The Private Room
I land in Singapore (you can view the review of previous flight on the Boeing 777 here) and I head to the Private Room for a light dinner before making my way to the transit hotel. The Private Room is hidden discretely inside the SilverKris First Class Lounge (a lounge within a lounge). It is reserved for those flying First Class on Singapore Airlines.
The Private Room has a stately charm akin to a country club with over-sized leather chairs, beautiful wooden tables and luxe carpeted floors. There are great views over the tarmac as well.
As soon as I arrive, I opt to have a shower to freshen up. The bathroom and showers are at the entrance of the lounge. The showers have beautiful dark brown / cream marble with towels provided and a range of personal amenities including fragrances, combs, dental kit and body lotions.
The showers have shower jets for a lovely experience.
Elsewhere in the Private Room, there are a couple of workstations at the back of the lounge and a couple of small private rooms; each with a chair, ottoman and a table. Each room has a door which is ideal for private conversations or taking that important business call.
The dining room is quite an affair. There are super over-sized deep brown leather chairs, indented with large, deeply set buttons. Its super plush and sensuous touch of leather on the skin sends a little tingle down your spine. The dining room has a buffet of rather stale food which should be avoided at all cost – always go for the à la carte menu instead.
I start with some dim sum selection. These are lovely little petit prawn and pork and prawn shumai dumplings which really hit the spot. They are washed down with a lovely glass of Dom Perignon (2006).
The half lobster is served with asparagus and kipfler potatoes with some tomatoes on the side. It is actually nicely done, although I did prefer the Lobster Thermidor on my last flight. Which is odd given the lounge would have better cooking facilities.
I then head off to the Transit Hotel to have a short nap until the break of dawn. The next day I wake-up, freshen up and head back to the Private Room before my next flight.
After a lovely sleep, I head back to the Private Room (dining room) and have some breakfast before my flight. I opt for the Eggs Royale and have a coffee to match with some champagne of course.
The Eggs Royale were okay. The salmon was on point, loved the crusty English muffins and the leafy spinach. However my rule on Eggs Royale is: if the yolk doesn’t escape its enslavement of the egg white pouch and run all over dish and create a mess, then it’s a non-starter. The egg was poached too much and hence the yolk was too solid for my liking.
Here is a short clip of moments of the dining experience in The Private Room.
The background tune is “Real Love Baby” by Father John Misty– I don’t own the rights to the song.
The First Class cabin on the A380 have 12 closed suites located on the lower deck of the aircraft. Notwithstanding the tenure of the product, the suites are quite luxurious. They were designed by luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste of France. The leather arm chair has a mix of dark chocolate and light cream leather upholstery from Aeristo with 81 inches of pitch and 35 inches of width. The Suite has dark wood paneling and cream fabric privacy blinds and cream coloured doors.
Similar to the Boeing 777, there are no overhead storage compartments in the first class cabin so you have to store your luggage in the ottoman in front of the seat. There are also concealed storage compartments next to the 23-inch screen.
Next to the seat (on the right if you’re facing the front) there are additional storage areas where they keep the Bose headphones (seen below). There is also a power port, headphone socket, USB ports and other inputs next to the storage compartment.
Here is a view from behind and in front of the Suite.
Here is a view through the privacy blinds:
Here is a snap of the doors which have beautiful brown leather handles.
Here is a video tour of the Suite with the champagne pour:
The background tune is “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris – I don’t own the rights to the song.
The inflight entertainment system on this aircraft starts with a 23-inch screen. The system has a substantial number of movies, TV shows, music, lifestyle and documentaries to keep you occupied. The screen resolution is crisp and bright and Bose Noise Cancelling headphones are provided for good measure.
Unlike the new Boeing 777 First Class Suite, the remote control is pretty antiquated. It looks similar to a Domestic Business Class remote with no touch screen or large LCD panel.
I watch Murder on the Orient Express and a few episodes of CSI Las Vegas during the flight.
