I fly Turkish Airlines very often as it was one of the few airlines that go to Tel Aviv with reasonable connections starting from Singapore. And Istanbul is a fun airport to transit.
I tried their business class for two long hauls sectors with TR, one was the 10 hours SIN IST and the other 9 hours BKK IST. Both were equally wonderful.
The cabin product was adequate but dated. The A350 uses a 2-3-2 layout. I pity the one stuck between me and the other guy in the middle section. But it wasn’t any better for the aisle as you do not really have any privacy from the people passing by. Lucky for me, the lavatories are at the back, so at Seat 1C, you are pretty much not disturbed.
The meal service on board is also one of its kind among the different airlines. Instead of the steward and stewardess reheating your food, everything is prepared by professional chefs. No, these are not characters in costumes but actual chefs. They don’t serve the food or turn down your bed, the only time you will get a question from them is how well you want your steak done. Another first, hazelnuts. Yes, they serve hazelnuts as a snack – not Nutella, real hazelnuts.
Dinner Service (SIN-IST)
This dinner service on board TX was one of the most enjoyable I had in these long haul flights. Firstly, it felt more like a restaurant than inflight catering. You are paced through leisurely And there’s the little candlelight that flickers in the darkness of the cabin as you dine. Very special.
First up, a trio of canapés that include a Turkish lamb and beef meatball, a tartlet of avocado, tomato and eggplant, and a rolled crispy asparagus. Together with drinks and a generous bowl of nuts. I have left one picture with the original colour of the cabin lights to show that I have adjusted the temperature of the photos so that the food can turn out properly.
The Best of Turkish mezze (cold starters) is a trio of Turkish coldstarters that you can find commonly in any restaurant in Turkey. Stuffed zucchini with olive oil, labneh with dried date, grilled chicken breast, Çerkez chicken and mozzarella and tomato salad – every one of them was delicious. Served with warm bread, spiced salt and hand churned butter.
The entree was jumbo prawn tagliatelle with lobster sauce. Think of it as a pasta tossed in a thickened lobster bisque. Delicious, one of the best pasta in the air I have tasted. The only let down – there were only two pieces of jumbo prawn.
Maraş is a Turkish town famous for dövme dondurma, or translated as “beaten ice cream” and pistachio. You must have seen one of these Turkish ice cream seller in night markets playing a fool with patrons with those ice cream that refused to be served. Yes, that’s it – the thick, creamy ice cream with a very rich pistachio flavour. Beat Haargen Darz hands down by a million miles.
Dinner Service (BKK IST)
For the other sector (BKK IST), which is an hour shorted, the dinner service was equally elaborate.
Strangely there was no mezze. Instead the meal started with wild salmon tartare and grilled vegetables. Yes, you read it right, wild salmon tartare, not smoked salmon. This is the only time I had raw food in an airplane. I guess that’s the advantage to have a proper chef on board.
There was a soup for the other sector, but I was never a fan for pumpkin soup, so I skipped that. I had mushroom soup flying with CI, and I think that one was better.
The entree was grilled fillet of beef done to your choice (no rare or blue, start from medium), served with ratatouilles, potato gratin, rosemary jus. The beef was the best I have tasted from any airline, period. I had it medium, it has that burnt crust on the outside and yet the beef remained moist.
And you end the dinner with a tiramisu. Surprising that this particular sector, the number of Turkish choices was limited. In fact there was nothing on the menu that was Turkish.
In the next part, I will talk about the morning and afternoon meals service on TR.
Flights taken in Jun 2018