time (as in hourse). Too bad if you needed to go in a hurry at this busy hour of day in the lounge.

I decided not to eat as I would soon be onboard another flight. Later I would regret this.

After a few hours it was time to board. I left the lounge for the gate which was right in front of the entrance. I was told there was a minor delay and to please wait in the lounge. Back inside I checked how long the delay might be but there were no indications of anything significant.

The hammering & sawing noises and paint smells meant the lounge stay wasn't particularly restful.

The time of scheduled departure came and went and still no boarding announcement. Meanwhile other flights on the departure monitors were boarding, having final calls, closing and disappearing from view.

Time seemed to stop still.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 11:40 pm   #125
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DUBAI to SYDNEY (DXB-SYD) on Emirates A380-800 in first class

Eventually boarding was announced. I did the maths for my onward connection on a separate ticket - it was still doable thanks to the generous buffer I'd allowed, but would be tight. The usual pre-departure formalities and some two hours after schedule we pushed back.

About 90 minutes after take off I realised I had not yet been offered a drink (or food) and so I did what I rarely do onboard and use the flight attendant call button. Normal service then resumed.

I managed a few hours sleep, and a few drinks.

Despite our lateness we were delayed further by air traffic control routing us near to Canberra and then a loop past North Sydney to land from the north. I guess they were changing runway direction at an inopportune time for our flight. As we taxiied back to the terminal I spotted a United 747 and a Thai A340-600 parked up at the Oneworld pier. More on this shortly.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 11:41 pm   #126
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Emirates
First Class menu
Dubai to Sydney
January 2011


Bar Service

Aperitifs

Campari - Campari Bitter, Vermouth Sweet/Dry - Martini, Sweet Sherry - Harvey's Bristol Cream, Dry Sherry - Tio Pepe

Beers

A selection of international beers including Heineken, Budweiser and Amstel Light

Cocktails

Black Russian, Bloody Mary, Bucks Fizz, Champagne Cocktail, Cosmopolitan (US routes), Fantasy Island, Kir Royal, Manhattan, Martini Cocktail Classic, Screwdriver, Vodka Martini

Mocktails

Jumeirah Delight

Spirits

Premium Scotch Whisky - Chivas Regal Royal Salute, Single Malt Whisky - Glenfiddich 21 Years Old, Bourbon - Woodford Reserve

Cognac - Hennessy Paradis

Vodka - Grey Goose

Gin - Bombay Sapphire

Rum - Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 8 Anos

Champagne, Port and Wines

A selection of fine wines from internationally renowned vineyards of the old and new world

Liqueuers

Baileys Irish Cream, Tiam Maria, Drambuie, Cointreau


A la Carte Dining

Continental Breakfast

Fruit juices
freshly squeezed orange, grapefruit juice, refresing detox drink made of fresh carrot, ginger and apple or a banana and vanilla smoothie

Breakfast fruits
tropical and seasonal cut fresh fruits

Yoghurt
natural or fruit flavoured

Assorted cereals

Bread basket
a variety of freshly baked breads, croissants and breakfast pastries, served with butter and preserves

Cheese selection
which includes cheddar cheese, brie cheese, bel paese and cream cheese, served with an array of garnishes, olives and celery heart

Hot Breakfast

Scrambled eggs
garnished with fresh chives, served with grilled chicken and pepper cubes, turkey bacon, golden fried roesti potatoes and roasted plum tomato with black pepper seasoning

Plain omelette
topped with an asparagus ragout, accompanied with a cream corn filled tomato cup, steamed new potato wedges with herbs, and sauteed mixed peppers

Ricotta French toast
French toast filled with ricotta cheese and lightly fried, served with a honey and apple topping

Canapes

Selection of canapes
a selection of hot and cold canapes, which includes grilled Thai style chicken on a lemon grass skewer, oven-roasted hammour mahi kebab, mini ratatouille baked potato, marinated mozzarella balls and mixed olives

