Business class passengers aboard all Hong Kong Airlines’ flights flying out of Hong Kong between now and November will be served in-flight meals developed in collaboration the Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong’s Chinese restaurant, Hoi King Heen.
The collaboration sees the restaurant’s executive Chinese chef, Leung Fai-hung, craft a co-branded menu that includes variations on 15 of his signature dishes. These include braised beef brisket stuffed with pear, steamed spotted garoupa fish ball with pumpkin sauce, and deep-fried chicken with lemongrass, ginger and preserved mandarin orange peel.
According to the airline, regular testing and reviews by Leung, Hong Kong Airlines’ in-flight culinary team and caterer Gate Gourmet Hong Kong were carried out throughout the development process in order to get the in-flight meals as close as possible to those served at the restaurant itself.
“Dining on a plane is different to eating on the ground,” said Leung. “The humidity is low at high altitude, which affects the sensitivity of our taste buds, while the limited technology on a plane and the safety considerations of cooking restrict what can be prepared.
“I was particularly intrigued to create intense flavour pairings and special menus that combine a diverse selection of interesting dishes that can offset the impact, while enlivening the gustatory senses of passengers, so that they can enjoy specialties that are uniquely delicious in the skies.”
The partnership with Hoi King Heen is part of Hong Kong Airlines’ expansion of its business-class market, according to Christopher Birt, the carrier’s general manager, inflight services.
In August this year, Hong Kong Airlines is scheduled to receive delivery of its new Airbus A350-900 aircraft, the first of 15 that will feature its all new 180-degree recline business class seat product. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was able to sample the new seat offering at the airlines’ tenth anniversary event in late November last year.
The Hong Kong carrier is also set to introduce a new A330-200 daily service to Vancouver as part of its North America expansion starting June 30 this year.