Review: ANA Business Class 787-9 (NRT–CGK)

Jyaga likes (4.5/5)

ANA flight details

Airline : ANA – All Nippon Airways
Flight No : NH835
Departure City : Tokyo – Narita (NRT)
Arrival City : Jakarta – Soekarno-Hatta (CGK)
Equipment : Boeing 787-9 (JA896A)
Blocked Time : 7h55m
Seat No: 3A

Under three hours after having just flown from Manila, it was finally time to wrap up this trip and head back to Jakarta! When I booked this flight, it was initially scheduled with ANA’s regional-configured Boeing 787-8. The aircraft was annoyingly changed afterwards, now featuring ANA’s standard long-haul Boeing 787 product. Since the cabins and inflight entertainment are identical to the two I’ve flown on the departure, I’ll keep this review short and sweet. You can read more about the seats in that review here, in which I’ve also detailed my booking process.


At Narita International Airport, the airline operates three departure lounges, two of which can be accessed by Business Class passengers. During my visit, I was able to visit the ANA Lounge Satellite 5 and the ANA Lounge Satellite 2, both of which I’ve reviewed in past instalments. In addition, I also managed to visit the United Club Tokyo Narita, which maintains similar entry requirements thanks to the Star Alliance lounge access policy.

ANA Lounge Satellite 5
ANA Lounge Satellite 2


After spending the better of two hours running between lounges, I got to the far away Gate 58A at 17.00 in hopes of being amongst the first people to board. At the gate, separate lines Despite the printed boarding time of 17.20, only passengers requiring special assistance were invited to board by this time.

Gate at Narita International Airport

Lo and behold, this triggered a DYKWIA man who went berserk at the poor gate agent. Toting his much younger wife and young son, the man yelled and demanded to be boarded first since he was flying Business Class. As I stood watch from the Group 2 line, he finally resigned to his fate and gingerly went into the Group 1 line for ANA Diamond Service passengers. Despite being in the wrong line, he was promptly admitted when it came to general boarding at 17.27. Perhaps the gate agents weren’t looking to set off a second barrage of insults, but it’s disappointing to see how behaving terribly brings you places. Sigh.

ANA Boeing 787-9 at Tokyo Narita Airport

Once I got onboard, I was greeted by the crew, who pointed to the aisle of my seat. Unbeknownst to me, however, a group of non-Business Class passengers followed me down the jetbridge connected to Door 1L. This prompted the cabin to be quite chaotic during the boarding process, since people were getting lost trying to find their seats.

Cabin upon boarding

ANA Boeing 787-9 Cabin

Much like the flight from Jakarta and the one to Manila, this flight was operated by ANA’s high-density Boeing 787-9. Since I’ve explained in great detail about the seats in those reviews, I’ll just gloss over them here. In simple terms, Business Class has a total of 40 seats in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration spread between two cabins. The cabin is equipped with the ANA Staggered Business Class seat, which is offered on the majority of long-haul ANA aircraft.

ANA Boeing 787-9 Business Class cabin
ANA Boeing 787-9 Business Class cabin

Already waiting on the seat during boarding was a packaged pair of slippers, a pair of flimsy Panasonic headphones, a thick blanket and a large pillow. Curiously the simple amenity pouch that was presented on the redeye departure from Jakarta isn’t offered on this flight. This is a marked difference from Japan Airlines, which offers the pouch on either flight, regardless of departure time.

ANA Business Staggered seat
ANA Business Staggered seat

Departure from Tokyo

After settling down in my seat, Ikeda greeted me and cheerfully introduced herself. She also had with her a tray of drinks, which she offered as a pre-departure beverage. Honestly, I was quite surprised to see this, since none of my last three flights had a pre-departure beverage service. Regardless, on offer was either a choice of orange juice or champagne. I ended up going for a glass of orange juice, which was served in a plastic cup.

Predeparture Beverage
View at the gate at Narita International Airport

She came back a few moments later to take my meal and drink order, to which I opted for the Japanese meal (having learnt my lesson on the previous flight). At this time the purser went on the intercom to welcome us onboard this flight to Jakarta. She also announced our flight time of seven hours. The doors were closed 22 minutes after boarding commenced at 17.49, followed by the playing of the safety video. The video is complemented by subtitles in Bahasa Indonesia, alongside a demonstration in sign language.

Safety video

As the safety video played, we finally started the pushback sequence at 17.55, ten minutes past our departure time. During our taxi to Runway 16R, we passed by a few other aeroplanes, including a mint-liveried Air Canada Boeing 787-9 bound for Vancouver. We finally took off from the runway at 18.12 local time, ascending to the grey skies above Chiba!

Air Canada Boeing 787-9 at Narita International Airport
View after takeoff

Dinner Service

About 12 minutes after takeoff, the captain switched off the seatbelt signs, prompting the crew to prepare for the inflight meal service. Ikeda passed through the aisle 20 minutes later, setting up our tray tables with pristine white tablecloths. This came with my pre-requested drink of cold green tea, alongside a canapé of Shortnecked Clam Ratatouille and ANA Signature Stick seed crackers.

Aperitif service

As you’d always expect from a Japanese airline, there was a choice between Japanese and Western for the meal. For each cuisine, there was just a single main course, with no choice of dishes. For reference, the following is the food and drinks menu for this flight.

Inflight dining menu
Inflight beverage list

Japanese Cuisine


After picking about the aperitif for 25 minutes, the three appetisers were finally brought out. The tray consisted of a seasonal array of side dishes crafted by ANA Japanese Chef, Mori Seigou. Beautifully presented, the appetiser tray features three platters, each with stunningly radiant elements evoking almost psychedelic colours.

