Trip Report: Singapore – London on Singapore Airlines, First Class (August 2017)

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The Singapore London route is not new to many of you. As I mentioned in Mini Trip Report: Bangkok July 2017 I am introducing the pictoral map to show the estimate flight route. Again, let me know if you know of better map tools (importantly, they should be free :)).

This story begins back in the earlier part of the 2000s when I first started paying attention to long haul flying. I used to see people turn left as they board the plane. Never in my mind did I ever think I would ever get to do that myself. However, over the years, I have been lucky enough to travel in business on a mixture of Singapore Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, Emirates and Cathay.

But, I had never managed to make it into the first class cabin. And here was my chance.

I was going to travel in First Class on Singapore Airlines!!!!!

While the planning for this trip began in earnest back in December 2014, the dreaming began many years prior. And yes, it has taken me this long to a) earn enough miles to redeem and b) build up the confidence to go and do it.

Want to know how I did this? Well I earned lots of miles using my various credit cards; you can see how I selected the Citi credit cards here.

In the end the flight cost me 91,375 miles, plus taxes, surcharges etc of S$278.90.  If you go online, you do a  search on the price for a one way trip, you are looking at a price of just over S$9,000 yes, S$9k!!!! YIKES!

I only paid S$278.90!!!!!

Flying the Singapore – London route meant that I would have a choice in terms of both flight times and in terms of planes. Below is the list of the flights available in December 2014 (there maybe more or fewer flights now).

SQ322 (A380-800)
SIN 23:30
LHR 05:55 (+1)
13Hrs 25Mins

SQ318 (777-300ER)
SIN 12:35
LHR 19:05
13Hrs 30Mins

SQ306 (777-300ER)
SIN 01:10
LHR 07:45
13Hrs 35Mins

SQ308 (A380-800)
SIN 09:05
LHR 15:40
13Hrs 35Mins

So, it was an even split between the a380 and the 777, and since this was to be my first time at the front of the plane, I wasn’t sure which one would be preferable. As a result my thinking moved to a more important question – which flight would give me the best overall experience.
To get the full experience I wanted to be able to enjoy my food, and also be able to lounge around. So that meant that I had to exclude SQ322 and SQ306. These are both late night nighters so in all probability I would end up sleeping most of the flight and hence reduce my awake time in First/Suites.

Thus I began to lean towards 777 SQ318 (1245 – 1905) and the a380 SQ308 (0905 – 1540). In all, the general consensus was for me to take SQ308 as it arrives earlier, and more importantly, I should just go for the Suite experience.

There was some concern among some members who had given me advice that the long day flight might be too boring, and just sleep anyway. However, the way I thought about it was that it would be easier to stay awake during the day flight than night flight. And if I was bored on the day flight, I could just lie down and snooze. Whereas with a night flight, I might fall asleep before taking off and then never wake up again. There was also a point that the IFE screen in Suites class is too small and just too far from the seat.

After much deliberation, I went to book the suites, and of course…. it was too late. They were all taken!!!

Damn it!!!!

So after all my messing around, I was left with SQ318 which is a 777-300ER. But this wasn’t my first rodeo. I’d actually taken this flight almost 12 months earlier (Trip Report: Singapore to London on Singapore Airlines SQ318 (July 2016)). But that was in business class. This time, I would be right at the front of the bird.

The next question is, which seat would I get. My first port of call was SeatGuru’s seat map for the Singapore Airlines. The reality is that this is a first world problem.

There are two cabin configurations for the 777.

3 class configuration

First class 3 class

4 class configuration

First class 4 class

I decided to go for seat 01F, which is on starboard side of the plane and is the front most seat. It didn’t really matter to me whether it was three or four class.

 

Changi Airport is regularly rated as one of the best airports in the world. Some might refer to Butterfly Garden, others the swimming pool, movie theatre and so on, but me, I just like the fact it is airy, bright and the walks to the end of the terminals don’t feel as long as say Heathrow or Bangkok, or as hot as Hong Kong airport can get.

