There's a sure fire way to gain a couple of kilos in a weekend - spend time with my family. This weekend, Alastair, my Bro and I flew to Auckland to celebrate my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. (60 years! How incredible is that?!)
From the moment we got on the plane we started eating, and didn't finish until we got back to Melbourne. Al and I flew Emirates (the first time I had flown with them) and I was impressed. I loved the plane (an Airbus A340-500 I think), I loved the hot towels they handed out just before take off, and the food - well, considering we were 40,000 feet in the air, the food was pretty good!
On the flight over to Auckland, we were served brunch. There were two choices - an omelette and chicken.
Alastair had the omelette with gruyere cheese accompanied by creamed spinach, tomato wedge, grilled veal sausage and rosti potatoes. I had a moment of panic when the flight attendant asked me what I wanted and I choose the omelette. Al picked the chicken and we ended up doing a swap. After I saw him eating the omelette, I wanted it back! It was super cheesey, and I like cheese!
I had the sauteed chicken with mushroom sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes, buttered green beans and carrot batonettes. Even though I had cheese envy, this wasn't bad. The mushroom sauce was well flavoured, and the vegetables still retained a bit of crunch. The mashed potatoes could have used more seasoning but I couldn't be bothered trying to find my tiny packet of salt amongst all the other stuff on my tray.
The obligatory bread roll, and cheese and crackers. I was happy that the butter (in a little packet) was spreadable but was intrigued to see that it was white. Apparently it was Australian butter too.
What I had of the fruit was good. There was strawberry, a couple of red grapes and some pieces of rock melon and honey dew. Al got my rock melon and honey dew as I'm not a fan. I did eat a piece to confirm that I don't like it - yes, that dislike is still there.
Light cheesecake with strawberry topping and whipped cream. This was a bit light on the strawberry flavour. And I didn't realise it was cheesecake until I checked the menu to type out this entry!
The flight back we were served dinner, with two choices - New Zealand lamb ragout or pan-fried blue cod. Al and I both went for the lamb.
The lamb ragout was served with roasted pumpkin, buttered green beans and creamy herb mashed potatoes. This smelt SO good. The lamb was tender and the sauce was rich and savoury.
I mopped up the rest of my sauce with my bread roll. And then polished off the cheese and crackers.
The appetiser was sliced charsiew duck served with marinated Thai glass noodle salad. There was also a salad with ginger dressing.
Dessert was a rich chocolate gateau/mousse with pistachio and raspberry coulis. Couldn't taste or see the pistacho, but I enjoyed the texture of the mousse and the raspberry against the chocolate.
I'll post about the two main meals we ate in Auckland over the next few days. There was lots of food, lots of family and lots of photos!