Andy Mossack samples a British Airways First dining experience from home with the airline’s new cook at home meal kit.
I suppose it was rather apt the hallway in my home turned left when I carried my British Airways First meal kit in from the doorstep. All I was missing now was being 38,000 feet in the air, but let’s not dwell too much on that part.
There’s no doubting the success of home-delivered meal kits, which have kept many fine dining restaurants in business throughout the pandemic. Now, British Airways has joined the party in a genius move to bring its first-class cabin menus direct into our homes. Regular premium customers can be reminded of what they’ve been missing, while everyone else can get a taste of First life without the hefty ticket price.
It’s a beautifully branded package with the airline teaming up with its premium catering partner DO&CO and seasoned recipe box provider Feast Box, to assemble and deliver.
As with all good fine dining, provenance is key and there’s no doubting where this box of goodies hails from. The BA livery is front and centre, from the box wrap to the paperwork. There’s even a first-class boarding pass offering 10% off your next flight.
As first impressions go, it’s about as impressive as you can get.
Inside, the ingredients are bundled beautifully. Fresh vegetables, bags of herbs, mini bottles of olive oil, tins of pulses, various boxes, pots, and pouches containing the prepped food and of course, step-by-step instructions to prepare the food.
There are four menus to choose from (including a vegetarian option), each one a full dinner of four courses serving two people; a starter and main, a cheese board, and dessert. I chose the meat menu, with the 48-hour slow-cooked beef cheeks in an herb jus and chimichurri with broccoli and potato gratin as the headline act. Cooking time for the whole dinner – around 60 minutes.
Creating the dinner
With my step-by-step instructions at the ready I dived into preparing my two starter plates; a wholegrain salad of beluga lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa with asparagus, grilled baby aubergine, and flame peppers, all on a bed of hummus crème Fraiche.
This was probably the fiddliest part of the whole service. Trimming the asparagus into thin little wedges and gently sautéing them before slicing the baby aubergines and massaging them with crushed garlic and ginger before roasting for 15 minutes. Overcoming that hurdle, it was a breeze to boil the quinoa, mix it with the tinned chickpeas and lentils and pile them onto the hummus. Then it was just a case of building the stack of aubergines and asparagus on top and garnishing with pea shoots.
This was all going pretty well.
The main course was up next, a doddle compared to the salad.
The beef was already prepped in a pouch and just needed to be dunked in boiling water for a few minutes. I added the trimmed broccoli to the water and simmered with the beef for two minutes. Easy. All I had to do for the gratin, was put them in the oven for ten minutes. Again, easy.
A minor diversion to make the chimichurri dressing entailed de-stalking the parsley and coriander, chopping shallots and red peppers, and crushing a garlic clove before mixing them all with lemon juice, olive oil, cider vinegar, and chili flakes.
It plated up very well. I spooned the beef and jus onto the plates, topped it with the chimichurri, and put on the broccoli and potato gratin. Another masterpiece.
The cheese course came with four cheese pieces each: Harrogate Blue, Kidderton Ash, Golden Cenarth, and a Black Bomber cheddar, with sourdough crackers, fig chutney, and grapes.
Finally, the dessert. A dark chocolate and orange liqueur bread and butter pudding with vanilla sauce, orange pieces, raspberries, and mint.
Oh, joy, the puddings were oven-ready in their carton, so they just needed a 15-minute bake. The sauce pouch was simply warmed in hot water. All I had to do was garnish the plates with the fruit and mint and they were good to go.
The taste of British Airways First. Is it worth it?
We thought the wholegrain salad was the star of the show. In fact, Mrs. Mossack went as far as to say she would have no problem serving it at one of her famed dinner parties. High praise indeed. It tasted deliciously fresh, the asparagus, aubergines, and pulses blending perfectly with the creamy hummus crème Fraiche. An absolute belter of a dish. And the good news? There was plenty left over for the next day.
The slow-cooked beef cheeks were melt in your mouth soft and given a spicy kick with the chimichurri sauce. A very impressive main if, like me, you’re a fan of slow-cooked stews.
The cheese plate had enough variety to suit all tastes. I adored the Black Bomber, a Snowdonia extra-mature cheddar, and the Harrogate Blue. Mrs. M preferred the Golden Cenarth, a Welsh semi-soft Welsh cheese washed in cider. The sourdough crackers were a big hit too.
The dessert was just indulgence on a plate. I’m obsessed with bread-and-butter pudding and dark chocolate, so to have them combined was a dream come true.
This was a very impressive meal kit. Beautifully packed and presented and at £100 for two people, enough to give other fine dining home kits a run for their money. It may not be the same as eating it at 38,000 feet in a sleepsuit, but at least you don’t get jet lag afterward..
Tell me more about British Airways First Class Meal Kits.
The British Airways First meals are available direct from Feast Box
There are four menu options. The beef menu as above, or substitute Loch Fyne Salmon with mustard dressing for the wholegrain salad. £100 for two people.
Alternatively, there is Loch Fyne salmon with a main of handmade agnolotti, morels, pan-fried asparagus, and Panna sauce, plus the same cheese and dessert. £80 for two people.
The fourth option is to substitute the starter salmon for the wholegrain salad plus the agnolotti, cheese, and dessert. £80 for two people.