American Airlines First Class Flight 135 New York JFK to Tokyo Haneda – Review

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Shortly after takeoff, I was offered a choice of beverage.  I chose the Prinz von Hessen Riesling, DSC_0375a wine I knew quite well since the Prinz von Hessen estate has common ownership with one of my favorite hotels in Frankfurt, the Hessischer Hof.  The Prinz von Hessen Riesling has a pale-yellow color, a fresh and fruity aroma, and fruity notes with excellent acidity and minerality.    I enjoyed my first glass so much that I continued to drink this throughout the flight except for a little sake with my meal.

When traveling to Asia, I almost always go for the Asian meal option on the flight over.  I had fond recollections of my last AA flight to Japan so I was very much looking forward to the meal on this flight – and I would not be disappointed.

DSC_0379The Japanese meal comes on a tray that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tokyo restaurant, unlike the western meal service, where the table is set with white china.  About two hours into the flight, as the cabin crew began the first-class meal service, the flight attendant started to set the table in western style and, sensing my quizzical look, realized the mistake and immediately removed the dishes, apologetically saying he had forgotten I was getting the Japanese meal.

The Japanese meal service comes in two parts.  First is what American calls “a selection of sushi.”  While it was very good, it didn’t really resemble sushi as I know it.  But the best was yet to come.  The main tray arrived with five items: kobachi, rice wine marinated calamari; hassun, grilled chicken with carrot paste, accompanied by cauliflower with seared dengaku miso, sweet simmered herring, cod roe egg cake, and DSC_0380grilled shishito pepper filled with cream cheese; a simmer dish, Japanese-style stewed beef with potatoes and carrots; the entrée, broiled ginger soy marinated black cod garnished with roasted chestnuts and asparagus; and miso soup with shiitake and nameko mushrooms, wakame seaweed, and tofu.  This was accompanied by steamed rice and a wonderful assortment of pickles.

The entrée, the black cod, was sublime.  And I switched to the Gekkeikan Horin Daiginjo Sake, considered by sake connoisseurs to be an excellent rice wine, to accompany it.

For dessert, I had one of my favorite American Airlines offerings, the Grand Marnier fruit salad, comprised of fruit and berries with a light Grand Marnier syrup.

Those having the western meal had the traditional multi-course service that I’ve had many times on flights to London with American, including the smoked salmon appetizer, the salad cart, and a choice of several entrées including Pulehu beef, pan-seared Halibut, and vegetable lasagna.

That was the main meal of the flight but we had quite a while to go.

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