Flight Review: Malaysia Airlines B737-800 Business Class Review KUL-DPS

Good afternoon everyone! I managed to book a business class seat with Malaysia Airlines on their 737-800 fleet from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar, Bali on the 15th of May 2019 and here’s a brief review of my experience. Read on!

At the present moment, I am writing this review on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 851 en route to Denpasar, Bali from Kuala Lumpur, but by the time this post is published, I would probably be lounging in the pool overlooking the rice paddy fields in Ubud.

I took the KLIA Express from KL Air Terminal as it’s the fastest mode of transportation (and most economical) for a single-person journey to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. KLIA Express boasts about its punctuality, and I have yet to experience any issues with its timing.

Airport

28 minutes later, I arrived at the airport and immediately went straight to the business class check-in to retrieve my boarding pass. Security and passport clearance were a breeze as usual with KLIA’s biometric passport gate checks.

Malaysia Airlines Regional Golden Lounge

Without further ado, I went to Malaysia Airlines Regional Golden Lounge and without a minute to spare, I ordered my go-to hot latte and a glass of sparkling wine on the side. The one gripe that I had with the regional lounge is that they do not have champagne available which their international business and first-class lounge carry. So, if you’re thinking of quenching your thirst with champagne, you will not get it in the regional lounge for Malaysia Airlines.

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Coffee and tea bar. 
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Flight information board in the Malaysia Airlines Regional Golden Lounge. Please note that announcements will not be made in the lounge so it’s the passengers responsibilities to keep themselves updated regarding their flights.
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The view of the runway from the Golden Lounge is impressive. 
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Hot latte featuring my passport.

I only had 20 minutes to spend in the lounge before my gate was open and thankfully, it was just a five minutes’ walk away from the lounge.

Pre-Boarding

Priority boarding is one of the best privileges when you’re flying premium and with my Enrich Silver Status, I get to board at the same time premium class passengers do, regardless of my travel class. Find out more about their Enrich Program here!

I selected seat 1F (window seat, first row) and there were only 3 other passengers in the business class cabin on this flight – perfect. While waiting for the rest of the passengers to board, I was already comfy in my seat and was served a glass of guava juice and a cold towel to refresh myself. I thought a warm towel would do the job better but nonetheless it was a hot day and I needed to cool myself down.

Food

Ten minutes into boarding, my flight attendant came with the menu and of course, I asked whether they would serve alcohol on this flight – lo and behold, they do and I, of course, ordered champagne to kick start this holiday. I was slightly bummed they did not carry the brands of champagne they normally do on their wide-bodied aircrafts but hey – I’ll take what I’ll get.

Here’s a shot of the menu:

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Business Class menu.

I ordered the roast chicken which came with a basic garden salad as the entrée, and coconut lychee mousse as dessert. Roast chicken was slightly salty but cooked through and was not dry. I wish I opted for the beef rendang instead, though.

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Roast chicken, bread, garden salad, and coconut lychee mousse.

My lovely flight attendant was attentive to my drinking habit, as I never noticed that my glass was ever empty.

In Flight Entertainment:

Malaysia Airlines in-flight entertainment system’s catalogue is not as extensive as it should be but for a three-hour flight, I think it would be enough for any traveller to stay entertained for a decent amount of time. I skimmed through the movies catalogue and I was not attracted to any of the titles that were available, so I ended up listening to their jazz music library and spent the bulk of my time reading and catching up on some work.

If you’re seated at the first row in business class on their 737 fleet, it requires a little bit of work to set up your IFE. It’s located in between the two seats and you have to detach the screen by pushing it inwards, triggering the mechanical spring which would then push the IFE out of its compartment. It needs a little bit of oiling, though.

Seat:

You would expect a great amount of comfort with your seat in their business class cabin. It has a 42” pitch, more than enough for a regional product. The seat’s reclining system is manually operated however, so don’t expect your seat to recline automatically. Business class passengers would receive a small pillow and a blanket, but no amenity kit which I do not think was a big of a deal considering the flight duration.

