10.287 Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce

10.287

19 (Sat) October 2019

Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce

3.0

on Singapore Airlines – SQ 297

-Singapore en route to Christchurch-

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Mission to New Zealand, Day 1.

In transit to Wellington.  In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and National Ethics Advisory Committee, I’ll be coordinating the proceedings of the Second Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting for National Ethics/Bioethics Committees, Tuesday to Wednesday.  I coordinated the first AP-NEC meeting two years ago in Seoul (see 8.292 Grilled Lamb).

 BRUNCH

For starters, the journey provided GMTD with a first look at the Singapore Airlines SilverKris business class lounge in Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

In terms of quality, variety, and taste, the food was the best among the 5 lounges across NAIA that I’ve tried thus far.

My favorite part was the nacho bar, which included warm ground beef and gooey cheese on hot plates.

LUNCH

In flight, Manila to Singapore.

On my first business class travel on Singapore Airlines 4 years ago, I had commended the creativity of the menu but found disappointment in its execution (see 6.243 Ggongchi Kimchi Jjigae).  The experience had initially been ranked 4th out of 8 in BEST IN FLIGHT, but it eventually attained the top spot as the higher rankings dropped down over time with poor subsequent showings.  I’ve been eager for an opportunity to reassess.

In fact, the Organization had put me on Qantas Airways – which would’ve been okay, too – but I paid $116.50 out-of-pocket to get myself on Singapore Airlines.

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Prawn Caesar Salad (3.0)
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Slow-Braised Boneless Pork Knuckle (2.5): “with creamy nutmeg spinach, carrot, mash potato, and Madeira sauce” – not a fan of pork knuckle (too close to the foot), but the item was touted as a special chef’s dish.
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Okay, except for the skin.
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Milk Tea Ice Cream (4.0): perfectly bittersweet, like green tea ice cream, but richer in flavor and more textural.

AFTERNOON SNACK

I’ve also been looking forward to revisiting the SilverKris lounge at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3.

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Again, I was amazed by the spread – a range of Singaporean dishes with Chinese/Malaysian/Indonesian/Indian influences – confirming that the lounge offers the most generous selection of items among any lounge that I’ve seen.  As previously noted, the experience was more about fun in choosing, rather than quality or taste, but enough to retain the #2 spot.

As if the buffet weren’t enough, the lounge also featured a made-to-order station for gado gado.

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Reminded me a bit of bibimbap, only with peanut sauce.

As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel, especially via business class, including lounge access.  Any comments here, even the negative ones, are simply relative to other business class experiences, not complaints per se.

BEST IN LOUNGE – an on-going ranking of dining experiences in business lounges:

