by Etihad Airways
on Flight EY 421
-Somewhere over Asia-
Mission to Jordan, Day 1.
On my way to Amman. Flying out late tonight, transiting in Abu Dhabi, arriving tomorrow midday. Wednesday thru Saturday, participating in a workshop to support countries in strengthening their legal frameworks to restrict the marketing of junk food to kids. Coming back Sunday evening.
With high expectations for my first business class experience aboard Etihad Airways, I was very disappointed, starting with physical comfort. The pod configuration felt cramped for my large frame. Even worse, the seat frame had a hard ridge under the cushion that pressed into my heavy ass when reclining at a certain angle. Also, the blanket and pillow were flimsy, like those back in coach. As always, I was grateful for the opportunity — and to be fair, I wasn’t exactly miserable.
I was also underwhelmed by the food, but I’ll reserve detailed comment until I’ve seen what they serve on the return trip.
Shakshouka is an Arabic egg dish. Starts with a simple sauce of tomatoes, onions, and chilies, along with herbs (e.g., cilantro) and spices (e.g., cumin), simmered for 20 minutes or so in a tagine or low pan. Eggs are cracked into/on top of the sauce and simmered for a few more minutes until poached. Typically served for breakfast, often with bread.
The shakshouka served on the plane bore little resemblance to the dish in its classic form. Described on the menu as “cumin-scented scrambled eggs with chicken kebab, foul medames, cumin ratatouille, and harissa potato cake.” Not bad as well-balanced meal, but not what I was expecting.