Appetisers

Iranian caviar
served with traditional accompaniments

Arabic mezze selection
enjoy the traditional taste of the Arabic table, with our choce of mezze individually served to include loubieh bil zeit, baba ghannouj, artichoke and mushroom salad, fresh hommous, and meat kibbeh served warm, with an assortment of Arabic pickles and garnishes

Grilled prawns
served on a bed of rocca and frisee lettuce, accompanied with fruit, walnut and pecan nuts, offered with balsamic dressing

Smoked chicken on a bed of sun-dried tomato and bean salad, with a tangy lemon and olive oil dressing

Salad collection
choose from our range of options which include a mixed leaf salad, with a range of toppings such as crudites, Cajun chicken strips, tikka marinated prawns, crumbled fresh Greek feta cheese and kalamata olives, or shaved parmesan and focaccia croutons. Drizzle your salad with a choice of Italian olive oil, balsamic and olive oil, classic Caesar dressing or a creamy blue cheese dressing

Soups

Spicy pumpkin and carrot soup
served with cheesy puff pastry straws

Double beef consomme
clear healthy beef consomme, served with fine root vegetables

Main Courses

Fillet mignon
grilled and topped with a creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce, served with porcini mushroom flavoured gnocchi, fresh sauteed spinach and asparagus, and assorted seasonal vegetables

Tamatari methi murg
tender pieces of chicken cooked with tomatoes and fenugreek, served with a roasted tandoori sauce, accompanied with stuffed capsicum and jeera pulao

Mixed seafood platter
a medley of grilled salmon, poached sea bream and marinated prawns, with a creamy Pommery flavoured sauce, braised baby leek, roasted cherry tomato on the vine and sliced new potatoes with fresh dill

Pasta bar
enjoy a delicious taste of Italy with our pasta choices of sun-dried tomato ravioli or penne pasta, tossed with your choice of fresh sauces which includes artichoke, spinach and olive, dill pesto sauce, crushed cherry tomato coulis, or four cheese cream sauce, all served with freshly shaved parmesan cheese and basil leaves

Poached sea bream
topped with a light tarragon sauce, a chunky sweet potato mash and sauteed summer vegetables

A la Carte vegetables
as an alternative accompaniment to your main course, an additional variety of vegetables is available which includes roasted rosemary and pepper potatoes, turned carrots with black sesame seeds, grilled leeks,steamed broccoli, vegetable jalfrezi, lemon rice and jeera pulao

Bread basket
a variety of freshly baked rolls and garlic bread

International cheese selection
specially selected international cheeses, matured to perfection and served with a selection of crudites, crackers and dried fruits

Sweet Delights

Mini desserts
gourmet selection of fine miniature desserts which includes mini baked cheesecake with a redcurrant coulis, berry pavolva, and ginger flavoured financier with kumquat compote

Caramelised lemon lime tart
served in a mini raspberry panna cotta, and a sweet passion fruit and strawberry compote

Pecan and walnut tart
warm pecan and walnut sweet tart, served with a sour cherry sauce

Selection of fruits
a seasonal selection of fresh cut fruits

Chocolates
to accompany a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee

Hot Beverages

a selection of the finest quality teas and coffees are available freshly brewed for your enjoyment throughout the flight

Light Bites

Ciabatta deli loaf
layers of beef pastrami, Emmenthal and ripe tomatoes in a soft white ciabatta bread

Beef pie
golden puff pastry filled with tender pieces of beef, served with a warm onion marmalade

Seafood biryani
Gulf style seafood biryani with prawns, hammour and scented rice

Stir-fried egg noodles
topped with marinated chicken skewers with sweet chilli sauce, and steamed broccoli florets

Baked potatoes
served with a choice of toppings, white seafood, tomato and basil salsa, chilli con carne or creamy cheese sauce

Ice cream selection
refresh your appetite from our sorbet and ice cream menu which includes peach and passionfruit, banana and brown sugar ice cream

* Last hot meal orders shall be taken 1hr and 30mins before landing*
EK412-DXBSYDAKL-F-10B_A380


First Class Wine List

Champagne

Dom Perignon Vintage 2000
The very fresh and youthful millenium vintage of Dom Pérignon is soft and approachable. Persistent tiny bubbles race up to the top of your glass, assisting in the release of the subtle aromas of hazelnut, lemon cream, pear and red apple. Ultra fine, with a very active bead that just floats across the palate. Elegant, unobtrusive and balanced. The finish is delightful with lingering stonefruit flavours.

