My fondest memories of my teenage days were going to the movies in the afternoons at the student concession price of $5.50. The GV Gold Class is a big leap from those student concession days. Arguably the most well known luxury movie experience in Singapore, you can easily purchase 4 normal off-peak tickets for the standard price of $42 for one Gold Class standard ticket.
But if you’re in a mood to up the ante for a highly anticipated movie, Gold Class is there for some indulgence. With big name movies such as the recently released No Time to Die, GV also releases dine-in packages. I decided to ‘jio’ the Mr along for a big movie date night.
If you’re a bit of a penny pincher but still lusting after the Gold Class experience, there is a Gold Class Express available at Funan. According to the website, the experience is the same except for one difference – the seats do not have a call button so there will be no eager wait staff waiting on you, which saves you $3. Instead, food is ordered through a QR code. If you rather not be interrupted during your movie, this $3 saving may be more than worth it. Since the dining set was already fixed, and I didn’t foresee myself adding to my order, I happily forewent the concierge service, else this date would have cost even more.
There Is Something Else GV Doesn’t Tell You About Gold Class Express
When I arrived, I discovered another feature unique to Funan’s Gold Class Express that the Golden Village website neglected to mention – the lack of a Gold Class lounge. In other Gold Class cinemas, there is usually a lounge decked out in plush carpet and velvet, making you feel every bit the VIP, much like the exclusive lounge in airports. The lack of this exclusive lounge did detract a little bit from the overall experience.
The Seats are the Stars of the Show But…
Sitting in a Gold Class seat is like flying First Class. The seats are huge, upholstered in soft nappa leather with giant armrests and tables on both sides. And of course, they recline to your exact desired angle. It was supremely comfortable from start to finish, no strained neck or backs here.
The dining cutlery was also laid out carefully on the table, giving a proper high-end restaurant experience.
They May Foil your Romantic Plans
Precisely because of all the space and giant handrests provided, I found I was extremely far away from the Mr. It was very difficult to whisper to each other, hold hands, or anything that required proximity. If you were booking Gold Class to impress a new date, you might find your romantic plans foiled.
The Blankets May Have Gotten Thinner
A unique feature of Gold Class is the provision of blankets. They come much like airline blankets, clean and folded neatly in plastic. My last Gold Class experience was 2 years ago, so my memory might be a little nebulous, but the Mr swore that the blankets were thinner and I did feel they were a bit smaller and scratchier than before. You may still wish to bring your own jacket, especially if you’re of a larger stature, as I find that the blanket still exposed the lower part of my legs.
The Drinks are Local Specialty Creations from Ah Sam Cold Drinks Stall
And no, it’s not Teh Bing, it’s an actual martini. Ah Sam Cold Drinks Stall, contrary to its name, is a hipster cocktail bar, and not a kopitiam stall. They specialise in locally-inspired bespoke cocktails and have created the Vanda Ms Ho-Lim served here. If you wondered how it would be to drink an orchid, this can be purchased directly from their website as well. I do applaud GV’s efforts to tie in with a local brand for local flavours.
Shaken, not stirred.
The martini was served just as the movie was starting and it was pretty good. It was fragrant and floral while feeling smooth going down, and the floral aroma balanced by sharper citrus flavours of the dehydrated orange slice. And of course, how could one not drink a martini while watching the latest Bond film?
Food is Served Later… Sometimes Much Later.
Although the martini is served just as the movie was starting up, the food only came 30-45 minutes in. This was a minor annoyance as my stomach had started grumbling.
The QR Ordering System is Quite Simple, as Long as You are a Member
I checked out the menu on the QR code, expecting it to be unwieldy to enter your seat and hall number. However, if you have a GV membership (which is free), as I do, simply login and the details are displayed for you. I’m glad that GV has made it relatively easy to use their ordering system, in case you couldn’t wait for the dinner to be served and need to order a snack.
The Gold Class Dine-In Food is Actually Pretty Good… But Perhaps Not Worth The Price
The dine-in package cost $82. Subtracting the base ticket price of $42, this implies that the food is valued at $40. As the meal consisted of just a choice of one main dish and a cocktail, if we value the cocktail at $18, the average price of a cocktail at a bar, the main would be $22. This is what I would consider fair value, but perhaps not an exceptionally good deal.
The three choices given were – Ribeye steak, Thai Basil Chicken rice and Lamb Kofta (a Middle Eastern dish). I had the Ribeye Steak and the Mr had the Thai Basil Chicken Rice.
