Cathay Pacific has unveiled additional details about what its revamped long-haul business class dining concept will offer, including the dishes passengers will be able to choose from as well as how the revamped menu and dining ware will look.
The airline announced the new concept late last month, which is set to launch on July 30 starting on its flights to Chicago, with a full rollout across its long-haul network by mid-2019. A full rollout schedule can be found here.
Business Traveller was invited to preview and sample the dishes that will be offered as part of the new service, which focuses on allowing passengers to have greater choice when selecting their meals as well as more control over when they receive them.
The most immediate change passengers will notice is that the menus have been completely overhauled, and now look more like a newspaper than a menu card. This even extends to having short articles about food trends and dining recommendations in Hong Kong, including an article and contents on the front page.
As for the meals themselves, as previously reported by Business Traveller, passengers will now get three appetisers to choose from with their lunch or dinner meals rather than just one, as well as six main course options. Breakfast, meanwhile, is ordered using a room service-style card that can be filled out at any point during the flight. Both Western and Chinese-style dishes are available at every meal, and all meals will be plated.
A sample of the lunch menu and breakfast ordering card can be viewed below:
For dinner, passengers will have a few different dishes to choose from, including:
- Garganelli pasta with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil and virgin olive oil
- Wok-fried seafood with lobster soup, ginger, spring onion, and crispy and steamed rice
- Roasted lamb rack and salsa verde, potato gratin, roasted carrots and snow peas
Dishes marked “Most Loved” can also be ordered at any time as a mid-flight snack, as well as being available as a main dish option during their main meal.
Another major change from Cathay Pacific’s existing dining offering is that passengers are now able to select Express meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner. These are smaller and are intended to give passengers the ability to have lighter meals if they so choose. Express meals can be served on a single tray as well, meaning you don’t have to wait around between courses as other passengers are served.
Breakfast is similarly served on a single tray regardless of the selection passengers choose, helping to speed up the catering process. Passengers wishing to truly maximise their sleep time can also order the Express option, which is served one hour before arrival rather than the standard two hours, giving them an extra hour of sleep.
There are a few limitations on what passengers will be offered. For instance, dishes in the airline’s “Hong Kong Favourite” category initially will only be available to passengers flying out of Hong Kong, though Cathay Pacific does intend to roll these out to flights departing international destinations in future.
Flights out of Hong Kong will also see more frequent changes to what is offered on the menu, with these being rotated every month. Flights out of other ports will rotate every quarter.
It’s not just the dishes that are getting a revamp. Cutlery, crockery and trays have been redesigned as well.
Along with being individually plated, meals will also be delivered to passengers by hand rather than by trolley, part of Cathay Pacific’s goal of enhancing the personalisation of the dining service.
Cathay Pacific has been consulting with passengers since mid-2017 on its culinary offerings, including trialling a dine-on-demand service that has informed the new concept.
While the new long-haul business class dining model is aimed at providing passengers with more flexibility regarding when they eat, it is not a true dine-on-demand service and passengers will still be encouraged to dine just after take-off and before landing.
And though pre-ordering currently isn’t part of the offering, the airline does plan to introduce it in the near future and is also exploring the possibility of passengers being able to order through the in-flight entertainment (IFE) system.