White Wine

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Folatieres, 2008, Henri de Villamont
What makes Puligny-Montrachet so special? Well many things, but primarily; balance, harmony and finesse. In addition, they are noted for having a steely, vibrant core in the very centre of their abundant flavours. 'Les Folatieres' is the best known Premier Cru terrior in Puligny-Montrachet, the vines are richer and fatter than elsewhere in the village of Puligny and hence can be broached quite young. The example here, from Henri de Villamont, shows this angular beauty thoroughly and has a really long and intense finish.

Isabel Estate, Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Marlborough
Crisp citrus fruit abounds here with the elegant Isabel Estate 2008 Sauvignon. This vintage is tighter and more mineral based than some of the recent ones that - in the quest for the Kiwi Sauvignon style - have allowed themselves to become a tad blowsy. This family owned winery makes splendid wines. A perfect aperitif and a joy with seafood and fresh water fish.

Red Wine

Chateau Rauzan Segla, 2001 Margaux
After a very shaky track record in the 70's and 80's, culminating in the property being owned by ex boxer and entrepreneur George Walker. Boxers and Bordeaux were odd bedfellows and it's now owned by the couture house of Chanel. In the 90's Rauzan Segla started making wines befitting its Grand Cru Classe status. Here, the 2001 is drinking beautifully, with hallmark cedar, cassis and roasted herbs. This is quintessential Margauz.

Felton Road, Pinot Noir 2008, Central Otago, New Zealand
After a four year courtship, Felton Road, arguably the finest grower of Pinot Noir outside Burgundy, agreed to let Emeriates take a parcel of their highly sought after wine. Deep into New Zealand's beautifully dramatic South Island lies the region of Central Otago and the ideal terrior for this capricious variety. The top Kiwi Pinot has grace, verve and an abundance of clean raspberry and bramble fruit flavours. The uniqueness is as much about the freshness and soft tannins, as it is about complex fruit definition. Fully organic and biodynamically produced, the Felton Road 2008 is a beauty - and splendid in the air.

St Hallet "Old Block" Shiraz 2005, Barossa Valley
A blockbuster Shiraz from the hot Barossa Valley near Adelaide. The 2005 St Hallet Shiraz displays the hallmark richness, ripe blackcurrant and spicy complexity of the regions best fruit. The sheer weight of the wine is managed splendidly by a clean freshness that gives both balance and a sense of elegance, not often associated with the Barossa. An acknowledged icon wine of Australia, the "Old Block" derives its fruit from vines of 60 to well over 100 years old. The tiny yields these knarred plants gives ensure that this wine is naturally rare. Try it while you can.

Dessert

Chateau Rieussec, 2003, Sauternes
Devotees will need no introduction to this great wine. For the novice, the chance to sip and savour the great 2003 Rieussec is a treat and superb induction to the genre. Honeyed power, great definition and excellent viscosity. Thick and juicy seem simple words for such a spectacular wine, but that is what its like. Perfect with foie gras or as a digestif after dinner, the extraordinary flavours just go on and on.

Warre's, 1980 Vintage Port
The oldest British-owned Port house was founded in 1670 by the Warre brothers. For a 28 year-old Port the 1980 is still a deeply coloured, very impressive looking wine. Very open and mature, creamy, fine, as impressive as its appearance. Broad and expressive of black and raisined fruit, with a massive structure beneath to keep it all together. A small glass is the ultimate digestif.
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Old Jan 26, 11, 12:28 am   #127
 
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Great report Kiwi Flyer! So what is your favourite bubbly out of the selection you tried during these couple of weeks?
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Old Jan 26, 11, 12:33 am   #128
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Probably the one I've had the most of, the 2000 Dom Perignon.
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Old Jan 26, 11, 12:42 am   #129
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SYDNEY

Instead of turning left to taxi to the non-oneworld pier we continued on and pulled up in front of the Qantas first class lounge. It was time for a quick decision. Do I hang around near the gate (perhaps a quick visit to the Qantas lounge through my open door access), or rush to the other pier to the Emirates lounge?

