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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst... and 10 years of blogging

Burnt butter and popcorn fairy floss at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst

Ten years. That's how long I've been blogging Grab Your Fork. Things have changed so much in the world of blogging (for the first two years at least I had to swap the words "food blog" for "food website" just so people knew what I was talking about) but one thing remained the same: my love of food.

Okay I tell a lie. Even my love of food has changed. Ten years ago, nothing excited me more than the idea of a buffet. Degustations were an intimidating luxury, but something I was fascinated by all the same. Starting a blog in 2004 gave me an outlet for writing, it gave me an excuse for eating (hell yeah!), but over the years it's also made me realise how little I know about food, and how much more there is to learn.

Cafe Paci at the former Cafe Pacifico site, Darlinghurst
Cafe Paci on the former Cafe Pacifico Mexican Cantina site

Over ten years I've eaten at and blogged about a lot of meals. This is post number 1,759. These days I get more excited about street food abroad and local family-run casual eateries than most fine dining. There's a sense of honesty and soul in cheap eating, but at the more expensive end of town, expertise and creativity can sometimes harmonise into a wonderfully bewildering ride for your tastebuds.

Fancy degustations with truffles and foie gras can be a treat, but a deftly guided adventure into unchartered territory with the commonest of ingredients can often feel much more rewarding. That's really why I enjoyed my recent meal at Cafe Paci so much, a temporary pop-up by ex-Marque chef Pasi Petanen on the former Cafe Pacifico site in Darlinghurst.

Cafe Paci dining room, Darlinghurst
Cafe Paci dining room

They've kept much of its former Mexican cantina history intact, from the brightly coloured stairs leading you up from the street, to the neon sign out the front. All they've done to the sign is remove some of the neon tubing, converting Cafe Pacifico to Cafe Paci - to be pronounced just like his name, Pasi says (it's pah-si).

On the dining room floor, however, the chairs, tables, walls and floorboards are a sea of monochromatic greys. The only bursts of colour come from people's clothing, and the food that arrives on each plate.

Crispy barramundi skin, sweetcorn with togarashi and rye crostini with dehydrated duck at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Snacks: salt and vinegar crispy barramundi skin, sweetcorn with butter and shichimi togarashi, and rye crostini with dehydrated duck

The seasonal degustation menu ($85) reveals only a list of ingredients, many of which don't seem to go together at first glance (malt, banana, parsley... really?). We start with "snacks" and it's only when the waiter arrives with our first set of plates that we learn (and see) what we'll be having.

The curls of crispy barramundi skin have a tangy salt and vinegar seasoning that gets our tastebuds roaring into gear. Discs of juicy sweetcorn look more like wagon wheels, coated liberally in shichimi togarashi, a Japanese seasoning made from seven spices that includes chilli pepper, black sesame seed and nori seaweed.

It's hard not to marvel at the wafer-thin rounds of rye crostini, but the dehydrated duck is even more entrancing, like a pile of snow that's settled across a swathe of butter and one fallen rose petal.

Rye taco with sticky rice, egg butter, sour onions and chives at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Tribute to Cafe Pacifico: rye taco with sticky rice, egg butter, sour onions and chives

Cafe Pacifico gets another acknowledgement with the final snack, a rye taco filled with what sounds like a nonsensical mix of sticky rice, egg butter, sour onions and chives. The tastebuds hear a different story, the flavours melding together into something strangely reassuring and comforting.

Fermented potato and rye bread with molasses at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Fermented potato and rye bread with molasses

I'd been looking forward to the rye bread ever since it popped up on my Instagram feed. The sheen on the loaf is incredible, a coat of molasses that lures us in with its faint smell of sweetness.

Fermented potato and rye bread with molasses at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Inside the potato and rye bread

The fermented potato and rye bread takes three days to make. We score half a loaf each, served with a pat of house-made butter. The bread has a reassuring weighty density but the crumb itself is soft and springy. The molasses adds a hint of toffee to each mouthful of chewy and slightly sticky crust.

