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Old 28th May 2019, 12:14 AM   #1
cavemanSIN
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Default Beijing Getaway on SQ A380 Business and Premium Economy

Hello! It's my first Trip Report on SQTalk. I've benefitted much from the comprehensive reports on flights and destinations, and wanted to contribute too. Guidance will be much appreciated!

With SQ planning to retrofit its older A380s with the new Suites, Business and Economy products, I wanted to experience the 2006 J product on the A380 while I still could. While I had tried this product on the B773ER, but never on the A380. Mrs cavemanSIN had also flow on J and Y before, but never PEY. It had also been 10 years since I was last in Beijing.

With this in mind, I booked a flight to PEK in J and return in PEY for us, in end Mar, with both sectors on the A380.

SQ802 to PEK is an 8.30 am departure. We had checked in our bags the night before, and caught a Grab to the airport at 7.00 a.m.



We did some plane spotting on the way to the gate. 9V-SKK ..



UL307 being prepped for departure to CMB ..



And finally ours ..

SQ802
Singapore (SIN) - Beijing (PEK)
A380-800
9V-SKP
Business Class


Today's flight would be operated by 9V-SKP, which was delivered to SQ in Jan 2012. The position of the gate meant that I unfortunately could not get a better photo of the whale.



To the upper deck we go!



Today's load in J class was 60%. The aircraft had arrived late, and the ground and cabin crew only had 50 minutes to turn the aircraft around. Quite a feat for an A380.



Hot towels and a welcome drink were offered prior to taxiing to Runway 20L for takeoff.



Waiting for an AK jet to land ..



I had a Bloody Mary for my post-takeoff drink ..



On this flight, Brunch is served approximately 2 hours after take-off. I requested for warm nuts to go with my Bloody Mary, and this was served quickly ..




Last edited by cavemanSIN; 28th May 2019 at 02:45 AM..
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Old 28th May 2019, 12:30 AM   #2
cavemanSIN
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Brunch commenced 2 hours into the flight, beginning with a fruit platter ..



Followed by a selection of bread from the bread basket. Unfortunately, the garlic bread that SQ is known for was not available .. A croissant would do then!



Followed by cereal with full cream milk ..



I had ordered the Steamed Cod Fish Thai Style from the Book the Cook. Per SQ's description on its website:

=====
Steamed Cod Fish Thai Style
A traditional dish of cod steamed with spicy lime sauce, served with shredded white cabbage, carrot julienne, Chinese sliced celery, fried garlic and steamed rice
=====

And tasty it certainly was! The fish was soft and moist, with the flavours strong. Unlike beef which is a hit and miss, it's hard to go wrong with fish!





A dessert of ice-cream was offered, and I requested for a glass of Bailey's Irish Cream to go along. Unfortunately, my mind was on the ice-cream and i had forgotten to take a photo!

Mrs cavemanSIN's birthday was 2 weeks ago but I couldn't get away then due to work commitments. What better way to celebrate one's birthday than at FL370! I arranged for a birthday cake for her, and the crew did an amazing job with the surprise and the arrangements. I was seated in 21A and her in 22A, and I headed one seat behind to join in the surprise!





After 5.5 hours in the air, we touched down at PEK ..



My overall impressions of the flight? An above average flight on SQ, with the usual warm service and the crew coming by our seats to chat with us. The Thai cod fish was an excellent Book the Cook choice, and our glasses were never less than 1/3 full before a refill made its way. We could tell that this was an experienced crew, with good coordination and that fine balance between professionalism and informality.

After clearing immigration and customs, we made our way by taxi to the Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing. More on that coming up next!

Last edited by cavemanSIN; 28th May 2019 at 02:46 AM..
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Old 29th May 2019, 12:54 AM   #3
cavemanSIN
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The Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing is a 30 minute taxi ride from PEK. It's located on Wangfujing Street, and a 7 minute walk from the shopping stretch.