The flight was departing from Changi Terminal 3, but SQ is not the only airline departing from there. The others include:
Air New Zealand
Asiana Airlines
Batik Air
China Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
EVA Air
Garuda Indonesia
Jet Airways
Lion Air
Malindo Air
Myanmar National Airlines
Oman Air
Qatar Airways
Saudi Arabian Airlines
SriLankan Airlines
Thai Lion Air
United Airlines
VietJet

These are quite a mixed bag to be honest, not all one alliance, but there must be some logic behind it. Maybe someone else can enlighten me? Something to do with A380s?

Singapore Airlines departs from Terminals 2 and 3. Terminal 2 is mainly flights to Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia, while Terminal 3 involves flights to the Americas, Europe, North Asia and the South West Pacific.

Well Terminal 3 is the newest of the three terminals being opened only in 2008 (T1: 1981, T2: 1990), though at  380k it square metres it is slightly larger than Terminal 2 (358m2).

The newest terminal at Changi airport, number 4, is due to join these 3 later this year (2017), and Terminal 5 is expected to open in the middle part of next decade [you can see my report on a preview trip I made in August here]. That’s planning for you.

As you have seen from previous reports, some times I choose to use the JetQuay terminal (Jetquay CIP Terminal Review – an unnecessary luxury?). However, because Changi is Singapore Airlines’ home base, I wanted to fully experience the best of what they had to offer.

Even if I wasn’t travelling to on premium class, I wouldn’t mind spending my time in Changi. There aren’t many airports in the world that can boast the amenities that Changi has.

CHECK IN

I have checked in for many Singapore Airlines flights, including both business and economy. When you are travelling these classes (and premium economy) you would normally do a counter check in; which can be done from 48 hours to 40 minutes prior to the flight’s departure. And the whole process is pretty swift whether you are in economy or business (I’ve never travelled premium economy). And the experience at the airport itself is generally very calm – note, that this is not true in the lead up to Chinese New Year when it appears every man and his zodiac is trying to get out of dodge!

For this flight, I was checking in at Changi Airport Terminal 3, which has almost 24 hour check in – it’s open from 0430 hours to 0200 hours (Terminal 2: 0430 hours to 2200 hours). You can of course check in on line or through the mobile app, which is what I normally do.

However, this time I was travelling first class and I was going going to do it the right way, which meant checking in at the First Class check in. The main terminal building houses the normal check in desks, but for those travelling First/Suites or are Solitaire PPS, you can check in at the First Class Check-in Reception (opening hours 0500 to 0200 hours at Terminal 3).

To get to the airport, I booked the complimentary airport limousine that comes with the Citi Prestige card (you can see how I selected the Citi credit cards here). Unlike many of the Middle Eastern airlines Singapore Airlines doesn’t offer a free limousine service to the airport, even at their home base which I think it quite disappointing given it is supposed to be a premium service. And more so you would imagine they would offer it at their home base. With the Prestige limo service you are entitled to eight complimentary one-way transfers to Changi per year; capped at four per quarter. However, you must spend a minimum sum of S$1,500 on your Prestige card in any currency other than Singapore Dollars within each quarter. As I more or less travel by myself, they always send a Mercedes Benz, with a fully suited driver. Others who have used the service with their families tell me they adjust the vehicle depending on the number of passengers, and amount of luggage.

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Before you even get to the check in the experience is different. Rather than pull up with the riff raff, your car will stop you at the first class check in area which is a dedicated entrance just for you.

I was met by a full gamut of staff. Someone will guide you through to the check in area, which is more or less like a hotel lounge.

You don’t have to touch your luggage. Porters immediately took responsibility for unloading the check in luggage from the boot of the car. The swiftness of the porters and the check in staff meant that I was already being led to check in before being able to thank the driver.

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It looks like a hotel check in. You sit down and there is a small weighing scale to the side and the luggage is put in the gaps between the tables, where there is a conveyor.

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Ironically because this is a much a more relaxed experience, it actually feels like it takes longer than a normal check in, if you were to do the same procedure at economy/premium economy/business. As I’m used to travelling with the rest of the cattle, the quiet and the calmness is a bit unnerving… but I could get used to it 🙂

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Once you are checked in, and your boarding pass is handed to you, you are directed to the dedicated immigration counter. Call me picky, but the walk between the check in and immigration is about 1o metres. However, no one escorts you between the two. While it’s not a big deal, and I’m a big enough child to be able to walk from point A to point B without getting lost, it would add an extra touch to have someone walk you to immigration.