Figuring my next airport transit will be very rushed I did want to have a shower, although I could of course ask for one onboard. The thing that tipped my decision to have a long walk to the Emirates lounge was a fear they might abandon the SYD-AKL-SYD flights for this aircraft in which case I'd need to be rebooked, or alternatively we'd lose more time in transit in which case I'd beg some assistance for misconnecting the subsequent flight.

So when the doors opened I was ready to bolt. Race to security - no mucking around trying to avoid the random pat-down and explosive test as it is much less likely at the transfer security on this pier. Through and up to departures level and race all the way to the lounge.

At reception I was warned our departure is some distance from the lounge on the other pier. Duh - given I'd just come off the aircraft I think I'd realised that already. I rushed to the shower to have a quickie. Just enough time to send a message that I may be late arriving at ultimate destination and boarding was called. A couple of the lounge staff offered to escort everyone to the gate - I suspect this is mainly to make sure no one gets lost and thus holds up the departure even more. I turned down the escort and assured them I knew exactly where to go.

Nearing the gate I noticed the adjacent gate had an Etihad aircraft painted in Abu Dhabi grand prix colour scheme. Today the Oneworld pier is more like the non-Oneworld pier!
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Old Jan 27, 11, 1:39 am   #130
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SYDNEY to AUCKLAND (SYD-AKL) on Emirates A380-800 in first class

The gate area was too small for what appeared to be a full A380 load of passengers. There was a horrendous queue for economy but I squeezed past to get to the empty first/business line. Two steps based the gate desk and I hit the first/business queue in the airbridge (this one has separate lines for upper and lower decks) - the whole airbridge was full.

I only had to wait about 10 minutes in the hot, close air before passengers were allowed onboard and we started moving forward.

Drink & nuts served. Amenities handed out (slippers, mask), menu. Newspapers and magazines offered. More drinks. Immigration card and express arrivals card. More drinks. Boarding seemed to take a while. More drinks.

The crew were proactive in checking onward flights, although naturally priority was given to those who were flying on a single ticket rather than those (like me) flying on separate tickets. Our flight time across the Tasman was expected to be shorter than normal, whether through stronger than usual tailwinds or by applying more throttle I do not know.

I figure I'll either make my onward flight or not, and no point worrying about it. I'll relax and enjoy the flight, rush at the other end and just deal with any consequences later. Yeah, that's the plan.

The flight went by rather quickly and we made up 20 minutes or so and only be 2 hours late.

We had the usual fly over the city and as we were on final approach I realised that once again they'd forgotten to collect my glass. Only one this time so I held on to it carefully as we touched down.

We pulled into pier B (of course since none of the main pier gates have a dual airbridge). I was ready to sprint to try and make my onward flight.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 1:41 am   #131
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Emirates
First Class menu
Sydney to Auckland
January 2011


Bar Service

Aperitifs

Campari - Campari Bitter, Vermouth Sweet/Dry - Martini, Sweet Sherry - Harvey's Bristol Cream, Dry Sherry - Tio Pepe

Beers

A selection of international beers including Heineken, Budweiser and Amstel Light

Cocktails

Black Russian, Bloody Mary, Bucks Fizz, Champagne Cocktail, Cosmopolitan (US routes), Fantasy Island, Kir Royal, Manhattan, Martini Cocktail Classic, Screwdriver, Vodka Martini

Mocktails

Jumeirah Delight

Spirits

Premium Scotch Whisky - Chivas Regal Royal Salute, Single Malt Whisky - Glenfiddich 21 Years Old, Bourbon - Woodford Reserve

Cognac - Hennessy Paradis

Vodka - Grey Goose

Gin - Bombay Sapphire

Rum - Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 8 Anos

Champagne, Port and Wines

A selection of fine wines from internationally renowned vineyards of the old and new world

