Sunday, October 27, 2013

Singapore Airlines SQ 322 Business Class Singapore to London Book the Cook-Lobster Thermidor

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ 322 - Singapore to London

SQ 322 departs Singapore at 2330 and arrives in London at 0555hrs.  This flight was a codeshare with Virgin Atlantic (VS7322).  There was also SQ334 departing to Paris, shortly after our departure.

Here is the video review of the flight.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Lobster Thermidor using the Book the Cook service.  Awesome dish!

I had a meal and some drinks at the SilverKris Lounge and managed to catch up with some work, before boarding the flight.  This is the link to the SliverKris Lounge Video.

After a hearty pre-flight meal and drinks at the Terminal 3 SilverKris Lounge, I was here at the departure gate, ready to board.  You can just make out the plane in the background, beyond the glass panel.

In case you are wondering, Singapore Airlines A380 planes have a class of cabins called the Suites.  These are even more luxurious than the First Class offerings.  I certainly haven't flown in them before.  Here is the official website for your easy reference -

The waiting area wasn't crowded at all.  Later, I found out that the flight was not very full.  There were quite a number of elderly caucasian couples.  I overheard some of the chatter.  Apparently, many of them had just gotten of a cruise and were now flying back to their home country!  I hope they enjoyed their cruise here.

The waiting area is very large and spacious.  These gates and waiting areas were purposely designed for multiple A380s.

My final destination for this flight was not London, and I was happy to have had my luggage checked through and also I had my Boarding Pass issued for the next flight too.  I would be flying on British Airways next.

A nice envelope to store the boarding passes.

It was time to board the aircraft.  That's the Airbus A380 that would bring me to London.  A short walk down the aerobridge.  Premium class passengers were invited to board first, as is the usual practice.

Proceeding to board the aircraft.  Near left would be to the Suites.  Far left, was Economy class (Green).  Straight ahead was for Business class (Blue).

This A380 aircraft was configured to have an all Business Class Upper Deck. Cool.  Earlier versions of SQ A380 had a mixed upper deck, with Business in front and a smaller economy section in the rear.

This was my seat, 20K, window.  If you look at the seat map, I am in the second section of the plane.  Unfortunately, when I booked my flight, the first section cabin had no more window seats, and I definitely wanted a window seat as these offered more privacy.

Plenty of storage space, though you have to remember to retrieve all your items.

These were the centre aisle seats just next to me.  The Business class seating on SQ long-haul was in a 1-2-1 configuration.  Ample room for everybody.

That's my seat for this 13 hour flight, with a copy of the Business Times.  The SQ Business class seat is touted to be the widest in the industry for this class of travel.

Welcome Aboard!  We were served a welcome drink.  I chose the non-alcoholic option. Champagne was also offered, but I didn't feel like having champagne yet.

The King and his men have made an appearance.  Inspection time!  Drink on the cup holder.

Here is the menu.  SQ calls it World Gourmet Cuisine.  It makes sense.  The meal choices need to cater to the World palate.  But then again, is there such a thing?

Supper menu - Singapore to London. There were three choices for the mains.  Shortly after takeoff, the air stewardess would come around to take our orders.

Light Bites menu - Singapore to London.

Breakfast menu, 2 choices for the mains.

This is to cater for passengers who wanted to sleep throughout the flight.

Cocktails available.  My favorite was the Singapore Sling.  On this flight, I also tried the Sweetness in Darkness as well as the Silver Kris Sling.  The flight stewardess told me that the Silver Kris Sling was invented by a Singapore Airlines crew and encouraged me to try, which I did, but ultimately I much preferred the Singapore Sling.

These were the non alcoholic beverages.


Gourmet coffee selection.

Speciality coffees.  I had a couple of Cappuccinos.  I was tempted to try the Cafe Royale - it came with a touch of XO brandy! Maybe next time.

Selection of teas.

Looking out the window, plane was taxi-ing to the runway for takeoff.

Goodbye Singapore.  See you soon.

Take off was uneventful, though the night lights was beautiful.   I was sitting on the correct side of the cabin to catch Singapore's night lights.  Thrilled!  Check out my flight video for the full take off.

Plane was now in the air.  Look at how brightly lit Singapore is.

Once the seat-belt signs were switched off, the flight attendants got busy.  First, our drink after take-off was served, together with a small bowl of nuts.  The flight attendants had taken our orders before take-off.

I chose the Singapore Sling.  Loved it.  The King made his apperance again.

Now joined by one foot soldier, holding a most menacing pike!  Don't poke me!

Stretching out to relax, while charging my iPhone.  USB cable not provided (bring your own).

Meal Service - Supper
This was the first course, Antipasto - Air dried parma ham with salad.   It didn't taste bad, however, I didn't really like it.  The wine was good though.  Service on board was excellent.  In SQ Business class, they do not use trays for the main meal service.  A dining cloth is laid out on your tray table, and the food is nicely plated.  I was told that the service and standard is similar to First class on most other airlines.

We had just left Singapore.  The red circle was the origin.

Now the King came out with two foot soldiers!  They must be wondering whether the warm garlic bread was good.  It was delicious!

First course over.  Waiting for the Main.  Now, in case you are wondering which Main I chose from the menu, the answer was none.  I used the famous Singapore 'Book the Cook' service.  This service is available for all Premium Class passengers, i.e. Business, First and Suites.

Quoting from the Singapore Airlines website:
Revel in our celebrated Book the Cook service that enables you to order your main course before you fly. Simply select from our list of premium Book the Cook dishes and make your request through our reservations office or your travel agent at least 24 hours before flight departure. You may also make your Book the Cook meal request when purchasing your tickets online through our website.

