My last meal / London
A comic creation she may be but stewardess Pam Ann is deadly serious when it comes to EasyJet’s lack of plates and British Airways’ macadamia nuts.
“I was first introduced to Nobu by the fashion designer Julien Macdonald. He designed the British Airways uniform and is a great friend – and a total pisshead. If you want really good Japanese food, nothing beats Nobu unless you’re in Tokyo. I love Japanese food. The flavours, the presentation – it’s flawless and I’m into perfection. What’s great is that I travel so much and they have them all around the world. It’s fierce, I love the atmosphere. The yellowtail is one of my favourite dishes. Everything is a taste sensation and nothing has been missed. But I have to say, never order soy sauce in this restaurant because they’ll come down on you like al-Qaeda.
For my last meal I’d invite Barack and Michelle [Obama] because they can get me on Air Force One and I really want to know what that’s like. I’d also invite Julien Macdonald because we’d enjoy it together, Nelson Mandela just to freak everyone out and The Weather Girls to give it some disco. Plus Kim Kardashian and Kanye [West]. They can sit on another table trying to get into our party like they did with the Vogue cover.
What could an airline like EasyJet learn about service at Nobu? They could never do this. Firstly they don’t have plates, they don’t have cutlery and they wouldn’t know how to use chopsticks. All they can do is heat up a panini. Virgin is a bit too kitsch; get rid of your airplane salt-and-pepper shakers, up the ante.
If I had to have my last meal on a plane I must say the food and the whole service on Air New Zealand is amazing. I can’t remember what I ate because I was so high on Xanax and red wine but it tasted good, I think. Qantas have Neil Perry and the food is clean and nice. Marc Newson designed everything from the cutlery to the cups; there’s an amazing attention to detail that no one else has. The most consistent airline in the world though is British Airways. I love the Britishness, the no-nonsense ‘get on board, sit in your seat, here’s your champagne and macadamia nuts, now shut up and don’t bother me’. I love that. Air France also has a certain style that no one can ever take from them. They really do look you up and down and say, ‘You are so fat,’ with their eyes. It’s so chic.
I don’t believe the golden age of travel is over, not if you have the money. Lufthansa has an S-class Mercedes that comes and meets you at the wheel of the plane at Frankfurt airport – not even at the gate. The other people have to get a bus. It’s still the golden age of travel, there’s just more economy passengers. I wish they wouldn’t ruin it for the rest of us. I used to see this guy – clearly we’re not together anymore. If you want to ruin someone from the ghetto’s palate, take them to Nobu. They won’t be able to afford it ever again and they’ll have to go and have cheap Japanese when you drop them like a hot potato and say, ‘Sorry about that Japanese food, you have to go and eat in Chinatown.’ My ex-boyfriend said, ‘You’ve ruined my palate because nothing can ever beat Nobu.’ And he was right: nothing can.”
Air stewardess Pam Ann is the alter ego of comedienne and writer Caroline Reid. Reid has toured the world with the act and starred in her own talk show in her native Australia. She has appeared in training videos for British Airways, hosted private jets for Elton John and opened for Cher on the singer’s UK tour. She is currently working on a Pam Ann feature film.
Opened in 2005, Nobu Berkeley St was the second London outpost of Nobu Matsuhisa’s restaurant brand. It is spread over two floors in a space designed by David Collins.
Appetisers: Tuna tataki with ponzu, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and steamed broccoli with shiso salsa.
Main courses: Black cod den miso, soft-shell crab kara-age with ponzu, lobster kara-age with spicy lemon garlic, Chilean sea bass yasai zuke, dragon rolls and rainbow rolls.
Dessert: Lollipops selection, Nobu chocolate tart, banana split 3000 and an espresso martini.
Numerous lychee martinis