Exploring the menu of Singapore Airlines' "Book the Cook" service

By John Walton, January 30 2012

Frequent travellers can easily end up facing the same business class meal for the third time in a month, but if you're flying with Singapore Airlines there's a great service you should try for your next trip.

Called 'Book the Cook', it lets you choose your meal before you fly, and from a far more extensive menu than what's offered in the air.

We're often surprised how many business travellers are unaware of the Book the Cook service, though, so our series of Food Week specials on inflight food provides the perfect time to explain how it works.

Book the Cook isn't only for frequent flyers, gourmands and the just-plain-picky. It's brilliant if you don't eat red meat, aren't a fan of fish or simply want to arrange your dinner in advance.

(It also avoids those situations when the crew have to "apologise if, due to previous passengers' selection, your first choice is unavailable".)

All flights out of Singapore Changi airport are eligible for Book the Cook, along with flights from Amsterdam, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York (JFK & Newark), San Francisco, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo (Haneda & Narita).

Just pick your dish more than 24 hours before the flight.

Lobster Thermidor is old-school first class -- but available in business class from Singapore if you book in advance.

So what are your choices? Naturally, flights from Singapore have the most options, with the lobster Thermidor a firm favourite among the more decadent in-the-know traveller.

Western cuisine

  • 6 oz. U.S. rib-eye steak with creamy green peppercorn sauce, roasted vegetables, and garlic-mashed potatoes
  • Oven-roasted corn fed chicken breast, tarragon jus, and creamy polenta
  • Pan-seared Chilean bass with bouillabaisse sauce, capsicum confit, and kalamata olive potato
  • Pappardelle with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes
  • Roast lamb chops with mint jus, mesclun salad, and thyme-flavoured gratin potatoes
  • Roasted vegetables with avocado mesclun salad on roasted potatoes, in a truffle oil vinaigrette
  • Seared salmon escalope on a warm potato and snake bean salad
  • Slipper lobster Thermidor, buttered asparagus, and slow-roasted vine-ripened tomato, and saffron rice
  • Wild mushroom and chorizo risotto in natural jus with arugula

Singapore Specialities

  • Braised soya-flavoured duck with yam rice
  • Chicken curry Peranakan style with bread rolls
  • Nasi biryani (inclusive of Breakfast service)
  • Nasi lemak (inclusive of Breakfast service)
  • Singapore Chicken Rice

Japanese Cuisine

  • Gyu-Don

Thai Delights

  • Fish soufflé and spicy minced chicken served with pineapple rice and curried vegetables
  • Green curry fish balls stuffed with prawns, served with pork in a sweet and spicy sauce

If you're flying from Melbourne, we reckon that both the lamb curries sound good, among your other options on flights from Tullamarine:

  • Chicken in macadamia nut crust with bush tomato coulis, roast vegetables, and new potatoes
  • Grilled beef in green peppercorn sauce with seasonal vegetables and gratin potatoes
  • Pan-fried barramundi in native pepper sauce with sautéed vegetables and fettuccine
  • Seared salmon escalope on a warm potato and French bean salad
  • Cantonese roast duck with vegetables and steamed rice
  • Indian lamb shank curry with spiced vegetables and basmati rice
  • Lamb loin in Thai green curry with Asian vegetables and steamed rice
  • Wok-fried rice with tender pieces of marinated chicken, egg, and spring onion
  • Toasted multigrain country bread with herb cottage cheese, grilled vegetables and fresh berries low fat yoghurt (Breakfast only)

Departing from Sydney, the Thermidor option is a draw, but the Singapore Chicken Rice is another tempting choice:

  • Grilled beef in green peppercorn sauce with seasonal vegetables and gratin potatoes 
  • Roast chicken breast in wild mushroom cream and gratin chat potatoes 
  • Seafood Thermidor with buttered asparagus, slow-roasted vine-ripened tomato, and saffron rice 
  • Tasmanian salmon in wild-lime butter sauce with steamed green beans and pasta 
  • Barramundi in black bean sauce with baby bok choy and jasmine rice 
  • Cantonese roast duck with plum sauce and steamed rice 
  • Indian lamb shank curry with vegetables and pilaff rice 
  • Singapore Chicken Rice

Stay tuned for more of Australian Business Traveller's Food Week stories all week at ausbt.com.au and on Twitter: @AusBT -- and don't miss all our Food Week articles!

John Walton
John Walton

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Tom W

Tom W

27 Jul 2011

Total posts 42

Interesting to see they now offer real Lobster Thermidor in Business from Singapore. When I went around the world when I was 11 in 2003 they only offered Slipper!

Tom W

Tom W

27 Jul 2011

Total posts 42

Retract that. They still only do.

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