As I have electronic immigration in any case, it means that having an officer review my documents actually takes longer than if I were to go through an e-gate. First world problems.

Similarly to my disappointment with not having someone walking me to immigration, I think it would really make small touch if there were someone to walk you from the airside of immigration and straight to the Private Room.

As all of you have read before as soon as you get to the entrance of the SilkKris Lounge, you get escorted all the way past the business class lounge, past the first class lounge and to the Private Room. Some previous bloggers have said that they were handed over between the different lounges. I was actually guided through all three lounges by the same person.

Unfortunately I never got the chance to take many photos of the business class lounge, but you can see it in my July 2016 trip report Singapore to London. Also, the First Class Lounge was super busy so I didn’t take any photos, so I focus just on The Private Room.

THE PRIVATE ROOM

The private room is, well, private. When I was led in, there was only one other person

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On speaking with the staff there, I was told that there are some times when it gets very busy. However, this early morning was almost empty. The Private Room only opens at 0530 in the morning, so I expected some people decided to arrive later. Note that the Private Room is NOT open 24 hours, so if you want to get some kip, you would need to leave the lounge area between the closing times of 0230 – 0530.

As you can imagine, given this is the first class product at the home base, the service in The Private Room was pretty good. As soon as you sit down, someone appears and offers you a drink. Water for me please!

Take a look a the photos to get a sense of the Private Room.

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Food 

There is plenty of space to eat in The Private Room, so you can actually choose to eat in the lounge area or in the specific dining area. While I don’t mind eating in a lounge chair, I do find it quite difficult and frankly uncomfortable, so I ended up choosing the dining area.

As it turned out, the dining area is a really nice part of the lounge and there was only one other person enjoying the experience as well.

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You are offered an a la carte menu, but then there is a buffet, which is small and generally uninspiring. Others who have reported on The Private Lounge have expressed some confusion at the concept, and I must say that I agree with them. Why provide such a sparse buffet offering at all?

I was there for both breakfast and lunch so had an opportunity to check out the differences between buffets as well as a la carte offerings. First to start with was something light (though very very rich). As I needed to reserve some space for my upcoming flight, I decided to go easy on the breakfast. And I don’t drink coffee so no need for a morning caffeine fix.

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I then went for a wander around the terminal before heading back for lunch. Claypot rice. The rice wasn’t hardened enough for my liking. You should have to scrape it off the bottom of the pot where it is nice as crispy. But it was very soft.

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After eating I retook my seat in the main lounge area and enjoyed looking out on the tarmac. Unfortunately there wasn’t a huge amount of activity. There is a portion of that time lapse video of the tarmac at the bottom of the video. There is an obstruction in the windows and I suspect that is to reduce the amount of direct sunlight coming into the lounge.

I think some people have described it as ultra luxury. I’m not sure I would go that far. It is nice but the buffet offering really lets it down and dampens the tone a bit. I think they should either expand or remove it.

What it is though, is exclusive. The Private Room is the Singapore Airlines’ premium lounge, so only those travelling on Singapore Airlines first class or suites are allowed to use it. Even those with PPS status are not entitled use it. So big tick mark there. I have a beef about the Cathay lounge in London letting status members in which is a bit of a let down.

Another less that First Class experience is having to walk to the gate, whereas nearly other competitive first class service include a buggy ride to the gate.

Singapore – London
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Plane Type: B777-300ER
Flight Number: SQ318
Class: First
Scheduled Departure: 12:35
Actual Departure: 12:53
Scheduled Arrival: 19:05
Actual Arrival: 18:49
Estimated duration: 13hr 30mins
Actual duration: 12hr 53mins
Plane registration: 9V-SWY

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When I got to the gate, there was a big queue of people waiting to clear security. Now this is where I can understand people getting a bit frustrated. Not clearing security immediately after immigration means that you don’t hang around, and get straight into the airport experience. You don’t need to worry about people slowing you down. However, that means this inconvenience is relocated to the gates. If you happen to get families take up all the security lanes, it slows down the experience for everyone. But usually it is still faster than if I was clearing security say at Heathrow.