Blue swimmer crab with sorrel and plum at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Blue swimmer crab with sorrel and plum

I'm blown away by the blue swimmer crab with sorrel and plum. There's an impressive level of elegance and restraint in its presentation: three little mounds of crab hidden beneath overlapping slices of plum. The plum adds a refreshing lightness to the crab but its the flavour of the crab itself that is a marvel - after hand-picking the crab meat, the juice from the crab is incorporated into the mayonnaise, creating a flavour so intense it feels like you're standing knee-deep in water and eating it straight from the sea.

That's Amore Angus tartare at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
That's Amore: Angus tartare, tomato, parmesan, garlic and oregano

We'd already tried That's Amore at Rootstock Sydney. They don't serve it in a pizza box here, but the combination of hand-chopped Angus tartare, tomato, parmesan, garlic and onion tastes just like our waiter describes: "a bit like a calzone". Toasted rye breadcrumbs add a textural crunch. It seems a little bit of a shame to overwhelm the sweetness of raw Angus beef with so many other flavours, but I reckon if you weren't already a fan of tartare, you'd be easily won over by this rendition.

Onion with lemon vinegar, mullet roe and hazelnut at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Onion, lemon vinegar, mullet roe and hazelnut

Onions don't often get centre stage, but here they're given star billing. White pearl onions are cooked in lemon vinegar then served up with a sauce made from sea mullet roe and bonus nuggets of toasted hazelnuts. It's sweet and salty, nutty and creamy, and working your way gradually through the flower of onion petals is way more fun that it should be.

Photato at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Photato

The photato is Petanen's riff on the classic Vietnamese pho noodle soup. It's a much richer interpretation with slices of Rangers Valley beef seared briefly on one side, deep-fried garlic chips, chargrilled lemon, watercress, enoki mushrooms and a starchy huddle of potato string "noodles".

Even though there's a puddle of broth reduction at the bottom of the bowl, there's quite a leap between this dish and a bowl of simple but nourishing pho filled with bean sprouts and Vietnamese basil. There's enough to make you stop and think though, and the melting lushness of the beef is definitely worth mulling over quietly.

Monte Veronese di Malga cheese with buckwheat crackers at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Optional cheese course $15: Monte Veronese di Malga 

The cheese courses between savouries and dessert are optional but we go with one of each "in the name of research". The pile of finely shaved Monte Veronese di Malga is as light as air, served with onions cooked in pear juice and crinkled sheets of buckwheat crackers. It's the fanciest version of cheese and onion crisps you'll ever have the pleasure of experiencing.

Dehydrated chocolate mousse at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Optional cheese course $15: Gorgonzola with dehydrated chocolate mousse 

I'm a sucker for blue cheese but the idea of pairing gorgonzola with dehydrated chocolate mousse sounds wildly bizarre, even to me. And you know what? It works. Brilliantly. The tiles of chocolate mousse aren't overly sweet, and they play off deliciously against the oozing river of blue. The nutty and sweet notes are amplified even more with nibbles of prune paste rolled in sesame.

Eating Monte Veronese di Malga cheese at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Cheese time!

Carrot, yoghurt and liquorice dessert at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Carrot, yoghurt and liquorice

We'd been scratching our heads over the notion of "carrot, yoghurt and liquorice" and there are no further clues when we first clap eyes on the swirl of white placed before us. A spoon plunged through its core reveals a bright orange core that turns out to be carrot sorbet, and a foundation of deep brown ends up being a layer of liquorice cake.

The cake is imbued with just enough liquorice to hold its own against the carrot sorbet. The whipped yoghurt foam hits your tongue briefly and then seems to disappear with a sigh. Together they combine to create some kind of crazy harmony on the palate that has us all scraping the bottom of the bowl clean. Even the liquorice-nervous among us are besotted.

Malt, banana and parsley dessert at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Malt, banana and parsley

Who says parsley can't be part of the dessert fun? A sprig of candied parsley sends all kinds of mixed messages between what we understand parsley should be, and what this parsley clearly isn't. The quenelle of parsley sorbet - bright green and deliriously smooth - drives home how much we blindly pigeonhole so many ingredients. It's a perplexing sensation and I can't quite shake the feeling I'm eating tabbouleh ice cream. No, really. Then there's the bitter dark chocolate mousse rolled in a chewy layer of malt against a gently flavoured banana puree. Brain says "Ow".

