Flight Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class, Manila to Auckland

Last June I went to New Zealand to see some hobbits. I left less than 24 hours after I arrived from Singapore. It was a good thing I had the foresight to pack my luggage for NZ before I left for Singapore. 

 I enjoy reading blogs of airplane reviews specially those for business class and first class. It’s like traveling vicariously in style through their pictures.  Now it’s my turn to share with you my first time to take Singapore Airlines business class. I closed my eyes and splurged. YOLO right?

My trip started in the Silver Kris Lounge in Naia Terminal 1. 

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-001

The lounge was big, dated and empty when I arrived. 

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-002

The only thing that made me happy was the Nespresso coffee. 

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-003

Nothing really woke up my appetite. 

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-004

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-005

It was shocking how popular these instant noodles were with the guests. 

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-006

You needed to request the siopao and I wish I didn’t. The brownie and apple bar were barely passable. 

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-007

After half an hour the lounge was suddenly full. 

Silver Kris Lounge NAIA Manila Airport-008

My round trip flight from Manila to Auckland and back consisted of 4 legs and 3 different planes. Each leg I selected my desired seat online. The first leg was SQ 919 from Manila to Singapore on the Airbus A330-300. The seats  were configured 2-2-2 on business class. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-001

I usually choose one of the seats in the middle so I can leave my seat without disturbing anyone. I wasn’t able to get this seat so I chose an aisle seat on the side. Notice the leather seats? 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-002

Silly me I had to ask the guy seated next to me how to open those compartments in front as well as other stuff. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-003

I liked these compartments where I can keep my camera, cellphone and eyeglasses for easy access. Below was the headphones. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-004

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-005

My seatmate took pity when he saw me looking for the headphone plug. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-007

It was a pleasant surprise to receive an eyemask and foot covers for a mere 3 1/2 hours flight. 

SQ socks & eyemask

The seat can lay almost flat but I was happy with just reclining my chair. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-008

AC outlets and usb ports were located at the side of the seat. It was quite a convenient place to charge my iPhone. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-009

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin Business Class-006

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-001 SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-003 SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-002

wine list (click to enlarge)

 

I skipped wine and instead ordered a cocktail. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-004

I was shocked to find a variety of Illy espressos onboard. I just wish it wasn’t night time or I would have tried more than one kind. 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-005

More coffee options that boggled my mind. Am I really in an airplane?

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-006

I’ve never been on any business class with a one page tea menu! 

SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-007 SQ 919 A330-300 Mnl-Sin- dinner menu business class-008

 My refreshing cocktail was made with gin, Cointreau, orange and pineapple juice and topped with champagne. 

Silver Kris Sling
Silver Kris Sling
smoked salmon & mackarel
smoked salmon & mackarel

SQ 919 A330-300 business class meal - bread

The garlic bread was fresh and crunchy. 

SQ 919 A330-300 business class meal - garlic bread

My beef entree was a bit tough and the sauce a bit sweet for my taste. The rice was nice and fluffy though. 

wok fried black pepper beef tenderloin with asparagus, Chinese greens, red capsicum & fried rice
wok fried black pepper beef tenderloin with asparagus, Chinese greens, red capsicum & fried rice

 

I loved the subtle richness of the panna cotta. You should have seen how clean the bowl was after.

panna cotta with pineapple compote
panna cotta with pineapple compote

 

My cafe mocha was spot on. I just wish the chocolate used was darker and the drink was less sweet but this mocha was even better than several I’ve had on land.

mocha
mocha

 

As soon as we landed in Changi Airport we made a mad dash to connect to flight SQ 285 to Auckland. I was ecstatic when I saw that the plane was a Boeing 777-300ER with extra wide seats. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777-300ER  business class

The seats were configured 1-2-1. Naturally I chose the single seat since I was alone in business class. I was supposed to sit on the right side of the plane but a girl requested I change seats with her so she could be closer to her sister. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class

My ‘cubicle’ was quite spacious. Even with my legs stretched out if didn’t reach the front wall. I didn’t like the placement of the AC outlet beside the tv. You would need a really long cable to put your gadget on the seat near it. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-001

There was a small cushioned ledge on the side. My handcarry luggage fit perfectly below it but I had to store it in the overhead compartment when the plane took off. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-002 SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-003