There is a premium line, but really, no one pays attention to that. If there is a shorter line, people just migrate there. In fact it actually speeds up the process a bit, but maybe there should be a bit more active control of who can use it. I think especially if you are a First Class passenger, you should have some kind of escort to the front of the security queue. This won’t be a problem at Terminal 4 where they security screen everyone right at the beginning of the process [see my tour of the pre-opened Terminal 4 here].

Now I didn’t pay the full price for my ticket, but still this was a bit of a let down in terms of service. I know this is less a Singapore Airlines issue, but still it doesn’t feel first class.

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A quick tour of the seat

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Almost as soon as I had settled into my seat, the cabin crew came round to give me the goodies!

First up came the pyjamas! They didn’t give me the option of size, so I am assuming they are so experienced that they don’t need to ask. Funnily enough I never tried them on, and actually gave them away when I arrived in London.

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Next came the amenity kit by Salvatore Ferragamo for men. I don’t know if I could have asked for the female version.

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Maybe I have too high expectations but I was slightly disappointed by this. There were all the usual suspects, but it just seems a bit small. You can pick up all the remaining toiletries from the bathroom, which does seem a bit mean.

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Finally we were given a gift pack for the 70th anniversary of Singapore Airlines.

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I don’t know if there are different ones for business and economy (or even if they are handed out for those classes), but they do compliment the normal amenity kit by not replicating what is provided in the former kit.

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Back to looking around the seat. Other than the absolutely massive tv screen, they have a cubby hole which they store the headphones in.

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The headphones are the Bose noise cancellation variety.

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Before you start getting any ideas, yes, you could take them with you though the cabin crew would probably try to stop you. But no, they won’t work as the plug is different.

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I realise I hadn’t taken a close up of the screen until at the end of the flight, hence the pleasant journey sign 🙂

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I never did quite got a hang of the control. Either it was too sensitive or not sensitive enough, I couldn’t figure out which. Anyway, I managed to watch a few movies during the meal service – more on that later.

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Once everyone was on board, the announcements started, and they eventually got to the safety video.

Unfortunately, they weren’t showing the new in-flight safety video, which I think is a step up from the current, low res version. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking, here is the video provided by Singapore Airlines on YouTube

After take off and reaching cruising altitude, the crew began with drink service which I opted for…. water. Yes. That’s right H2O.  I don’t like to drink too much so wanted to save myself for the food which was to be served shortly after drinks service was completed.

The food

When it came down to food service, I had already eaten two meals at the lounge so needed to take it a bit easy with the on board offering. As a result I didn’t order the caviar. It may surprise some of you, and it certainly surprised the crew who took my order.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes I am”

Quizzical look “Are you absolutely certain?”

“Yes absolutely”

In any case, I had also Book the Cook, something I have done on previous flights but in business class (SQ321 in July 2016;  SQ318 July 2016SQ321 September 2015)

The options available for First Class out of Singapore are different to the Business Class flights, so I’ve listed them all here:

