Singapore Airlines and Golden Door Grow Partnership; Spa meals now on more flights

Golden Door and Singapore Airlines entered into a partnership a year ago to bring the wellness retreat’s nutrition-focused menu to Star Alliance airline’s longer flights. It is now increasing the connection by launching new menu items in a second phase of the program. Some of the most popular from the first iteration also return.

The latest list of menu items comprises nearly two dozen new dishes that will be rolled out across the entire flight network. These are available on the airline’s longest nonstop flights from North America to Singapore, as well as one-stop flights from New York JFK to Singapore via Frankfurt and from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo.

Bringing a wellness perspective to such a long journey is a key focus of the partnership, which also includes stretching and mindfulness content available on the inflight entertainment screens. These will help increase circulation, improve flexibility and improve alertness, in the words of the airline.

Unique to Singapore Airlines is that passengers have access to this material for up to 30 days after the flight, giving them time to acclimatize to the destination and adjust post-travel.

How menus are designed

Golden Door Chef Greg Frey, from the renowned spa with more than 60 years of history, and the resort’s top chefs and nutritionists collaborate to review the latest trends. They work for days in the kitchen as they experiment with recipes that hold up both on the ground and in the air so that flight attendants can reproduce the same restaurant-quality dishes.

The result: a perfect combination of dishes that encompasses dietary requirements and hints of flavors that work well in the air without skimping on flavor.

The axiom that sodium and spices must dominate a dish to even out taste buds dull in heaven is gone. Newer aircraft provide a better inflight experience, including cabins that are pressurized for lower altitudes and designed to better hydrate the skin and body. As a result, travelers can enjoy more restaurant-quality dishes instead of tweaked recipes that take altitude as a flavor factor. That is no longer an approach for the latest types of aircraft, including the Airbus A350-900.

While Singapore Airlines chefs are involved in the design process with Golden Door, it is ultimately the catering kitchens at each airport that prepare the meals before each flight. That’s why Singapore is doubling down on investment by sending chefs from each catering kitchen to understand Golden Door’s balance of wellness and nutrition focus.

It’s one thing to read a recipe, but another to wander through the Golden Door Gardens and capture the essence of this retreat’s approach to wellness. This helps them capture the holistic spirit of what visitors to the Golden Door experience and what Singapore wants its passengers to enjoy on their longer flights.

What’s on the menu

The menu includes nearly two dozen meals designed to enhance the inflight experience on long flights. There’s also a list of wellness-focused drinks that are meant to be experienced at different points during the flight to meet various needs, from boosting electrolytes to improving hydration or sleep levels.

The flight crew is trained on the best drinks and dishes to offer at the right time during the flight to maximize certain health needs. This could include offering a drink rich in anti-inflammatory properties or something rich in free radicals and antioxidants to enjoy before landing to find the right balance of energy and awareness before an important post-landing meeting. Others focus on controlling the glucose index so there are no sugar spikes or dips during or after a flight.

Some of the most popular dishes on the inaugural menu are making a fabulous comeback: miso-marinated cod over forbidden rice, served with sautéed greens and basil edamame purée, and portobello meatballs dressed in risotto heirloom tomato sauce with wilted vegetables.

Other new options include shrimp with Cajun bean chili, avocado cream, spring onion and cilantro; smoked trout, caviar, lettuce, beans and wakame with tarragon mustard dressing; poached lobster, turnip and microgreens with Meyer lemon aioli; and vegan basil and kale gnudi, cauliflower puree, toasted cherry tomatoes and brown rice with pecan vinaigrette.

The Golden Door association menus were already available in the premium executive and economy cabins, but have now been expanded to the airline’s first class passengers. No matter where you are sitting, the quality remains high. While first-class menus tend to be more budget-friendly (expect top-tier salmon and caviar dishes as just the start), Singapore also spares no expense for the rest of the plane.

The chefs explain that the meals served in Premium Economy are of the same quality and quantity as in Business Class, but are presented in a different way to suit the cabin tray. Other airlines often spend much less on meals served in premium economy compared to business class, but Singapore wants to differentiate that experience.

Even cheese deserves attention. The airline uses cheese from Rogue Creamery in Oregon produced by cows that milk themselves and willingly walk to a milking parlor when they choose.

what’s coming soon

Neither brand is finished yet. There are plans to continue to develop new menus aboard Golden Door as cabin crew and passenger feedback arrives and new ingredients become available. Singapore Airlines, for example, sources vegetables for its flights out of Newark from a local aeroponics farm near the airport, and the airline hopes to expand this opportunity.

The goal of the spa’s general partnership is to recreate as much of the California-based Golden Door experience (one that starts at $10,500 a week) aboard Singapore Airlines flights. If you want to fly with the most zen and relaxing experience, this Star Alliance member is your best choice.

Those wishing to visit the Golden Door (and there are many who are between the airline’s association and the spa) travel to the property’s location between San Diego and Los Angeles. Its 600 acres provide ample space to walk, jog, or simply explore nature among the oaks and bamboo. Most importantly, the Golden Door resort donates 100% of the profits to charity.

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