Breakfast is a meal that I rarely enjoy, and consistently feel has been dropped into the culinary schedule because airlines are vaguely aware that passengers will have started to wake up and be hungry, and it can no longer be considered an appropriate time for dinner, nor can it be considered an appropriate time yet for lunch in whatever hazy time zone the aircraft is transiting through at that stage. This culinary calamity – as most breakfasts are – fitted snugly into that characterization.
Airline: British Airways BA33
Route: Kuala Lumpur – London (Approx. 13 hours)
Class: Premium Economy (sorry, ‘World Traveller Plus’)
I find airline breakfasts to be one of life’s most grounding and indiscriminatory affairs; like the air you breathe, the water you drink or the roads you drive on, an airline breakfast – whether you endure the experience from economy, business or a first class cabin – is typically undeniably awful for everyone regardless.
Kicking off the mornings’ optimistically titled ‘breakfast grill’ – although, that an omelette can be grilled from scratch came as news to me – and presented inside a porcelain tray hot enough that single-second contact could leave permanent burn marks, was a serving of breakfast foods suitably drenched and struggling to swim in enough oil that I was re-assured that if the plane suffered any engine oil leaks, I would be able to just tip the contents of my breakfast tray in and make the problem go away.
Up first we had the (very) well grilled tomato, which like all grilled tomatoes that have been cooked more recently in an oven, had an inside hotter than a nuclear reactor and enabled me to spend the next several days knowing what it’s like to have severe burns in my mouth. Next of course was the sponge-like freshly grilled omelette that not only slid, but nearly flew out of the tray to the passenger beside me due to the amount of oil at the bottom, helpfully reducing any friction there may have been from cooking egg on a porcelain tray.
Three very carefully portioned potato wedges next, before we came to my favourite – because I do enjoy some exercise in the morning – the (and I’m sure it had a more pleasant name) mildly-peppered lump of meat, which after sticking my knife into, gave me the feeling I was holding onto a curling stone as I shuffled it back and forth across the well-lubricated oily tray, trying aimlessly to cut it with the knife. Once I’d done my morning reps, I ended up cutting it crudely in half and eating each half in one go like a kid trying to devour an outsize candy floss.
Unfortunately, I don’t eat mushrooms, nor did I have the muffin – but I did make space to sample the yoghurt, which had also honoured my tray with its presence. I can’t be sure from where they procured this treat, but it was of a worrying shade of brightnes far beyond that of any normal strawberry that I’ve seen. To this day, while it didn’t taste too bad, I remain convinced my esophagus and stomach lining are now some shade of neon pink.
In conclusion, this meal was no worse than any other airlines effort at a breakfast; that is to say, it was edible and provided sufficient oil intake so as to ensure that my system did not clog up in any way whatsoever. Rather, I just find airline breakfasts to be consistently the most disappointing of all in-flight meals. But for the entertainment value of swinging a piece of meat around first thing in the morning and playing ‘what item of food will burn my mouth the worst, next?’, I’m willing to overlook my now stained-pink insides.