Seared tuna Niçoise, mixed garden salad with Oriental dressing and garlic bread
There was no choice of starter, everybody got the same salad and salad combo. The tuna was a little bland and the plating could use some work, the plastic pots are hardly ‘premium’ (I did like the little, porcelain butter container though). The garlic bread was as good as always, I find that a wild Pavlovian response kicks in when I’m on one of the Asian carriers and the smell of garlic bread begins to permeate the cabin.
As our starter plates were cleared the cabin crew came through with a trolley of the available main courses. I quite like the fact that you can see your food before choosing what you want to eat. I opted for the beef cheek whilst K went with the fillet of sole.
Braised beef cheek, vegetables and Swiss style barley.
The beef was exquisitely tender and had a rich savoury taste. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: slow cooked braising cuts are easier to reheat, cheaper and taste better than most airlines’ attempts at steak. The vegetables retained a decent crunch and the barley made for a considered and delicious alternative to rice.
Fillet of sole, prawn and water chestnut, chilli crab sauce, long cabbage, pepper, black wood ear and egg fried rice (brevity is not a feature of CX’s menu descriptions)
After our trays were cleared, the most charming and nostalgic aspect of the CX meal service came into play: the dessert trolley. There’s something that I really love about the crew wheeling an elegant trolley though the cabin, draped with white linen, carrying a beautifully presented selection of cheeses, fresh fruit, desserts and port (as well as a fully stocked bar for anybody requiring a top up).
The Cathay Pacific dessert trolley
Full from my two breakfasts, I went with a small plate of fresh strawberries and papaya.
This was followed by a potent double espresso
After the meal I tried a variety of reclining positions in a bid to get comfortable but never quite managed it. Still, with only a couple of hours to kill I was able to enjoy a quick movie before switching to the wonderful views out of the window.
HK Weather Observatory on Tai Mo Shan
Cathay Pacific’s soft product is great, the food and beverage were simple and delicious and the dessert trolley was a wonderful touch.
The seats are not the best though and I feel that CX has learnt nothing from the debacle with its similar shell design in economy. For a market leading airline, I would expect a lie flat product or at least more padding and a real, deep recline for flights over 3 hours.
Still, coming from Europe, this beats the hell out of anything we get from the likes of BA, IB, LX, LH etc.