  1. TURKEY, Istanbul (IST): Istanbul Ataturk Airport – Turkish Airlines Lounge (8.052 Köfte + Piliç) (9.056 Pide)
  2. SINGAPORE (SIN): Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 3) – SilverKris Business Class Lounge (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta) (10.287 Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce)
  3. JORDAN, Amman (AMM): Queen Alia International Airport – Petra Lounge (9.267 Dukkah-Spiced Salmon)
  4. QATAR, Doha (DOH): Hamnad International Airport – Al Mourjan Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders); (10.174 Chicken Kabsa)
  5. NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam (AMS): Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – KLM Crown Lounge (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
  6. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Abu Dhabi (AUH): Abu Dhabi International Airport – Etihad Airways Lounge (6.154 Shakshouka)
  7. JAPAN, Tokyo (HND): Haneda Airport International Terminal (8.202 Clam and Spicy Tofu Stew)
  8. CHINA, Hong Kong SAR (HKG): Hong Kong International Airport – Club Autus Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh)
  9. AUSTRALIA, Brisbane (BNE): Brisbane Airport – Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.242 Scallops)
  10. NEW ZEALAND, Aukland (AUK): Aukland Airport – Strata Lounge (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
  11. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport (Terminal 2) – Korean Air Prestige Lounge (East) (9.016 Probably the Best Mul Naeng Myeon); (10.110 Grilled Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce)
  12. JORDAN, Amman (AMM): Queen Alia International Airport – Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge (6.159 Memories of Hummus)
  13. THAILAND, Bangkok (BKK): Suvarnabhumi Airport – Royal Silk Lounge  (7.306 Fried Black Cod …)
  14. GERMANY, Munich (MUC): Flughafen München – Lufthansa Lounge (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
  15. RUSSIA, Moscow (DME): Moscow Domodedovo Airport (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns)
  16. FIJI, Nadi (NAD): Nadi International Airport – Fiji Airways Premier Lounge (10.230 Seared Humpty Doo Barramundi)
  17. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – SilverKris Lounge (10.287 Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce)
  18. CHINA, Hong Kong SAR (HKG): Hong Kong International Airport – Cathay Pacific Lounge (The Wing) (5.182 Har Gao); (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
  19. CHINA, Shanghai (PVG): Shanghai Pudong International Airport – No. 77 China Eastern Plaza Premium Lounge (10.201 Classic Shanghai Noodle with Spring Onion Oil)
  20. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – Cathay Pacific Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh)
  21. SINGAPORE: Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1), Plaza Premium Lounge (10.160 Chicken Rice + Ramen)
  22. INDIA, New Delhi (DEL): Indira Gandhi International Airport (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
  23. MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur (KUL): Kuala Lumpur International Airport – AirAsia Premium Red Lounge (9.183 Grilled Y/F Tuna Steak)
  24. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Asiana Business Class Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (5.363 Past + Sandwich for the Elite)
  25. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Korean Air Prestige Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (6.090 Shin Ramyeon BLACK)
  26. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Star Alliance Lounge (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…)
  27. SRI LANKA, Colombo (CMB): Bandaranaike International Airport (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin)
  28. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – PAGSS Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders)
  29. LEBANON, Beirut (BEY): Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, LAT (Lebanese Air Transport) Lounge (9.336 Sea Bass en Papillote)
  30. MALDIVES, Male (MLE): Velana International Airport (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin)
  31. AUSTRALIA, Sydney (SYD): Sydney Airport, Qantas International Business Lounge (10.217 Stir-Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu)
  32. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 1) – PAGSS Lounge (9.330 Parrot Fish with Sweet & Sour Sauce)
  33. USA, New York (JFK): John F Kennedy International Airport – Korean Air Lounge (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet)
  34. TUNISIA, Tunis (TUN): Tunis-Carthage Airport – Espace Privilege Lounge (10.174 Chicken Kabsa)
  35. SWITZERLAND, Geneva (GVA): Geneva International Airport (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
  36. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 1) – MIASCOR Lounge (4.272 Chicken Curry…); (6.305 Chicken Congee)
  37. FIJI, Nadi (NAD): Nadi International Airport (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb)
  38. USA, Los Angeles (LAX): Los Angeles International Airport – Korean Air Lounge (9.361 Beef Bulgogi)
  39. MONGOLIA, Ulaanbataar (ULN): Chinggis Khaan International Airport (10.061 Stock Soup of Bone and Stew Meat)

DINNER

In flight, Singapore to Christchurch.

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Another impressive menu, at least on paper.

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Singapore Chicken and Lamb Satay (2.5)
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Salad of Colossal Crab (3.0)

The meatballs were fine.

Overall, the in-flight food service seemed a tad better than before – simpler, in a good way – but still underwhelming, not enough to retain the #1 spot – a repositioning may be in order on the way back.

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BEST IN FLIGHT – an on-going ranking of dining experiences on business class flights:

