It's the end of the year again, and for me, that means it's time to fly back to Thailand to visit my family and friends. This time, I've got a chance to fly Singapore Airlines First Class on a 777 from San Francisco to Seoul (Incheon), and my second leg on Thai Airways Business Class from Seoul to Bangkok (on an A330). Unfortunately, Thai Airways does not operate First class from ICN to BKK, so we'll have to deal with business class for now.
To book the flight this time, I decided to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Singapore KrisFlyer program. You can get Chase Ultimate Rewards points from many credit cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred (I recommend that everyone gets this card), and Chase Ink Plus.
First, let's take a look at the boarding passes I have once I checked in at the counter.
The check in agent informed me that I can either visit the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge or the United GlobalFirst Class lounge at the airport. I decided to check out both lounges, but first, let's take a look at the SilverKris lounge. Unfortunately, there is no specific first class lounge from Singapore Airlines in SFO, and when I was there, the food spread was kind of awful since they only had some potato chips, cold cuts, and some cold salads.
I spent about 15 mins in the SilverKris lounge and then I decided to check out the United GlobalFirst lounge. As I've reviewed the United GlobalFirst lounge before when I was on ANA First Class last year, I'll just leave the link here, but I also have some extra pictures of the lounge this time.
I found that the United lounge is tranquil, and quiet. The food spread is really good. I found that the food in the UA First lounge is somehow way better than what I found at Singapore SilverKris lounge, as you'll see in the pictures below.
What's really funny about this trip is that my colleague is also flying on the same flight, and he's also flying First Class! I met him in the UA lounge and we decided to walk together to board the plane.
Once inside, we were greeted by a so-called Singapore Girl introducing herself and hanged my jacket. Another male flight attendant then came over and asked me for what choice of welcome drink I would like to get. As I mentioned to him that I would like to get a glass of champagne, he mentioned that on the ground, they're only allowed to serve Dom Perignon, but once we're cruising, he'll be able to serve Krug as well. I decided to get a glass of Dom Perignon 2004.
After the welcome drink, I received the pajamas. Singapore Airlines used to have a Givenchy pajamas but they're now just having their own brand. The pajamas are super comfortable and soft. It's one of my favorite first class pajamas.
After the pajamas were distributed, we started taxiing and taking off.
Once we are at cruising altitude, the flight attendants starts asking me for my drink of choice, which I picked Krug. Then they bring warm nuts and amenity kits. Singapore Airlines first class amenity kits is by Salvatore Ferragamo, and it includes a good size of Ferragamo's famous Aqua Essenziale fragrance.
Now I went to explore the bathroom, as well as change myself into the super comfy pajamas. In the bathroom, most of the amenities are Ferragamo as well. Interestingly, as you can see, SQ does not distribute things like toothbrushes and comb with their amenity kit, but all of those can be found in the bathroom. Unfortunately though, the bathroom is not big, so it's a little bit tight to change.
Now it's time to dine. In this flight, Singapore Airlines serves lunch and "light" dinner.
As my colleague and I fly together, we decided that we were going to have lunch together, so I moved myself to the middle seat and we started our feast!
I started by taking Singapore Airline's famous garlic bread, and some olive oil/balsamic vinegar.
And of course, one can't go wrong with Dom Perignon. In this case, they serve both 2004 and 2006 vintage -- plus Krug. So I asked the flight attendant to give me both 2006 and 2004 to try and compare. The result is that I like Krug the most, I think it has a much deeper flavor and a little bit of smokiness as well. Then I like 2006, then 2004 Dom Perignon.
From the menu, we're supposed to either pick the caviar or the smoked duck. However, I decided that I would like to try both, so we started by having the caviar first. I'm having my caviar with Dom Perignon 2006.
The caviar is super tasty and the condiments work perfectly well with the saltiness of the caviar. However, as I don't like raw onions, I didn't mix the red onion into my caviar mixture. The toast works really well by adding the texture to the caviar.
Then the smoked duck follow suit:
The smoked duck is salty, and tender. The fat melts down in the mouth and the whole dish has a good contrast of flavor from the saltiness from the duck, the sweetness of watermelon, and honeydew, and the sourness from lime vinaigrette.
