Available to all classes except economy, Singapore Airlines offers a 'book the cook' option which allows you to pre-order a more exquisite main course dish before you board your flight - it adds a wonderful decadent culinary flair when flying with Singapore Airlines. There's a vast array to choose from, so, below are my thoughts on the dishes that I've been able to try and hope it can help you decide.
Please note that the options below are from business class and the meals available on book the cook vary on the departing airport - I've split my meals by country below.
Nasi Lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk served with a variety of items. For this particular serving, the rice is partnered with a chicken drumstick, cucumber, sambal, nuts and ikan bilis (anchovies). It was a great tasting dish that was cooked extremely well (the deep fried chicken wasn't soggy at all). You won't go wrong in picking South East Asia's signature dish.
Classic Lobster Thermidor
This is one of Singapore Airline's signature dishes. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the lobster, I wasn't a great fan of the saffron rice and felt the flavour overpowered the lobster. I personally preferred the Lobster Thermidor served on the flight out of London Heathrow (reviewed later) as I thought the potatoes were more suited to this kind of dish. Despite my own personal dislike, I would still recommend this because, who wouldn't want to eat lobster at 33,000 feet?
US 6oz Rib Eye Steak
Was a surprisingly good steak (I had reservations when first ordering) and it gets bonus points for not being served with asparagus. Was slightly too medium-well for me (I prefer steaks served rare) so I wouldn't order i again.
Fragrant, creamy and especially flavourful, the Chicken Biryani was a brilliant meal and was like what I could get in Singapore. However as tasty as it, if you're flying on business class for the first time I would pick a more exquisite and extravagant dish than this.
I was hoping great things from this dish but was left utterly disappointed. In hindsight, I shouldn't have expected so much - airline food has to be as safe as possible and thus, is usually prepared in such a way that removes most of the taste (a great article on this is here). With that in mind, raw fish is probably the worst dish to serve and I should have tempered my enthusiasm before ordering. The sushi is below par on what you'll find in a supermarket - so that should give you an idea of what to expect. Don't order.
Seared Nut Veal Filet
Unbearably tough and too well done. The blunt knife had a hard time cutting through it which made the meal a chore. The mash potatoes were ok and the asparagus...well...tasted just like asparagus. Overall, a torrid main course experience, so, definitely don't order this.
U.S. Grilled Beef Fillet
Compared to the veal steak above, I was exceptionally nervous about the Grilled Beef Fillet but from the second I cut into the meat, I knew I was dealing with a wholly improved dish (I didn't have to fight with the meat to cut it). The dish had a surprising pink-ness, which resulted in an immensely more enjoyable meal. As for the sides, you probably have noticed by now, Singapore Airlines has a fondness for having asparagus as their sides, and it was as asparagus-y as any other time you or I have had it. I would definitely order this dish again.
Grilled Norwegian Salmon Steak
The cooked salmon was deliciously flakey and tasted fresh. It was a great main course, however, I was not particularly enamoured with the accompanying velouté sauce so I wouldn't pick this again.
Baked Boursin Cheese & Vegetable Quiche
I usually opt for trying the on-board menu for my morning meal but in this one instance, I tried the book the cook breakfast option. The quiche was very filling and tasty but the side salad was rather dull in comparison. I wouldn't order it again as the on-board options were and are usually better.
Lobster Thermidor with asparagus, potatoes and diced tomatoes
Essentially the same as the one on the flight out Singapore, this one is available from London but has a few slight changes that to me, make a better dish. As written previously, the potatoes proved a better accompaniment to the deliciously cooked lobster than the saffron rice. Go for this dish if you're flying out of Heathrow.
From Los Angeles
Steamed crab ravioli in creamy lobster sauce with mixed vegetables
Creamy and filling; the ravioli went amazingly well with the lobster sauce. Although not as refined a dish as lobster thermidor, this pasta dish is worthy of your attention - espeically when partnered with a glass of wine. It was cooked extremely well and left me wanting more - the sign of any good dish. If you're in the mood for a good pasta dish, go for this.
Beef Sukiyaki with steamed rice
Unfortunately this was not a great representation of the famous Japanese dish. The whole dish was a little dry (the meat especially) and underwhelming. I would think twice before ordering this dish again.
Reserved for Business class (and above) flights between Tokyo and Los Angeles/Singapore only, this isn’t under the 'book the cook' service but it still eschews all the hallmarks of a premium meal. The 11 courses were served in two Bento boxes; the first being a selection of cold appetisers including seared Salmon sashimi and Tofu with Abalone, whilst the second included hot entrées like grilled Sea Bream and simmered fried Trout. I’m sure your meal will feature a completely different set of food but going by my fleeting experience, it’s something that’s worth avoiding booking the cook for.
Shouyu Ramen (Soya flavoured noodle soup with char siew and vegetables)
The broth was too salty and the noodles lacked that refreshing 'bounce' that they should have. The dish in its entirety was extremely forgettable. A packet of Nissin instant noodles would be more satisfying. Definitely don't order.
Chirashi Don's are one of my favourite Japanese dishes and I was eager to try it after discovering that it was offered. However, after the disastrous assorted raw sushi, I was extremely apprehensive. However, the raw fish was of a far better quality (still not great though) than the fish encountered with the sushi dish written earlier. Overall not a bad dish, I just wish there was more of it. I would suggest overlooking this dish for something more substantial if you're hungry.
Below is a gallery of all the different starters and desserts that Singapore Airlines serve in the business class. I've never had any dish 'repeat' so I'm sure that what you'll get will most likely be different, but this can serve as a barometer of what you should expect.