Having boarded the plane via our designated air bridge, we were greeted by name on the plane by our air stewardess who showed us to our seats. We were offered a pre-departure drink and I opted for a diet coke. It is a shame that Malaysia Airlines do not offer any alcoholic drinks (i.e. Champagne) on the ground so we will have to save the good stuff until we are in the air.
Malaysia Airlines First Class seats are amongst some of the widest on offer in the industry. Certainly larger than the seats offered by other rivalling airlines I have travelled with. In fact the seat is wide enough to fit the both of us. The seating layout is 1-2-1 providing isle access for all passengers. Today’s load was 5/8
The First Class cabin is located on the lower deck which is more spacious than the upper deck. However, because of the curvature of the fuselage, there is plenty of dead space between our seat and the airplane windows. Malaysia Airlines have also done away with overhead storage to give the cabin an even bigger, airier feeling. Instead you can either store your bags under the ottoman in front of you or the friendly air stewardess will kindly store any larger bags in the lockers beneath the stairs. There is also a personal wardrobe with cloth hangers for you to store your suits or any other clothing items.
There are 2 lavatories on the lower deck designated for the 1st class passenger although they are a lot smaller than the lavatories on the upper deck which are designated for the Business class passengers. For me it would have made more sense to have the First Class cabin on the upper deck with the lower deck reserved exclusive for Economy travel but these are really #FirstWorldProblems.
With a glass of Diet Coke in hand, our flight attendant presented us with a black folder containing the wine list and menu. Our orders were taken before take-off and I asked for the table to be set up so that I could dine together with my fiancee.
One of the benefits of the spacious seating layout is that it allows couples to dine face to face. Whilst this option is available on many other airlines, the ottoman seat is often very narrow and uncomfortable. This is certainly the case on BA’s First Class product. Here, the ottoman is as wide as your seat so your dining partner can also dine in relative comfort.
After a short taxi (and plenty of plane spotting) we were ready to go. Take off was very smooth. That is one thing I really like about flying on the A380 with its quad Rolls Royce Trent engines – despite its size, the cabin remains relatively quiet and you hardly feel the plane taking off.
Once we were up in the air and the seat belt sign had been turned off, the flight attendants cracked into action. First off, a glass of champagne to start of course! Malaysia Airlines has recently changed the champagne served on First Class from Dom Perignon 2004 to Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’ 2005. I am really happy with the change because I love Taittinger’s blanc de blancs champagne – I drank it during my graduation.
Soon after our table was set up and their signature Satay trolley was wheeled around. We both opted for a combination of chicken and beef satay along with all the garnishes of cucumber, onion and compressed rice (nasi himpit). We were also offered some sambal on the side in case we wanted to spice up our satay dipping sauce. Bearing in mind the constraints of serving in the air, Malaysia Airlines’ satay is probably the best version encountered in the air. A bit different from what you would find on the streets of Malaysia, but nevertheless very tasty.
After polishing up our satay, our table was laid and we were offered some bread (hint: go for the garlic bread!) before our next course of caviar and smoked salmon with all the traditional garnishes. Another few couple of glasses of champagne then please!
For our main course, both of us opted for the chicken rendang with rice. My fiancee reckoned that this had to be the best food she has had on board an airplane and I could not agree more. With our main course, we drank some Guigal Cote Rotie ‘Brune et Blonde’ 2009. We were both too full for desserts, but I did finish our meal with a plate of fruits as is tradition in Malaysia.
Without asking, our flight attendant had turned my bed down having overheard that I was planning to have a snooze after lunch. I did stay up for a bit watching a short movie and drinking more teh tarik but soon passed out from my food and alcohol induced coma.
Click here for Part 3 of our trip!