This is a recap of the meals served on board Garuda Indonesia flights on the Jakarta-Singapore-Jakarta route I’ve taken since 2014. So here are what to expect if you fly economy class (as always!) on GA first outbound flight (departing at 6am) and final inbound flight (departing at 10pm) between the two cities.
Back in the 2014, GA earliest flight from Jakarta to Singapore was coded GA 822 and was served by twin-aisle Airbus 330-200. But even today passengers get to choose between Indonesian (usually rice) and Western (omelette…what else?) menu for breakfast. On the GA 839 flight back to Jakarta (on the same day) I chose the so-called “pasta with seafood” menu which turned out to be dry noodles with scrambled eggs, peeled shrimp, steamed shrimp dumpling and spring roll. They should’ve tasted pretty good if only they weren’t very dry as what I got then.
On my second ever weekend getaway to the Lion City, I decided to fly on GA 826, the second Singapore-bound flight that departed at 7.30. Bad decision, as it was extremely crowded. No more breakfast options, so I chose this chicken cream penne. It tasted quite good, but there wasn’t much cream and the pasta was a bit dry. Curiously, I also took the second from last flight out of Singapore. I actually had been booked on the last flight, but a week before departure Garuda emailed and later called me, saying that I’d been transferred to an earlier flight (GA 839) because GA 847 wouldn’t be operating on that day, which I suspected due to their being unable to sell enough seats until the last minute. So, again, I was stuck on a crowded plane. I chose the rice-and-fish menu for dinner. It consisted of steamed white rice, fish curry, a couple of sliced steamed carrots and leafy vegetable. The fish curry was good, but the rice was too dry.
This time I stayed 2 nights in Singapore, but still came with the earliest flight from Jakarta and returned on the last Garuda flight out of Singapore. I really liked it that the Western breakfast menu now came with yoghurt and the boring bun being replaced by croissant. Sadly, the now coded GA 824 flight was served by single-aisle Boeing 737-800. On the Garuda flight 847 back to Jakarta, I chose the pasta-and-chicken menu. Not much different from what I got back in 2014, only the noodles were flat and thin. It came with a large chunk of sweet soy sauce chicken. Tasted just okay.
For breakfast on board GA 824, the usual omelette menu (too much fried onions today!) and croissant and yoghurt to eat my cut fruits with. For dinner on board GA 847, I opted for the so-called pasta menu again because the FA said it was served with fish. Well, the appearance was carbon copy of what I got just three months earlier. As for the fish, I couldn’t help thinking it was meant to be the fish version of a Chinese Indonesian chicken dish called ayam kung pao. Hmm…ikan kung pao dong.
GA 824: I’d planned to eat “several” times during the trip, so this time I asked for the rice meal, thinking it would be simpler than the usual omelette dish. But I was wrong! The only difference was the main dish. The rest were exactly the same as if I opted for omelette. Now I knew I could never escape from croissant with jam & butter and yoghurt! But anyway, I really liked this nasi kuning for breakfast. GA 847: By now I knew what to expect for late dinner if I opted for their “pasta” dish. I was ready to choose the other option, but “pasta with beef” sounded more tempting than “rice with chicken” (Ah, could it Hainanese chicken rice??). And…I got this fusilli alla bolognese which was good!