The hotel check-in area ..



We were assigned a room on the 6th floor





Somebody must have tried hanging something from the sprinkler ..



We took a walk down Wangfujing Street in the 18 degrees breeze ..



There was some folk dancing outside the church!







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Old 29th May 2019, 12:55 AM   #4
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We would have Peking duck at Da Dong's outlet at 301 Wangfujing Street. Rebranded from the former Beijing Roast Duck Restaurant, Da Dong has a number of outlets. We had chosen this outlet as we were hungry and it was nearest to our hotel.

The slicing of the duck ..





The final product!





As well as the accompanying condiments ..



Prior to rolling into a wrap ..



We also had the scallop ramen soup ..



Da Dong would be 1 of 4 Peking Duck restaurants that we visited on this trip. The duck was lean and well-roasted, and its skin was crisp, but it was in my opinion the unique taste of its sweet dark sauce that helped each serving land on a near-perfect note!
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Old 31st May 2019, 08:31 PM   #5
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The next morning, we had breakfast at the Qing Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop, a 5-minute walk from the hotel. This was on the recommendation of the hotel concierge, when we asked him what food the locals might typically have for breakfast.





Breakfast comprised soy milk, oats and pig's intestines ..





As well as dumplings that were steamed to order ..



Thereafter, we took a taxi to the Forbidden City ..







Where there was one of many walls to come ..



The architecture was breathtaking and the rich history of the Forbidden City was amazing. It was a good lesson in Chinese history, albeit a tiny fraction of it.



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Old 31st May 2019, 08:48 PM   #6
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We were starving after 2 hours and began walking to Nan Luo Gu Xiang, a narrow alley with narrow streets known as hunting's, with the view towards having lunch there.

But our stomachs got the better of us and we stopped mid-way at the second of 4 Peking Duck restaurants - a Di An Men Roasted Duck Shop. This was an impromptu stop, but the duck left us with no regrets!



The duck and condiments as presented ..





Compared to Da Dong, this restaurant had fewer condiments. But it's signature sour marmalade sauce (in yellow) provided a tangy zest to the duck. The duck was fatter than Da Dong's which made for an unhealthy but very satisfying meal!

We also ordered a side of vegetables and black fungus, which was beautifully presented ..





And went sightseeing at Nan Luo Gu Xiang ..







Before a late dinner / early supper at Hai Di Lao at the Xi Youyi Emporium in Xicheng District. The service was of the usually high Hai Di Lao standard, with shoe-shining as an additional service compared to what's offered in Singapore ..



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Old 5th June 2019, 02:20 PM   #7
cavemanSIN
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The next day, we had Quan Ju De Peking Duck for lunch ..



Quan Ju De has a number of restaurants in Beijing, and we went to the Wangfujing outlet ..



The duck as presented ..



And some side dishes to go ..



Compared to the previous 2 restaurants, Quan Ju De was less desirable, both in terms of the food quality and the atmosphere. The duck wasn't piping hot, and there were renovations going on in the floor above. Additionally, the price was only just below Da Dong. It's worth a try for the hype, but not somewhere we'd return!

Thereafter, we walked along Wangfujing Street ..





Before having dessert at the Cheesecake Factory ..





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Old 5th June 2019, 02:32 PM   #8
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The next day was spent sightseeing ..

The Capitol Theatre opposite our hotel, the Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing ..



Parents and children flying kites on a Saturday afternoon brought back memories of our childhood ..



Before lunch at Hua's Courtyard Fine Dining Restaurant, located next to the Sheraton and just off Wangfujing Street ..



Yam cake and sautéed vegetables in pumpkin sauce before the main dish ..





The duck being sliced ..





Accompanied by tasty cereal bars ..



On the whole, we'd rank this the top Peking Duck restaurant. The duck was the most flavourful and the service was the best. While the range of other dishes was smaller than Da Dong and Quan Ju De, the restaurant focused on what they could do well rather than a large range for its own sake. We'll be back!

