I flew Saudia First Class with Ben from One Mile at a Time last week from Dubai to Los Angeles via Riyadh and Jeddah. While many parts of the in-flight and ground experience impressed me, one thing impressed me most of all.
His name was Chef Rahmi.
Our Turkish-born chef on the 16hr Jeddah to Los Angeles leg was the superlative of all the onboard chefs I have ever encountered on any airline.
Let’s start with his warm introduction. He came around to each seat, introduced himself, and offered to explain the menu, stressing that he was at our disposal to customize any dish on the (extensive) menu.
I started with breakfast after takeoff and ordered an omelet. He offered three kinds of cheeses and asked for my preferred herb. This is on an airplane…
I mentioned I loved berries and he somehow rustled up some strawberries and raspberries for me.
After a six-hour nap, I was a bit hungry. Rahmi suggested that he could make me some pizza…from scratch.
And it was delicious.
The only thing even better? A hot brownie with vanilla ice cream after.
My “feast” began two hours prior to landing and included a delicious bowl of soup, caviar, Arabic mezze, a green salad, a delicious main course of lamb shank with pasta, and delectable desserts.
Both the taste and culinary presentation were tremendous.
Oh, I forgot the canapés. Rahmi made these himself — I watched him. These were not on the menu nor was he following a Saudia recipe book. This was his own creation and underscores how he went above and beyond to make the flight special.
Saudia is a dry airline, but give me unlimited fresh pressed juices, smoothies, and cappuccino and I’m quite happy.
I should mention that the first class suite is quite comfortable:
and the rest of the first class crew — three wonderful Filipino FAs — was amazing as well.
The Dubai to Riyadh flight was comical in terms of the poor service. I was bracing for the worst from Jeddah to LA but the flight turned out to greatly exceed expectations. Stay tuned for the full trip report with high(er) resolution photos.