There was a compartment in the corner which held the headphones and menu. I took those out to store my bottled water and toiletries pouch. You can see from the bottom left picture there was a lot of crumbs inside. The cleaning crew missed it. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-004 SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-006 SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-005 SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-008

It was disappointing not to get an amenity kit for a 14 hour flight. All I got was the same eye mask and socks with the first flight. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-009

I tried not to show my happiness too much. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-007

The bathroom was fully stocked with toothbrush and other amenities you may need. I appreciated the automatic faucet and the deep sink with a hidden drain. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class-010

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class dinner menu

I was so full that I didn’t bother to get up for some snacks. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class dinner menu-001

Cointreau
Cointreau

 

The flight attendants pushed a trolley through the aisle to serve us appetizers of satay.

trolley with appetizers
trolley with appetizers

 

Delicious chicken and beef with a super yummy and chunky peanut sauce.

satay with spicy peanut sauce
satay with spicy peanut sauce

 

Look how big my tray table was.

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class meal -004

 salad of feta cheese, tomato, olives with marinated prawns & mesclun
salad of feta cheese, tomato, olives with marinated prawns & mesclun

 

This time the garlic bread was soggy and not toasted enough. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class meal -006

 

I adored the croissant like flaky brown sesame bread. I asked for more but they ran out so I got the olive bread which was also good. 

sesame bread & olive bread
sesame bread & olive bread

 

I didn’t choose any of the entrees on the menu because I took advantage of the BOOK THE COOK service of Singapore Airlines. Prior to departure I chose my meals for the flights that allowed it. There were so many choices but I knew what I wanted. There is no additional charge for this service. 

How indulgent is it to have lobster thermidor on a flight? 

Book the Cook - lobster thermidor
Book the Cook – lobster thermidor

 

The lobster was almost perfect save for a few pieces that were a tad overcooked. The sauce  was rich and creamy but not too thick.Singapore Airline Book the Cook - lobster thermidor-001

I skipped the rice and asparagus (which I don’t eat) in lieu of the yummy bread which I used to mop up all the sauce.  

Singapore Airline Book the Cook - lobster thermidor-002

I ate a just a little cheesecake because of more cheese coming. 

blueberry cheesecake
blueberry cheesecake

 

The trolley came once again this time bearing a selection of cheese and fresh fruit.

trolley with cheese & fruit
trolley with cheese & fruit
 mild cheddar & smoked cheese
mild cheddar & smoked cheese

 

After dinner service and a movie it was time to sleep. I converted my chair to a bed with the help of the inflight video instructions. My only pet peeve with the chair was when in the sitting position you can’t have the leg part up for a comfortable reading position. It was either recline a little with the legs down or lie flat for the leg portion to go up. They’ve corrected this with the new business class seats recently launched. From the pictures of the new seat it’s like they’ve corrected everything I wished for. I hope to experience Singapore Airlines’ new business class seats one day. 

As you can see from the picture you have to lay slanted on an angle. I had quite a restful sleep on this flat bed. 

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class seat

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class meal - breakfast menu 

Soon enough it was time for breakfast.  

fresh fruit
fresh fruit

 

The trolley carried bowls of cereal and yogurt.

trolley with cereal & yogurt
trolley with cereal & yogurt

 

I had a cup of yogurt with an Illy Brazil coffee.

Bauer sahne joghurt
Bauer sahne joghurt

 

Looks scrumptious right?

 baked eggs with hollandaise sauce, chicken sausage, tomato & potatoes
baked eggs with hollandaise sauce, chicken sausage, tomato & potatoes

 

Everything was good except for the disappointing overcooked egg yolk. I was really hoping for soft, runny yolks. Well I was in an airplane after all.

SQ 285 Boeing 777 300ER  business class meal -023

I had a superb experience onboard Singapore Airline’s business class. It felt like I flew business class for the first time. Kudos to all the friendly flight attendants who were always there when you need them. On my leg to Auckland my seat was next to the galley. I was worried being so near the galley I would be disturbed by the light or the noise from chattering crew but to my amazement I didn’t hear a peep out of them. I must say this experience has raised the bar for other business class seats I will take in the future. 

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