Garuda Indonesia’s new First Class Menu…

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM

All rights reserved

All food photos are of real food with no photoshop

The irrepressible Travelling Gourmet goes to critique the new First Class Menu on Indonesia’s national airline…

MAYBE Garuda has not had such an excellent track record for punctuality…but the latest Gourmet food and wine offerings on its First Class service on their new B777-300ER aircraft blew me away! Their aim is to provide intimate, authentic and engaging service. Accordingly, I turned up expectantly at CIA or Changi International Airport to experience first-hand the cuisine…

The cuisine concept is what Garuda terms ” Globally preferrd Cuisines Offered in a Diverse Format”. The three different cuisines are Indonesian Regional Cuisine, Japanese Kaiseki Delicacy and Modern European. This concept reminded me of Turkish Airlines who have their Sky Chefs on First Class. I have experienced the cuisine on board Turkish Airlines flying to Istanbul and also to Venice and the service and food by the Sky Chefs is really outstanding. They even roll put a Dessert and Cheese Trolley for you.

Garuda are deploying hand picked Chefs who have had experience in the kitchens of 5 star hotels on board each flight. These Chefs will have a dialogue with the passengers on their food preferences and also prepare when possible the melas and do the decorative plating and garnishing. They assured me they can even cook Eggs to order ‘a la minute’, like Scrambled, Omelette and Sunny Side Up! Before take-off, French Champagne…2000 Billecart-Salmon plus Fresh Fruit Juices, Premium Mineral Waters and Macadamia  Nuts are served. After take-off, passengers are offered Aperitif with Caviar & Creme Fraiche served on Krupuk (prawn crackers) instead of Blini pancakes, for an uniquely Indonesian touch.

Airborne Dining

There are four Menu options: Indonesian Warmth Set Menu, Japanese Delicacy a 3 course Menu, Modern European a la carte allowing a choice of different options and “In Between Fuel” comprising a selection of Indonesian and World Cuisine favourites. Premium wines and spirits are also available to complement the food. White wines include 2009 Sancerre Henri Bourgeois “Les Baronnes” from the Loire Valley of France and reds include 2009 Chateau Durfort-Vivens, a full bodied Margaux Grand Cru Classe from Bordeaux in France. There is also an Australian red from McClaren Vale in South Australia. I found the French 2007 Domaine de Saint Dominique Vin de Pays Herault to my taste with its firm but soft tannins, red berry flavours and medium finish. The dessert wine is from Sauternes…1998 Chateau Coute Premier Cru. A good match with the Cheese Platter and Dessert. For a digestif after dinner, there is Japanes Sake, hennesy XO Cognac, Glenfiddich 18 year Old Single Malt, Jim Beam Kentucky Gold Bourbon and more…

Here are the menus I was most privileged to savour…

Indonesian Warmth Menu

Gado-Gado of Mixed vegetables with mildly spicy Peanut Sauce, Boiled Egg and Melinjo Crackers

Udang Acar Kuning which is Prawn grilled with Turmeric Sauce which imparts that yellow colour (Kuning menas yellow in Indonesian)

Sop Buntut is a classic Indonesian spiced Oxtail Soup

Krengseng Kambing – Grilled Lamb Cutlet with Sweet Soy Sauce and Sauteed Vegetables

Dessert of Poached Peach, Mixed Berries and Lime Ice Cream


Japanese Delicacy

Features Ryokan Kaiseki Kyoto Style…

Chicken Namban and Somen Noodle Soup, Spinach Salad, Goma Paste, Seared Scallop and Red Mullet

Tasty Mushi Wakame Tamago & Crab Meat Sushi Roll

Asparagus Beef Wraps with Seared Beef spiked with Yuzu Infused Soy, Japanese Steamed Rice and Miso Soup

Dessert of Poached Peach, Mixed Berries and Lime Ice Cream


Modern European Edge

Seared Scallops, Salmon Roe and Asparagus Spears

Excellent Trio of Souffle…Lobster, Port Salut Cheese and Crab

Seared Black Cod in Beurre Blanc (butter) and Potato Gratin

Traditional Duck Confit. Glazed Pan Gravy with Fava and White Cannoli Beans. Confit de Canard always reminds me of my stint at Lenotre Culinary School in Paris where this was one of the classic dishes learned to cook.

Grilled Lamb Cutlet with Italian Mint Pesto and Open Tomato Tarte

Pumpkin & Sun-Dried Tomato Cannelloni which is a vegetarian option

Side dishes include healthy baby Carrots, smooth Paris Mash Potato, Creamed Spinach (one of my favourites) and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Chef’s Cheese Board

The European menu is served in the French style, that is, the Cheese is proferred BEFORE the sweet Dessert. In the British way, the Cheese is served AFTER the sweet Dessert…

Dessert is Apple Crumble, Strawberry Coulis (sauce) & Vanilla Ice Cream

I was also impressed by the Tea Experience which features Teas from Indonesia like Organic Rosella (a form of Hibiscus), Oxidised Purple Oolong from Sumatra, Lapsang Souchong from China, japanese Gyokuro Green Tea and more. The Coffees too…all from different regions of Indonesia like Mandehling from the Sumatran Highlands, Nabire Wamena form West Papua’s Nabire Mountain with flavours of Liquorice and Plums, and Toraja from Sulawesi with dark chocolate tones…You can also choose your preferred brewing method like Espresso or French Press.

It was very clear to me after the exclusive Food and Wine tasting that Garuda Indonesia is sparing NO expense in its NEW First Class menu. The Business Class and Economy Menus have also been upgraded…

OMG! My tummy was so full! ENJOY! 🙂


About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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