This is the special SIN-CDG meal service designed by George Blanc for Singapore Airlines. Now you can try that at home, but first you need to reheat and plate them like a stewardess.
SQ has been badly hit by Covid-19 and recently introduced SIA@Home to try to offer alternative experience of their famous in-flight services and catering. It has been launched to much press coverage, both positive and negative. Positive, as they try to turn the tide to try to get alternative revenue. Negative, because the price points of these inflight catering packages.
Take this George Blanc’s 3-course meal offered for Suite and First class for SIN-CDG sector, it would set you back a cool $448 ($568 with champagne, $688 with tableware, and $888 for full-experience). It included everything in the meal service, including the famous SQ satays and the caviar blinis. The meal is for two persons, and you get to choose from a wide selection of appetisers, mains and desserts. And a bottle of red or white wine is thrown in for good measure, yes, a whole bottle.
Every course comes with a detailed instruction care with plating sample photo. Two things are required to reheat the items – a boiling pot of water and a convention oven reheated to 160˚C
Several liquid items like the satay sauce and the soup need to be simmered in the boiling water.
Other will need to be reheated in the conventional oven.
While George Blanc’s meal is just three courses, the whole experience included the standard appetisers – the complete bread basket, SQ satays that are also served in Business class, and the First/Suite exclusive caviar blinis – as well as the fruits and cheese service together with the dessert course to make it a full 8-course meal.
1/ SIA Signature Satay
Chicken Satay served with onion, cucumber and satay sauce
First you need to reheat the satays in the oven for 15 minutes. Then you plate them with the onions and cucumber as per the photo provided.
The satays are just as wonderful on the ground as in the air, with ample sauce to keep for that cucumber in the fridge.
Chilled Oscietra Caviar with blinis, crème fraiche and chives
This course does not need reheat and the plating is simple. In fact you should chill the caviar until you are ready to serve it. Comes with the whole works that they served in the air, including the lemon wedges and chopped boiled eggs.
It is not called pancakes. For caviar, it can only be blinis. When SQ offered champagne and caviar in First class, nobody expected Krug champagne and Oscietra caviar to be served. And it comes with mother of pearl spoon to scoop the caviar with. Heavenly.
The portion delivered was for two persons, but the plating was for one. There’s still enough to make a small caviar sandwich for snack.
3/ Fresh from the Bakery
SIA Signature Garlic Bread, Assorted Bread Rolls and Gourmet Breads
The packaging was exactly how you would get it in the plane – in a plastic bag, and then you have to reheat the breads separately.
Firstly, the lavosh (the thin flatbread usually leavened, traditionally baked in a tandoor or on a sajj) needs no reheated, but I suggest a slight toast will release the flavour profile. Then, the bread rolls just needed 5 minutes in the oven. And finally, the SIA Signature garlic breads need a whole 15 minutes to bake in the oven back its crispiness.
And the garlic breads were the firsts to disappear from the plate. They were delicious, even more so on earth.
George Blanc’s 3-Course Meals
Georges Blanc, a three Michelin-starred chef-owner, offers a cuisine that blends traditionalism and creativeness using the finest range of products sourced as seasons go by. As this is a set for two, you can choose up to two appetisers, two mains and two desserts.
There were two choices for appetisers, so we went for one of each.
Chestnut Veloute soup served with Black truffles
First, you need to simmer the chestnut veloute (velvety soup) to the right temperature for 10 minutes Then you pour the content into the serving bowl and garnish with chives, truffle paste and truffle slices. The soup was thick and just like the name suggested, velvety. The truffle flavour came true authentically and not like those cheap imitated truffle oil.
Poached lobster,macedoine vegetables shaved Parmesan and coriander pesto
This is a cold appetiser, so there’s no reheating required, only deft fingers to plate the salad.
Macédoine is a salad composed of small pieces of fruit or vegetables. Here, Chef Blanc used bits of potatoes, carrots, asparagus and peas that has been dressed with the pesto. After the mesclun and lobster are placed on top, parmesan shavings are sprinkled on and more pesto added. Princess did not like coriander so very little of the pesto was added. I find the lobster too rare for my liking.
5/ Main Course
The main courses came in the highly recognisable SQ aluminium foil with blue for seafood and red for meat. There were four choices – lobster, beef short rib, chicken breast and halibut fish. I chose the two most popular ones.
Poached Lobster, seafood consommé, baby vegetables and potato
I was surprised how rare (and small) the Boston lobster was. But the whole content needed to be heated for 10 min in the oven, so I guessed the half a lobster would be cooked by then. The lobster has been flavoured with extra virgin olive oil.
The instructions to plating was very clear, and Princess did a fantastic job. The consommé was a bit watered down, not like the usual beef consommé I was used to. There’s a tangy taste to the whole dish, and I remembered French chefs’ instinctive use of lemon to dress all seafood.
Navarin of Beef Short Rib, summer vegetable stew, black olives, potatoes and natural jus
I learn from all those travelling not to order beef inflight. I decided against my conventional wisdom to order it on the ground. Navarin is a French ragoût made usually with lamb or mutton, but Chef Blanc used beef short ribs for this creation. Everything was placed into the oven for 10 min to raise to the right temperature.
It was a very busy plate, with many components. The vegetable stew blended well with the au jus. The heated olives were surprising delicious with the vegetables. I am not used beef stewed to fork-tender texture, but Princess loved the beef.
Pink Praline Tart with White Cheese Mousse
This is the second simplest dish to prepare – just take out from the box and place on the plate, pour the sauce and sprinkle the praline.
But it was the most memorable dish for the whole meal. The grapes in the tart were refreshing and the white cheese moussed complimented the sweet praline sauce. Overall a well balanced dessert worthy the Michelin stars.
Brownie Gateau with Chocolate Nectar
And now for the simplest dish to plate – the brownie just needed to be placed on the plate and served 5 min later to let the chocolate run a bit. A very rich chocolatey gateau.
Cheese and Fruits
And just like in the air, you end the really substantial meal with cheese and fruits.
7/ Cheese Plate
Four types of cheeses were provided – camembert, gouda, cheddar and stilton. Served with fruit paste, walnuts and dried fruits. And I always wondered why the grapes provided with the cheeses are so sweet.
8/ Fruit Plate
And finally, cut fruits. Something for my snacks tonight.
The Whole Experience
The experience comes with brand new 22 pcs of First Class cabin tableware that include 14 pcs of Wedgwood dining ware, 6 pcs of Lalique crystalware and 2 pcs of salt and pepper shakers. These are perfect for future fine dining photoshoots at home, instead those ugly Ikea tableware that I have been using.
And to complete the First Class experience, two sets of First Class Lalique amenities that are given out for this sector are provided. It include a scented candle, a lip balm, a body lotion and a soup, all in a study case.
And you can either follow the instructions to reheat and plate the dishes using an online video guide or printer instruction cards. You can keep the instruction cards for memories.
After the meal, I was surprised by the amount of aluminium trays, bubble wraps, and other non-reusable wastes created. Now I can appreciate why air travel has been criticised as a high carbon footprint activity.
Overall, a good experience and bonding activity with my Princess. Recommended if you have not tried First/Suite class on SQ.
Date tried : Oct 2020