Liqueuers

Baileys Irish Cream, Tiam Maria, Drambuie, Cointreau


A la Carte Dining

Breakfast

Fruit juices
freshly squeezed orange, grapefruit juice or a refresing detox drink made of fresh beetroot, celery, apple and ginger

Fresh seasonal fruit

Florida cocktail
delices of fresh grapefruit and sweet orange segments

Yoghurt
Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit coulis

Assorted cereals

Main Course

Warm porridge
traditional Scottish porridge oats with warm milk and heather honey

Mixed grill
grilled beef medallion and a veal chipolata, with Boston baked beans, creamy spinach and char-grilled Roma tomato

Spanish omelette
served with a tangy tomato ragout, roasted potato cubes, sauteed button mushrooms and fresh asparagus

Buttermilk pancakes
apple flavoured buttermilk pancakes with a blueberry, and manuka honey yoghurtm served with maple syrup

Cheese selection
which includes goat cheese, basil and garlic cheese, and Swiss cheese, served with dried apricots

Bread basket
a variety of freshly baked breads, croissants and breakfast pastries, served with butter and preserves

Hot Beverages

a selection of the finest quality teas and coffees are available freshly brewed for your enjoyment throughout the flight

EK412-DXBSYDAKL-F-10B_A380


First Class Wine List

Champagne

Dom Perignon Vintage 2000
The very fresh and youthful millenium vintage of Dom Pérignon is soft and approachable. Persistent tiny bubbles race up to the top of your glass, assisting in the release of the subtle aromas of hazelnut, lemon cream, pear and red apple. Ultra fine, with a very active bead that just floats across the palate. Elegant, unobtrusive and balanced. The finish is delightful with lingering stonefruit flavours.

White Wine

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Folatieres, 2008, Henri de Villamont
What makes Puligny-Montrachet so special? Well many things, but primarily; balance, harmony and finesse. In addition, they are noted for having a steely, vibrant core in the very centre of their abundant flavours. 'Les Folatieres' is the best known Premier Cru terrior in Puligny-Montrachet, the vines are richer and fatter than elsewhere in the village of Puligny and hence can be broached quite young. The example here, from Henri de Villamont, shows this angular beauty thoroughly and has a really long and intense finish.

Isabel Estate, Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Marlborough
Crisp citrus fruit abounds here with the elegant Isabel Estate 2008 Sauvignon. This vintage is tighter and more mineral based than some of the recent ones that - in the quest for the Kiwi Sauvignon style - have allowed themselves to become a tad blowsy. This family owned winery makes splendid wines. A perfect aperitif and a joy with seafood and fresh water fish.

Red Wine

Chateau Rauzan Segla, 2001 Margaux
After a very shaky track record in the 70's and 80's, culminating in the property being owned by ex boxer and entrepreneur George Walker. Boxers and Bordeaux were odd bedfellows and it's now owned by the couture house of Chanel. In the 90's Rauzan Segla started making wines befitting its Grand Cru Classe status. Here, the 2001 is drinking beautifully, with hallmark cedar, cassis and roasted herbs. This is quintessential Margauz.

Felton Road, Pinot Noir 2008, Central Otago, New Zealand
After a four year courtship, Felton Road, arguably the finest grower of Pinot Noir outside Burgundy, agreed to let Emeriates take a parcel of their highly sought after wine. Deep into New Zealand's beautifully dramatic South Island lies the region of Central Otago and the ideal terrior for this capricious variety. The top Kiwi Pinot has grace, verve and an abundance of clean raspberry and bramble fruit flavours. The uniqueness is as much about the freshness and soft tannins, as it is about complex fruit definition. Fully organic and biodynamically produced, the Felton Road 2008 is a beauty - and splendid in the air.