The next course is the soup course, I decided to get the seafood chowder and it didn't disappoint. The soup was rich and the seafood was not chopped up. I was able to scoop up 2 whole scallops and shrimps rather than bits an pieces of it that you usually find somewhere else. The chili flakes adds a nice kick to the soup and reduce the "fattiness" of the chowder.
The next course is salad. The choice of dressing include red wine vinaigrette dressing or the creamy garlic ranch. As you can guess, I went with the ranch. I found that the salad is a little bit bitter and the dressing doesn't have much flavor, so I'm a little bit disappointed in the salad.
The next course is supposed to be the highlight of the meal. After I booked the ticket, I used the "Book the Cook" feature of Singapore Airlines which allows me to pre-order premium meals to go on my flight. For lunch, I ordered 8 oz rib eye, but when I looked at the menu, I found that they have a seasonal item of "Roasted Christmas Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing" that sounds really amazing, so I asked my flight attendant to see if I can get both, and they are willing to comply.
I also asked for a new glass of wine which my colleague really recommends. I try out the Corton Grancey Grand Cru which is a Burgandy wine and it was de-li-cious. The wine is rich and works really well with the beef.
However, the beef itself is a disappointment. It was tough and dry. It's almost impossible to chew. I told my colleague this but apparently the flight attendant overheard our conversion, so she asked if I would like to get a new plate of entree, so I asked what is available. I eventually decided to try the on-the-menu sirloin steak -- and I asked them to cook it medium-rare.
The new steak didn't disappoint in the case. The beef was cooked perfectly and the sauce works very well with the steak. I got my medium rare steak and I finish the whole plate (sans the vegetable salad).
The next course would be dessert. As usual, there are a lot of choices when it comes to dessert and I can't pick one, so the flight attendant suggests that he can do the "yin and yang" approach to the dessert, and have me try both the warm Christmas pudding and the cold peach parfait. Both of them are perfect! The mango sorbet is one of my favorite component of this dessert.
I then finish my lunch with a cup of TWG Silver Moon tea which works amazingly after all of the heavy food that I just partook.
After the meal, I asked the flight attendant to make the bed for me, so he did it on my original seat while I can still watch movies on the seat that I had my food. The bed was quite comfortable, but the cabin temperature was too warm, so I didn't really use the blanket, though it was really soft and comfortable. I also found that the bed was a little bit hard since it was just the back of the sear rather than the seat itself, so I wouldn't say that it was the most comfortable bed I slept in the sky.
In the middle of the "night," I woke up and felt a little bit hungry so I asked the flight attendant to try out the egg noodles with seafood, and it was quite delicious.
After a good night sleep, I was woken up by the flight attendant asking whether I would like to have my "dinner," or whether I would like to sleep a little bit more. I realized that I had enough sleep, so I decided to have the meal.
There was no choice for the appetizer for the light dinner and it was Greek salad with Parma Ham. I didn't particularly like Greek salad, so I asked the flight attendant to see if I was able to get the caviar again, and my wish was granted!
Next up, another "Book the Cook" disk that I ordered online. This time I tried the lobster thermidor. The lobster and the sauce was delicious; however, I found that the lobster is overcooked and the meat was a little bit tough.
... and of course, when I looked at the menu I found the noodle dish that I would like to try, so I asked if I can try the Abalone and Chicken Udon soup and it was really delicious.
You might've thought now on how in the world I can eat all of this food. First let me tell you that I didn't eat everything on the plate. For instance, I barely touch the rice on the lobster dish, and the same goes with the Udon noodles in this noodle dish as well.
At the end, the dessert of panna cotta is served, and as before, it was really delicious, especially the fruit salad on top of that.
Alas, the flight came to a conclusion, we landed at Incheon Airport in South Korea.
The flight was one of my favorite. I found that the selection of alcoholic beverages is one of the best in the sky. The flight attendant was very attentive and the food was quite good, even though there were some quality especially when it comes to steak. However, I found that the bed isn't one of the most comfortable one in the sky, so if you think that you'd be sleeping like a baby, think again.
The next episode of this trip would be Thai Airways Business Class from ICN to BKK.