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Zoom Airlines

It seems that no one have heard of the Zoom Airlines… I saw their ads in newspaper last year for their promotion to Hawaii (I was captured by the word Hawaii last year) But then I found out that their primary flying routes are between Canada and UK. Their price is usually pretty attractive, and that is mainly why we chose to fly with them.

Grounded in Halifax

Because Zoom Airlines are such a small company, they have only so many planes. So when they had troubles (hydraulic leak) with the plane we were on, we could do nothing but wait. At first they thought they could fix it in an hour. Then after two hours, the captain informed us that they are getting another plane in to take us to London. Since the plane was in Ottawa, we waited another 3 hours in Halifax before flying in the air again.

Gatwick Express to London

So we ended up arriving the Gatwick Airport 6 hours late. After another 30min train ride, we got to London around 5:30pm. Our original plan was to do some sightseeing (and had some fancy lunch) in the afternoon, had we arrived London on time in the morning. By then, we barely made it to the last attraction in our plan, the London Eye.

The London Eye

They built this thing back in 1999, and it was called the Millennium Wheel, part of year 2000 celebration. They were going to tear it down after a few years, but it seems there is plan to keep it permanent. I think that’s a good idea, it’s one of the best attractions there. You can see most of London’s cityscape from the bird’s eye view, which is why it’s so popular.

After the London Eye, we finally checked into our hotel, and had a bit of a rest before having dinner.

Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s

The fancy lunch we were going to have had become our really fancy dinner. We didn’t plan to have fancy dinner because we thought we would save some money by having the lunch. But then since we got to London 6 hours late, we wanted to cancel the lunch appointment. Problem was, there is a cancellation fee of 150 GB Pound per person, so we changed our reservation to have dinner instead; we ended up spending about 90 GB Pound per person. It’s only the most expensive meal I ever had.

Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s is actually not the one we planned to go for lunch; it was the one in Chelsea, which is supposedly #2 in the world (3 stars in the tire man guide). This one at Claridge’s actually has 1 star (which is of course still impressive) Missing out on going to #2, I blame it on the Doom Airlines.

So how did we spend 90 GB Pound per person? Easy, just order the tasting menu, and a bottle of wine (very good German Riesling) In fact, we probably didn’t bother reading the menu carefully… (it’s not like I know half of the words there)

1. Iranian saffron and cauliflower soup with anchovy beignets

Salty soup with salty fish. Actually I didn’t realize there were patches of oil on top of the soup… it was just so dark in the restaurant. I actually didn’t mind the strong flavour so much.

2. Ballottine of foie gras marinated in Beaumes de Venise,
pickled beetroot, salad of leeks and green beans, truffle dressing

Foie gras, I had it once before, but this one seems to be much bigger than normal. On top of that, I had the pleasure of having two of them; Thomas, who needs to keep a close eye on his cholesterol level, would NOT dare to touch it. (So now maybe I need to watch it) And the toast, that goes with foie gras, was probably the best toast I ever had. But after two chunks of foie gras and a piece of toast, I was basically full. BTW, that pickled beetroot was very good as well. Poor Thomas, who had only the salad portion, almost missed out on that, thinking it was only sauce. He did agree that beetroot was very good.

3. Roasted hand dived scallop, pumpkin puree, Barolo reduction

Not really that memorable for this one…

4a. Steamed line caught sea bass, sauteed potatoes,
truffled broccoli, basil veloute

All the food pictures were taken by Tyatt, except for this bad one (by me). I took this one because I was the only one having sea bass as main course. What can I say about this one, it is as good as it gets. All the others are having this next one…

4b. Roast breast of Gressingham duck, turnips cooked in five spice,
cinamon and star anise sauce

To me, it’s like deluxe version of Chinese BBQ duck. But then presentation-wise, it looks so much better than what you get from food court.

5. Banana and coconut bavarois, passion fruit jelly

We were most impressed by the desserts we got here. I suppose it’s not that hard to make jelly… but what is bavarois?

6. Peanut butter parfait with milk mousse, cherry sauce

I actually know every single word in the name of this course… it tastes as good as it sounds.

End of Day 1

While the meal was expensive, it’s probably worth it (just don’t ask Thomas) By the time we left the restaurant, it was almost 1am, only a few hours before our train ride to Paris…

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