I chose what was arguably SQ Book the Cook most famous dish:
Lobster Thermidor
Lobster tail sautéed in butter, flambéed in brandy, sprinkled with cheese, and served with creamy mushroom sauce, garlic and spicy mustard, and buttered asparagus

Take note that Book the Cook options differ greatly depending on your flight, so it is best to check out the SQ website carefully.  Currently, the Lobster Thermidor is only available on Business Class out of Singapore.  On First class, you can opt for it out of Sydney.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you the famous Lobster Thermidor!!!

It was a gastronomical delight, fit for a King.  The lobster pieces were all sliced into smaller bites, very easy to eat with the fork.  The taste was fantastic. Watch my  flight video where the Lobster is featured very prominently, including my now patented 'Fork in Lobster' move.

I had all of the Lobster, the King could only watch (and salivate).

After the Lobster, it was time for some dessert.  This was the Mango and Coconut Charlotte.  I was really full and I skipped the cheese.  The portion was decent.

Rest Time
After a wonderful meal, it was time to get some rest.  Cabin lights were quickly dimmed after the meal service was completed.  The Business Class seat could be converted into a fully flat bed. Instructions could be found on Channel 801 of the Inflight Entertainment system.  Anyway, the friendly air stewardesses are most happy to assist, if you couldn't figure out how to get it done.

I went to the toilet to brush my teeth, and then I got my bed converted with a little help from a friendly Singapore Girl.  For some reason, I didn't sleep for very long.  When I finally decided to wake up and lounge around on the bed, it was 5 hours to London.

  This picture gives you a good idea where the aircraft was at the moment. 

Snack Time
Knowing that the second meal service would only start about 2.5 hours before landing, I decided that it was time for a snack.  I ordered the Tom Yum noodles with prawns, from the light bites menu.

It was nicely served on a tray, in a large china bowl, with red cut chilli!  Very Singaporean, loved it.  I also asked for a glass of red.  Yeah, hot noodles with red cut chilli and red wine served 40,000 feet in the sky.

The prawns were very large and succulent.

Yeah, the King wasn't going to get any.  By now, His Majesty must be wondering why he even bothered to come along.  Grrrr.....

Now, here is the nifty thing.  You could have a meal even when the seat has been converted into a bed. Check this out.  The height of the tray table could also be easily adjusted.  In my case, the adjustment was not necessary as my legs could fit snugly under the tray table.

The King brought his foot soldiers to confront me.  But, no way was I going to let him have my Tom Yum noodles.

After the light snack, I lazed around and watched some stuff on the In Flight Entertainment system.  Before I knew it, it was time for breakfast!

Second Meal Service
Cabin lights were switched on about 2.5 hours before landing.  The stewardesses quickly laid out the tables. It started with orange juice and water.

First was the fruit selection.  It was nice and refreshing.  Happy to get two juicy slices of Pomelo.  I enjoyed that the most.

The pomelo is a crisp citrus fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white flesh and very thick albedo.

Cruising at 40,000 feet over Russia, but nearing Eastern Europe. Russia is a huge country.  Amazingly huge. I don't know half the cities, that is my ignorance.  I don't live in this part of the world.

Bread was served, including warm croissants.  They brought the bread basket around and there were pastries as well.  Note that some of the breads were warm, some were not.  Generally, the warm breads tasted better.  The croissants were very nice.

The King, again.  Hey, I need my breakfast!

This is what happens when I do not co-operate.  You're not giving up, are you?  Hey, how am I going to eat if your foot soldiers poke me with those pikes?

I asked for a cappuccino, and this was served quickly.   I was halfway through my fruits. (I had dealt with that King.)

The King was NOT giving up.  If you can't compel, then try to persuade.  What about doing an Obama-style speech? This time on top of the pot of jam.  Call it a jammy speech? (Hey! You're taller than the salt & pepper shakers!)

The highlight of my breakfast was the Dim Sum selection.  This was a Book the Cook selection that I had pre-ordered on the SQ website. However, I noticed that the Asian selection on the breakfast menu had a similar Dim Sum selection.

The Dim Sum tasted really good, especially when dipped in the chilli sauce.  And all the King could do was watch.

And watch very closely.  Good view from the top of the pot of jam.

That's my Dim Sum, almost completely gone, except for the glutinous rice.  I also asked for a cup of Green Tea.  It goes very well with the Dim Sum.

There is the King and his men, posing with my Boarding Pass.  SQ 322, 15 Oct 13.

We were given these 'Fast Track' card for arrivals into London.  This was nice.

Touchdown.  It was rather scary because the plane landed in rather thick fog.  But we made it anyway. The Captain told us that Josh, the Auto-Pilot would be landing the plane!  Check out my video for his announcement, 16:12 onwards.  Whatever the case, Josh landed the plane very smoothly.

This was taken after landing and you can see the fog.

We were parked at the gates, and waiting to disembark.

Overall, it was a very pleasant flight, with a very high standard of service.

Thank you for reading and do check out the following links:

1)  SQ 322 - Singapore to London Trip Video

2) Changi Airport Terminal 3 SilverKris Lounge Business Class Section Video

3)  SQ 321 London to Singapore Flight Report including SilverKris Lounge at London Heathrow

Swiss Flight Links
a) Singapore to Rome (via Zurich) Economy Class, Nov 2013
b) Rome to Singapore (via Zurich) Economy Class, Dec 2013

Cruise Links
Celebrity Silhouette Ship Pictures and Content Page for 13Night Med and Adriatic Seas Cruise

Adventure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) Iceland and Norway Cruise

Norwegian Jade Greece and Turkey Cruise