ANA (All Nippon Airways) First Class

Today, we have a very special guest post! Everyone, meet Tony Chai. He is Paul’s brother and also a foodie traveler. Last year, he experienced the ultimate luxury for the first time in the sky… ANA (All Nippon Airways) First Class. Hope you’re hungry, because this is one gastronomic story you don’t want to miss… 

 

Warning: This ANA First Class will completely spoil any type of expectations you have for future flights. Let’s start at the check-in counter at LAX.

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How baller does that look?

 

Maybe it’s the red colors, but I feel special already. The zero minute wait for check-in was nice too, no need to come to the airport many hours early in worries of long lines.

Actually I take that back, you do want to get to the airport early. Not for long lines, but for the lounges!

[Just like Singapore Airlines, all First Class passengers in Los Angeles have access to the award-winning LAX Star Alliance Lounge.]

 

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge

 

I ordered the light Lox Flatbread since I wanted a light snack, but I also didn’t want to get too full before my first meal on board. I really shouldn’t have got the dessert too but I was in the “might as well” mindset.

 

If you get tired of the First Class area, step into the Business Class lounge for some variety, or if you fancy a shower. Pro tip: This Star Alliance lounge is much much better than Skyteam’s lounge (KAL), you’ll want to stay here even if you have PriorityPass and want to lounge hop, but trust me just stay here.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge

 

 

Time for boarding! Look you even have your own line for boarding. 0-minute wait again, I’m starting to like these 0-minute lines.

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I can definitely get used to this…

 

 

 

Welcome to Seat 1A! You have your own personal jacket storage. Let’s look around the seat.

 

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Seat 1A tour

 

 

Oh, Krug champagne? Sure, I’ll have one before takeoff. 

 

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Welcome aboard

 

 

Ok, back to looking around the seat.

 

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Compartments, remote control, seat controls, night-light, and most importantly POWER
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I would give it two thumbs up, but I’m also holding a Krug champagne… 😉

 

 

A solid Samsonite amenity kit with designer Ginza beauty products.

 

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welcome amenity kit

 

 

The Hibiki 21 caught my eye immediately. I’ve never tried a bottle due to how rare it is to find it in the states. It retails for ~$500, and it’s definitely not at your local Bevmo.

Taste verdict: such a smooth whiskey, definitely a darker oak taste than the 12 year, but equally as smooth. 

 

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Hibiki 21

 

 

Omakase Menu Tasting Time

 

Chicken mousse tarelette, smoked salmon canape, and cheese/peppers.

 

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Abalone, fishcake, veggies rolled in beef, winter melon, white asparagus, purple sweet potato, plus pairing it with some LEGIT Sencha tea.

 

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I don’t think this was meant to be the highlight, but holy moly it was my favorite dish already

 

 

Prawn fishcake in clear soup with seaweed.

 

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Sashimi!

 

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Sea bream, tuna, scallop

 

 

King salmon, unagi, yams, miso beef tongue, japanese pickles. 

 

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Best salmon I’ve ever had on a flight

 

 

 

Whisked ceremonial grade matcha, with paired sweets. 

 

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Please pinch me now, I must be dreaming

 

 

 

Time to try out some drinks to pair with this extensive menu. Maybe some sake. Or maybe some graham 30-year port. Oh, some more dessert too? Sure.

 

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might as well

 

 

After the taste bud sensory overload, it’s time to freshen up in the restroom and get ready for bed.

 

The room has mouth wash, facial sheets, toothbrushes, and….

 

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JAPANESE TOILETS! In the air! Your butt thanks you.

 

 

On this LA->NRT flight, I was actually one of two people in the entire first class cabin (eight seats total), so the flight attendants suggested to use Seat 1D next to mines as my personal bed when I get tired. They prepared my bed with a mattress pad, blankets, a tempurpedic pillow, and a normal pillow. They also provide comfortable pajamas and slippers to change into.

 

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personal separate bed

 

 

Honestly I didn’t sleep at all this flight. I was too excited about how awesome it was, and didn’t want to miss a minute of it in dreamland. I did lay down in this bed for a few hours though just to relax and go through my photos/videos on my phone, as well as practicing a few Japanese phrases in preparation for Tokyo life.

 

Towards the end of the flight, the flight attendant knew that I loved the matcha tea and sweets from earlier, so she actually prepared another one for me without me even asking! 

 

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next level ANA service… won my heart

 

Regrettably, this experience came to an end, and we eventually did land in Narita. It felt weird wanting to prolong the flight instead of wanting it to be over; a flight experience like this definitely changes your perspective on travel…

 

[fast forward a couple nights]

 

I had an awesome time in Tokyo and now it’s time to go back to LA. On the flight back, I took first class as well. My seat was 2A this time. I won’t go over everything I already mentioned, but I will mention some differences.

 

Gray Samsonite amenity kit instead of red…

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That’s right.

 

Amuse bouche. Tomato cream, veal slice, parma ham, and grissino.

 

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As a red eye flight, the food was slightly different.

 

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Halibut, seawood, peppers, tamago, sardines, peppers, miso soup

 

 

I tried a few different drinks this time.

Rubaiyat Koshu Sur Lie – a japanese white wine

Bruno Paillard – champagne

Trefethen – cabarnet sauvignon 2012

And I had more of the Hibiki 21… because why not?

 

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I actually changed into their pajamas and slept on this flight. This return NRT->LAX flight was a red-eye flight and I’ve already taken a million photos/videos of my first experience, so I got much more shuteye.

 

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That is the face of a happy man. Good night. 

 

 

Meter - W Taipei3

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