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Review: Qatar Airways business class from Bali to Doha (Boeing 777-300ER, old seats) – Part 2

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This is Part 2 of my review of Qatar Airways business class, flying from Bali to Doha on a Boeing 777-300ER.  Part 1 is here.

You can read the rest of Jamie’s series of articles from this trip, covering British Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways in Business Class, by clicking here.

This half of the review looks at the food, drink and bedding available on board.

Not long after take off I was brought another glass of the rose champagne and a snack – a serving of warm nuts. Cashews, almonds and peanuts, all warm in a little dish. They actually warmed them up for me? This was a revelation (perhaps I don’t get out enough) but I was very thankful! I love nuts at the best of times, when they are at room temperature, but having them warm took it to a whole new level! They were so good that they were gone before I remembered to photograph them.

It wasn’t long before my dinner started arriving as planned, although the first course was not expected – an amuse bouche in the form of a crab cake. Delicious. I also liked the table presentation very much.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

Next up was lemongrass and coconut soup with chilli oil.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

This was a decent portion size and also tasted very good. I’d also been served a selection of bread rolls previously so one of those was a perfect complement.

For my appetiser I chose the wholly appropriate classic Arabic mezze – hummus, tabouleh and baba ghanoush with Arabic bread.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

For me this was big enough to be a dinner by itself. There was a large serving of each dish and three pittas breads. The hummus was a little bitter tasting for my liking but the other two were fresh and tasty. I couldn’t finish it though as it was so sizeable. I don’t like to leave food but knew I had a main coming up and was concerned I’d struggle to fit it all in. The other appetiser was cajun-spiced roasted duck with spiced raspberry sauce.

Here is my main course – grilled Angus beef fillet with caramelised onion jus, potatoes, asparagus and cherry tomatoes.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

As it turned out there was an unscheduled but welcome half hour gap between my appetiser and main course due to an issue with the galley. The attendant was very apologetic but I really didn’t mind. When it finally arrived the beef was tender and cooked perfectly. I enjoyed it all very much and this time I felt the portion size was just right.

Fried prawns with tamarind sauce or stuffed paccheri pasta with spinach ricotta and tomato sauce were the other two choices.

That was enough for me so I skipped the dessert options of warm mango cheesecake, seasonal fruit with honey lime syrup or gourmet ice cream selection. There was also a cheese plate option.

Some lighter options appeared at the bottom of the menu – fresh garden salad, stir fried ho-fun noodles with chicken kebab, mini chicken and beef burger sliders and afternoon tea (comprising sandwiches, warm scones etc). I was curious to try the latter to see how it compared to Virgin Atlantic’s spectacular upper class afternoon tea which I reviewed here but I simply did not have the room for one more ounce of food.

The wine list

I did persevere with the champagne which I was enjoying too much. I stayed on the Ataïr rosé throughout dinner but there were also six wines available too.

The reds on offer were: Château Batailley Grand Cru Classé Pauillac Bordeaux, 2012 (£45 per bottle online), M.A.N. Family Wine Skaapveld Shiraz, 2015, South Africa (£8.75) and Miolo Cuvée Giuseppe, 2015, Brazil (£21).

Whites were: Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay, 2015, USA (£22), Max Reserva Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc, 2016, Chile (£12.50) and Abras Torrontés, 2016, Argentina (I couldn’t find this one for sale in the UK).

It seemed to me a fairly eclectic wine list, at least as far as pricing went. There was also another Champagne – Pommery Brut Royal (£38), a dessert wine – Three Bridges Botrytis Semillon, 2015 Australia (£13) and a Quinto do Vallado 20 years old Tawny Port (£40), none of which I tried. For the cocktail lovers amongst you there were eight classic drinks to choose from including a Cuba libre, dry martini and whisky sour.

Once dinner was cleared away I thought about getting comfortable with a film. The ever attentive flight attendant topped up my champagne. She also brought me some nibbles, in her words ‘just in case I need a snack’.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

There was no chance of that but it was a nice gesture and the chocolates, crisps and popcorn went in my bag for later.

It was too early to sleep but I decided to get into the White Company pyjamas I’d been given.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

So British Airways aren’t the only airline using this company I thought to myself! The flight attendant had asked me earlier what size I would like. I preferred this to them guessing as I’d always end up exchanging them on the few times I previously received them. I didn’t use the slippers but the pyjamas were really comfy and soft.

Next, unwrapping the blanket was a great surprise. It was the most luxurious feeling cover I’d ever had on a flight. It was basically a thick, warm, velvety soft quilt.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

Sorry to sound like an advert for Andrex but it was lovely. Ok, it was purple but that is Qatar Airways signature colour and you can’t tell with the lights dimmed…

Eventually I started to feel tired. I was on a nine and a half hour flight which was due to land at 23.20 local time but actually 04.20 Indonesian time. With this in mind it was time to make the bed and that didn’t take long, pressing the button on the left arm rest control. There was no bed cover sheet, just the purple quilt and a pillow I had been using since I sat down. The bed was ok but not as comfortable as my BA Club World one. I felt more confined and not able to move or turn over as easily. In the end I managed about three hours sleep.