St Hallet "Old Block" Shiraz 2005, Barossa Valley
A blockbuster Shiraz from the hot Barossa Valley near Adelaide. The 2005 St Hallet Shiraz displays the hallmark richness, ripe blackcurrant and spicy complexity of the regions best fruit. The sheer weight of the wine is managed splendidly by a clean freshness that gives both balance and a sense of elegance, not often associated with the Barossa. An acknowledged icon wine of Australia, the "Old Block" derives its fruit from vines of 60 to well over 100 years old. The tiny yields these knarred plants gives ensure that this wine is naturally rare. Try it while you can.

Dessert

Chateau Rieussec, 2003, Sauternes
Devotees will need no introduction to this great wine. For the novice, the chance to sip and savour the great 2003 Rieussec is a treat and superb induction to the genre. Honeyed power, great definition and excellent viscosity. Thick and juicy seem simple words for such a spectacular wine, but that is what its like. Perfect with foie gras or as a digestif after dinner, the extraordinary flavours just go on and on.

Warre's, 1980 Vintage Port
The oldest British-owned Port house was founded in 1670 by the Warre brothers. For a 28 year-old Port the 1980 is still a deeply coloured, very impressive looking wine. Very open and mature, creamy, fine, as impressive as its appearance. Broad and expressive of black and raisined fruit, with a massive structure beneath to keep it all together. A small glass is the ultimate digestif.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 2:26 am   #132
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AUCKLAND to WELLINGTON (AKL-WLG) on Air New Zealand 737-300 in economy class space+ seat with koru hour

I raced to immigration, went through quickly thanks to smartgate and rushed off to customs. There was a bit of a queue in the NZ & Australians nothing to declare lane but it was moving fast. I opted to remain in this line rather than switching to the priority arrivals lane. My reasoning was in the priority lane I'd be stuck behind several cabin crew and the lane opens out to a single x-ray machine. The lane I'm in has 3 x-ray machines, and there is a chance of bypassing if directed by the customs officer. And so it turned out - a bit more time queueing but then a quicker exit. I did my usual trick of turning right immediately landside so as to avoid the throng of people greeting their friends and families. This saves more valuable seconds.

I rushed out to the bus stop in case an inter-terminal bus was about to leave. No sign of it and I don't want to wait up to 20 minutes for the next one so I rush across to the domestic terminal. No queue at security and so I'm airside in the lounge a mere 15 minutes after arriving at pier B international. Not bad at all - normally it takes 30-60 minutes on a good day. Although I'm now in need of a deep breath of relief and a refreshing drink in the few moments before boarding is due. It is days like this that Air NZ's auto check in at time of booking (for domestic flights) pays dividends - as long as you are at the gate before doors close you can go on the flight, none of this check in cut off 30 or 60 minutes prior to departure.

There was a short delay in boarding. After all that rushing to make the flight I could have gone a little slower. Oh well at least I made the flight which was looking unlikely. When the flight was announced the gate for the Christchurch flight was given in error. Then the same mistake was repeated a minute later. At least I hoped it was an error and made a point of double checking at the gate just in case.

The flight was full, as expected for late afternoon on the busiest route in the country. This was a koru hour service, thus newspapers are offered onboard and the usual snack and drink selection of water, tea, coffee, casava crisps, biscuit, and fruit jelly pieces; are replaced with wine (brancott sauvignon blanc or chardonnay, or some other winery merlot*), L&P, water, casava crisps, 2 pieces of cheese + 2 crackers + 2 grapes, and bagel bites + hummus dip. The passenger next to me complained about the lack of hot drinks. I offered to take his wine

I did a bit of reading to catch up on news while I was away but stopped once we reached Mt Taranaki as skies cleared affording fine views of the mountain, Cook Strait, Farewell Spit, Tasman Bay & D'Urville Island, the Marlborough Sounds and the Kaikoura & Richmond Ranges. Ahhh I never tire of this fine view.

We made up some time en route.

Since we landed a few minutes late I ambled out to the bus (no point rushing as I'd just missed one).