Western

U.S. 8 oz. Rib-Eye Steak
U.S. beef steak with creamy green peppercorn sauce, roasted vegetables and garlic-mashed potatoes
U.S. 6 oz. Rib-Eye Steak
U.S. beef steak with creamy green peppercorn sauce, roasted vegetables and garlic-mashed potatoes
U.S. Grilled Prime (or Choice) Beef Fillet
Grilled U.S. beef with asparagus, baby spinach, crushed potato, and served with balsamic onion sauce. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Alfred Portale
Pan-Fried Veal Loin and Braised Veal Cheek
With parsnip purée, fresh garden vegetables and mushroom ragout
Seared Nut-Crusted Veal Fillet
Veal fillet seared with a crust of crumbled hazelnuts and served with veal jus, crushed potato, confit tomato and green asparagus spears (contains pork). Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Carlo Cracco
Grilled Angus Beef Burger
Grilled Angus beef burger with portobello mushroom, sauteed onions and cherry tomatoes
(inclusive of Breakfast service)
Seared Lamb Loin
Lamb loin with salsa verde, Lyonnaise onion, aioli and bacon. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Matthew Moran
Roast Rack of Lamb
New Zealand lamb with mint jus, mesclun salad and thyme-flavoured gratin potatoes
Roast Lamb Chops
New Zealand lamb chops with mint jus, mesclun salad and thyme-flavoured gratin potatoes
Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast
Oven-roasted corn fed chicken breast, tarragon jus and creamy polenta, served with cauliflower, edamame and carrot batonette
Pan-Fried Free Range Chicken Supreme
Tender chicken breast with saffron-scented jus, roasted fingerling potatoes and fine ratatouille. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Georges Blanc
Confit of Duck Leg
Slow cooked marinated duck leg with mushroom risotto and shaved parmesan cheese
Grilled Chilean Seabass
On New England style clam and mussel chowder, served with ciabatta crouton
Seared Black Cod Fillet ‘à la Niçoise’
With haricot vert, olives, kalamata olives, cherry tomato and anchovy butter. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Suzanne Goin.
Boston Lobster Thermidor
A whole lobster sautéed in butter, flambéed in brandy, sprinkled with cheese, and served with creamy mushroom sauce, garlic and spicy mustard, and buttered asparagus.
Grilled King Prawns
With green pea and dill raviolo, lemon garlic butter sauce and cherry tomato
Pappardelle with Seafood
Lobster, scallop and salmon in a mushroom, sun-dried tomatoes and seafood broth, with al dente pappardelle pasta
Swedish Wholegrain Crisp Bread
A healthy breakfast choice with crisp bread, cottage cheese, rosemary honey-roasted pear and a low fat yoghurt of fresh berries (inclusive of Breakfast service)
Warm Waffle with Strawberry Coulis
Warm waffle with strawberry coulis, fresh berries and mascarpone cheese (inclusive of Breakfast service)
Poached Egg Served with Hollandaise Sauce
Poached egg served with hollandaise sauce with sliced lobster, asparagus and potato hash
(inclusive of Breakfast service)

Japanese

Kyo-Kaiseki
A traditional Japanese array of dishes presented in sequence, with ingredients and garnishes reflecting and changing with each season. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Yoshihiro Murata (inclusive of Breakfast service and available only on flights with duration of 2 hours or more; some items are served at cabin temperature)
Chargrilled Soya-Flavoured Beef
Japanese-style beef, vegetables simmered in mirin, and shimeiji mushroom rice. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Yoshihiro Murata
Wagyu Sirloin with Eringi Mushroom
Wagyu sirloin with baked eringi mushroom marinated with truffle, garlic and sake, yuzu and light soy sauce, accompanied by green beans and jalapeño salsa, served with steamed rice
Assorted Sushi
Marinated and smoked fish on lightly vinegared Japanese rice (served at cabin temperature)

Chinese

Braised Pork Ribs in Yellow Bean Sauce
Pork ribs braised with yellow bean, shimeiji mushrooms, carrots and beans, and served with steamed rice
Chinese Style Cod with Fried Rice
Served with seasonal oriental vegetables, Chinese black mushrooms and egg fried rice. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Zhu Jun
Baked King Prawn with Chilli Sauce
Served with Taiwan cabbage and fragrant steamed rice
Sliced Grouper Congee
Grouper cooked in rice porridge with spring onions and ginger (inclusive of Breakfast service)
Dim Sum Selection
Selection of dim sum with steamed radish cake (inclusive of Breakfast service)