Flight Attendants:

Malaysia Airlines takes prides in its warm hospitality and friendliness, and I can attest to this statement. There was only one flight attendant for the four of us passengers in the business class cabin but she was attentive to all our needs. I felt comfortable and happy with her friendly and warm service.

Landing:

30 minutes before landing, the co-pilot announced our current flight’s status and the approximate time for touchdown which was approximately around 3:30p.m. At around 3:35p.m, we touched down at Denpasar-Bali Airport, and the landing was smooth and effortless.

Overall:

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I was generally impressed with my experience with flying business class on Malaysia Airlines for the third time in the span of less than 4 months and needless to say, my expectations were always met.

However, the only issue I had with the flight was the food. It was quite underwhelming, but it was not terrible. It’s not something I would eat unless I was really hungry.

They make up for it with their excellent service and it definitely left a good impression on me and I would definitely suggest their regional business class product if you are curious.

Til then, stay hydrated!

Much love,

Peter

All photos taken on iPhone X
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Bars&Brunches: Christmas Day Brunch Buffet @ Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur

At the age of 21, I experienced my first Christmas alone – 843 miles away from home. Far from the comforts of familiarity and routine, I decided to make the most out of the opportunity to be celebrating the festive season on my own and researched events that I could attend on Christmas Day, lo and behold – I stumbled upon Grand Hyatt’s Christmas Day Brunch & Lunch Buffet while scrolling through my Facebook and within five minutes, I was on the phone with one of Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur’s rep on Sunday evening, finalizing my reservation. Without further ado, lets get on to the experience!

The buffet starts at 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Day, 2018 and it was hosted in Thirty8, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. I was greeted by their friendly staff and was accompanied all the way from the ground level, to the restaurant itself on the 38th floor and was seated at a table with a spectacular view of the Petronas Twin Towers.

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Thirsty from the sweltering hot day, I ordered a glass of prosecco and a bottle of mineral water from their à la carte menu. The restaurant was still quite empty at this time with only less than ten tables occupied.

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After I was briefed about the buffet’s menu, the prosecco and water arrived. The extra-dry and fizzing glass of prosecco was perfect to get me in the mood to gorge on their wide range of food.

A disclaimer – this post would not be a detailed review of their food menu, just the overall experience that I enjoyed spending Christmas day here.

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I took some slices of roasted turkey with cranberry sauce, a couple of slices of medium rare Australian Black Angus steak, a scoop of lasagna and two balls of breaded tuna that I thought were arancini in the first place.

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Next, I moved on the Japanese and seafood counter and picked out some salmon and yellowtail sashimi, salmon belly sushi, a scoop of ikura (salmon roe), and two fresh oysters. By the way, who else eats their oysters with tabasco sauce? Let me know in the comments if you do too! I was impressed with the freshness of the sashimi and oysters as it is quite difficult to get your hands on good seafood here in Kuala Lumpur without forking out a fortune.

Now on to my favorite part of all meal times – desserts! The Christmas Buffet offered a good range of mouth-watering desserts and sweets to choose from. They have tarts, cookies, sorbets, cakes and more.

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I was being modest because I didn’t want to disappoint my dentist in my next appointment so I took only a couple of things from the desserts table – yes, I was sad but I had to keep my teeth in check in time for my next visit.

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I selected pandan creme brûlée, strawberry and raspberry tarts, a bowl of raspberry sorbet and two pieces of chocolate with a drizzle of more chocolate on top. And from the picture, you can tell a glass of gin and tonic randomly appeared on my table, I don’t know where that came from! 🤫

At this time around 2:15p.m., the restaurant was packed with families and couples. Santa Clause made his rounds around the restaurant in the afternoon and offered me two candies because he said I made it into the nice kids list. I guess one of the perks of being an Asian is that you will look forever young even when you are 21.

To finish everything off, I ordered another glass of gin and tonic and spent the remaining hour basking in the atmosphere, staring beyond the huge glass panels with an unobstructed view of the twin towers and calling up loved ones.