Pyjamas and Amenity Kits
Amenity kits from French luxury brand Lalique and Formia are provided. This is the same product as the previous flight, so I have re-posted the image and review below.
“The stylish black pouch contains beautiful travel size products from Lalique’s Encre Noire men’s range. This includes a body lotion, aftershave balm, lip balm and fragrance. The products are perfect to freshen up after a long flight and the pouch is just oh so stylish.”
The pyjamas are also the same as the prior flight as pictured below.
I am offered a champagne to start and I instinctively opt for the Dom Perignon. However after a brief discussion on the selection on board with the crew I change my choice to the Krug (2004).
The Krug has beautiful aromas of quinces, mandarins honeysuckle and spice. A bit more expressive than the Dom Perignon. On the palate the texture is without fault with beautiful fruit flavours of quince, honey and mandarin balanced by the acidity and unmistakable zest of citrus (lemon primarily) which eventually dominate the taste experience.
Shortly after take-off we have breakfast.
I am not a fan of fresh fruit, I prefer my fruit intake in fermented and in liquid form. However I work my way through the paw paw, kiwi fruit and strawberries. They turn out to be rather delightful although a little too chilled. I probably would wait for them to get closer to room temperature next time before tucking in.
Braised Ee Fu Noodle with Lobster and black mushroom and leafy greens
The next dish is a real treat. Lobster on Ee Fu noodles. The lobster is succulent and tender and is braised in a light oriental sauce. There is enough seasoning and sauce without overpowering the lobster’s natural flavours. Ee Fu noodles are a Cantonese egg noodle made from wheat flower with a yellow colour and slightly chewy texture. It is an enjoyable experience.
As the flight is quite empty, the bed is made in a different suite so as to not interrupt me during the movie.
There is an interesting nuance with this seat unlike most other cabins I’ve flown. The seat and bed are actually separate. In other cabins the seat manually reclines and the bed is made on the reclined seat. In this Suite, the cabin crew has to flip the seat to make the bed and dismantle the side area which has the storage compartments. As such due the seat’s structure it’s recline features are not as attractive as other first class seats. So you are either sitting or sleeping as opposed to being able to “half lounge”
The bedding is beautiful linen with a dominated by light cream with a dark chocolate border for a soothing finish. There are matching pillows and a bolster for good measure. The enclosed cabin is very private once the blinds are drawn. The bed was really comfortable and I found myself drifting asleep.
Here is a short video tour of the bed:
The background tune I have used is “Wake Me Up” by Avicii – I don’t own the rights to the song.
After a lovely nap, I awake and head back to my seat for the lunch course.
The Satay (seasoned and grilled pieces of lamb and chicken served on skewers) is served with a a lovely peanut sauce and blocks of cucumber and sticky rice. The chicken is tender and succulent and pairs beautifully with the sauce. The single lamb skewer is actually a little tough for my liking and doesn’t quite hit the spot.
The wine I choose to pair with this dish is the Château Cos d’Estournel (2006). I reviewed this wine on my last flight so here are my tasting notes from that flight:
“This is a beautiful wine. I always love a good rich full bodied Bordeaux wine. On the nose, the wine is very expressive. There are aromas of rich red fruits, herbs, spice and some light touch of olive and tobacco. On the palate, there’s a good dose of red fruit and savoury spice flavours. It’s age has let in some light bitterness, charcoal and earthy notes, while some beautiful grainy tannins support the wine.”
The caviar course offers a substantial serve of chilled Malossol Caviar with Melba toast and condiments – same as the last flight. This time the caviar is placed on the middle of the plate rather than on a spoon. Again I am offered some Russian Vodka with the caviar which I politely turn down.
As we sail through the clouds, I am distracted from the caviar for a moment. There is something about gazing out of the window of a plane; your insignificance just dawns on you. It is an inextricable allure that draws your eyes to the clouds, the vastness of the blue skies and knowing everything we say, do and think is infinitesimally small in the context of the world we live in.