Singaporean

Peranakan Ayam Buah Keluak
An iconic Peranakan dish, chicken and baby pork ribs stewed in buah keluak and tamarind gravy, served with traditional Nonya vegetable stew (chap chai) and steamed rice
Peranakan Itek Siow
A Peranakan classic – braised duck in a thick onion and tamarind sauce served with traditional Nonya vegetable stew (chap chai) and steamed rice
Nonya Nasi Padang
Served with beef rendang, opor ayam (chicken in a turmeric coconut gravy), sayur lodeh and steamed rice – a Peranakan version of Indonesian Nasi Padang
Peranakan Hokkien Mee Soup
A rich pork-prawn broth with pork, prawns and vegetables on top of egg noodles and rice vermicelli – a Peranakan version of a popular Singaporean hawker dish
Char Siew Wanton Noodle Soup
Honey-roasted pork, shrimp and pork dumplings on noodles in a savoury clear broth
Singapore Bak Kut Teh
Literally ‘Meat Bone Tea’, a peppery, savoury soup of meaty pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices, served with rice
Singapore Chicken Rice
Poached chicken, sliced and served on long-grain rice cooked in chicken broth. Accompanied by dark soya sauce, tangy ginger and fresh chilli and lime sauces.
Straits Chinese Chicken Curry
Tender chicken and potato simmered in spicy coconut milk, served with bread rolls and steamed rice
Prawn and Chicken Laksa
Rice noodles in a rich, coconut cream seafood gravy with prawns, chicken, fish cake, deep-fried beancurd and bean sprouts
Singaporean Style Chicken and Lamb Satay
Marinated, skewered and grilled chicken and lamb slices. Served with cucumber, ketupat rice cakes and spicy peanut sauce.
Nonya Assam Fish
Fish, okra, eggplant and tomato cooked with Assam spices Peranakan style, served with steamed rice
Teo Chew Fish Porridge
Southern Chinese dish of rice porridge of lightly poached fish slices, pickled vegetables, toasted Chinese seaweed, spring onions and Chinese celery. Served with sliced red chilli in soya sauce (inclusive of Breakfast service)
Yu Pian Mi Fen
Singapore style thick rice vermicelli noodle soup with sliced pomfret and green vegetables. Garnished with spring onions (inclusive of Breakfast service)
Fish Ball Kway Teow Soup
Flat rice noodles and fish balls in chicken broth, bean sprouts, Chinese preserved vegetables (tung chai) and sliced red chilli (inclusive of Breakfast service)

Malay

Malay-style Beef Rendang
Tender beef cooked in coconut milk, spices and lemongrass, and served with turmeric rice
Grilled Indonesian King Prawns
Spicy prawns with sautéed brocolli, cauliflower, carrots, garlic sauce and microgreens, served with steamed rice
Nasi Lemak
Fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, accompanied by spicy sambal prawns, fried chicken, fried anchovies with peanuts, spicy pickled vegetables (achar), an omelette wedge, and grilled fish cakes (otah) (inclusive of Breakfast service)

Thai

Duck in Red Thai Curry
A red curry with duck, served with steamed rice and vegetables
Steamed Cod Fish Thai Style
A traditional dish of cod steamed with spicy lime sauce, served with shredded white cabbage, carrot julienne, Chinese sliced celery, fried garlic and steamed rice
Kaeng Paa Koong
A Thai curry of prawn simmered with wild herbs, served with steamed rice

Indian

Indian Style Braised Lamb Shank
Lamb shank with onion, pea-soya beans and tempered Bengal gram served with yoghurt vegetable pilaf. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
Nasi Biryani
An Indian specialty, fragrant Basmati rice, cooked with aromatic spices, herbs, tomatoes, saffron and milk, is served with tender chicken simmered in gravy (inclusive of Breakfast service)
Curry Patta Lobster
With spiced spinach and corn, tomato pulao, and served with papadum, pickle and plain yogurt

