Flying Helsinki to Bangkok on Finnair is a new route for me as Bangkok is not a natural hub for me to transit through on my way to Europe from Australia. This is because Thai Airways is not a Oneworld member, but a Star Alliance member, and I predominantly gravitate to Oneworld carriers due to having status with them. However I was keen to try Thai Airways and so on my way back from Europe to Australia last I flew Finnair to Bangkok and then Thai Airways Bangkok to Melbourne. So it is time for another Finnair business class food review – lets take a look at the food in Finnair business class Helsinki to Bangkok.
Main Meal Service
This flight was a lunch time flight and the main meal was served just after take off. Drinks and a snack of almonds were offered before the main meal service. The main meal service consisted of two cold starters, a choice of main meal, and a choice of dessert (menu below). The meals I had were:
- Two cold starters: Roast beef tataki with ponzu sauce; and Green pea puree with mustard potato salad and pickled red onion
- The main meal I chose was: Lightly smoked rainbow trout with stewed buckwheat and roasted cauliflower and string beans.
- The dessert I chose was the cheese plate
While the food quality was the high standard I have become to expect of Finnair, unfortunately they still served the starters and main meal all together at the same time, even though it was a lunchtime flight and the cabin was left really light for hours. I really don’t like this as when flying business class I like to take my time savouring the dishes served (especially when they are of usually high quality from Finnair). And so by then time I eat the starters then my main has gone cold. I feel when they are all served at once it feels very rushed. The main meal service was also served by a trolley – no order was taken in advance. I find this quite lazy service actually for a long-haul business class flight (it was approximately 11 hours). Also the tray the dishes are all served on is plastic – again lazy and cheap feeling. They place a white table cloth down and then a white plastic tray – at least put the plates on the table cloth. But moving on to the food.
The two starters were ok. The beef tataki seemed like a dry slice of roast beef you get from the deli to me in a salty sauce. I thought it was going to be a bit more ‘melt in your mouth’ but unfortunately it was a bit tough without a lot of flavour. The potato salad was quite nice – the mustard gave it a bit of bite. The smoked trout dish was the standout dish – it was amazing. The roasted cauliflower was done to perfection and the roast tomatoes were also delicious. I found the buckwheat really nicely balanced with perfect texture. It a lovely sauce but was not too heavy i.e. the buckwheat wasn’t drowning in a heavy sauce. The trout was melt in your mouth, delicious – one of my favourite dishes I have been served onboard in business class. I chose rye bread with my main meal. The cheese plate came with thin dark rye crackers
(Check out the main meal service on Finnair Business Class in my other blog)
The trout dish was a standout – not only one of my favourite airline dishes in terms of taste but also in terms of nutrition. A source of omega 3s, fibre, and protein – this dish is balanced, yet should have a side salad included with the main meal, or more vegetables in the main dish. It is nice to see buckwheat used as something different to pasta or rice. Buckwheat is a source of insoluble fibre and resistant starch – so good to help promote gut health. Having the two entrees served at once with the main reduces the ability to serve a side salad. It would be better to have the main dish served on its own with a side salad to increase the serves of vegetables and boost the vitamins and bioactives from vegetables. One aspect to note though is cauliflower may cause bloating in some people so be mindful of eating too much if you are prone to bloat. The amount of sauce in the buckwheat was really well balanced too – not too much (so it wasn’t gluggy or stodgy) but enough for a delicious flavour. The thin rye crackers served with the cheese not only imparted a lovely flavour but also mixes it up providing variety from the usual wheat crackers served with cheese plates. These thin rye crackers are a great source of fibre.
Second Meal Service
While the breakfast seems comprehensive on the menu with both cold and hot dishes, there is no choice. There is only the one breakfast available and it all comes out on the tray at once, again. There was a yogurt, fruit salad, cold cuts and salad, bread roll, croissant, butter and jam, and a hot meal of scrambled eggs, hash brown, tomato and broccoli. My breakfast in the picture below has not been touched before I took this photo so everything you see in photo is what you get. The first thing that stood out to me were the scrambled eggs – they were in a scoop shape. They did not look very appealing to me and they didn’t have a good texture.
Loved the concept of cooked broccoli in the hot dish. But the hot dish was so tiny the one broccoli looked more like a garnish than part of the meal. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are fabulous little nutrient power houses – I particularly like them for the folate, fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin C and bioactives such as sulforaphane. More next time please! There were 3 baked butter beans – again felt like a garnish. There was natural yogurt available which was lactose free which is great for anyone who experiences any gastrointestinal symptoms after eating lactose (especially good if you are on a plane). Unfortunately there was no choice of bread with the meal – I would have loved more dense rye bread.
Final thoughts on Finnair Business Class Food – Helsinki, Finland to Bangkok, Thailand
The food on this Finnair business class flight from Helsinki to Bangkok, while delicious, I felt had elements of corner cutting. This is such a shame as I have been flying with Finnair now for a decade and I feel the food served is slowly getting whittled away. With the flight not leaving late evening (as some do to Asia) I felt there was ample opportunity to provide a really great main meal service, highlighting their focus on food quality. I hope Finnair returns to serving the starters separately to the main meal with the main meal service. And it would be good to have a choice of breakfast meal too. I do love how you can usually eat well on Finnair with nutritious food usually available and of good quality.
NOTE: All pictures of Finnair Business Class food flying on their A350 are my own and I review the food from the menu I was given and the food I ordered on my flight. There may be different options available at other times
If you are thinking of flying with Finnair you might like to check out my reviews of their Platinum Wing, Business Class Non-Schengen and Business Class Schengen lounges. I have also reviewed their intra-Europe business class, and other international business class flights from Hong Kong, and Tokyo.