Singapore Airlines is widely heralded as one of the world’s best airlines. The airline boasts a Skytrax five-star rating, routinely takes home World’s Best Airline awards, and most importantly, has fostered a reputation for consistently delivering a high-quality flight experience across both the hard and soft products.
One of the main perks that Singapore Airlines offers for its premium passengers is the Book the Cook service, which allows customers in First Class, business class, and premium economy to choose their meals in advance from a much wider selection than the regular in-flight menu.
Let’s go over the Book the Cook service in detail, so you can enjoy your own customized gourmet meals onboard your next Singapore Airlines flight.
On Which Flights Can You Book the Cook?
Passengers booked on a Singapore Airlines flight departing out of select list of cities will be eligible to Book the Cook, regardless of whether their reservation is a revenue booking or an award booking.
The eligible departure points for Suites Class and First Class passengers are as follows:
Meanwhile, business class departures out of the following airports are eligible for Book to Cook:
And lastly, Book the Cook is available to premium economy passengers flying out of the following cities:
It’s my understanding that it’s the departure point alone that determines your eligibility to Book the Cook. Therefore, although many of Singapore Airlines’s destinations (such as Bali, Hanoi, Osaka, or Istanbul) are not listed above, you can Book the Cook if you’re on a flight from Singapore to those airports, but not if you’re booked in the opposite direction.
That makes perfect sense, since serving Book the Cook meals onboard flights departing out of Singapore is simply a matter of transporting the meal from the kitchen and loading it onboard the aircraft.
On flights departing from an outstation, the meal would have to be either prepared onsite or loaded on the preceding flight out from Singapore – both of which require significantly more work to prepare.
That also explains why the range of meal selection is vastly superior on flights out of Singapore.
Which Meals Are Available with Book the Cook?
If you head to the Book the Cook page and click on each destination, you’ll be shown a menu that outlines the gourmet meals you may choose from. Note that Book the Cook is only available for the dinner and/or supper meals, and not for continental breakfast or refreshments.
If applicable, flights out of certain cities will feature specialized local dishes on the menu. For example, flights from Beijing to Singapore allow First Class and business class passengers to choose from Western, Chinese, or Singaporean menus, each with five or six options.
Similarly, flights from New York offer sirloin steak, flights from Dubai come with a Gulf flair, and flights from Seoul flights allow you to choose traditional Korean dishes.
Meanwhile, if you’re flying out of Singapore, pretty much anything goes. You have access to the Western, Singaporean, Malay, and Thai menus. You could also choose from the airline’s “Deliciously Wholesome” dishes, which are internationally-inspired healthy dishes with a heavy emphasis on nutritional value, or from the “Meatless” or “Special Feature” menus.
Within each menu, there is a list of items that can be selected with Book the Cook.
If you’re curious, you can take a look at the options available to Suites/First Class customers and business class customers on ex-Singapore flights. There are so many delicious dishes to choose from, and it can be difficult to choose just one.
In general, Suites Class and First Class customers get the best dishes, with business class a small step below. For example, passengers in business class might get Seafood Thermidor, when Lobster Thermidor is available in First Class.
Meanwhile, premium economy customers have access to a comparatively more limited menu with about eight or nine dishes, but the convenience of getting to secure your desired meal in advance is still a very nice perk.
If you need help choosing, check out The Mile Lion’s excellent Book the Cook wiki, a compilation of passenger-taken pictures that shows you what each item on the menu looks like.
On my trips with Singapore Airlines over the years, I’ve enjoyed a number of dishes using the Book the Cook.
I enjoyed the classic Lobster Thermidor and grilled New Zealand lamb loin during my first experience with Singapore Suites:
On a business class flight from Singapore to Perth, I ordered the chicken and prawn laksa:
And during our dreamy flight onboard the new Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class, my partner Jessy tried the massaman curry, while I selected the prawn wonton soup from the Book the Cook menu.
Throughout my experiences with Singapore Airlines, I’ve found the quality of the food to be top notch. It’s also nice to be able to select a meal that suits your particular tastes, as not everyone is amenable to certain types of cuisines or dishes.
How to Book the Cook
Book the Cook is essentially an expanded version of the “select your meal preference” option that almost all airlines offer as part of their Manage Your Booking page. The easiest way to Book the Cook is via the Singapore Airlines website.
Simply enter your booking reference and last name to pull up your booking, then scroll down to “Meals,” and click on the button.
You’re allowed to choose from the In-Flight Menu, Book the Cook, and Special Meals. If you find that nothing on the Book the Cook menu tickles your fancy, you can directly choose from the In-Flight Menu that would be presented onboard anyway.
In fact, if you’re travelling on a flight that doesn’t offer Book the Cook, you can still secure your first-choice meal this way to ensure that they don’t run out of it on the flight and force you to eat something else.
Meanwhile, those with special dietary requirements will want to select something from the Special Meals menu, as they would on any other airline as well:
Clicking into Book the Cook, then, you’re presented with the menu from which you can make your selection. Here are all the options for a business class flight from Singapore to Hanoi:
Once you’ve made your selection, click “Confirm”, and you should see your meal choices reflected in Manage Your Booking. You can make choices and changes up to 24 hours in advance of your flight.
You can also Book the Cook by calling Singapore Airlines. Sometimes, if you book a complex award trip involving a Singapore Airlines flight, the itinerary doesn’t properly show up on the Singapore website, so calling in may be the only way to Book the Cook.
Redeeming Points for Singapore Airlines
The only surefire way to redeem miles for Singapore Airlines flights is via the airline’s own KrisFlyer program.
In Canada, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points over to KrisFlyer at an optimal ratio of 60,000:25,000, or you can transfer your HSBC Rewards points at a ratio of 25:9.
Alternatively, many points from US credit cards can transfer directly to KrisFlyer, so if you’re interested in flying with Singapore Airlines, this may be your best bet.
Through KrisFlyer, you can access awards on North American or European long-haul routes in business class, First Class, and Suites Class. Availability will still be competitive via KrisFlyer, so as an added perk, the program allows you to waitlist awards and ensure you’re the first in line if space opens up.
In general, Singapore Airlines very rarely releases award availability in long-haul premium cabins to their Star Alliance airline partners. So if you’re looking for business class or First Class awards from Singapore to North America or Europe, don’t hold your breath.
On Aeroplan, it’s typically possible to book flights with Singapore Airlines on routes within Asia. Every now and then, there are a few windows of opportunity when award space on a certain long-haul route gets released.
For example, a few years ago, there was a period of about two weeks when you could redeem Aeroplan points for the Singapore Airlines flight to/from Los Angeles in business class. Similarly, flights between New York and Singapore were available prior to the pandemic, but that is no longer the case.
This almost never happens, so if such a thing were to happen again, be sure to take advantage of a golden opportunity to try out Singapore Airlines’s long-haul products at a steep discount.
Book the Cook, by Singapore Airlines, is a unique service that allows premium passengers to customize their in-flight dining experience by selecting from a number of gourmet dishes.
It’s one of the many little things that add up to making Singapore Airlines among the best airlines in the world.
If you have an eligible Singapore Airlines flight coming up, make sure to glance over the Book the Cook menu, lock in your selection at least 24 hours in advance, and look forward to enjoying a delicious onboard meal!