Golden Door and Singapore Airlines began a partnership a year ago, bringing the wellness lodge’s nutrition-focused menu to the Star Alliance airline’s longest flights. The link is now being developed with the launch of new menu items in a second phase of the program. Also, some of the most popular ones from the first iteration are returning.
The latest list of menu items includes nearly two dozen new dishes that will roll out across the flight network. These are available on the airline’s longer, 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 traffic, enhance flexibility and enhance alertness, according to the airline.
What is unique about 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 after the trip.
How menus are designed
Golden Door chef Greg Frey, the renowned spa with more than 60 years of history, and the resort’s top chefs and nutritionists team up 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 the flight attendants can reproduce the dishes with the same exacting restaurant quality.
The result: a perfect combination of dishes that meet nutritional requirements and tap into flavors that work well in the air without skimping on flavor.
Gone is the maxim that sodium and spice must overpower a dish to match muted taste buds in heaven. Newer aircraft provide a better onboard experience, including pressurized cabins at lower altitudes and designed to better hydrate the skin and body. As a result, travelers can enjoy more restaurant-quality dishes than modified recipes that take altitude into account as a flavor factor. This is no longer the focus for the latest aircraft types, including the Airbus A350-900.
While Singapore Airlines chefs are involved in the planning process with Golden Door, it is ultimately the catering kitchens at each airport that prepare the meals before each flight. That’s why Singapore doubles down on investment by flying in chefs from every catering kitchen to understand Golden Door’s balance of wellness and nutrition.
It’s one thing to read a recipe, but quite another to spin the gardens of the Golden Door and capture the essence of this retreat’s wellness center. This helps them capture the holistic spirit of what Golden Door guests experience and what Singapore wants its passengers to enjoy on its longest flights.
What’s on the menu
The menu includes nearly two dozen meals designed to enhance the onboard experience for long flights. There’s also a list of wellness-focused drinks meant to be tried at different points during the flight to meet a variety of needs from boosting electrolytes to improving hydration or sleep levels.
Flight crew are trained on the best libations and dishes to offer at the right time during the flight to maximize certain health needs. This might include offering a drink high 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 meeting after landing. Others focus on managing one’s glucose index so that sugar spikes and drops do not occur during or after a flight.
Making a grand return are some of the most popular dishes from the opening menu: half-marinated cod over forbidden rice served with stir-fried vegetables and basil edamame mash and portobello meatballs dressed in tomato sauce heirloom risotto with wilted greens.
Among the other new options are shrimp with Cajun chili, avocado cream, scallion and cilantro. smoked trout, caviar, lettuce, beans and wakame with tarragon mustard sauce. poached lobster, turnip and baby greens with Meyer lemon aioli. and basil and kale vegan gnudi, cauliflower puree, toasted cherry tomatoes and brown rice with pecan vinaigrette.
The Golden Door partnership menus were already available in business and premium economy cabins, but have now been extended to the airline’s first class passengers. No matter where you sit, the quality remains high. While first class menus tend to be more budget-friendly (expect premium platters of caviar and salmon to start), Singapore spares no expense on the rest of the plane either.
The chefs explain that the meals served in premium economy are of the same quality and quantity as business class, but simply presented differently to suit the cabin table. Other airlines often spend much less on the menus served in premium economy compared to business class, but Singapore wants to differentiate that experience.
Even the cheese deserves attention. The airline uses cheese from Rogue Creamery in Oregon produced by self-milking cows that voluntarily walk to a milking area whenever they want.
What’s coming soon
No brand is finished yet. There are plans to continue developing new in-flight menus from Golden Door as feedback from cabin crew and passengers emerges and new ingredients become available. Singapore Airlines, for example, sources greens for its flights out of Newark from a local aeroponic farm near the airport, and the carrier hopes to expand that opportunity.
The goal of the overall spa partnership is to recreate as much as possible the California-based Golden Door experience (starting at $10,500 per week) on Singapore Airlines flights. If you want to fly with the most zen and relaxing experience, then this Star Alliance member is your best bet.
Those who want to visit the Golden Door (and there are many who find each other between airline and spa partnership) travel to the property’s location between San Diego and Los Angeles. Its 600 acres provide plenty of space for hiking, jogging or simply exploring nature among oaks and bamboo. Most importantly, Golden Door Resort donates 100% of profits to charity.