  1. Singapore Airlines: MNL > SIN > BNE (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta); BNE > SIN > MNL (6.243 Ggongchi Kimchi Jjigae); MNL > SIN > CHC (10.287 Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce)
  2. Turkish Airlines: MNL > IST (8.046 Grilled Seafood Selections); GVA > IST (8.051 Fresh Herb Baby Chicken); IST > MNL (8.052 Köfte + Piliç); MNL > IST > GVA (9.050 Grilled Seafood Selection); GVA > IST (9.055 Grilled Lamb Chop); ICT > MNL (9.056 Pide); MNL > IST (9.330 Parrot Fish with Sweet & Sour Sauce); BEY > IST > MNL (9.336 Sea Bass en Papilotte)
  3. Qatar Airlines: MNL > DOH > DME (5.279 Assorted Hot Mezzah); DME > DOH > MNL (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns); MNL > DOH > TUN (10.168 Mini Sliders); TUN > DOH > MNL (10.174 Chicken Kabsa)
  4. Qantas Airways: MNL > SYD > NAD (10.217 Stir-Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu); NAD > SYD > HKG (10.223 Seared Humpty Doo Barramundi)
  5. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: GVA > AMS > ICN (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
  6. Asiana Airlines: MNL > ICN (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…); MNL > ICN (4.272 Chicken Curry with Raisin Biryani); ICN > MNL (6.048 Ssambap); MNL > ICN (6.305 Chicken Congee); ICN > MNL (6.321 Ssambap); ICN > MNL (8.261 Ssambap)
  7. Etihad Airways: MNL > AUH > AMM (6.154 Shakshouka); AMM > AUH > MNL (6.160 Zaalou-Crusted Chicken Breast); AUH > AMM (9.261 Prawns Machboos); AMM > AUH (9.267 Dukkah-Spiced Salmon); AUH > MNL (9.268 Malabar Grouper)
  8. Korean Air: ICN > NAD (5.175 Prestigious Repast); MNL > ICN (6.021 Bibimbap); MNL > ICN > NAD (6.101 Coconut Carrot Cream Soup); NAD > ICN > MNL (6.111 Asparagus Cream Soup); ICN > NAD (6.314 Bibimbap); NAD > ICN (6.319 Seared Seafood…); MNL > ICN > JFK (7.032 Manhattan); JFK > ICN (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet); ICN > MNL (7.041 Gom Tang); MNL > ICN (9.012 Chicken in Tomato Sauce with Pasta); MLE > CMB > ICN (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin); ICN > MNL (9.193 Roasted Halibut with Dill Cream Sauce); MNL > ICN > NAD (9.284 Feta Cheese with Sliced Fig and Parma Ham); NAD > ICN > MNL (9.287 Spicy Squid & Bean Sprout Stir-Fry with Rice); ICN > LAX (9.349 Pea Sprouts with Garlic); LAX > ICN (9.361 Beef Bulgogi); ICN > MNL (9.362 Bibimbap); ULN > ICN (10.061 Stock Soup of Bone and Stew Meat); MNL > ICN > NAD (10.110 Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce); ICN > NAD (10.185 Mixed Seafood with Beet Emulsion); ICN > MNL (10.196 Bibimbap)
  9. Thai Airways: MNL > BKK > DEL (7.306 Fried Black Cod …); DEL > BKK > MNL (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
  10. Cathay Pacific Airways: HKG > MNL (5.182 Har Gao); HKG > MNL (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
  11. Deutsche Lufthansa: ICN > MUC > GVA (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
  12. Fiji Airways: NAD > HKG (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb); HKG > NAD (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh); NAD > HKG (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut); NAD > AUK (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
  13. Philippine Airlines: MNL > MEL (5.335 Chicken Tausi); AUK > MNL (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)

AMM = Amman // AMS = Amsterdam // AUH = Abu Dhabi // AUK = Auckland // BEY = Beirut // BKK = Bangkok // BNE = Brisbane // CHC = Christchurch // CMB = Colombo // DEL = New Delhi // DOH = Doha // DME (Domodedovo) = Moscow // GVA = Geneva // HKG = Hong Kong // ICN = Incheon // IST = Istanbul // JFK (John F Kennedy) = New York // LAX = Los Angeles // MEL = Melbourne // MLE = Male // MNL = Manila // MUC = Munich // NAD = Nadi // SIN = Singapore // SYD = Sydney // TUN = Tunis // ULN = Ulaanbataar

In standard sitting mode, the seat was already luxurious.  Then, for sleeping mode, the back of the seat folded down 180° to form a wide, flat bed – above and beyond expectation.

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From that previous trip on Singapore Airlines, I had been more impressed by the comfort of the seating and convenience of the amenities, rather than the food (see 6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta).

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