Monday, 28 February 2011

mushy flights

Cream Dory + crispy noodles
Qatar Airways is one of the seven airlines given a 5-star rating by Skytrax. I decided to try flying with them last Christmas after a not so great flight w/ my usual favourite, Emirates. My friends rate QA highly but I've been forewarned that Doha Airport isn't that great. Saying that, I had high expectations for the airline's qualilty of service, entertainment and most importantly, the food.

I was super looking forward to the trip but Sod's law did not evade me once again. A bit of drama on the flight out and getting stranded on the return trip. Ah yes. I'm doubtful of getting on this airline again...


I've knocked a few glasses of sauvignon blanc at the seafood bar in Gatwick before the flight so I was quite peckish by the time we took off. I checked the menu and for dinner, it was a choice of a lovely sea bass curry or boring pork sausage and mash. I obviously asked for the sea bass but unforch, I've been told they ran out. I don't eat pork sausage (because the last two times I had sausage I felt sick and have since avoided it like the plague) so I asked them whether they can give me something else.

They said they can give me a tray without any mains. Meaning I can have the sides (a leafy salad, a piece of bread, a small chocolate square and the drinks). WOW. LIKE ARE YOU SERIOUS? Yes, apparently they were. Or if I wanted, they could give me rice. Boiled rice. WOW. I SHOULD BE SO GRATEFUL.

See the thing I'm so irked about is that other airlines such as Singapore Air or Emirates (which isn't even rated 5-star) would sort you out with other options coming from different cabin classes, or would offer you an alternative meal. They'd make sure you have something more substantial than the sides. I made sure they knew about this and unfortunately 'THERE WAS NOTHING WE CAN DO'. Let the girl starve then. I was really really really pissed off so I told them to forget the meal and just get me a glass of white. Which I didn't get either. Pricks. I slept the night away and didn't bother having anything to eat. I gave the crew dagger looks the whole time they passed and they looked down in shame.

It didn't help that the food selection in Doha Airport was, to be polite, not that appetising. I finished two tubes of Pringles and was so famished I would've eaten my seatmate on the flight to Manila.

I wanted so scream hallelujah when I caught sight of the trolleys coming out of the kitchen. It was a choice between lamb stew or creole crab cakes and I went for the latter because you don't really get a lot of creole/cajun type of restaurants in London (I actually don't think we have any!) and I've missed the taste of Louisiana/New Orleans. They came in two, served with steamed rice and green beens. I liked this, except each bite melted in the mouth before I could even savour the flavour which was a real shame because the flavour was bang on. The crab flavour championed the whole dish but there was a side show of mustard, lemon and spice. Real shame they came a bit too soggy for my liking.

I could care less for the side of pasta salad. The penne was a bit too thick and rubbery to enjoy and the tomato salsa didn't taste fresh at all.


Remember when my flight got delayed in April because of the volcanic ash? Well. This time around I got stranded in Doha. I'll talk about that some other time. Squee.

As it was a morning flight, we were to be served brekky. I don't eat eggs and I'm pretty sure omellettes would be on the menu. I took the other option which was a turkey (thank heavens) sausage. I knew it was to be served with scrambled eggs but figured I can chuck it out of the way and just munch on the bangers.

I lifted the foil lid and was greeted with this:

Having that sinister yellow blob hanging from the lid threw me off a bit. I had to scrape it off the foil and poked it just to see whether it's fluffy - (unsurprisingly) it wasn't. It felt like a yellow version of Blu-Tack that's been left close to a portable heater - slightly melted and more pliant but still a firm adhesive. I was also surprised that the turkey sausage was actually too sweet, almost as sweet as pinoy longganisa but the brown sugar was more subtle. There were also bits of chopped garlic which had a bit of a foul aftertaste. And they were surprisingly mushy again - a step firmer than vienna sausages but falling behind jarred hotdogs. I like sausages hot and firm like a proper kulmbacher bratwurst at a German Christmas market.

Thank God for fruit. And thank God for the meal after!

We were served a cream dory fillet on a bed of crispy noodles in some outstanding sauce I shamefully forgot the name of. This was great. The steamed fish may have been SUPER SLIGHTLY overcooked (and was yet again a bit mushy) but the noodles and vegetables were crispy enough to add a nice texture to the dish. I wanted to ask for another serving and tell them I didn't get any food during one of the trips but decided against it. I was too mushed out. 

So there you have it. The whole dining experience via Qatar Airways was... so-so. Presentation was a downer (clear plastic pots!) and service was off-putting. The whole palaver about no alternative food options was enough to really get me whinging and not recommending them. I doubt I'll ever fly with Qatar again to be honest. I guess I'll stick with Emirates/Singapore Air and just keep my fingers crossed that they'll have better food this time.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leng,
    I just read Cristine's lastest travel post where she linked your website. I'm in love with your food page! I've also met Cristine in multiply years ago and I'm so glad that we also met here in Berlin last year.

    My first experience with Qatar Airways was last year in July when I went to Pinas to visit family. I was also disappointed because some friend of mine told me it's a great airline and rated as a 5 star airline. DOH Airport was horrible and the food and service of Qatar was so so... In my oppinion totally overated. I'll stick with Singapore, Thai, Malaysia Airlines and KLM. =)