Deliciously Wholesome

Marinated Free Range Chicken on a Spring Salad Bouquet with Cheese Shavings, Roasted Walnuts and White Balsamic Dressing
A low calorie creation for all chicken lovers. This simple gluten free meal delights with its modest flavours. Eating salad is a super convenient way to work in a daily measure of fibre which helps support digestive health. Designed by International Culinary Panel Chef Georges Blanc
Spring Salad Bouquet of Haricot Verte Beans, Artichokes, Asparagus and Tomatoes with Hard Boiled Eggs and Roasted Walnuts
Haricot beans are high in protein and folic acid, artichokes are high in fibre and stabilize the metabolism. The alluring colours and flavours of this meal are a delight to the palate. Inspired by International Culinary Panel Chef Georges Blanc
Citrus Steamed Sea Bass with Lettuce Puree, Legumes, Radishes and Sunflower Seeds in Citrus Vinaigrette
This high protein nourishing meal balances the invigorating flavour of citrus with the intensive taste and texture of fish and legumes. Fish and sunflower seeds are a good source of healthy polyunsaturated essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6. A great choice for passengers looking for a refreshing meal. Designed by International Culinary Panel Chef Carlo Cracco
Grilled Baby Romaine with Orange Gremolata, Crispy Legumes, Radishes and Sunflower Seeds in Citrus Vinaigrette
The refreshing taste of orange-scented Romaine complements the nutritious goodness of lentils, which are a good source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. A perfect salad for combating fatigue. Inspired by International Culinary Panel Chef Carlo Cracco
Baked Herb Marinated Salmon with Potato, Boiled Eggs, Beets and Arugula Salad in Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
This perfect combination of foods offers the best of all macro and micronutrients. Wild salmon is rich in essential amino acids, which help build and repair tissues and omega 3 fatty, which support cognitive function and heart health. An energizing meal for those on the go. Designed by International Culinary Panel Chef Suzanne Goin
Grilled Herb Marinated Tofu with Potato, Boiled Eggs, Beets and Arugula Salad in Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
Nutritiously balanced with the goodness of energizing carbohydrates from potato and beets and high quality protein from eggs. A wholesome meal for those on the go. Inspired by International Culinary Panel Chef Suzanne Goin
Indian Style Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Fruit Yoghurt Salsa and Mint Chutney
This elegant dish of tender lamb combined with the invigorating flavours of yogurt salsa, mint chutney and lemon is rich in vitamin B12. This meal fulfils the essential nutritional requirements and enchants the palate with its play of unique flavours. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
Pistachio Crusted Paneer with Fruit Yoghurt Salsa and Mint Chutney
The delicious Indian cottage cheese crusted with pistachios is covered in the invigorating flavours of yogurt salsa, mint chutney and lemon that help in digestion and absorption of nutrients. Inspired by International Culinary Panel Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
Duo of Watercress Salad and Smoked Trout with Shaved Fennel, Apples and Yuzu Jelly in a Maple Vinaigrette
In this unique salad the tantalizing flavour of smoked trout is perfectly complemented with crisp apple and peppery watercress. Delicately balanced on a bed of lettuce puree, this nourishing salad is rich in fibre and low in calories. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Matt Moran
Sousvide Miso Simmered Beef Yamato-style with Nimono Vegetables and Potato
This beautiful dish, inspired by the delicate and enchanting flavours of Japan, combines iron rich beef with the therapeutic effects of ginger and garlic. The deftly flavoured tender bamboo shoots are rich in fibre that help lower cholesterol levels. A stylish meal for all Japanese food lovers. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Chef Yoshihiro Murata
Sousvide Miso Simmered Japanese Tofu Yamato-style with Nimono Vegetables and Potato
In this elegantly wholesome meal, the protein rich tofu goes perfectly with the flavour-packed miso reduction. The root vegetables stew is packed with fibre and other health beneficial phytonutrients that energise the body. Inspired by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Chef Yoshihiro Murata
Chilean Seabass on a Bed of Kale and Quinoa Salad with Tomato Jelly and Almond Flakes
This refreshing quinoa salad infused with the tangy flavors of tomato, nutty texture of almonds and super nutrients of kale is an amazingly light but revitalizing meal. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Chef Alfred Portale
Quinoa and Kale Salad with Tomatoes and Almonds
This superfood salad packs a powerful nutritional punch. Quinoa is a protein rich gluten free grain while kale is a good source of
cholesterol lowering fibre and essential minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron. Inspired by Singapore Airlines International Chef Alfred Portale
Namyu Cod Fish and Jinlen Soy Chicken with Brown Lamien Noodles and Wood Ear Mushroom
The presence of chicken and fish makes this meal high in protein. The strong flavour of protein is complemented by the complex carbohydrate in brown noodles. This simple flavourful meal is great to reinvigorate on a tiring journey. Designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Chef Zhu Jun
Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom
The vegetables provide a range of beneficial phytonutrients and fibre, which balances the complex carbohydrate in brown noodles. This simple flavourful meal is great to reinvigorate on a tiring journey. Inspired by International Culinary Chef Zhu Jun

 

And which one did I go for for the first meal? Boston Lobster Thermidor of course!!!
A whole lobster sautéed in butter, flambéed in brandy, sprinkled with cheese, and served with creamy mushroom sauce, garlic and spicy mustard, and buttered asparagus.

First of all the table has to be set. All very nicely laid out. And I like the service here because they make sure that everything is exactly in the right position on the setting.

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First, the ubiquitous garlic bread. And they automatically service you two pieces, without having to be asked twice. Unfortunately it was a bit soggy, though nicely garlicky!

