It’s the trip of a lifetime, onboard the phenomenal and out-of-this-world Singapore Airlines Suites!
So it’s my birthday on the 24th of September, and for this, I am flying the amazing Singapore Airlines A380 Suites! My itinerary involves flying from Sydney to Singapore on the 24th of September, and then Singapore to Hong Kong on the 26th of September. After several conversations with the KrisFlyer Contact Centre about stopovers, unaccompanied minors, the website not working properly and redemption nominees, finally the flights are booked. At this stage, I have just got off the phone with KrisFlyer, and will update the report accordingly. This will be an amazing two flights, especially the one on my birthday! It’ll be amazing using the First Class drive-in check-in in Singapore and The Private Room in T3. Can’t wait! ✈ – 7:30 pm; Thursday 6 June 2013
^ The Itinerary ^
Well, the day of the amazing flight came fast! An early start to the day, so as to spend a good amount of time in the lounge. In the previous months I was in contact again with Mr Nicholas Ionides (President of Public Affairs at SIA) and Mr Mak Swee Wah (Executive Vice President of SIA). Mr Mak told me a while ago that he would be happy to meet up with me next time I was in Singapore. I told him I was to be in the country on the 25th/26th, and would love to meet up. He was, unfortunately, busy at the time, but kindly forwarded my email to Mr Nicholas Ionides, who then emailed me saying that he would be happy to meet with me. We agreed to meet up in the SilverKris lounge, and he granted lounge access to my Father and Sister who were flying Economy. But all of this excitement was present until a few days before the flight. Mr Ionides said he was unable to make it for the meeting as he had an unexpected business trip. This was probably in view of the announcement of the new Indian airline to be formed by Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons. But nonetheless, he managed to pull some strings to allow my Father and Sister First Class lounge in Singapore and also into the Air New Zealand (ANZ) Lounge in Sydney. The SIA lounge in Sydney was under renovation, and SIA were using the ANZ lounge. Because of this, ANZ wasn’t allowing guests of premium passengers into the lounge. However, thanks to Mr Ionides, they did this time!
Anyway, after checking in at the Suites counter and getting the nice golden boarding passes, we proceeded through immigration.
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus A380-841
Registration: 9V-SKF; MSN 012
Flight Number: SQ 232
Class Of Travel: Suites (First Class)
Seat Number: 03F
Departure Date: 24/09/13
After immigration we headed straight to the Air New Zealand lounge. It is a fairly basic lounge. At the time there was very limited food on offer, however, I would expect this to be different later in the day. It was fairly busy as a result of many airlines using it.
Boarding was scheduled at 10:45am, so we headed to Gate 61 at about 10:30. At this point, boarding was just beginning for Suites and Business Class, so I headed through the priority lane and walked to the end of the airbridge, where I was able to turn into the dedicated Suites boarding bridge. As I approached the door, the crew came out, “Good morning, Sir.”. The steward handed my boarding card to the Leading Stewardess who took me to my seat. She showed me where to put my bag and asked if I wanted a drink. I requested the Tropical Sparkle, one of my favourite non-alcoholic cocktails in Singapore Airlines Business and First. It seemed to taste far better here in the Suites than in Business Class! At this point I noticed the blue card in the literature pocket…FINALLY I was onboard a Singapore Airlines flight with wi-fi!
Soon the Chief Steward, Edmund Lee came and introduced himself. He was to look after me for most of the flight. I noticed his red tie and said “Ah…Red tie. Chief Steward!” and he responded with “Yes, Chief! But not the oldest crew!”. More about Edmund later, but he was THE BEST flight attendant (F/A) I have ever had onboard ANY flight. Edmund began by willingly showing me all the features of the Suite, including the storage areas, tray table and wardrobe. Just before he left I noticed he was using a MontBlanc Meisterstück Classic pen! I love MontBlanc and all their products…great to see F/As using them inflight!