We did more sightseeing after lunch along one of Beijing's many lakes ..



Before having Hai Di Lao (yet again!, with the Mala soup base being the star attraction ..





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Old 5th June 2019, 02:53 PM   #9
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And alas, it was time to head home the next day!

On this trip, we had bought quite a number of household items, and the weight of our check-in bags combined was 90kg - exactly the limit that we had! ..



We did some plane spotting at PEK,



A CA A350-900 in Expo livery ..



With a range of Star Alliance and smaller regional airlines ..



Unfortunately, our gate was nearer to immigration and so we didn't have the time to take individual photos at each gate. Otherwise, PEK does provide for some great shots!

SQ807
Beijing (PEK) - Singapore (SIN)
A380-800
9V-SKJ
Premium Economy Class


Today's flight would be operated by 9V-SKJ, which was delivered to SQ in Sep 2009. Some of us may remember it for being 1 of 2 birds painted in SG50 colours in 2015!



The views after take-off, before the 10,000 ft "ding" sounded ..



The PEY seats on the A380 felt wider than those on the A350. Unfortunately, as my IFE was not working, I shifted to another seat ..



For this sector, I had ordered the Shrimps with Tomato Pilaf Rice from the Book the Cook. Per SQ's description on its website:

=====
Shrimps with Tomato Pilaf Rice
Shrimps in lemon veloute sauce, served with tomato pilaf rice and grilled zucchini.
=====



It was very tasty, and the portion of shrimps and source were very generous. Nothing was left on the casserole after 10 minutes!

Mrs cavemanSIN had BTC-ed the Roasted Chicken Thigh with mashed potatoes. Per SQ's description on its website:

=====
Roasted Chicken Thigh with Mashed Potatoes
Chicken thigh roasted in white wine, served with oven-roasted vegetables and sour cream mashed potatoes.
=====



Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate ice-cream was served for dessert ..



We landed at Changi Airport and docked at Terminal 3, where the aircraft would be prepped for departure next to PVG ..



On the whole, it was 2 very good sectors with SQ. The service was friendly, proactive and warm, and the food was good. These said, the age of the A380 is showing, with furnishings beginning to show signs of wear and tear. But old is gold!

Thank you for reading!
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:27 AM   #10
yflyer
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Great first SQTalk TR, cavemanSIN! What a nice birthday treat for the Mrs, and glad SQ came through with the cake and bears!

Glad you enjoyed the PEY experience on the return as well. I like the PEY hard product on SQ's A380's, although I personally find SQ's PEY catering a little too close to regular SQ Y. Other airlines offer more differentiated catering in PEY (including proper glasses, which somehow makes a difference to me...).

I also enjoyed the Da Dong roast duck when I was in Beijing. That is one of my favourite roast duck places, although most of the others I tried in Beijing were also very good.

Last edited by yflyer; 24th June 2019 at 07:39 AM..
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Old 30th June 2019, 11:47 PM   #11
cavemanSIN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
Great first SQTalk TR, cavemanSIN! What a nice birthday treat for the Mrs, and glad SQ came through with the cake and bears!

Glad you enjoyed the PEY experience on the return as well. I like the PEY hard product on SQ's A380's, although I personally find SQ's PEY catering a little too close to regular SQ Y. Other airlines offer more differentiated catering in PEY (including proper glasses, which somehow makes a difference to me...).

I also enjoyed the Da Dong roast duck when I was in Beijing. That is one of my favourite roast duck places, although most of the others I tried in Beijing were also very good.
Thanks yflyer! Appreciate your many trip reports! The product differentiation between SQ's PEY and Y has became smaller over the years - I remember the white table cloths, proper glasses and proactive champagne offerings when SQ first launched PEY. Beyond a point, it's indeed the small things that matter. These said, I think the BTC from selected stations helps with expanding the range of catering options.

Looking forward to more of your TRs!
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