On the way back from Guinea

Jul 10, 2009

It is often said that airplane food is terrible.  It most often is.

Unless you fly First or Business class, domestic flights are indeed feeding you badly, and most often you have to pay extra for it.

But one airline does understand that a nice flight includes a nice meal – no matter where you sit.

Air France.

Here is what the tray looked like when it appeared in front of me:

The menu was printed as follows:

Meal Service

Tabbouleh with tuna

Choice of main course
Curried chicken accompanied by rice with raisins
Filet of barracuda with sorrel and mushrooms, dauphinoise potatoes au gratin


Fruit salad

Crème caramel

Coffee and tea


Upon request

Jacquart Brut Mosaïque

White Wine
Vin de Pays d’Oc Chardonnay 2008 La Baume

Red Wine
Vin de Pays d’Oc Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 La Baume


Mineral Water

Soft Drinks
Schweppes (Indian Tonic)
Schweppes (Agrum’)
Pepsi Max

Fruit Juice

Coffee and Tea

Brandy and Liqueur

This was probably the best meal I’ve ever had on a commercial flight.

Even though the tabbouleh was low on parsely and mostly made of couscous, and the tuna was from a can, it was not bad.  The baracuda was tender and moist, the potatoes were nicely done. The cheese, a camembert from Président, was half-decent, the bread was fresh, the fruits were alright, and the crème caramel was not the worst I’ve ever had.

All in all, a very decent meal.

Which is a good thing, considering the long layover I had at Charles-de-Gaule. Exhausted, I could not sustain myself in the Food Court, which was closed, and could not bring myself to indulge in caviar from one of the Expensive Duty Free Stores in Terminal 2E.

I had the choice between an Illy coffee shop and an Exki outlet.  I hesitated, passing the time reading, playing some games on the courtesy PS3 machines in the terminal or on my own PSP, and even was able to get some micro-sleep. After hesitating, I finally settled for the Belgian chain.

Exki’s philosophy is to serve high-qualiy fast food, “offering natural fresh produducts (sic) at all the times of the day.”  Their motto? “Natural, Fresh, Ready.”

Their fare is simple: salads, sandwiches, soups.  They claim not to use any additives, and some of their products are organic, such as their bread.

I decided to go with something simple, so I picked the Louise from their Vitalis selection , which was only 376 calories: homemade cooked ham and gouda cheese, served with a honey mustard dressing on an organic bread made with Malt.  The bread was of a very good quality, with nice tasty flakes of cereal.  The ham was also very good, nice and thick.  They were a bit cheap on the cheese, and they could have added more honey mustard as the sandwich was a tad dry.  Thankfully, I had a Coca-Cola to help me out.

Even by airport standards, at 9.60 Euros, this was a pricey meal.


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