Imagine my reaction when I see one being delivered later on a tray to another passenger across on the opposite window seat? And I’ve been offered only an old omelette made hours before in an airline kitchen. Of course I have to comment, and Hubert’s lame excuse that he didn’t sleep well doesn’t really wash. But he’s forgiven this once.
That’s about the only complaint I have on the SWISS experience from Zurich into Bangkok. Another excellent flight! How did I summarise the SWISS experience after my San Francisco to Zurich flight? Gentle, discreet, it is!
I promised to write you about SWISS on the Asian leg.
A Swiss friend tells me of talk that the Lufthansa Group is looking to position SWISS First as their marque product. After my two flights, I think they are doing pretty well. The Lounge in Zurich is quiet with a dining room and an excellent buffet. Like Lufthansa in Frankfurt, they transfer me right to the gate at boarding time.
SWISS International service has that feeling of quality that was so much more ‘showy’ in earlier days of air travel. I recall when a stewardess with hem to the calf would wheel a big red lobster down the aisle on a white linen-covered trolley. The only difference today being that my dark red river crayfish (a wonderful colour) complete with claws is no larger than a prawn and comes in a small glass. The sweet meat from each tail is not much bigger than a school prawn.
How many tails did it take to concoct my delicious Crayfish cocktail? It’s nearly as decadent as the four weeks-old baby roast lamb I enjoyed in Santiago de Compostela last month.
The Wine Selection is excellent. Hubert brings me two of the three whites to taste. I start on a rather intense and aromatic Pinot Gris from a young Zurich producer, and then switch to a full-bodied Chablis from Burgundy, which I think I prefer.
The fillet of Swiss Balik Salmon with blinis and sour cream is as delicate and delicious as that on the San Francisco flight. And the intensity of flavor in the Cream of Sweet Corn soup, paired with the undeniable taste-similarity of popcorn floating on top has to be the result of many ‘reductions’.
I’m a fish man, particularly at midnight, and I choose the Monk Fish medallions. I love the touch of chopped red chili in the gremolata on a Spaghettini with orange cream sauce. As an added touch, the on-board chef brings me a plate of steaming hot ratatouille and a delicious small vegetable I’ve never seen or tasted before – Romanesco broccoli, or sometimes called Roman cauliflower.
Did I indulge in dessert? I wouldn’t tell you if I had. But I am recalling seeing Amarena cherry meringue. I must have dived in because I can remember the crunch and flavor of caramel hazelnuts on top of the cherries!
I talk about food and not the seat. Actually, I have half the cabin to myself again. Obviously, I appear to be enjoying myself working on a video of my travels in iMovie. The offending egg man, Hubert, notices and offers to make up my bed in the seat in front, so I can go back and forth during the night if I wish. I put the movie making away and take to my great lie-flat bed, and sleep peacefully.
On arrival in Bangkok, there’s a well-groomed young lady at the gate to accompany each FIRST passenger individually through Immigration, collect the baggage from the belt, then she escorts me through Customs, and out to the car.
I’m back at my favourite hotel, the Metropolitan, next to the Banyan Tree. After all these years, I wonder if it’s losing its shine?