Burnt butter and popcorn fairy floss dessert at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Corn and butter

Fairy floss is something the brain definitely understands, especially when the compacted cloud of spun sugar is rolled in burnt butter and smithereens of popcorn. It's like watching a movie at the fun fair - fistfuls of fun.

Chocolate-coated crackling with fennel petit four at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Pork and fennel

And because crackling makes everything better, the petit fours are chocolate... draped around tiles of crackling and sprinkled lightly with fennel seeds. Crazy but true.

Burnt butter and popcorn fairy floss dessert at Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst
Burnt butter and popcorn fairy floss

The good news is that Cafe Paci's initial twelve month lease has been extended for another six months. They'll be open until January 2015 but I recommend you get there sooner.

And as for ten years in blogging, thanks for all your comments, suggestions, friendships and more importantly, simply coming along for the ride. Thanks guys. You all rock.

Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst


Cafe Paci on Urbanspoon

Cafe Paci
95 Riley Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9368 7000

Opening hours
Lunch: Fridays from 12pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm


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Seasonal degustation - Sixpenny, Stanmore

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/17/2014 12:07:00 am


Sunday, April 13, 2014

How Do They Make Airplane Food? Emirates Flight Catering and Emirates A380 Business Class Review

Plating Business Class meals during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering

Airplane food. How do they do it? If you've ever wondered how an airline gets a meal from the kitchen and into that airplane trolley, this post has all your answers.

Preparing airplane food is no easy feat. It's a tightrope operation involving meticulous logistics on a grand scale. There's no room for error either. Every flight needs its meals on-time and delivered onto the plane before it departs. Nothing can be forgotten. Once the plane takes off, there's no turning back.

Behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Emirates Flight Catering in Dubai

My recent media trip to Dubai was sponsored by Emirates and as part of our itinerary, we visited the Emirates Flight Catering facility on a behind-the-scenes tour. Security is paramount here. We need to pass through two security checkpoints before presenting ourselves at the security desk. Here we hand in our forms declaring we are free from any infectious and communicable diseases, sign a log book and surrender our passports before walking through security X-ray machines.

After donning white coats and hair nets (plus beard nets for some!) we descend into the belly of the building.  Here all deliveries are scanned by Dubai police - not Emirates staff, to prevent any conflict of interest - before being released into the de-boxing area. To prevent infestations from bugs or rodents, all deliveries are removed from pallets and de-boxed before transfer into the supply storage area.

Elimination of possible contamination is of utmost priority. In the kitchens they even have a de-glassing area: any products in glass jars or bottles are kept here and their contents must be transferred to plastic containers before use in the kitchen. This minimises the risk of glass contamination should a glass container be accidentally dropped in food preparation areas.

Airplane food trolleys during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Returned airline service trolleys waiting for sorting

There are airline service trolleys as far as the eye can see in the post-flight sorting section. All food items inside the trolley must be discarded. The crockery and plastic trays are re-used after going through high pressure dish washers.

Stacking crockery for washing during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Stacking crockery for the dishwasher in the Warewash

Clean crockery during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Clean crockery and trays

Corridor leading to the kitchens during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Entering the kitchens

The Emirates Flight Catering Facility is enormous but then again, it needs to be. They process 150,000 meals every day through this facility. On a good day they'll process 155,000 to 160,000. The facility runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are 1600 to 1800 staff onsite at any time.

Gold Standard sample for visual accuracy during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Gold Standard sample for visual accuracy

The kitchen area is where most of the action happens. Consistency is vital, we're told, and each area has a Gold Standard reference to ensure every item looks as similar as possible.

Buttering bread using gloves during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Speed buttering with gloves

How do you butter thousands of bread rolls with maximum efficiency? This guy just uses gloved fingers to dip and spread butter during his shift. He moves like lightning. Everyone here works with their head down and at rapid pace.