*sorry I didn't make a note of the winery.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 2:04 pm   #133
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Thank you very much for a fine trip report Kiwi Flyer I look forward to all your Christmas reports and try to hold off until mid-January before I start reading them.
I must admit that people keep saying that First Class is not worth the airlines in keeping, my only remembered trip in QF First was good but Mrs Blackcloud and I did not think it was enough over Business Class with First Lounge access.
From your report and the menus, I keep thinking of ways on how to travel it.
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Old Jan 30, 11, 11:18 pm   #134
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Added bonus

In the following week or so I had some trans-Tasman flights in business class which offer a contrast to the Emirates first class and Qantas business class flights on similar routes. I'll post these extra flights shortly.
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Old Jan 31, 11, 12:50 am   #135
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WELLINGTON to SYDNEY (WLG-SYD) on Qantas 737-400 in business class

A few days later I was up at OMG o'clock and headed back to the airport. There is no point in arriving too early for these early morning departures since immigration at Wellington only opens at 4:30am. When I arrived there was a long queue at economy check in and just one person who was finishing up at the line for business, one world emerald and sapphire and qantas club.

I was quickly checked in and given 2 boarding passes. I was invited to pay the $25 departure tax, only credit card accepted (no cash) to save queueing at travelex. I don't think the economy class check in offers this service. I already had a departure card (pre-filled in on the way to the airport) so no need to collect one of those at the counter.

I noticed the departure monitors had an error, displaying the Pacific Blue flight to Brisbane with 2 different times (over an hour apart). Oh dear that will confuse some people.

Immigration was open and without a queue thanks to the passenger in front of me who hadn't bothered to fill in a card. He was to one side and I was asked to skip past him by the immigration officer. No queue at security either and the screeners were more interested in talking amongst themselves than bothering me with a pat down/explosives check so I sauntered through the duty free shop and into the lounge. Inside I had a coffee to stay awake until boarding and caught up with some messages.

The lounge was moderately full but rather subdued given the early hour. Some breakfast foods but these were ignored by most. No newspapers yet - it is too early for a delivery. Boarding was called not too much later. This lounge has a back door opening to the gate so no queue to board. There is no boarding pass reader, though, so stubs are collected for cross-checking.

I boarded fairly late. Business class was moderately full but I had an empty seat adjacent. We were offered a pre-departure drink of Charles Heidsieck champagne, orange juice or water. A menu was handed out. The 737-400 does not have personal tvs and so personal DVD players are handed out in business class, after take off. The DVD menu was already in the seat pocket and I perused this while I waited. The December 2010 to January 2011 DVD listings were
- Made in Dagenham
- Buried
- Tomorrow, When the War Began
- The Kids Are All Right
- Get Him to the Greek
- Dinner for Schmucks
- Legend of the Guardians : The Owls of Ga'Hoole
- Ramona and Beezus
- Q Comedy (The IT Crowd, The Simpsons, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Two and a Half Men, Glee)
- Q Variety (Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Blunders and Wonders Ashes Special, Inside the Actors Studio : Micky Rourke, Undercover Boss)
- iQ (The Making of Modern Australia, Forest Elephants, Kokoda)

The safety video was the new one featuring John Travolta. I thought it was fairly boring, but perhaps I've been spoiled by Air NZ lately?

After take off there was a hot towel, DVD players and DVDs handed out and breakfast served. Unsure if I would fall asleep I opted to watch one of the shows instead of a movie.

The flight passed quickly - in seemingly no time at all the DVD players and DVDs were collected and we were on descent for Sydney. For once we had a straight in approach, but of course it was to the eastern runway so a moderate length taxi into the terminal. Except we didn't get to use a gate, instead pulling up at a stand down by the freight area. There were a couple of other aircraft also parked up here disgorging passengers. Yup, early morning in Sydney is rather busy at the international terminal.

We had a short wait for stairs to arrive. Then into a bus. They tried getting as many people into the bus as possible. For a moment I thought they were hoping to fit all of us into one bus load - not realistic for a fairly full flight and a not very big bus. Eventually the driver decided we were sufficiently squashed up and could fit no more in and we drove the length of the oneworld pier alongside the taxi way and doubled back in behind the aircraft to the bus gate arrival door about 100 metres from where we started about 5 minutes ago.
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Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jan 31, 11 at 1:49 am. Reason: forgot about safety video
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