I turn my attention back to the caviar. The tasting notes on the caviar are the same (it’s the same product) as the last flight:
“The caviar is lovely, with a fresh burst saline minerality and its natural flavour leaving an indelible impression on the palate. The crunch of Melba toast adds a lovely contrast of textures.”
I pair the caviar with the Krug (2004). The Krug, with its sweet notes of honeysuckle does seamless touch the palate and contrast nicely with the intense saline flavour of the caviar, while the citrus notes balances the salts and oils to refresh the palate. It’s an experience to savour.
Soup – Chestnut Veloute
This is the dream of a soup. Unlike other soup courses which wheel out the old pumpkin or mushroom staples this one lifts the standard up a notch! There is the creamy, but with grainy touches of the chestnut and it strokes the taste buds gently before the richness of the truffle presents itself like a young debutante at the ball. Reflective in rich earthiness and pungent aroma it struts through the scene with confidence and seduction. I am truly amazed that soup course could steal the show like this.
The salad today is baby spinach and arugula and frisee with cranberry and caramelised peacan nuts and shaved parmesan with a walnut oil and sherry vinegar dressing. Again the salad isn’t that appetising, however I eat some of it. Am I the only that just eats the caramelised pecan nuts and then tells myself that I’ve eaten a healthy salad and hence can use my bonus “health” points on more wine?
I chose the Book the Cook for this flight and I opt for the U.S. Grilled Prime Beef Fillet. This is grilled U.S. beef with asparagus, baby spinach, crushed potato, and served with balsamic onion sauce. The dish is designed by Alfred Portale who sits on Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef.
Now I have had a few good steaks on-board. British Airways and Qantas have done some good ones on my prior trips and Singapore Airlines is no different. The fillet is succulent, tender and true to the request it is rare in the middle. The experience of tasting the smoky outer portion of the fillet in its sauce mixed with the rare jelly like textured middle is quite an experience. The asparagus and potatoes are a treat too although probably not needed. The wine stands as it’s meant to with its beautiful rich flavours and body and the wonderful tannins to dance seamlessly with the beef in what is a dazzling performance.
I opt to skip dessert and focus my attention the Château Cos d’Estournel for the rest of the flight.
The landing into Heathrow was pretty smooth. I pulled together a short clip of the dining experience and landing which I hope you enjoy:
The background tune is “Sundream” by RUFUS. I do not own any rights to the song.
I would say the Singapore Airlines A380 Suites was an amazing experience. It is a closed suite product which offers amazing privacy and notwithstanding its tenure, the luxurious feel (colours, design and structure) is something that’s quite unparalleled.
The Private Room before take-off is quite an amazing experience. Similar to the British Airways Concorde Rooms in London and New York, it is a very quiet and relaxing experience prior to take-off with limited intrusion or disturbance. The food offering is quite good and they serve some real premium wine in the lounge, which is quite rare even for First Class Lounges.
The service on the flight was highly personalised and attentive. The staff were very knowledgeable on the food, wine and the overall product. The seat is perfect for sitting when it’s in the upright position – a very comfortable leather seat which would rival other airlines. Due to the nature of suite and how it converts to a bed, the recline is rather and flexibility limited, however I am normally a sit up straight or sleep kinda person so this is less of an issue for me. The IFE remote control does need improvement as well and should be at the standard of the product offered on the Boeing 777.
I would echo my summary of the previous flight, the food and wine selection was quite something. When you have a line-up which includes Premium champagne (Krug and Dom Perignon), vintage / aged French wines (Château Cos d’Estournel), caviar course, lobster for breakfast, premium US beef fillets, local favourite of satay skewers and a soup with truffles you really are going to struggle to find an experience elsewhere which matches it.
The touches which make Singapore’s First product an envy were present on the flight, including leather bound menus, meals are served on bone china by Wedgwood, fine cutlery and glassware and beautiful patterned bed linen which has better aesthetic than some five star hotels. A point note as well is the premium pyjamas and amenity kits were provided on this flight even though it was daytime flight. Some airlines refuse to offer pyjamas on daytime flights.