Bread roll assembly during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Bread roll assembly

Threading olives onto toothpicks during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Threading olives onto toothpicks

We're told that staff rotate jobs here to prevent RSI and boredom but I don't envy the person who has to thread olives onto toothpicks as part of their shift!

Assembling cheese platters during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Did somebody say cheese?

There's a ripple of excitement when we spot the cheeseboards being prepared for Business and First Class passengers. Cheese? Yes, please.

Selecting grapes for cheeseboards during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Selecting grapes for the cheeseboard

Attention to detail is clearly a priority, as we watch grapes being carefully sorted and selected for addition to the cheeseboard.

First Class entrees preparation during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
First Class entrees

Business Class and First Class meals are a step up from the Economy Class foil trays most of us are used to. These meals are fancier in presentation (and ingredients) and are carefully plated up on Royal Doulton fine bone china.

Tuna tartare entrees for First Class during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Tuna tartare entrees for First Class

Housemade baklava during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Baklava dipped in chocolate made inhouse

All of the Arabic pastries used on-board are made inhouse. Arabic foods are an integral part of Emirates catering, and they prefer the ability to quality-control inhouse, an option they admit is available in Dubai because of relatively cheap labour costs here.

Housemade Arabic pastries during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Arabic pastries

Preparing giant stew during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Giant stew 

The kitchen is filled with industrial-sized pots and grills. Everything is made here on a grand scale.

Chicken skewers and sausages during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Chicken skewers and chicken sausages being portioned for Economy Class

Economy Class meals are portioned into aluminium trays. All meals for all classes are blast chilled to 2C-3C and then heated if required on-board the aircraft.

Visual menu guides during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Visual menu guides for each flight

Each flight has different meals for each passenger class, with each to be plated exactly the same. In addition to photos in the hallway, we notice that every assembly line has a folder propped open with photos of the meal they are currently working on.

Plating Business Class meals during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
To ensure easier traceability, one employee is responsible for assembling all Business Class and First Class meals on a single flight

Traceability enables Emirates to identify the source of any problems or issues easily. Assembling the Business Class and First Class meals sounds like fun until we find out that one employee is made responsible for both classes of meals on a single flight. Pressure!

Dessert trays for Business Class during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Dessert trays for Business Class

Loading up a trolley for Business Class during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Loading up a trolley for a Business Class flight to Japan

Assembly line for Economy Class meal trays during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Assembly line for Economy Class trays

The Economy Class meal trays involve a multi-staff assembly line. It looks more like a factory as trays as moved down the line at rapid speed, each person adding two items before the conveyor belt moves it forward to the next person.

Assembly line for Economy Class trays during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Each person on the assembly line is in charge of placing specific items onto the tray

Cutlery polishing zone during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Cutlery polishing station

There are shrieks and giggles when we approach the cutlery polishing station. The women here look like they're having a grand time chatting and gossiping as they polish each item of silverware.

Rolling cutlery packs int napkins during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Rolling cutlery packs into napkins for Business Class and First Class

The silverware is by Robert Welch, packed into rolled napkins for Business Class and First Class passengers.

Preparing Economy Class cutlery packs during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering'
Preparing the cutlery pack for Economy - the lady in front is in charge of toothpicks

The plastic-wrapped cutlery most of are used to in Economy is made up on a detailed assembly line with a partitioned conveyor belt moving through several staff members. The belt moves at such speed, each person barely has time to add one item before it moves through a machine that seals everything inside a plastic packet.

Flight Preparing Monitoring tracking during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Flight Preparation Monitoring program tracks when each meal class has been completed

Multiple flights are being worked on at the same time. The Flight Preparation Monitoring program tracks when each meal class has been completed. An entire flight row must be completed with green ticks before it can be loaded for delivery to the aircraft.

The peak period is in the early hours of the morning as 40% of Emirates flights leave between 7am and 11am.

Dispatch zone during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Dispatch zone

Catering is delivered to the aircraft about 1-2 hours before scheduled departure. Cooking for each meal commences 12-14 hours beforehand. Tray assembly begins 4-5 hours prior to flight departure.

