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 03FThe 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
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.
Marinated squid with kelp, grilled pimento and tonburi
Vinegared mackerel, wakame and apple jelly
Persimmon, gingko nuts, cucumber and mushroom
tossed with walnut
Miso marinated tuna belly, cucumber and tomato jelly,
Vinegared yellow chive, soy sauce with yuzu and mustard
Buckwheat noodle, spring onion, wasabi, seaweed
Mackerel on saffron vinegared rice, chicken liver terrine
Fried lobster with turnip, mibuna and yuzu in white miso broth
Grilled wagyu beef, grilled leek vinegared with tosa-zu
Teriyaki style Hokkaido scallop, nori seaweed, chestnut, carrot
Steamed rice with matsutake mushroom and gingko nut
Asari clam soup, mitsuba leaves, ginger
Tiramisu with kinako and red beans
Orange sorbet with sesame tuille
And the more standard options:
With onion, cucumber and spicy peanut sauce
Chilled malossol caviar
With melba toast and condiments
Spanish serano air dried ham, piquillo pepper
with herb marinated feta cheese
Apple balsamic vinaigrette
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
Mizuna lettuce with baby spinach, shaved turnip, carrot,
cucumber, oven roasted beet root and walnut
Yuzu and herb vinaigrette
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
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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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