Some pre-take-off photos:
It was a very different perspective seeing the aircraft turn from the front of this enormous aircraft. Soon after take-off there was a bit of down-time before the meal service began.
In the Suites, SIA offers a 5 course meal along with a wide selection of breads before the meal and an array of TWG gourmet teas, fine coffees by Illy and a selection of fresh fruits, to conclude the meal.
Two appetisers were available on this flight, including:
Chilled malossol caviar with melba toast and condiments;
*Warm seared spiced scallops with pumpkin puree, caper raisin chutney and salad
Two soups were available on this flight, including:
Sweetcorn soup with crabmeat and basil pesto;
Chicken soup with Chinese mushrooms and bamboo shoot
One salad was available on this flight:
Caesar salad: Romaine lettuce with bacon, parmesan cheese, croutons and anchovy-garlic dressing
Four main courses were available on this flight including:
*Barramundi fillet with cold potato-marinated artichoke salad and iberico ham;
Wagyu sirloin with rosemary jus, roasted onion, mushroom, carrot, bell pepper and mashed potatoes;
Indian prawns curry with spiced vegetables and pilaff rice;
Braised chicken with bailing mushroom, bean curd with vegetables and fried ee fu noodle
Three desserts were available on this flight:
*Chocolate marquise with caramelised peanut and orange sorbet;
Grand Marnier caramel custard with strawberry salad;
Cheddar maffra, blue tar win berry’s creel, des clarine and holy goat organic succan grange cheeses with grapes and garnishes
Fresh, in season fruits;
Gourmet teas by TWG;
Gourmet coffees by Illy;
* Indicates meals exclusively created by Matt Moran of Aria Restaurant, Sydney
Singapore Airlines features a comprehensive ‘International Culinary Panel’ (ICP). This comprises of well known chefs from around the world including Matt Moran (Australia), Gordon Ramsay (United Kingdom), Alfred Portale (United States), Carlo Cracco (Italy), Georges Blanc (France), Sam Leong (Singapore), Sanjeev Kapoor (India), Yoshihiro Murata (Japan), Zhu Jun (China), Suzanne Goin (United States).
On most flight in Business, First and Suites (and sometimes Economy), a small chef hat icon next to the meal selection indicates the meal has been created by one of these chefs. On this flight (and I assume most flights in and out of Australia), Matt Moran was the featured chef. In the menu above, the * represents meals created by him.
SIA also uses Givnechy crockery, cutlery and linen throughout all classes on all aircraft. Here is initial table set-up:
I started my meal with Singapore Airlines’ famous caviar and condiments:
This dish is the most common First Class appetiser served on most First/ Suites flights. It features caviar, melba toast and other condiments, as well as a lemon wedge. The dish was flavoursome and perfectly salty. This was my first real time having caviar, and it was amazing. The chief steward, Edmund, even asked if I wanted more!
Following this was the soup course:
This was closest followed by the salad course:
The Caesar Salad was the only salad on offer for this meal. It was very tasty and flavoursome like all the courses. Onboard an aircraft the air is dry and taste sense is reduced. Airline catering involves adding a great deal of flavour so that meals that would be fine on the ground are not bland inflight. The salad leaves were presented nicely, wrapped tightly in cucumber (although this was a little tricky to take apart).
After going to the bathroom briefly I came back to find the salad taken away (they must have known I had had enough) and the hot towel replaced. Next came the main course:
I used Singapore Airlines’ Book The Cook service, which I took advantage of on my last SIA Business Class flight. I decided to order the very famous Singapore Airlines Boston Lobster Thermidor. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy this course as much. Mainly because I was very full by this point. The lobster itself was fairly bland. The rice was amazing, though. Edmund even came and offered me an unopened jar of chilli flakes. He said that he really liked chilli on food and goes to a special restaurant in Singapore (or Sydney, I can’t remember) that makes really hot food. Love the personal touches in the service!
To conclude the meal, was the amazing dessert service:
That is it for now.
And enjoy the journey.