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GF006 London Heathrow (LHR) - Muscat Seeb International (MCT)

Date: 10 March 2007
Departure (scheduled): 20:25
Arrival (scheduled): 07:55 +1
Aircraft: Airbus 330-200
Cabin: First
Seat: 2A

As I stepped onto the aircraft, my boarding card was checked by the Sky Chef (Gulf have an onboard chef for first class passengers) and I was escorted to my seat 2A. For a long time it looked like I was going to be the only first class passenger, but eventually another gentleman turned up and sat in 1A.

This aircraft was equipped with the Sleeper Seats which are arranged in two rows of 1-2-1 abreast. They convert to fully flat beds and have a large TV in the bulkhead (which also doubles as a companion seat if there are two of you). The seats are extremely comfortable and roomy - certainly more so than BA's first class seat, the only other international first class seat I've so far experienced.

Before take off I was offered champagne and rice biscuits, which were both copiously topped up . It was obvious that with only two of us in the cabin, the service would be exemplary on this flight. We pushed back on time and the cabin crew informed us of a flight time of just 6h 15m - a little too short for my liking (it's easy to say that when you're sat up front!) Strangely, nothing was heard from either the captain or the first officer at any point throughout the flight - the first time I've ever experienced such a thing.

I was presented with my three menus - the meal menu, the wine list and the bedside dining menu - the latter being a list of snacks which you can order at any time throughout the flight. The Sky Chef dropped by my seat to take my orders for dinner.

DINNER

A Selection to Start

Arabic Mezze
A variety of Middle Eastern hot and cold dishes or marinated artichoke, vine leaves, makdoos, hummus babaghanoush, warm falafel, samboosa potato kibbe, served with Arabic bread

Broccoli soup
Blended with cheese and herbs

Grilled prawns
Served on green asparagus and mixed lettuce black olive vinaigrette


Main Course

Cod fillet Sayadia
Middle Eastern style fish and rice dish flavoured with cumin beans and red pepper

Chef’s Recommendation ("Fish with rice and vegetables")

Herb and gruyere cheese chicken
Duo of mignons with a cheese and herb crust, snow peas and tomatoes, pesto sauce

Spinach tagliatelle pasta
With fennel and tomato sauce, shaved parmesan cheese


A Sweet to round off

Corsican Peach cheesecake
On a biscuit base wrapped in vine leaves, topped with sweet roasted peaches, clooted cream and stone fruit coulis

Seasonal fresh fruit

International cheese

 

BREAKFAST


To start

Seasonal fruit juices

Strawberry energy drink

Seasonal fresh fruit

Selection of cereals with full cream or low fat milk

Natural or fruit yoghurt


From the bakery

Thick white and brown toast, glazed fruit pastries, croissants, muffins and Arabic bread


Main course

Eggs prepared on board by your Inflight Chef: scrambled, fried, poached, hard or soft boiled eggs and omelette with your choice of sautéed mushrooms, char grilled tomatoes, steamed green asparagus spears, hash brown potatoes, chicken chipolata

Cinnamon French Toast
Pan seared egg coated toast slices, oven baked peach hand berry compote

Arabian Breakfast
Traditional foul madames, roughly mashed broad beans, fresh diced capsicum, tomato and onion, flavoured with cumin

 

WINE LIST

Champagne
-
Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Brut 1998
 

White Wines
- Pouilly-Fume Les Genievres 2005, Guy Saget
- Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2005, Bouchard Aine
- Bellingham Spitz Chardonnay 2003

Red Wines
-
Chassagne Montrachet Rouge 2003, Bouchard Aime
- Chataeu Haut Lagrange, AC Pressac-Leognan 2000
- Delheim Shiraz, SImonsberg 2003

Dessert Wines
-
De Bortolli Noble One 2004

 

BEDSIDE MENU

Available throughout your flight, served to your bedside within 15 minutes

Fish and Chips
Pieces of fish in light tempura style batter with oven baked potato chips offered with your choice of sauce

Create your own Salad

Arabic mezze
A variety of Middle Eastern hot and cold dishes or marinated artichoke, vine leaves, makdoos, hummus babaghanoush, warm falafel, samboosa potato kibbe, served with Arabic bread

Parsnip curry soup
Crème fraiche and North Sea shrimps

Omelette prepared by your in-flight Chef
With your choice of tomato, cheese, capsicum, chives and smoked salmon

Create your own Toasted Sandwich
With your choice of Turkish bread or sliced white or brown bread, tomato, cucumber, rocket lettuce, baby spinach, roast chicken, goat cheese, black olive tapenade and garlic mayonnaise

International cheese

Seasonal fresh fruit
 

I chose the prawns to start and followed this with the chicken. The prawns were lovely. The chicken was good too, if only a little overcooked. For dessert I went for the fresh fruit. The presentation of the food was unrivalled in my opinion, although the choice on the menu could have been a little more extensive in my opinion.

During the meal I watched the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale on the in-flight entertainment system. Unfortunately it had been significantly cut down from the cinema version with many of the best scenes removed so that it fitted in the allotted time slot for the movie cycle. Therefore as soon as I finished eating, I bedded down for what remained of the flight.

Or so I thought - I was awoke with about 1h 30m left to run into Muscat and not feeling too bad after only about 3 hours sleep I decided to have some breakfast, which consisted of poached eggs, hash browns, mushrooms and chicken sausage. It was very good, although again the eggs were slightly overdone.

Descent into Muscat was fairly quick, and the airport was obviously empty at this time in the morning, with only a sole Gulf Air A320 in evidence on the apron.


Gulf Air First/Business class lounge at LHR

On board photos - cabin

On board photos - food