Trolleys loaded with meals ready for delivery during a behind-the-scenes tour of Emirates Flight Catering
Trolleys loaded with meals being moved into the lift for delivery to the airplane

We're also surprised to learn that Economy has a meal load of 100%. That means no extra meals of any kind which would explain why you sometimes miss out on the chicken or beef. Business class is loaded with 120% and First Class is loaded at 150%.

Emirates Flight Catering facilities are also responsible for the food in the Business Class and First Class lounges at the airport.


Emirates Business Class Lounge, 
Sydney International Airport

Emirates Business Class lounge dining buffet at Sydney International Airport
Emirates Business Class lounge at Sydney International Airport

We missed out on an upgrade to Business Class on our flight from Sydney to Dubai, but we were granted guest passes for the Business Class lounge. It's a welcome oasis of peace and quiet compared to the usual pre-flight chaos and of course the free food and alcohol buffet are more than welcome distractions.

Emirates Business Class lounge bar, chicken pies, massage chairs and Bateel almond-stuffed dates at Sydney International Airport
DIY bar area, chicken pies, massage chairs and almond-stuffed dates by Bateel

You could easily eat a full meal here and then skip onboard and go straight to sleep. Shower facilities here come with complimentary towels and toiletries but I head straight for the free massage chairs instead. Bliss.

Steak on sweet potato roesti with onion rings at Emirates Business Class lounge, Sydney International Airport
Steak on sweet potato roesti with onion rings in the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Sydney


Emirates Business Class Lounge, 
Dubai Airport

Business Class lounge pastry selection during breakfast at Dubai Airport
Business Class lounge during breakfast at Dubai Airport

After an intensive itinerary in Dubai, we were surprised with an upgrade to Business Class for our return flight to Sydney. The lounge area is much larger than the one in Sydney but there are also a lot more people.

Moet champange on ice in the Business Class lounge at Dubai Airport
Moet champagne on ice

The buffet has a range of options that include smoked salmon, croissants, sausages, scrambled eggs, roti and curries. It also has direct access to the boarding gate, allowing you to relax comfortably until the flight is well and truly ready to board.


Emirates Business Class, 
A380 Dubai to Sydney

Business Class seating on Emirates in the A380
Business Class seating on Emirates in the A380

There's a great thrill about walking toward the signs marked "Business Class" as the economy plebs (oh how soon we forget) trundle with resignation toward their cattle pens. Our Emirates flight back to Sydney was on the A380 airbus which has configured all of Economy onto the main deck and First Class and Business Class passengers on the upper deck.

I turn right into Business Class but still try and sneak a glimpse of the mystical First Class section. According to the Emirates website, each of the 14 First Class suites have private fully stocked mini-bars, a table, mirror, wardrobe and a sliding door that enables increased privacy. There are also two onboard shower spas! Mile high hairwash, anyone?

Arrival champagne and orange juice in Business Class on the Emirates A380
Arrival champagne and orange juice 

But I'm still grinning with glee as I settle into my Business Class seat. It's easy to spot the newly upgraded passengers, taking selfies in their seat while the regulars go straight into sleep mode. Cabin crew move quickly through the cabin offering glasses of champagne or orange juice and take care to address each passenger by name.

Business Class has a staggered 1-2-1 seating configuration which means every passenger has unrestricted access to the aisle.

Arrival champage, personal minibar, deluxe nuts with Bloody Mary and Bvlgari amenities kit in Business Class on the Emirates A380
Welcome champagne; personal drinks bar; deluxe nuts with Bloody Mary; and Business Class Bvlgari amenities kit

I'm stoked to discover each Business Class seat has its own (non-alcholic) drinks bar which comes stocked with Voss still water, Perrier sparkling, cranberry juice and two kinds of soft drink. Most importantly, each seat comes with power sockets - two USB ports and a universal power point to fit any appliance required in-flight. Entertainment options are comprehensive with a huge playlist of movies, TV shows and games on their ICE entertainment system. The screen is huge. You can also pay for satellite Internet, with prices starting at US$7.50 for 5Mb of data.

