Restaurant A380: A Unique Dining Experience That Sates Your Wanderlust

Restaurant A380: A Unique Dining Experience That Sates Your Wanderlust

The world’s largest passenger aircraft turns into a first-class restaurant without even leaving Singapore’s Changi Airport.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the world to an unfortunate slow-down, businesses have had to pivot and find new ways of surviving through uncertain times. Most have turned to e-commerce in order to fulfil the needs of consumers but what about businesses that depend on getting people to travel?

Some airlines have adapted by selling merchandise made from repurposed old life vests and slide rafts. Singapore’s very own Singapore Airlines, however, came up with an ingenious way of getting you up in the sky without ever having to leave the tarmac. 

Over two weekends, the iconic A380 double-decker superjumbo - also known as the world’s largest passenger aircraft - became host to diners as it was transformed into Restaurant A380 @ Changi. Like how they would on a real flight, diners were able to pick their choice of cabin class - ranging from Economy all the way to the First Class Suites. 

Flaked Smoked Salmon starter with accompanying garlic bread. Photo: @sarateonin

Of course, a Singapore Airlines flight won’t be what it is without its award-winning service - diners were spoilt for meal choices as they were able to select between signature international Singapore Airlines dishes or enjoy the specially designed Peranakan menu by acclaimed Singaporean chef Shermay Lee.

Singaporeans, being the avid foodies and world travellers that they are, welcomed this novel idea with so much enthusiasm that the lunch and dinner slots for the dining experience were quickly snapped up!

Related: Singapore Food Guide

 

Steak with Black Peppercorn Sauce. Photo: @ejsegovia

While it’s universally agreed that airline food isn’t something people usually get excited over, the opposite can be said for Restaurant A380. The Singapore Airlines International menu kicks off with a starter of Flaked Smoked Salmon, followed by a main of either Steak with Black Peppercorn Sauce or Pan Seared Prawns and Scallops in Saffron Broth.

Sara, a diner who opted for the Business Class experience, shared with us her favorites from the International menu:

“My favorite would have to be the Signature Chicken Satay (which came first), and surprisingly the garlic bread accompanying the salmon starter! I discovered that the garlic bread is considered to be a crowd favorite - and for good reason, I would honestly say that it’s one of the best I’ve ever had (and on a plane, no less).”

Ayam Tempra & Brinjal Sambal set. Photo: @bobcpliew

Chef Lee’s Peranakan dishes were highly praised by those who had them - one diner, Bob, had the Ayam Tempra & Brinjal Sambal set which he absolutely enjoyed.

“...the flavor of the roast chicken [goes] hand in hand with the potato & pumpkin plus [the] dressing in the salad, the gravy of the Ayam Tempra thoroughly [infuses] the chicken, ensuring its moistness, and [the] brinjals [were] a perfect match with the sambal.”

Muslim foodies aren’t left out though! Like on any other ordinary flight, Restaurant A380 has a Muslim-friendly menu as well. The restaurant’s Halal offerings ranged from Chef Lee’s Ayam Tempra & Brinjal Sambal set, to classics such as Fish Curry and Nonya Grandma’s Nasi Lemak.

Nura, whose husband gifted her a surprise lunchtime experience for her birthday, indulged in the most flavorful Nasi Lemak she had ever tasted while she lounged in Business Class. She reminisces, “Sitting on the cushy leather spacious seats, watching a movie and enjoying my uninterrupted courses with my husband - priceless.”

An 'in-flight' birthday surprise. Photo: @hafizazulkifli

Another diner, Hafiza, who went to Restaurant A380 with her family, enjoyed the Ayam Tempra & Brinjal Sambal set as well while the Singapore Airlines cabin crew made them as cozy as possible. The always attentive crew had a surprise in store - they went the extra mile and celebrated Hafiza’s mother-in-law’s birthday with a decadent cake, a teddy bear souvenir and a song!

Cheesecake with Sable Crust, Fresh Mangoes, and Roasted Almond Flakes. Photo: @ejsegovia

Now, a meal in a flight isn’t complete without dessert and Restaurant A380 is not short of that at all! EJ came on board the Business Class and thoroughly enjoyed the Cheesecake with Sable Crust, Fresh Mangoes, and Roasted Almond Flakes - something that he recalls as being, “...rich and creamy yet light”.

For those who opted for the Peranakan set, they were treated to a dessert that hits close to home. Chef Lee’s sweet-salty and creamy Gula Melaka ice cream wedged between two wafer biscuits is an homage to the traditional ice cream sandwich that Singaporeans grew up with.

A plane flying in the sky. Photo: Getty

While it will most definitely be a while until we take to the skies again, Singapore Airlines and its crew have done their utmost best to recreate the excitement of being in a flight travelling across continents. At the end of the experience, diners were gifted tote bags containing souvenirs such as limited edition SIA collectibles and luggage organisers. Diners who were in the Suites and Business Class also took home a Lalique and Penhaligon amenity kit respectively.

Whether it’s through the warmth of the smiles of the enthusiastic cabin crew (all conveyed through their eyes, of course - we are still in a pandemic so masks are mandatory!) or through the simple action of just sitting back and relaxing whilst watching an in-flight movie, the A380 experience gives us hope that one day we will get through these trying times and get back to travelling the world as we once did.

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