Singapore Airlines Book The Cook Review
I have never met anyone so obsessed and interested in airplane food – until I met the fab Nikos Loukas, aka Mr Inflight Feed. He has since became a good friend, and I love that he thought of me on a recent flight. Take it away, Sir! xo Mrs. O
I have been fortunate enough to have traveled and indulged (read gorged) on over 35 airlines, in various cabin classes, over the last 18 months, just to sample the airline meals.
However, this flight is one that I will remember for a very long time. Firstly, as the day before I had toured Cathay Pacific Catering Services in Hong Kong to see just how these meals were actually made, and secondly, because I experienced what I would classify as excellent customer service recovery inflight.
I used a service called ‘Book The Cook’ that is available on select Singapore Airlines flights (for business and first class guests) allowing you to choose and pre-order your main meal option. Depending on where you are flying to and from, you can select from a number of dishes here is an example of just a few:
– Portuguese-style beef curry with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and steamed rice
– Lobster Thermidor with buttered asparagus, red capsicum, baby yellow squash, and mashed potatoes
– Sourdough bread with crumbed chicken and mixed salad
For flights departing from Singapore, the airline offers a whopping 43 dishes to choose from including options from Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thai, Indian and Western options.
Alas, the Lobster Thermidor was not available for pre-order on my flight from Hong Kong to Singapore. I had to settle for the grilled fillet of beef with shallot tarragon sauce, French beans, roasted pumpkin and black pepper mashed potatoes (tough choice, but someone had to eat it!)
In true Mrs. O style, first on the list were the inflight cocktails. I smiled as I opted for the Silver Kris Sling this cocktail, which is a delicious mix of Gin, Cointreau, Orange juice and Pineapple juice topped with Champagne. I am sure Mrs. O would also indulge in one of these.
Then came the entrée, which was a nicoise salad with marinated seared prawns, delicious!
Of course, in between all this, the crew continued to offer an array of Champagne (Charles Heidsieck), white wines f(rom Weinhaus Ress and William Fevre), and red wine options from Bordeaux including Chateau Preuillac and Chateau Loudenneall. Not to shabby for Mr. Inflight Feed…
Perhaps some bread with your meal ,sir?
My flight attendant confirmed my pre-order meal and asked if I was ready to indulge – and of course I was! The meal looked fantastic, but the beef was rather lukewarm. Nonetheless, I continued to eat it… nearly finishing it.
Realising that something was wrong she asked “if the meal was ok”, and I responded (and reallydidn’t want to cause a fuss) explaining that it was quite cold and ,without a thought, she took my plate away and asked me politely if I could wait a moment. Within a few minutes, she returned to my seat offering me two piping hot alternative dishes explaining that her favorite was the Fried Pork with mandarin peel sauce, served with Chinese vegetables and steamed rice. So you can guess which meal option I decided on then?
Her actions, personal recommendation and quick thinking turned what was a rather mediocre meal experience into one that was truly memorable. This cabin crew member completely ‘recovered’ my inflight experience simply and without effort with excellent customer service skills. The alternative dish was absolutely delicious and ,of course, she continued to check up on me ensuring that everything was ok right up until the end of the flight.
At dessert time, the choices were endless:
Haagen Dazs frozen desserts, cheese platters containing: Camembert, Pecorino and Shropshire Blue, fresh fruit and of course teas from TWG Tea and an assortment of coffees from Brazil, Colombia and Kenya.
I opted for the Haagen Dazs ice-cream (I was totally channeling Mrs. O who claims that calories don’t count up in the air!), and without a thought, my new inflight friend placed both flavors down smiled and told me to enjoy, which I did!
All in all, it was a great inflight dining experience which was recovered extremely well by the cabin crew member. Would I book the cook again on Singapore Airlines? Most likely.
How about you? If you had the opportunity would you pre-order your main meal from a set menu or play it by ear and select whatever is available in flight?
About Nikos: Nikos is the founder of Inflight Feed, a website dedicated to highlighting pre-order and buy on board airline meal options. He regularly contributes to airline industry magazines and blogs about inflight catering trends. You can follow him on twitter or Instagram.