There were carolers entertaining us with classic Christmas hymns as well and I can’t help but smile seeing everyone singing along to the songs. The whole restaurant felt alive and glowing with spirit the entire afternoon.

The total bill inclusive of tax amounted to RM 630.00. The alcoholic beverages were not included in the initial buffet package of RM 430.00, so a heads up if you’re keen on paying this place a visit for Christmas next year!

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My overall experience at the Christmas Day Brunch Buffet was pleasant and I definitely recommend everyone to try it out if you get the chance. Food, ambiance, and service was top notch and although I was alone, the staff and waiters were kind enough to drop by and made some small talk with me. Shoutout to Hiedayah from Thirty8 and Mr Clause for making my day!

As I grow older, I truly realize how wonderful and important it is to be able to get together with your friends, family, and loved ones and celebrate an occasion together – be it Christmas, a birthday, a wedding or a simple gathering. In an ever growing, fast-paced society, we tend to overlook the little things that make us human – love, kindness, and gratitude and lest we forget that at the end of the day, these are the things that truly matter.

I hope my readers had a great time during Christmas this year, and even if you were alone, remember that you are never lonely. Make that phone call, ring up a loved one, tell them you love them and how lovely it was to have them present in your life. Be the lover the world greatly needs and I hope you will feel the love in return. Thank you Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur for making me feel like home for Christmas this year.

Stay hydrated,
Peter.

All photos taken on iPhone X.

Bars&Brunches: Antipodean, Bangsar

A little while ago, I was casually sipping coffee at a local coffee shop and an idea for a new mini-series hit me; since I frequent cafés and bars on the weekends, why not document the experience and share it with everyone? Who made us, and where should I eat next remain as two of the universe’s longest unanswered questions; so spare your worries – Bars&Brunches is here, as your one-stop destination for reviews of KL’s hot and hidden outlets to satisfy your weekend’s need for either a perfect smashed avocados on bread, or for great drinks.

Antipodean, Bangsar would be the first featured café for Bars&Brunches‘ debut, being one of my top favorite places to visit for my weekend brunch’s cravings. Located in Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, it is no stranger to frequent patrons of Bangsar’s wide selection for cafés and restaurants. 

Photo courtesy of shellahkei @ shellahkei.wordpress.com

The staffs quickly recognized me and greeted me even when I was 10 steps away from the premise; a reflection of one of their great customer service trainings – welcoming and friendly.

I sat down at one of the tables outdoors, made myself comfortable and was immediately attended to. They brought me a bottle of cold water and a glass of ice to help me settle down. I ordered my usual latte, one of my favorite coffee drinks.

To be fair in all my future reviews, I’ll stick to ordering lattes as a simple way to gauge a café’s standards for coffee.

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It took them around 5 minutes to prepare my latte, and presentation was top-notch, as always. I admire the vibrant ceramic saucer that came with my latte. Antipodean’s lattes are easily one of my favorites in the area – medium bodied accompanied by distinct earthy tones with a delicate aroma. After a sip of my latte, I ordered the smashed avocado on toast, another personal go-to brunch meal and of course, a glass of the house white wine. 

The food and wine arrived about 10 minutes later, and as previously mentioned – Antipodean does not skimp its presentation, ever. My smashed avocados on bread came with grilled pork bacon (I was given the option to choose between pork or beef bacon) and a generous portion of roasted tomatoes. 


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I have no qualms whatsoever regarding the food and wine – the portion was appropriate for a brunch-time meal, enough to fuel me for the remainder of the afternoon. I am fully aware of the fact that it is definitely difficult to obtain high quality avocados in Malaysia, hence I was not putting my hopes too high, taste-wise. However, I was pleasantly satisfied that the dish turned out well. The avocados were however slightly on the unripened end,  but the garnish and salt masked it very well. 

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The grilled pork bacon and tomatoes complemented the avocados very well. They did not overpowered the taste of the avocado, which can easily happen when you add a grilled, cured meat to vegetables. The acidity from the tomatoes helped to balance out the heavy earthy flavors coming from the pork bacon, avocados and bread – a winning combination. 

