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September 15, 2014 / oneworld82

Lufthansa delivers yet again: FRA-ALA on Lufthansa First Class

Flight LH648, Aug 22nd, 2014

Airbus A330-300, 1:30p-11:59p

First Class, Seat 2A

Driving to the plane on a Porsche is always a fun experience – especially because you truly feel like a VIP when you board (come on, who hasn’t grinned at the envious looks that people boarding in economy class give you once you come off your Porsche?).

Once on the plane, I was escorted to my seat by a most lovely flight attendant. I walked to my seat and… surprise! The A333 was equipped with new First AND Business Class. That was an incredible present, as the 1st class tool online showed this flight operated by a not-yet-retrofitted plane. My delight was total.

My seat was just as I remembered it: comfortable, wide, classy. Lufthansa First Class cabin is really an explosion of understated style if you ask me, and I just love it. For once, I think the color scheme is perfectly classy but still adequate for a business type of clientele. That dark brown perfectly mixes with the cream panels found around the cabin. The TV is great and, while the entertainment choices aren’t on par with other carriers (say, Cathay Pacific), the overall quality is good. Also, while you do not have a suite that is so much en vogue these days in the skies, each seat has a privacy screen that is so high that it provides perfect privacy whenever one needs/wants it.DSC_0208 DSC_0209 DSC_0210 DSC_0216 DSC_0221 DSC_0222 DSC_0217

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My flight attendant came by asking me whether I wanted something to drink, and I got some sparkling water, that was promptly delivered with the biggest (and yummiest!) macadamia nuts I have ever seen!

Sparkling water and mac-nuts

Sparkling water and mac-nuts

After a few minutes, the purser came by to introduce herself and to tell me that if I needed anything to make my flight more pleasurable I would just need to ask. Take note, other airlines! Before taking off, menus were distributed, together with amenity kit and pjs. Unfortunately, the amenity kit wasn’t a RIMOWA one, but a Braun Buffel’s.

Amenity kit and pj

Amenity kit and pj

We pushed back on time, and the captain announced an early arrival given that the flight is only 5 hours 50 minutes long. Once airborne, the service started almost immediately with lunch (given the relatively short flight time). My FA came to take my main dish order, and I opted for the shoulder of lamb (I couldn’t decide between that and the halibut; I perhaps made the wrong choice). I decided to go with lunch right away to catch some sleep before landing, but I think it would have been wiser to ask for dinner to be served just prior to landing like I did for my FRA-DXB flight last year – I would certainly have enjoyed it more, but overall, the meal was going to be very good.

The menu read as follows:

Caviar from Service Cart
Caviar with the traditional Garnishes

Choice of Appetizers
Lobster Medallion with Cherry Tomato Compote, Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese and Olive Oil
Slices of medium-rare Saddle of Veal on green Asparagus, Caper Cream
Lettuce Cream with Feta Cheese, Pimento Chutney, sweet and sour marinated Cucumber
Mixed Leaf Salad with Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Olive accompanied by Yogurt Lime Dressing or Grape Seed Oil

Choice of Main Courses
Grilled Tenderloin of Beef with Red Wine Peppercorn Glace, Polenta, Leaf Spinach and glazed Onions
White Halibut poached in Olive Oil with Oriental Water Melon and Date Confit
Braised Shoulder of Lamb with Gremolata, Eggplant Caviar and Fregola Sarda, roasted Pasta Pearls
Fried Slices of Pretzel Dumplings with Chanterelle Mushrooms à la Crème and Wild Herb Salad

Selection of Cheese and Dessert
Mölltaler Almkäse, a Carinthia Alp Cheese, Normandy Camembert, Rosso di Langa, Blu di Bufala and Cabrissac with Apricot Mustard Marmalade
Chocolate Cake with Raspberries, Rose Jelly and Raspberry Sorbet
Mascarpone Cream with Cherries and Pistachio Ice Cream

Also, she asked me whether I want something to drink, and I got a glass of the always excellent Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle. Divine! The drink came back with an amuse-bouche consisting of some lemon jelly-thingy that tasted ok (I don’t usually like jelly stuff, but I again appreciate the creativity).

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle

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Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

After let’s say 15 minutes, my table was set from the tray, and I was given a choice of breads. I got some rye one – very fresh – and some olive oil for dipping. Shortly after, the same flight attendant appeared with the caviar cart. I got a generous serving with all the works and a glass of grey goose vodka (let’s be clear: it’s all brand and here is not much substance to it, but I at least appreciate that LH tries to get well-know vodka brands to its customers). The caviar was as excellent as always, and the vodka just complements it perfectly. Given all that Russia is causing in Ukraine, I don’t feel like praising it too much… but I must admit that Russians gave the World a great gift with both caviar and vodka 🙂

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Details, details!

Details, details!

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Today we were only four people in the cabin: myself, a German businessman, a Kazakh woman, and a pilot in uniform. The service, as consequence, was pretty fast (especially because the woman slept almost the entire time). After eating all my caviar, the appetizers cart appeared. I got all three of them (just to give them a try, you know), but I declined the salad (which looked amazing btw). The lobster medallion with mozzarella di bufala was exceptional. The mozzarella was oh-so-good, creamy, and tasty/fresh (almost like burrata!), and the lobster was super fresh. The veal cheeks dish was equally as good – the meat was very tender and the filling tasty. The cucumber one was good, although the least favorite of three (for me, at least).

Appetizers

Appetizers

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After a refill of my champagne, the main dish followed. The presentation was michelin-star restaurant level, which I appreciated. Overall, the dish tasted good, but not great. Two notes: some parts of the lamb were perfectly tender but some other were still “nervy”, which tells me not all the fat had melted or that it wasn’t the best piece of meat; the pasta side was bland, in typical German fashion. The stuffed eggplant was excellent, and the reduction over the lamb ws well. Overall, like I said, it was good, but I think the halibut would have been a better choice.

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While eating I enjoyed “Fading Gigolo” on my IFE system. While the movie was bashed upon by critics, I found it entertaining (but again, I might be biased since I am a big Woody Allen fan).

To finish the meal, the cheese and dessert cart was brought out. How wonderful that cart looked…! All that beautiful, appealing cheese that I decided to pass because I was feeling too full. Aargh how much I regret it now. But it’s ok, my waistline is probably happier that way 😉

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I did not pass on the dessert though. The mascarpone mousse with pistachio ice cream was simply too good looking (and too good tasting!) to pass on. And oh boy, it was delicious!

After cleaning my tray I asked for the bed to be done, which happened promptly. The padding is very soft on Lufthansa, and the blanket is top notch. I managed to catch 2h30m sleep on a 5 hours flight – quite remarkable if you ask me 🙂

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When I woke up we still had 50 minutes to go before landing. I got myself a couple of glasses of orange juice to re-invigorate myself and then went to the restroom to change and refresh. We arrived on time in Almaty, and prior to deplane I had my flight attendant take this picture of me.

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Overall, it was another great LH First Class flight. Both the product and the service are top notch, and I enjoyed it very much. Only the shoulder of lamb wasn’t quite on par with the rest of the flight, but given that this was only the first “main dish” I was mildly disappointed with on 4 LH F flights, I won’t be complaining too much. 🙂

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By the way, immigration in Almaty was a breeze. Now that citizens of the top 10 investor countries do not need a visa anymore, it literally took me minutes to enter the Land of Kazakhs. A new adventure was about to begin…

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