Flight: MH131 – Kuala Lumpur to Auckland
Malaysia Airlines plane. Photo: Australian Aviation
What I love most about eleven hour flights is the opportunity to try new cuisines. So I was pleased as punch to discover that supper on the plane home from Malaysia featured tiramisu, meaning a bonus post on the Tiramisu Quest. Well aren’t you lucky, readers? Lucky, that is, that you didn’t have to put it anywhere near your mouth.
Perhaps it was the unique skills of the chef. Perhaps it was the six hour wait for our connecting flight at Kuala Lumpur airport that did it. But after a lengthy wait for Mr C to chew (you don’t normally have to chew tiramisu, do you?) and eventually swallow his first mouthful, the less-than-favourable verdict was in. ‘It’s like the fire-retardant foam filling of an airport chair cushion.’ Ouch.
The scent the tiramisu emitted was pungent, even from a seat away. A combination of mint toothpaste and instant coffee from a machine.
Wary of what my tastebuds were about to experience, I watched Mr C analyse the remainder of his dessert before I tentatively scraped off the top layer. ‘It’s a challenge to finish,’ he explained, as I tried my first bite. It is hard yet furry, like an office carpet tile. ‘Dusted with coffee scented ant poison,’ as Mr C so eloquently puts it.
Perhaps the middle layer would improve the situation. The texture is almost impossible to describe; I’ve never experienced another food substance like it. The closest I can think of is a stodgy panna cotta: rubbery, blubbery and cloying.
‘Ohh, minty!’ I say, doing my best to find something in the dessert’s favour. ‘Like an Aero bar.’ Mr C nods in agreement. ‘Yes, like a minty Aero bar that got addicted to crack for a decades, was eventually scraped out from under a bin and decided to drown its sorrows with a cup of stale coffee and an ashtray of cigarette butts.’
I finally make my way to the base. It is, if this is possible, the worst of the three layers. Dry as though it has been out in the Malaysian sun for the last few days, with no observable flavour at all, it sticks to the roof of my mouth and refuses to budge.
I’m tempted to award this tiramisu half a star for the belly laugh and tears of joy I experienced from Mr C’s hilarious live review of this sky-high tiramisu. But as far as the Tiramisu Quest goes, it can’t get any lower than this. It’s a zero.