HKG-TLV LY 076 Monday 13th November (20:55-03:10) First Class
No limo this time round, as we were transferring to EL AL at HKG
after a Dragonair flight from Shanghai! Checkin was pretty quick, and we were informed that there would only be three passengers in First on our flight (my mother was no longer travelling with us, as she had travelled on to Perth from Shanghai).
EL AL does not have their own lounge in HKG
, so we were sent to a commercial lounge (whose name I cannot remember). There was plenty of food available, but it was not kosher - EL AL had taken the trouble to point this out at the lounge, however, considering that they fly once a day from HKG
one would think that some arrangement could have been made. Virgin have kosher food available in their lounge at JFK
, for example!
On to the aircraft, a 777 in which EL AL has just one 2-2-2 row of First Class seats. As I have written before, the seats may not be state of the art, and they may not be 'private suites', but they do their job eminently well. We were in seats H and K. The other passenger was at the far side in A.
The usual pre-flight drinks were offered (Israeli 'Champagne style' wine, orange juice, water, and the option of a variety of cocktails which neither of us tried, but which are reputed to be very good).
Soon after takeoff we were asked if we wanted to eat now, to which we replied in the affirmative. Tables were laid and menu cards presented. Here is a transcript of the menu:
Aperitif served with
Kalamata Olives, Corn Chips and Spicy Tomato Dip
Warm Bread Selection
Duo of Roast Duck & Chicken Salas on a Bed of Crisp Greens
Snow-Pea and Green Bean Salad with Roasted Pumpkin Cubes
Dill-Scented Marinated Salmon
Soup of the Day
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Beef Stew with Vegetables and Sauteed Mushrooms
Stir-Fried Chicken with Szechwan Sauce
Fillet of Salmon in Teriyaki Sauce
All served with wild and basmati rice and vegetables
Lettuce and Assorted Baby Leaves
Sesame-Soy Vinaigrette or Olive Oil & Lemon
Warm Apple Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Marquise with Red Forest Berry Ragout
Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee, Espresso, Assorted Teas
As I have written in past trip reports, EL AL are very liberal with their menu selections in First Class, and always seem to carry ample extras.
I had already decided to 'do the menu', as on many previous occasions! So off with the appetizers, all of which were quite excellent. In fact, my wife (who doesn't usually eat all that much on the plane, even in First) also had more than one starter. Someone who didn't want a hot meal could have really enjoyed just the starters. The soup, however, was a disaster. I was, I admit, rather surprised, as the soups from TLV
, NYC and LHR
on EL AL's First have always been good, and I was led to believe that the HKG
catering was one of EL AL's better ones. What can I say? The soup was tasteless and loaded with cornflour. Never mind, on with the feast! Next we took the fresh salad, and then the main course. Of the three choices, the beef was very tasty but tough. However, the chicken (very spicy) and the salmon were both really excellent. One thing I ought to point out is that reading my trip reports may give one the feeling that EL AL's portions are small. That would be a major mistake, as they are pretty generous. However, I do have a rather large appetite (whose calorific effects I mitigate with a very serious exercise program!) and, knowing that the food on board is likely to be good, I avoid much heavy eating beforehand! By the time dessert came we only had room for one choice, so we took the Chocolate marquise, which was very good.
The wines offered were the same as on the outbound leg, so nothing new to report here, other than to say that one never tires of really good wines!
Next we had our beds made, and settled down to sleep. We both slept pretty well, and next on the list was going to be breakfast! Nothing to add here, as it was pretty much the same as the outgoing journey.
we were met at the door of the aircraft and escorted to Passport Control and baggage collection. From there we were taken to the limo driver and off home, after almost a month away!