Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How much is a KrisFlyer Mile worth (after the 2017 Devaluation)?

In March 2017, Singapore Airlines announced a revision to their Redemption Chart. And naturally, by "revision," they effectively meant "to increase the cost (in miles) for redemption flight tickets." The old and new redemption charts can be found on their website here and here respectively.

Having said that, we feel that it's actually a pretty fair revision, because Singapore Airlines also eliminated fuel and insurance surcharges. So redemption tickets now cost more miles, but less cash.

So with the new redemption charts, how much is a single KrisFlyer mile worth? As with our previous analysis, it really depends on which flights (and to a larger extent, which class of travel) you're flying on.

Krisflyer Economy Class Redemption Value

As expected, Economy redemptions are really poor value - as low as 0.6¢ per mile! In most cases you would be better off just paying the full cash fare to your destination. Of course there are exceptions where it could make sense: For example, perhaps the Economy Super Saver or Saver cash fare isn't available for the dates that you want to fly, or perhaps you have a small number of miles that are going to expire soon anyway.

Krisflyer Premium Economy Class Redemption Value

Premium Economy redemptions are a little better - around 2-3¢ per mile. At this value point, the decision to spend miles instead of cash starts to make a little more economic sense. Singapore Airlines' Premium Economy class isn't really that great, though - but that's a discussion for another day.

Krisflyer Business Class Redemption Value

Business Class redemptions seem to hover around a value of 3-4¢ per mile: a significant reduction from the 4-8¢ per mile values in the old redemption table.

Krisflyer First Class Redemption Value

And as expected, First / Suites Class redemptions continue to give the best bang for your mile at around 5-7¢ each.

So to conclude, the value of a single KrisFlyer mile ranges from around 1-7¢ per mile depending on which flight/class you fly on. The ¢ per mile figures are still pretty solid for Business and First Class flights, but if your mileage earning and redemption patterns normally allow you only to buy Economy and Premium Economy flights, it could be worth re-evaluating whether 'playing the mileage game' still makes sense for you.

One caveat: The number of miles required for redemption tickets are fixed, but the cash fares vary according to promotion periods, availability of cheaper fare buckets (e.g. the economy super saver buckets), etc, so these ¢ per mile values should only be taken as a rough guideline.

Hopefully this post has helped you. And if you've decided to continue playing this mileage game, good luck and have fun with your next Singapore Airlines Suites Class Redemption flight, whenever that is!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Equinox at Swissôtel The Stamford: A romantic restaurant with an amazing view!

Let's get this out of the way first: Equinox is probably the restaurant with the best view in all of Singapore (If you know of a food joint with a better view we'd love to hear it in the comments). The magnificent view makes it a pretty romantic place to dine at, although the dining room can be a little loud and boisterous.

The darling and I are more interested in how good the food is, though, so we place our orders and hope it lives up to the view!

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Night View

First up, a complimentary canapé. I think it's testament to just how crappy a food writer I am that I don't remember what ingredient was used to make the chip. Oops! I do recall that it had a miso paste and a block of yuzu jelly, and that it was pretty good though!

Bread-wise we get a so-so slice of (cold) sourdough toast and some unsalted butter.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Canapes

The first of our starters is out next: Burrata ($22) - Iberico Ham sitting on fresh cheese, with green peas, lemon, and rosemary bread crumbs. Burrata's got an amazing creamy texture, but can be a little bland, so we're pretty happy with the accompanying salt and fat from the ham.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Burrata

The Seared Foie Gras ($34) is a hefty portion of fattened goose liver, accompanied by roasted apricots, ginger marmalade, and toasted seed granola. As always, it's hard to get foie gras really wrong, so we're quite satisfied (although the liver could have perhaps benefited from a stronger sear).

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Foie Gras

On to the main courses, then, starting with a 300gm Ranger's Valley, Black Onyx, Grain Fed New York Strip Steak ($90, marble score 3), served with roasted bone marrow. The steak was fine: cooked to our requested medium-rare temperature, but without that crust that you get from dedicated steakhouses like Morton's. It was also a tad bit under-seasoned on its own, but that's probably because it's served with your choice of sauce (we went with the black truffle butter).