It would not be complete without a huge glass of red sangria wine to ease everything down. Plus, it was a hot and humid day in Bangsar on Sunday so the chilled sangria really helped.

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Overall, my experience in Antipodean, Bangsar was pleasant – just like the many times I have been to the restaurant before. The food was satisfying, the ambiance was relaxing, and the staff were helpful and friendly. One of the main reasons why I keep coming back to Antipodean is due to their excellent customer service. 

I will definitely be coming back in the future. 

Stay hydrated,
Peter.

All photos taken on iPhone X.

Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class Review ( Kuala Lumpur – Brisbane )

On my recent trip to Brisbane last month, I had the opportunity to try out Malaysia Airlines reinvigorated business class seats, debuting their fully-flat beds on all their A330 fleet from Kuala Lumpur to Australia. I was on MH135 en route to Brisbane from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and MH134 on the return flight back to Malaysia.

On both legs of the journey, I selected seat 5D which had direct aisle access. Seats 2K, 4K & 7K do not have direct aisle access, so do keep that in mind if you’re thinking of flying on their A330 Business Class fleet.

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Seats

Seat 5D, with my trusted Herschel travel backpack !

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Direct aisle access from my seat, 5D.

Ample leg room to shift around in your seat. The seat fully reclines into a flat-bed, conjoining with an ottoman that’s situated right under the in-flight-entertainment screen. The seat can be adjusted with a simple control setting on the side panel, and including buttons to control the mood lighting & massage feature.

On the same side area, you’re able to find a USB power outlets, in flight entertainment remote, and a small pocket for storage – enough to fit a standard sized smart phone.


Food & Beverages

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On the flight to Brisbane, I selected the fruits meal and a glass of smoothie as it was a morning flight, and I knew beforehand I was going to have a big breakfast in the Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge so I was not going to gorge on more food on board the flight. Fruits were fresh and had enough variety to keep me happy and satisfied.

My kind flight attendant even offered to give me an extra plate as he thought growing teens need to eat more fruits these days. I happily obliged, and my tummy sang in unison.

I was served a generous amount of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2005 throughout the whole flight, although I did not take any pictures of me partaking in hedonistic pleasures – rest assured, I was very happy and amused.

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Of course, it would not be a complete flight without the legendary Malaysia Airlines chicken & beef satay, downed with another glass of champagne. I unashamedly asked for refills, twice. 


Amenity Kit & Entertainment

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The amenity kit came in with basic toiletries from Aigner, eyeshade & a pair of stockings. No pajamas, though – which I found lacking for a long haul flight from Kuala Lumpur to Brisbane. The Aigner bag itself was sturdy & minimalistic; fitting my current aesthetic.

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The Good Place on Netflix.

I skimmed through their in-flight entertainment, and it was updated with recently released films & up to date shows, however I came in prepared with my own entertainment – my iPad with pre-downloaded shows on Netflix. The display was responsive, although not as responsive as the ones on the A380 & A350. However, the screen size made up for the lack in receptivity which made my brief experience in the IFE satisfying. Most of the times, I used the IFE to check our plane’s current status in the air.

My next door neighbor seemed to enjoy his in flight entertainment service – I can’t help but laugh myself when I heard him laugh from watching a show on the IFE.

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Overall

I had a great & memorable experience.

All in all, my experience was memorable and comfortable. The service I was given the moment I checked in at the counter, to the times when I was chilling in the Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge until I disembarked from the plane 8 hours later, was  indeed pleasant and enjoyable.

The Malaysia Airlines Business Class experience that I had, left a nice imprint in me and it signified an improvement in the direction it is heading, albeit a few improvements could be added for a better overall experience for business travelers.

I am a leisure traveler, hence my experience was gauged and assessed mostly in terms of comfort and flexibility.

Stay hydrated & blessed !
Peter.

All photos were shot on iPhone X.