A few days ago I boarded on to Flight BA2012 for some first class experience. It was definitely a wonderful birthday present for me, as I love dining out on good food. I could not believe my friend said he got tickets and that I would be going. It was all sold out by the time I looked.
If you was just about thinking where did I flew off to, or feeling a bit confused what is this girl talking about. Then let me fill you in with the background of Flight BA2012. It is actually a pop up restaurant that has been temporary set up in East London. A combination of an art gallery with a mini cinema and a dining lounge designed based on a first class cabin. It is to celebrate British Airway as the official carrier partner for London Olympic and Paralympic 2012. It has also given the chance of three individuals in art, food and film to showcase their talent.
When we arrived at the doors of the venue which looked like an exclusive VIP event, we were greeted by two smartly dressed men, who directed us inside to a lady to collect our boarding pass for the dinner lounge. We were advised that we would be boarding shortly but before then we can wait at the bar for drinks and snacks. There was a DJ playing and many people chatting away with their glasses and munching away on the complimentary snacks.
Each boarding pass came with a free glass of champagne which you can claim at the bar. A great way to start of the evening after work with a glass of bubbly.
Finally we were announced that we could board and headed to the dining lounge where we would prepare to have dinner in a first class cabin. At the entrance we were greeted by three air stewards, where one showed as to our designated seats.
There were even cabin windows designed and it had moving clouds like if you were flying.
The dining lounge was designed like a plane cabin with the alley way. With the different that we actually had chairs and table, but all keeping to the branding of British Airway.
Each tables was really beautifully laid out, with each placed with a menu and information of the winner Simon Hulstone in the food category. He and his mentor the famous Heston Blumenthal designed the menu and the food for the dining lounge, which will also be inboard British Airways flights over the summer. It is food that they feel will be able to served when you are flying high in the sky. They are dishes that take inspiration from the airline’s menus from the last London Olympics as far back to 1984.
The whole dining lounge experienced was a 3 course meal for £50. As you do on the plane we did have dishes to choose, which had a selection to cater for meat, fish and vegetarian passengers.
Our dining experience started with a selection of sliced breads that was served on a wooden plate. There was a good selection and one that looked liked brown bread had a cheesy taste and more moist then bread.
Before even beginning our starters we were served an appetizer of smoked salmon tartare with radish salad and creme fraiche. It was a refreshing with a tangy flavour to it, and it had a combination of soft and crunchy texture. This was definitely a good appetizer to open up a meal.
Starters there was two selections, either the salad of golden beet root, peppered goats curd, micro watercress and an elderflower dressing, or what open selected the rillette of Brixham mackerel, dill pickled cucumber, dashi jelly and crisp sour dough croutes.
The flavours on this starters was powerful from the mackerel so it was right that all the other ingredients is there to compliment it all. It definitely did felt it balance the whole dish. The dill pickled cucumber was actually nicer then it sound. When I saw pickled cucumber I thought of that sharp sour flavour, but instead it did not have any of that flavour. Instead it was a slightly warmed, soft cucumber which tasted a bit sweet but refreshing, with a smoked flavour to it.
Main was choosing from a selection of three dishes. There was a vegetarian choice of duck egg with roasted onion consommé, lemon thyme, gruyere cheese and tapioca. Salad of mustard leaves and salted walnuts. Sounded interested but was not appealing then the other two main dishes we choice.
Braised British beef, grain mustard and horseradish mash, confit of young carrots and hispi cabbage. This was a dish with powerful horseradish flavours. We actually felt the mustard and horseradish was too strong that the rest of the ingredients got lost in it.
I had the sustainably sourced ‘fish pie’ with a warm tartare sauce. The flavours was more balanced on this dish and the combination of all the ingredients went well together. But although I can represent fish pie as British, the flavours of the tartare sauce was more Asian/Oriental. As it is a British airline we expected a more British flavour as I feel we should showcase more of British food then what has become a trend of fusion food.
Desserts are always my favourite and we had two dishes to choose. I had the lemon curd cheesecake with a raspberry and basil compote. A light lemon cheesecake which had the right amount of lemon. A mild hint of the lemon just enough so it can combine well with the rest of the flavours on the plate. I usually try not to go for lemon cheesecake because it usually has a really sharp kick in the lemon. However, this was perfect and the cheesecake too had a crunchy glaze like you would find on creme brûlée.
The chilled chocolate fondant with a salted caramel centre, roasted hazelnuts and sugar tuile was one for a sweet tooth or a chocolate fan. This dessert was like a chocolate mousse with a combination of various flavours and textures.
We finished our meal with petit fours which was a colourful selections of macaroons, jelly sweets, brandy snaps and chocolates. All to be washed down with a cup of tea from fortrum and maison.
It was a great experienced overall and I had a great evening from food by Michelin-star chef Simon Hulstone. It was cleverly designed menu with both starters and desserts are cold. So leaving just the main serve warm and would be the only thing that required warming up when served onboard a flight.
After a wonderful first class cabin dinner, we went to the BA2012 cinema to watch the film work from Parsanna Puwanarajah. He was the winner of the Great Briton film category for writing the script BOY. You can watch the finished work on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzfiwPEk-oM
This was followed by being back in the bar to admire the work of Pascal Anson who is the winner of the Great Britons art category.
The only thing it was missing at the dining lounge was the turbulence, captain announcement and the first class cabin chairs and table. Do first class really get served their food on plates as nicely presented as we did at the lounge?
3–10 Shoreditch High Street,
(Opened: 4–18 April excluding weekends and bank holidays)