Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Iggy Itinerary: Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Tokyo-Narita > Singapore (A380-800)

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Singapore Airlines Flight 11 departs Tokyo-Narita at 8:50pm and lands at Singapore-Changi at the ungodly hour of 2:56am. I don't think this is convenient for anyone, regardless of whether you're staying in Singapore or connecting to a morning flight.

Knowing that I had a long connection in Singapore (and that the lounge there wouldn't have sleeping rooms), I decided to sleep as much as I could after the meal service.


Boarding (onto the same plane as the Los Angeles > Tokyo leg) began a bit late with Suites passengers first.



The grand staircase separating Suites and Business Class

Singapore Airlines 011, Tokyo-Narita > Singapore
Suites Class, Seat 03F

The boarding door closed with 8 of the 12 suites occupied. 6 passengers (including me) were also on the Los Angeles > Tokyo leg; the others looked like wealthy Japanese businessmen.

Flight attendants distributed pajamas and slippers before we left. I was surprised that no amenity kits were distributed. At 7 hours and 40 minutes, I'd think the Tokyo > Singapore leg should still qualify as a long-haul flight. (Not even the Tokyo-originating passengers got them).

I was seated in 3F, which was the same suite I had on the Los Angeles > Tokyo leg. There was a little card waiting by the seat to let me know that someone had cleaned the suite.



On the first leg, there was someone sitting in both sets of middle suites (2C / 2D and 3C / 3D), so I wasn't able to ask for the famed Singapore Suites double bed. But on this flight, I saw that 2C and 2D were both available.

Others were eyeing the double suite as well, so I decided to beat them to the punch by ordering an abbreviated meal service. I had pre-ordered a rack of lamb off the Book the Cook menu (an extended online menu that allows you to pre-select your meal).

Book the Cook - Tokyo Narita / Haneda
Crusted rack of lamb with yoghurt sauce
and sautéed mixed vegetables

Lobster Thermidor with buttered zucchini, carrots,
and pilaff rice with mixed peppers

Pan-fried sea bass wrapped with potato,
served with red-vinegar sauce and white beans

Roast beef and mustard baguettes
with seasonal salad

Roasted game hen in mushroom and sherry-vinegar sauce
with seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes

Seared sea bream with maitake mushroom
and herb-flavoured tomato sauce,
boiled squid, and baby leeks

Veal loin stuffed with leek and taleggio cheese
in a white wine and porcini mushroom sauce with fettucine

Asian style chicken noodle soup

Beef Sukiyaki with steamed rice

Fried chicken Kara-age with salad and steamed rice

Japanese style simmered fish
topped with grated yam sauce and rice

Nigiri sushi

Japanese healthy breakfast

But the flight attendant explained that Flight 11 departs Narita too late for Book the Cook selections to make it on-board. (Really? Then why did the website let me choose an option?) So I ordered off the regular menu.

Like the Los Angeles > Tokyo leg, the Tokyo > Singapore leg offers a traditional kyo-kaiseki Japanese multi-course meal.

Kyo-kaiseki

Ichino-zen
Sakizuke
Marinated squid with kelp, grilled pimento and tonburi
Vinegared mackerel, wakame and apple jelly
Persimmon, gingko nuts, cucumber and mushroom
tossed with walnut

Mukozuke
Miso marinated tuna belly, cucumber and tomato jelly,
Vinegared yellow chive, soy sauce with yuzu and mustard

Oshinogi
Buckwheat noodle, spring onion, wasabi, seaweed
Mackerel on saffron vinegared rice, chicken liver terrine

Futamono
Fried lobster with turnip, mibuna and yuzu in white miso broth

Nino-zen
Yakimono
Grilled wagyu beef, grilled leek vinegared with tosa-zu
Teriyaki style Hokkaido scallop, nori seaweed, chestnut, carrot

Gohan
Steamed rice with matsutake mushroom and gingko nut
Asari clam soup, mitsuba leaves, ginger
Assorted pickles

Mizugashi
Tiramisu with kinako and red beans
Orange sorbet with sesame tuille

And the more standard options:

Dinner

Canapes
Satay
With onion, cucumber and spicy peanut sauce

Appetisers
Chilled malossol caviar
With melba toast and condiments

Spanish serano air dried ham, piquillo pepper
with herb marinated feta cheese
Apple balsamic vinaigrette

Soups
Chicken consomme with ricotta cheese chive ravioli
and enoki mushroom

Hot and sour soup
Szechuan style mild spicy and sour soup
garnished with shrimps, shredded chicken,
beancurd and vegetables