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Next came the lobster bisque. Which I thought was really delicious. The tomato and its umami means that it works well in the air.

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A salad course… I suppose we have to try to be healthy. Not a bit fan of cheese on my salad though. Should have asked them to hold off!

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And the main event! Boston Lobster Thermidor!!!! And they had quite kindly already removed it from the shell. And yes it was really really good. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all.

It was now that I ordered some Dom Perignon to go with the lobster, and boy was it a delicious glass of bubbles!

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After the lobster anything was going to be a let down, and so it was with the dessert. So much so I can’t even remember what it was. I did finish it though:)

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Finally came the cheese platter. Now I don’t like cheese with my salad, but I am quite happy to scoff it down on its own!

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I had a mid flight snack of noodle soup. I wasn’t really hungry but just wanted to try it out. Unfortunately I also order the Thai chicken ciabatta, but ate it so quickly I forgot to take a photo … mea culpa!!

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After lunch service, it was time to get some shut eye, so I ask them to make my bed. Annoyingly I set up my camera to take a video of it, but never actually set it to record so I don’t have any recording of it! ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!! So this is the only photo I managed to get from the whole episode 😦

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Was the bed comfortable? Yes. Quite comfortable. But I would say that my Cathay First Class bed on the return flight was superior. I think the bedding was just a bit softer on CX250…. keep an eye out for that!!!

After a few hours shut eye, it was a couple of hours to landing. And this is where I like First Class service. They time it so that your meal is finished, and you shortly  land afterwards. You don’t have to wait about and get hungry as you wait to land.

For this meal I chose the Curry Patta Lobster.

Of course, they set up the table accordingly.

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Garlic bread! And again it was two pieces. This time, they were nice and crisp on the outside. Perfect.

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I don’t remember them serving anything else in between the garlic bread and the main course, but I was already quite full so it didn’t bother me at all.

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And my general fullness showed up at desert time when I couldn’t finish. It was really really delicious, but honestly, if I had eaten it all, I would have been too fat to get onto the flight to Canada (report coming up) or incredibly sick before landing. It was that rich!!!!

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It felt like I was just getting used to sitting in that seat, but it was time to land, and as the plane descended so did my heart.

Arrival

Beautiful weather outside as my heart sank…..

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The landing was smooth, and you can see the video of part of the landing in my video at the bottom of the post. And there was final opportunity to take a photo before turning round and heading to immigration.

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It was a long way to walk to immigration and baggage reclaim. Which was a good way to walk off all the excesses of the flight. But being one of the first off the flight, meant that it was pretty much a clear run.

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I was the first at the baggage reclaim, and then it was time to head for my pick up…..

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I hope you enjoyed my trip report as much as I enjoyed recounting it…. stay tuned for my next report on London to Calgary …. a step down to business….

Final Thoughts on my first First Class flight

Ground service has its positives and negatives
The first class check in experience was really something. It’s link between the check in and the lounge that needs work. Also from the lounge to the aircraft — the walk wasn’t far for my flight, but for further flights it does make sense to have a buggy. Also, the fact there really isn’t a proper priority lane for first class/business class, that was quite frustrating. In my upcoming flight report on CX635 from Hong Kong to Singapore, there is someone at the gate who moves people into the right lanes. Is that too much for SQ?

Flight was too short
I complain about long haul flights taking too long when I’m in economy, but in first class, it’s not long enough! The service was exemplary. A small example. I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the flight, and when I came back they had refilled my water bottle. Every time I left my seat and came back, the bottle was refilled.

Was it worth it?
This is the $9K question. The answer is, probably not. I really really enjoyed my experience, and would encourage everyone to try it out if they have the opportunity. How much better is this than business class? You get a lot more personalised service for sure, and the food and drink is superior, but the actual seat, I didn’t find a huge deal different to my prior business class flights. Yes you get the sleeping suit and the amenities, but I never wore the suit (I gave it away) and I only use the toothbrush, which is the in the toilet.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to enjoy the whole experience again, and I will be saving miles once more for this, but would I pay cash for it? I’d rather spend it on business class, and use the left over for something else on my holiday.

 

Finally, I have created a video trip report. This is the first one I’ve done and there are so many things that I need to improve on. Hopefully you enjoy this really amateur attempt and may this be the first of many more…

 

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