I found the basil minced chicken very fragrant with the right amount of herbs. The rice was also soft and fragrant and complemented the texture of the chicken well. The sliced boiled egg that came with the rice was cold, however, and rather plain in comparison. Overall, it was pretty decent, although it wouldn’t win any Michelin accolades.
The steak actually had unanimously poor reviews on the GV page, but I decided to take a chance on it anyway. The only option for done-ness is medium, so be warned if you like it any other way. The steak wasn’t the soft, melt in your mouth marbled wagyu for sure, but then again, for the price, I wouldn’t expect it to be so. It did have a few tendons and tough bits, which I didn’t mind personally as I actually like those. It was definitely flavourful and seasoned well, and paired with lime, green chili and coriander sauce for an Asian twist, which complemented the steak very well. The rosemary potatoes were also fried to a crisp on the outside and super soft on the inside, and were a real carb-filled pleasure. Overall, the steak was much more enjoyable than I would have thought when I first read the reviews online.
There are a lot of restaurants where you can have a pleasant dinner for two for $80, so whether the dinner was worth the extra $40 each is up for debate. Overall though, the food is good enough to hold its own.
It’s Extremely Difficult to Tell What You’re Eating
No, I can’t see what I was eating either.
If you’re not much of a multitasker, I would advise against dining sets. It was extremely difficult to watch high-octane chase scenes and cut steak in the darkness at the same time. I also had no clue what I picked up with my fork until it was actually in my mouth. Luckily, nobody will notice any dining etiquette faux pas you make.
Although the food was served hot, owing to the cold cinema, and the time spent jabbing the plate in the dark, the food cooled rather fast, and the last few mouthfuls weren’t as pleasant as the first few.
Though the food surprised me in its quality, I feel that all the eating detracted a little from the actual movie watching. Of course, one can’t deny the convenience of having dinner served to you in a movie.
If You Can’t Afford Gold Class, There Are Other Options
If you watch only a couple of movies a year, it may be worth it to pay extra for added comfort and service for a better experience each time. Also, unlike a live performance ticket which costs in the hundreds, $42 or even $82 may be small change to those with higher incomes. Most of the patrons in my cinema hall appeared to be expats, who are a likely target market of Gold Class. I once had a lecturer who exemplified the typical Gold Class customer, declaring, ‘I don’t watch movies, but when I do, I only go to Gold Class.’
If your income doesn’t let you spend on Gold Class just yet, you’ll be glad to know that there are more than just ‘normal’ seats and Gold Class available. There are a lot of lesser-known, in between options that give you some of the best features of Gold Class at a much more affordable price:
Price comparison of the different types of tickets offered by GV
|Type of Ticket||Ticket price|
|Normal Weekday / Weekend||$10 / $14.50|
|Gemini Weekday / Weekend||$13 / $18|
|GV Gold Class Mon – Wed / Thur – Sun||$29 / $42|
|GV Gold Class Express, Funan
Mon – Wed / Thur – Sun
|$26 / $39|
|Deluxe Plus Funan Weekday / Weekend||$17 / $22|
|Duo Deluxe, Paya Lebar Weekday / Weekend||$15 / $20|
If you’re the type to go for Premium Economy on a flight, Deluxe Plus is a good option. At half the price of Gold Class, you still get an exclusive cinema with fewer seats and fancy reclining chairs with lumbar support. There are dining sets available as well, although these lean towards finger food with beer, rather than a restaurant experience.
Source: Golden Village
The Duo Deluxe at Paya Lebar is even more affordable, but the seats come without the reclining function.
Gemini (available at Funan, Great World City and City Square) is another attractive option for dates. Comfortable leather seats are fairly spaced in twos, so you can snuggle up with your partner in relative privacy, at just a few dollars extra.
Source: Golden Village
If you are really dedicated to Gold Class, there are promotions available to save a little cash. HSBC cardholders can purchase the HSBC movie card. Working out to be $24.50 per ticket for a Gold Class movie on Mon-Wed and $34.50 per ticket for all days including weekends, it is quite the steal.
Personally, I wouldn’t choose to go for Gold Class if I had to fork out the money myself unless I was trying really hard to impress, say, my future in-laws. However, other mid-tier offerings like Gemini and Deluxe are much more affordable and value for money, and can jazz up your regular date night for a few extra dollars, as long as you’re willing to work around the limited locations and timings.
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