To Book the Cook or Not Book the Cook

We recently got the chance to fly Singapore Airlines first class and we had an amazing experience. One pretty unique feature of Singapore Airlines is that they have something called “Book the Cook.” Passengers flying in First, Business or Premium Economy can pre-select a┬ámeal (or meals if there is more than 1 meal being served on the flight) they wish to have on their flight. I had no idea if this was something I wanted to do beforehand. I did what I always do… I researched the hell out of it and was able to find out a bunch of things.

Not All Cities Offer the Same Meals

We had two flights in Singapore Airlines first class. The first was from Hong Kong to Singapore and the second was from Singapore to Auckland. The options I had available to me were far less between Hong Kong and Singapore than from Singapore and Auckland. Furthermore, some of the options from Hong Kong to Singapore were not available from Singapore to Auckland (and vice versa). You can find the massive list of meals that are available from different cities here.

The Lobster Thermidor

I did some extensive research on the best meals to choose and the lobster thermidor was almost always mentioned. I had no idea what lobster thermidor was, but because it was mentioned so often, I knew it was something I wanted to try. Because we had a connection in Singapore, we had access to their first class lounge called The Private Room. This place is like a full fledged, sit-down restaurant.┬áTheir lobster thermidor was supposedly on this menu. I figured I’d rather just have the lobster thermidor in the lounge to save some other meals for the plane. It turned out that the lounge did not have the lobster thermidor on the menu, but they did have a poached lobster dish, which I tried. Some other meals I read good reviews about were the Wagyu Sirloin and the Beef Rendang.

Me about to enjoy my lobster in The Private Room
Me about to enjoy my lobster in The Private Room

The Meal Experience

There seemed to be heavy debate about if you should even use this “Book the Cook” service. The argument against it is that ordering your meal on the plane often adds to the excitement of flying in business/first. I definitely agree with this philosophy. I have always loved picking what I wanted for my meal on the airplane itself. The argument for using it is that you know that you are going to get a meal that you really enjoy while flying. It was a tough decision.

What We Did

Brittany decided that she did not want to pre-order any meal and that she preferred to be surprised on board. I decided I felt the same way, but still wanted to see what the Book the Cook was like, so I decided to book the cook for one out of the three first class meals I had.

How to Book the Cook

Picking a meal was super easy. I logged into my Singapore Airlines account, found my booking and clicked Manage My Booking. Each segment is listed for each passenger and has the option to select your meal. I simply changed my meal from “Standard Meal” to “Book the Cook” and then was shown a huge list of options to pick from.



I decided to go with the Wagyu sirloin as my meal.


All of the meals were fabulous regardless of if we booked the cook or not. You cannot go wrong either way. On my flight where I did use the service, a flight attendant confirmed my choice with me before take off. Then, when ordering my food, I only selected which appetizers, soups, salads, etc. I wanted and did not pick a main dish because my dish was pre-selected with book the cook. It was a unique experience to be able to choose my food beforehand and I think that I would use the service in the future. You still get to pick the other side dishes you will be eating, which adds to the excitement and you get a main dish you know you’ll love.

My delicious Wagyu sirloin that I pre-ordered
My delicious Wagyu sirloin that I pre-ordered

Have you used book the cook before? Are you happy you did? If you haven’t then do you think you would use the service?

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