Salad
Mizuna lettuce with baby spinach, shaved turnip, carrot,
cucumber, oven roasted beet root and walnut
Yuzu and herb vinaigrette
Roquefort dressing

Main Courses
Mustard herb crusted wagyu sirloin with red wine sauce,
sauteed mushrooms, green beans,
baby carrot and roasted fingerling potatoes

Steamed black cod fillet
with black bean sauce, Chinese greens, carrots,
cauliflower and fried rice

Pepper crusted duck breast with apricot sauce,
braised red cabbage and mashed potatoes

Finale
Passion fruit mousse cake
with white chocolate ice cream and mixed berries compote

Camembert, gorgonzola, cheddar, pie d'angloys
served with grapes, crackers and nuts

Fresh fruits in season

A selection of gourmet coffees & fine teas
served with pralines


So, to beat out my competitors for the double bed (and because I was still pretty full from the lobster on my previous flight), I skipped the soup and salad course. I ordered the satay, caviar, and the main course from the kyo-kaiseki menu.

The service began with the satay, which was as delicious as it looks:

Assorted satay

After the satay, a flight attendant set up the tablecloth and silverware for the rest of the meal.

Caviar

Satay and caviar - two of my favorite things to eat. But I was also eager to switch gears to the traditional Japanese main course,




Nino-zen (二の膳)


Hokkaido scallop, carrot, chestnut

Even on board the plane, the plating was beautiful. The flavors (and plated leaves) were appropriately fall-themed. Really, really good.

Wagyu and leek

The beef was overcooked on my Los Angeles > Tokyo flight (which is normal for planes), but this beef was juicy and tender - a perfect medium rare.

Gohan (rice) with matsutake and gingko

The rice was surprisingly salty - I would have preferred something a little blander to accompany the beef. But maybe that's what the delicious clam soup was for:

Asari clam soup

Just like the soup on the Los Angeles > Tokyo leg, this was really, really good. Earthy and flavorful, but still "pure" tasting.

I crossed the dinner finish line first and asked the flight attendant if she could set up the double bed for me. She agreed, and I went to the restroom to change into the pajamas.

Suites class restroom

And when I emerged, there it was: the much-anticipated Suites Class double bed!


Double bed

OK, I cheated in the picture by draping the comforter over everything. When I first stepped into the suite, it looked like this.

Double bed with ridge in between

Suite door

There's normally a divider between the center suites that gets lowered for the double bed (hence the ridge). But the top of that divider is hard and unpadded. As a result, it's really hard for one person to use the bed as a true double-bed.

But it still looks nice in pictures once you cover it up, and the additional space is great.

All better

I slept soundly and woke up about a half hour before landing. Everyone else in the Suites cabin went to sleep shortly after I did - a relatively easy flight for the flight attendants.

Good night

We landed at Singapore's Changi International Airport a few minutes ahead of schedule at 3:13am, and I prepared for a long layover until my 9:20am connecting flight to Shanghai-Pudong.

Source: FlightAware

Conclusion
The food and service were excellent on this flight, and I was glad I got to try out the double bed. But it felt like Singapore skimped by not providing an additional amenity kit on this long-haul flight or by offering a pre-landing snack. Still, it was a fun voyage, and I was excited for the next leg.


The Iggy Itinerary
1. Introduction
2. Booking

Outbound (LAX-NRT-SIN-PVG)
3. Lounge Report - Star Alliance First Class / Business Class Lounge, LAX
4. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Los Angeles > Tokyo-Narita (A380-800)
5. Lounge Report - ANA Suite Lounge, Tokyo-Narita
6. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Tokyo-Narita > Singapore (A380-800)
7. Lounge Report - The Private Room, Singapore
8. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Singapore > Shanghai-Pudong (A380-800)

Inbound (PVG-ICN-FRA-YVR-SFO)
9. Lounge Report - Air China Business Class Lounge, Shanghai-Pudong
10. Asiana Business Class, Shanghai-Pudong > Seoul-Incheon (767-300)
11. Lounge Report - Asiana First Class Lounge, Seoul-Incheon
12. Lufthansa First Class, Seoul-Incheon > Frankfurt (747-8i)
13. Review: Hyatt Regency Mainz
14. Lounge Report - Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt
15. Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt > Vancouver (747-400)
16. Lounge Report - Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Vancouver
17. Air Canada rouge - Premium rouge Class, Vancouver > San Francisco (A319)

2 comments:

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  2. good job beating the other passengers to the double bed! clever boy....

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