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Emirates First Class Culinary Journey – Introduction
On my recent journey from Toronto to Colombo, I had the pleasure of experiencing an aspirational bucket list item, the Emirates First Class from Dubai to Columbo. I booked this flight as part of my journey from Toronto (YYZ) to Colombo (CMB) for just 145,000 Aeroplan points. This was a mixed cabin booking, as the first leg of the trip from YYZ-DXB (Dubai) was in economy, while the second leg from DXB-CMB was in Emirates First Class. This also gave me access to the Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai. The 3hr 50-minute flight from DXB to CMB was on the Boeing 777, which was not equipped for the ‘Shower in the Sky’ experience. Despite that, it was a truly memorable experience with Dom Perignon Champagne, caviar and some high-end spirits that retail for over $5,000. Plus, being the only one in First class cabin for the flight, I had the whole crew to myself, and Emirates knows how to spoil their sole First-Class passenger. One of the perks of the flight was access to the First-Class lounge in Gate B in Terminal 1 at DXB Airport. Spoiler alert: while the food and lounge were impressive, the service was subpar.
Emirates First Class Lounge – Fine Dining Experience
The Emirates First-Class Lounge in Gate B is a haven of luxury. Upon entering, I was greeted by a tranquil setting dominated by a mesmerizing water fountain display, surrounded by comfortable leather couches.
A little further, there was a well-stocked mini bar offering rejuvenating mocktails designed to combat jet lag, relieve stress, and boost energy. Additionally, there were fruit and yogurt pairings, providing a delightful, healthy treat.
The lounge extends into a corridor leading to washrooms and, eventually, the grand dining hall. The spacious and regal dining area provides passengers with a la carte and buffet options. The bar boasts a selection of high-end spirits, including Chivas 18, Royal Salute 21, and Moet Champagne.
While incredibly impressed with the fine food options in the buffet section, I chose to indulge in the a-la-carte fine dining experience in the lounge. The exclusive seating area and the table presentation was sport on, and imbibed fine dining etiquette.
My culinary journey in the lounge started with the Nankin Soba Ramen appetizer — a bowl bursting with flavours from a rich chicken and fish broth, ajitsuke tamago, katsu chicken, and other ingredients, all beautifully complemented by nankin soba ramen noodles. My main course was the succulent Waygu beef tenderloin, although there were minor hiccups with the accompaniments. For dessert, I was spoiled for choice, ultimately settling on the decadent Manjari 64% dark chocolate.
However, the experience wasn’t without its flaws. While the initial service was impeccable, the attentiveness waned as the meal progressed. It was somewhat challenging to catch the attention of a server post-meal. Additionally, contrary to the convenience found in most first-class lounges, the lounge in Gate B did not provide direct access to the gates, necessitating a 10-minute walk to board my flight.
Dubai’s Emirates First Class Lounge offers world-class amenities and a fine dining experience. While there is room for improvement in service consistency, the lounge remains a must-visit for travellers seeking an elevated airport experience.
Emirates First Class B777 – a Foodies journey
Reminder that this 3hr 50-minute flight from DXB to CMB was on the Boeing 777, which was not equipped for the ‘Shower in the Sky’ experience. However, the cabin was stunning, and the culinary journey was a gastronomic affair that exceeded all expectations.
Even after indulging in three courses at the First Class Lounge, my culinary adventure was far from over. The flight commenced on a lavish note, with a bottomless glass of the iconic Dom Perignon, setting the stage for the following exquisite courses.
My palate was first teased with an amuse-bouche of caviar, complemented perfectly by its traditional
I was served cumin jumbo prawns paired beautifully with a fresh papaya salad and a tangy tamarind dressing for the appetizer. The marriage of the earthy spice from the prawns with the sweet papaya was a harmonious blend, a testament to the chef’s prowess.
The main course was a delectable journey to Sri Lanka with the Chicken Biryani. This dish’s chicken marinated in aromatic spices was slow-cooked with rice and generously garnished with fried cashew nuts, onions, and raisins. Although tempted by another Sri Lankan delicacy, the Devilled potatoes, I found the biryani impeccably seasoned with a generous serving of chicken.
Dessert was a nostalgic treat: the Wattalapam. This Sri Lankan coconut custard pudding, with subtle notes of cardamom, served alongside Kithil treacle (palm tree molasses), transported me back home. Its authenticity was impeccable, rivalling the traditional preparations I so adore.
Beyond the meal, what truly set the experience apart was the attention to detail by the cabin crew. They noticed my interest in the spirits menu and orchestrated a custom whiskey/cognac pairing exclusively for me. The spirits showcased were nothing short of elite, from the luxurious Hennessy Paradis and Tesseron Cognac Lot 29 XO Exception to the esteemed Dalmore King Alexander III Single Malt. Even as I requested moderation in the pour, the crew’s enthusiasm was evident as they generously showcased the best in their collection.
Emirates First Class Culinary Journey – Takeaway
For a short 4-hour flight I was impressed with the cabin experience despite the absence of an amenity kit or pyjamas . While a minor weather-induced delay marred the journey, the exceptional service of the First Class crew more than compensated. They promptly initiated my whiskey/cognac tasting, ensuring my experience remained unhindered. My maiden Emirates First Class flight was a symphony of flavours, impeccable service, and unparalleled luxury.
If you enjoyed this report, you can check-out my other culinary adventures here. Happy travels!