Cathay Pacific's (CX) catering team have been hard at work developing a new range of Chinese cuisine for flights originating from Hong Kong.
The CX catering facility at Chek Lap Kok prepares the inflight meals of 39 other international carriers that take off from the city, among them are Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Korean Air.
The 40 signature dishes, which debuted on outbound flights on August 1, take inspiration from traditional Hong Kong tea houses or cha chaan teng's, CX's catering & concept design manager Brendan Duffy said.
For first and business class, the new dishes include slow cooked pork belly with preserved Hakka mustard greens and wok-fried chicken with black bean and are served in a traditional style with separate china bowls for the rice. Economy class passengers, meanwhile, can enjoy braised mince pork with eggplant in mild chilli sauce and braised beef with tendon in chu hou sauce, both served with steamed jasmine rice.
"All our Chinese dishes are good but we wanted to have a small number of dishes that are truly CX that are always going to be regarded as the best,” Duffy said.
Business Traveller was treated to a taste test of the Hong Kong-style curry chicken and braised beef economy dishes, among others. The meat in both dishes was very tender and juicy, especially by airplane food standards, and the authentic Hong Kong flavours were apparent.
Afterwards, there was a tour of Cathay Pacific's comprehensive catering facility, which is as big as nine football pitches and employs about 1,600 full-time staff members who prepare an average of 65,000 meals per day.
There are many different departments such as the central hot kitchen, fruit kitchen, halal kitchen, bakery, and dishing area, all equipped with sophisticated technology. Premium meals are prepared by (gloved) hands, while economy meals are assembled on a conveyor belt. All dishes are served within 24 hours of being dished up.
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For more information, visit www.cathaypacific.com