Airline food certainly has come a long way from the old “chicken or the beef” days, and now, it’s been stepped up again with Singapore Airlines announcing the introduction of its popular Book the Cook service on its daily flight to Singapore from Adelaide.
Classic Lobster Thermidor
Singapore Airlines currently offers the ‘Book the Cook’ service from more than 20 destinations across its global network including flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane for Suites, First Class, Business Class and even Premium Economy Class customers.
It took 8 months of testing some 42 dishes before narrowing it down to the final 14 that made it on to the Adelaide menu. Really, who would have thought it so difficult to put together a menu, but as Singapore Airlines representative, Karl Schubert, and Alpha Flight Services Executive Head Chef, Christian Parle explained to us, there is much more to it than creating a dish that looks pretty and tastes good on the ground.
Quite simply, in the air, our taste buds don’t work properly and what may taste delicious on the ground ends up almost tasteless when eating in the sky. Getting the flavour balance right for diners on a plane, and also having the dish be able to withstand the way it is heated for service can be quite difficult to reproduce out of a normal kitchen so these guys have to constantly test under flight conditions in a pressurised space that replicates being up in the air. There’s quite a bit of science to it, but they got it right!
Book the Cook will provide customers the opportunity to customise their travel experience by pre-selecting a main meal from a wide selection of delicious options, including creations inspired by the Airline’s International Culinary Panel (ICP) of 8 world-renowned chefs that include Australia’s own Matt Moran. Check out his Seared Tasmanian King Salmon with cauliflower puree if you get the chance – there’s an ICP dish on every menu.
Singapore Airlines call it their version of paddock to plate or ‘farm to plane’, using a variety of both sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients from all over Australia. Having been invited to taste test, we can vouch for the freshness and quality of these restaurant quality dishes.
Chicken and prawn dumpling in savoury broth
There are a range on items on the menu including two breakfast items along with selections of healthy options, asian flavours and western favourites. Passengers taking up Book the Cook can choose from iconic dishes such as Classic Lobster Thermidor or Asian favourite, Kung Pao Chicken with sunny side egg and steamed rice (true to it’s name, it packed a flavour punch) If you are after a lighter meal a Barbecued Chicken Caesar salad or chilli and ginger Baramundi may be more up your alley. For the meat lovers there’s ale braised short ribs with broccolini, baby carrots and mash or braised pork belly with vegetables and steamed rice. And don’t miss the Peking duck pancakes; three delicious pancakes complete with thinly sliced roast duck, spring onion, snow pea sprouts, thinly sliced carrot with Hoisin sauce – delicious!
The new service will be available to customers travelling to Singapore from Adelaide in Business Class from today, so if you are flying soon, be sure to check this out now. Orders can be placed online at www.singaporeair.com/btc, via your travel agent or by phoning Singapore Airlines reservations on 13 10 11 at least 24 hours before the flight departure time.
You can get further information and check out all the menu options and Singapore Airlines vast network of destinations by going to the Singapore Airlines website. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the fabulous new dishes below.
Peking duck pancakes with Hoisin sauce
Seared Tasmanian King Salmon with cauliflower puree
Barbecued chicken Caesar salad
Ale braised short rib with broccolini, baby carrots and mash
Chilli and ginger barramundi with steamed rice
Kung Pao chicken with sunny side egg and steamed rice
Prosciutto wrapped pork with polenta and apple
Grilled beef fillet with red wine jus, potato gratin and vegetables