On waking I went to freshen up. The bathrooms were pristinely clean and had Rituals hand wash, lotion and body mist along with toothbrushes and shaving kits.

business class flight from Bali to Doha with Qatar Airways

There were no further food offerings but drinks were still available until we were close to landing.

Conclusion

And that was my first experience with Qatar Airways. Did it live up to my expectations? Mostly yes. The food was some of the best and most substantial I’d ever had on a flight. The IFE was comprehensive enough to keep the most ardent cinephile happy, especially on the large, good quality screens onboard.

The Boeing 777-300ER seat however didn’t quite live up to my expectations. With the lack of privacy I think my flight would have felt quite different if someone had been sitting next to me.  These seats are slowly being replaced with Qsuite, however.  If you are flexible, it definitely pays to check out which aircraft you are booking.  The bed was just fine and the quilt and pyjamas were really great.

Ending on a positive note, the service was excellent throughout. I had high hopes regarding this and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I was diligently and warmly looked after by the same flight attendant throughout the nine hour journey.  She struck a nice balance of being formal but friendly and her calmness put me at ease.

I remember thinking I would happily fly with Qatar Airways again – then realised I was going to in three hours time!  First, I wanted to take a look at the flagship Qatar Airways business lounge in Doha …..

You can find out more about Qatar Airways Business Class on this section of their website.

Booked on Avios, this flight (a one-way Business Class flight from Bali to Doha) costs 75,000 Avios plus £249 in taxes and charges.  There are three flights per day with Qatar Airways, leaving around midnight, 9am and 6pm.

Review: Qatar Airways business class from Bali to Doha (Boeing 777-300ER, old seats) - Part 1
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Comments

  1. “there were no further food offerings”. Surely it’s just a case of asking for something on the menu if you want to eat more with Qatar. That’s the whole point of the find in demand concept that you tell them when you want to eat and how much.

    • And here lies the problem where most passengers are probably used to getting what they’re given instead of of taking the initiative and requesting additional food service as/when needed as is the case with a true dine on demand service. With a few Qatar Business flights under his belt, I’m sure Jamie will have got the hang of it 😉

      • I don’t understand why airlines like to serve a huge meal right after take off (in J) when I’ve just had one in the lounge, then usually the second meal before landing is less substantial.

        This isn’t such a problem with QR but even so the cabin crew have always been surprised when I don’t want to eat straight away and sometimes they don’t tell you that you can choose when to eat

        • Will Avery says:

          Tell me about it. I think we were waiting 7 hours between meals on a day time BA flight from Johannesburg to London. And they tell us the gallery fridge has a much better stock on the nighttime flights!

  2. Peanuts (due to allergy reasons) haven’t been served on planes for years. Those are pistachios that are served in the mix with cashews and almonds.

    • Brighton Belle says:

      My Cathay flight from Osaka to Hong Kong last week handed out peanuts. Thankfully nobody had a reaction.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        I was also served peanuts on a regional MH flight. My wife doesn’t like them so personally I was very happy to get two packs!

    • On a recent SAS flight they announced that nobody could have nuts due to someone on board with a severe allergy then 2mins later handed out warm nuts. When I pointed this out the stewardess just said “yes, but this is business class”. I didn’t realise there was an airlock between the two!

    • MH hands out sachets of yummy peanuts with the drinks service on every flight

  3. ankomonkey says:

    Menu sounds excellent. I would have happily eaten most of the dishes listed. And coconut and lemongrass soup sounds amazing. Back to my Cornflakes 🙁 …

    • Food was amazing on our x 4 sectors to PEN and back. And yes it’s food on tap. Wines and champers all good too.
      Better newer movies on way back tho.
      Movenpick downtown on QR tab, overnight which was v v comfortable.

    • Well cornflakes are one of the (many) breakfast options served on board – they are even served with a cute little glass bottle of milk.

  4. Qatar Airways seem to have very consistent service across their flights. What Jamie has described is exactly what I experienced on a recent flight to New Zealand. Superb food, excellent service, enough drink – in fact more – than I could want to drink and the tasty nut selection. I flew 4 flights and every time I was greeted by the flight attendant and then a few minutes later by their senior cabin attendant.

    Take advantage of Discover Qatar if your Doha layover is more than 5 hours. Choose a free nights accommodation from one of more than a dozen 4 and 5 star hotels.

    It really felt like the world’s five star airline.

  5. John McManus says:

    I enjoy trying unusual wines and can vouch for the Brazilian red. (Just flown on LATAM to Sâo Paulo and they had no Brazilian wines…)

  6. I also found a problem with lack of privacy on this plane when I flew from Doha to Joburg and also Perth to Doha. Each time someone was next to me and the screen between us really didn’t afford much privacy. However, the 380 plane that I flew on the other legs out of and into Heathrow from Doha were fabulous. Now they are doing the 380 from Doha to Perth too and it’s well worth doing that route now as it will be so comfortable.

  7. Will Avery says:

    I get it that these reviews are always from the perspective of a solo traveller. But it is still one of the best (if not the best) seat in the sky if you want to travel together. Also feels the most “spacious” cabins of all we have travelled on. Kudos to Rob for sometimes caveating the “two together” point.

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