The Bvlgari amenities kit for females is a little bit fancy too, packed in a reusable Bvlgari make-up bag. Even the usual peanut pack is upgraded to a deluxe mix that includes macadamias and what look like the world's biggest cashews.

Business Class seats with extended footrest on the Emirates A380
Business Class seats with extended footrest beneath the seat in front

But let's be honest. The biggest difference between Economy and Business Class is the luxury of space when it comes to seating, especially the seat pitch (the distance between one point on a seat to the exact same point on the seat in front).

Emirates Business Class seats have a seat pitch of 48 inches of 1.2 metres. This is a 50% increase on Economy which has a seat pitch of 32-34 inches or 81-86cm.

Business Class seat pitch and flat bed configuration on the Emirates A380
Business Class seat pitch and flat bed configuration

And when you're faced with the reality of a 14-hour flight, are there two words more magical than flat bed? Methinks not.

The Business Class seat extends to fully flat bed that cleverly lines up with the extended foot rest beneath the seat in front. That meant my 5'8" frame could easily lie down flat. Bed time couldn't come fast enough!

Business Class lunch menu options on the Emirates A380
Business Class lunch menu choices from Dubai to Sydney

The range of options for lunch is staggering with four different mains to choose from.

Traditional local Arabic mezze entree Business Class lunch on the Emirates A380
Traditional local Arabic mezze for entree

I chose the local Arabic mezze for entree and was super impressed with the punchy flavours of the babaghanoush, the hommous, the tabouleh and dolmades vine leaf. It came with rounds of flat bread and having only just seen the logistics behind the Emirates Flight Catering facility, I thought this dish looked remarkably fresh.

Prawn biryani main Business Class lunch on the Emirates A380
Prawn biryani

My prawn biryani main looked simple on the plate, but the sauced up prawns were addictive with a delicious level of heat. The basmati rice was wonderfully aromatic and tasty with spices. The individual grains were distinctly fluffy and separate too.

Cabin crew serving Business Class lunches on the Emirates A380
Cabin crew serving Business Class meals

Business Class meals are served separately by course. This means each course is at optimal eating temperature but it also means that a three course meal will take about an hour to receive and consume. Given the amount of eating we'd done in the previous week, I skipped dessert (quelle horreur) but I was keen to get to know my flat bed. And you know what? It was brilliant. I fell into a deep sleep for a couple of hours.

Emirates A380 Business Class onboard lounge at the rear of the upper deck
Emirates A380 Business Class onboard lounge at the rear of the upper deck

But let's say you wake up hungry. Or you're sick of watching movies and need to stretch your legs?

Head on down to the onboard lounge! Business Class has an onboard lounge at the rear of the upper deck. The First Class onboard lounge is at the very front.

Horseshoe bar in the Emirates A380 Business Class onboard lounge
Cabin crew take turns to man the horseshoe bar

The onboard lounge includes a free-flowing bar, lounge seating and hors d'oeuvres. It's a bizarre feeling to wander up to the horseshoe bar and request a drink from the bartender, manned in turn by cabin crew from Business Class.

Passenger lounges in the Emirates A380 Business Class onboard lounge
Lounges with seat belts for use during turbulence

It's even more surreal to sit on the curved leather lounges, nursing a drink and chatting with fellow passengers. During periods of turbulence, passengers need to return to their seats or sit on the lounge and use the seat belts.

Hors d'oeuvres in the Emirates A380 Business Class onboard lounge
Hors d'oeuvres 

Mini bagels, canapes, fruit skewers and desserts line the bar and countertop. At one point there are so many people back here, the bar feels more like a party. A polaroid camera is even pulled out by a steward at one point, with passengers encouraged to pose behind the bar.

Flying has never been so much fun, and as I bite into a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, I pause and think, I know exactly where you came from!

Desserts in the Emirates A380 Business Class onboard lounge
Desserts

Grab Your Fork visited Dubai as a guest of Dubai Tourism. Flights and the tour of its catering facility was provided by Emirates



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Dubai 2014: Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and camel milk chocolate

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/13/2014 10:14:00 pm



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