Appetiser tray

By order of the menu, first up was the Zensai, consisting of Simmered Sweetfish with Roe, Yuba (tofu skin) with Pinenut Miso, Wheat Gluten with Yuzu Bean, Daikon Radish and Pickled Ginger Roll, a whole prawn, and a single squid nigirizushi. Despite its deceivingly simple look, the dish tasted excellent and well-rounded.

ANA Japanese Meal – Zensai

Next up was the Greater Amberjack, served Salad Style with Citrus Dressing. This consisted of raw amberjack served like sashimi with pickled daikon radish and mustard greens. It tasted very fresh and refreshing and was completely appropriate for the summer.

ANA Japanese Meal – Kobachi

The appetiser tray was topped with a bowl of Scallop and Tomato Tofu, served with a Soy-based Gelée. Honestly, this dish was my least favourite of the three, since I’m not the biggest fan of scallops. Regardless, I found this to be similarly refreshing, due to its acidic and vinegary taste. Overall an excellent choice of starters!

ANA Japanese Meal – Kobachi
Main course

The main course was served five minutes after I finished the excellent appetiser. Likewise, this was served on a shiny black tray, featuring the main course, alongside a cup of soup and a bowl of steamed rice. At this time, I was also offered a top-up of my favourite cold green tea, which I very much appreciated!

ANA Japanese Meal – Shusai

The main course consisted of two elements – Simmered Beef & Winter Melon with Miso and Grilled Greenland Halibut with Soy-based Sauce. Although not ordinarily a fan of beef, this dish was phenomenal. The beef melted in my mouth, and the natural sweetness of the winter melon only alleviated the taste further. Similarly, the Greenland Halibut was exceptionally fresh and sweet, which is quite the opposite of the Greenland Halibut I had from Haneda. Wowowow!!!

ANA Japanese Meal – Shusai

The incredible main course was served with a complementary bowl of miso soup, alongside a small platter of daikon and celery pickles. Yum!

Miso Soup and Pickles
Dessert and Post-meal

After clearing my meal tray, Ikeda and the purser passed through the cabin with a trolley to offer a choice of desserts and chocolates. There was a choice of Citrus Mango, a cheese platter, and sliced fruits. Given how filling the meal had been, I opted for the fruit bowl as a nice palate cleanser after the meal. Despite that, those who know me will know that I can’t possibly pass on a box of chocolates. 😛 To balance things out, I had a cup of hot green tea with that. What a spectacular ending to the meal!

ANA Business Class – Dessert

After the meal, the crew distributed water bottles and packaged oshibori. But disregarding that… wow! Given my wildly low expectations of ANA catering based on my last two flights, this meal blew me out of the water. The flavourful and beautifully presented seasonal dishes were amongst the best meals I’ve had in Business Class on any airline! This might even excel the incredible Japanese meal I had on China Airlines back in April… Mental note: never order a Western meal on ANA ever again!

Water bottle and oshibori


After the glorious dinner, I decided to head to the lavatory to freshen up. ANA’s Boeing 787-9s are equipped with three lavatories in Business Class for a total of 40 passengers. As you’d similarly find on Japan Airlines, the toilet is thoughtfully equipped with a bidet.

ANA Boeing 787 Business Class lavatory

In addition to the ANA Original Aroma hand soap, on offer were also toothbrushes, packets of mouthwash, and a face and body sheet. The latter specifically is similar to a wet towel and acts to refresh the face and body in the absence of a shower.


As probably hinted at the beginning of this review, this flight was the one in which ANA’s crew really shined. Whilst I got pleasant and friendly crews on my last two flights, this crew was especially warm and polished. I appreciated that they were very proactive, and not just with offering frequent drink top-ups. For example, when they overhead a passenger snoring loudly in the cabin, they passed by to offer awake passengers ear plugs. Wow, that’s some world-class service right there! As such, this crew provided the closest level of service to the excellent crews on JAL.

Arrival in Jakarta

About two hours before landing, the crew passed through the cabin to offer any refreshments before landing. Although I was very tempted to try the Ippudo Pla-ton Ramen or the Chicken and Mushroom Curry, I ultimately decided against that given how full I still was. In any case, another meal this close to midnight wouldn’t be great for my waistline! 😉 As such, I ended up ordering another glass of cold green tea, served with a packet of rice crackers (which I had to-go).

Pre-arrival refreshments

The seatbelts were finally turned on 20 minutes before our expected landing time, prompting the crew to pass through the cabin to make their final safety checks. As I stared at the inflight map, I had a small epiphany towards how absurd this itinerary had been. Did I just fly from Hong Kong to Jakarta via Manila and Tokyo? Yes. Would I do it all over again? Probably not… although, never say never right? 😉

Inflight map

We finally touched down at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 23.18, 37 minutes before our scheduled arrival time. Since we landed on Runway 25R, it was a relatively quick five-minute taxi to our gate at Terminal 3. When we reached our final parking position, the crew played ANA’s cute arrival video as we waited for both doors to be opened. As I left the plane, I profusely thanked Ikeda and the crew and wished them farewell.

ANA Arrival Video


Overall, this was easily the best of the four ANA flights I took on this trip. Despite the identical seats, the catering and service completely shocked me as to how great ANA could be. Had this flight been operated by a Boeing 777-300ER featuring The Room, this would easily be the perfect flight and the world’s best Business Class product. Whilst I disembarked this flight with a very positive impression of ANA, I just wished they could consistently offer this level of service on all their flights. Until then, Japan Airlines would prove to be a very challenging competitor to overcome.

And like that, Back and Forth Around Asia is a wrap! Thank you so much for staying tuned and taking care of us here at JakartaPotato. As always, I appreciate each and every one of you here with me today. Until we next meet again on our next trip report 🙂

Read more from this trip!

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