Monthly Archives: December 2015
I’ve had an Anova sous vide circulator for some time now, and though I’ve been using it for steak (not a bad use of it, by any chance), it did seem a bit of a waste not to explore any other uses of the device.
So when we hosted a Boxing Day dinner this year and the opportunity presented itself for us to prepare a pork loin by sous vide, I was pretty pleased with the results. I think we could probably have left more fat on the meat (we’d asked for most of it to be left on the skin, which we roasted in the oven separately), and perhaps we could have tried a lower temperature than 60°C (we were somewhat wary of going to the rare side with pork), but it did result in a beautifully juicy pork ‘roast’.
Pictures of the prep process follow, accompanied by sous vide technician BB-8.
It’s been ages since I’d qualified for airline elite status (which I’d lost after about 2 years, since I don’t actually fly for a living) and I haven’t really had the luck of being regularly upgraded on flights since then. Well, I’d briefly enjoyed upgrades on Cathay Pacific with some status from the Amex Platinum Card, but that’s gone, too. I’ve not really blogged about these experiences since my initial experience as, well, there’re plenty of travel blogs now offering better pictures and reviews than I can hope to provide.
Still, flying Singapore Airline Suites has kinda been on my frequent flyer bucket list for awhile now, and having finally racked up enough miles on credit card spending to redeem tickets for it, I’ve finally managed to cross that off my list.
Here’s a brief recap including the main highlights (to me) of the experience – for greater detail, you’d probably find meatier ones easily with a quick search.
The experience starts at the airport, with a separate dedicated check-in area. No biggy, just a more comfortable area where you could take a seat while waiting in line to be checked in.
The next step was one I’d been anticipating more – a trip to the Private Room.
The Private Room is essentially a lounge within a lounge within a lounge – a dedicated area within SIA’s first class lounge in Changi Airport (itself nestled within the business class lounge). The exclusivity is meant to reward actual SIA flyers (as opposed to those flying first class on airline partners, PPS members, etc.), I believe.
With such exclusivity we kind of expected the food to blow us away – unfortunately, a victim of high expectations, I suppose. I ordered some Roti Prata (not on the menu) and the wife ordered Egg Benedict. Neither really maanged to impress.
Given that later meals include things like burgers with foie gras, I’m guessing (at least, hoping) that it’s because we were there for breakfast, and that food there is magically wonderful at other times of the day.
After lounging around for awhile more, we boarded the plane and entered our own private area. It’s incredibly spacious – with the screen between the adjoining suite down (effectively joining the two), there’s really an incredible amount of space that you feel belongs to you (poorly demonstrated in the panoramic picture below).
The biggest feature of Suites is probably how the seat converts into a bed – a revolutionary feature when it first came into the market, I believe. Many competitors (e.g. the Middle Eastern airlines) offer it now, but it’s still a treat to enjoy.
The ironic thing about having this awesome hardware in Suites is that the delicious food is served course by course and this takes up a lot of time. After dinner on the NRT-LAX leg, there was only about six hours left on the flight and we’d have had to wake after just four hours if we’d wanted to have breakfast.
We opted to skip breakfast in the end, which wasn’t such a big deal since we had already been very well fed throughout the flight. The food was really good – our inflight menu is viewable here. I’d opted to Book the Cook beforehand and had beef rendang and lobster thermidor on each of the legs of the flight.
Some highlights (various appetisers, desserts and the mains):
All in all, I’d call it a great experience – although now that I’ve experienced it, I think I’d probably stick to business class in the future – that’s more than comfortable enough, there’s really no need for all the extra luxury, unless you can really afford it.
I’d never really thought about it before, and it seems painfully obvious now, but Hawaii is really far away from the continents – it’s so surreal to see such vast amounts of ocean surrounding my current location on Google Maps.
Even though the place is still, ultimately, very much an American state, this knowledge alone somehow makes the experience very much more… exotic.