You also get a choice of side dish: We chose the mac & cheese, which was nice, cheesy and creamy.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore New York Strip Steak

Our second choice of main course was the Lamb Saddle ($70) with provencal terrine, green olives, spinach and tomato fondue, also requested medium rare. The lamb was juicy and tender and terrifically delicious with the gravy; sadly we weren't as mesmerized by the (in our opinion) too-strong tomato flavour in the vegetables.

Oh and one common minor criticism: The knives that we had were really due for some sharpening.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Lamb Saddle

Being quite stuffed we decided to share something tart after all that meat: The Blackberry Trifle ($22) which comes with mascarpone jelly, meringue, and elderflower ice cream. It was quite delicious and also rather pretty looking.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Blackberry Trifle

To finish - petit fours (caramel chocolates) which were really a tad bit too sweet.

Equinox Restaurant Singapore Petit Fours

As Equinox doesn't serve free water (boo), we paid $5 each for warm, filtered water - bringing the total to $248++ for two. In our opinions the food and the view don't justify the price tag if you pay full price. However, you can get a pretty nice discount via via various promos (e.g. OCBC 25% off, Amex Platinum 50% off with 2 diners) which increases the value proposition by quite a bit.

Equinox Restaurant is on the 70th Floor of Swissôtel The Stamford. Reservations recommended; Non-halal. Oh, do note that the restaurant levies a s$20++ surcharge for securing a table by the window.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Braised Fish in White Wine Recipe

This dish is a balance of texture and taste. One of my successful experimental fish dish which have immediate approval and request to have it cooked again soon.

2 Fish Fillet (Red Grouper, Cod, etc)
300ml of Fish Stock
300ml White Wine / Cooking Sake
2 diced in cubes Water Chestnut
2 tablespoons of diced in cubes Yellow Onion
1 tablesppon of diced in cubes Ginger

Garnish with
2 tablespoons of Ikura
Chopped Coriander and Parsley
Drizzle some Olive Oil

Serve with
Grilled Asparagus

Step 1: Bring the Fish Stock to a simmer.
Step 2: Add in Fish Fillet skin side down and let it simmer for 5mins with the lid on.
Step 3: Turn the Fish and add in Onion, Water Chestnut and White Wine. Continue to let it simmer for another 5mins with the lid on.
Step 4: Lastly, when the Fish is cooked, transfer the fish to a serving plate. Pour the sauce over the fish. Arrange the Grilled Asparagus. Garnish it with Ikura, Coriander, Parsley. Drizzle some Olive Oil and serve immediately.

Give this recipe a try and hope you like it too.

- Fish Stock & White Wine ratio can be adjusted to your liking.

Click here for our blog page Cooking Recipes - Japanese Cuisine for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Samgye-tang (a.k.a. Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup) Recipe

1 whole Ginseng
0.5 cup of Korean Glutinous Rice
1 small whole Chicken
2 tablespoon Salt
4 small Red Dates
12 peeled whole Garlic cloves
2L Water
Pinch of Salt to taste
Scallion for garnishing

Step 1: Soak Korean Glutinous Rice for 1 to 2 hours. If you're using dried Ginseng, pre-soak for 1 to 2hours.
Step 2: To clean the Chicken, rub inside and skin with Salt then rinse to remove all the Salt. Trim off and discard excess Chicken fatty skin around the chicken neck and bottom for less oily soup.
Step 3: Bring the Water to a boil in a deep pan.
Step 4: Stuff the Chicken Cavity with Korean Glutinous Rice, Red Dates and Garlic. Optional, you can tie (truss) the chicken legs with kitchen twine.
Step 5: Place the Chicken and Ginseng in the simmering Water and cover the pan. Bring it to a boil. Lower the fire and let it simmer for about an hour.
Step 6: Season with Salt to taste.
Step 7: Lastly, when the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a stone serving bowl or claypot or serving bowl. Garnish it with Scallion and serve immediately.

Click here for our blog page Cooking Recipes - Korean Cuisine for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~