Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CX0548, Business Class, HKG-HND

As you know, I recently took a business trip to Tokyo.  Some parts didn't go exactly as expected, thus, I wound up on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong, rather than a direct flight to Tokyo on JAL.  It added some frustration, and a lot of hours, to my flight, but, I got to experience Cathay finallyThe aircraft used for my next segment, Hong Kong to Tokyo, was basically the same as the one on my San Francisco to Hong Kong segment, so I'll skip all the basic details here.  The only major difference was that it was now a daytime (morning) flight rather than overnight, so I didn't turn it into a bed for sleep.
Back view of my seat.
Same seat, with large tv screen.  The only difference this time is that the flower vase actually had a flower in it.  It was strangely empty on the previous flight.
Side View.
Same controls, power outlets, usb chargers, cubby for the headphones, side table that then turned into dining table.
Breakfast Menu.
Meal service was another breakfast, although with slightly different options this time.  The service was very slow.  Business class was not full, and I think due to the low load, they did not do dual service as they did on my previous flight, so it took a while for the single attendant to serve everyone.

The breakfast menu again began with a slew of light starters: fruit, yogurt, cereals, along with juices.

Followed by a choice of main courses:
  • Omelette with pan-fried Lincolnshire sausage, streaky bacon, pan-fried bubble & squeak, tomato and button mushroom
  • Dim Sum with chili sauce: Pork sui mai with scallop, shrimp dumpling, pork and chive dumpling, mini chicken glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf
  • Japanese beef curry with steamed rice, peas and carrot
All were served with a bread basket of assorted breakfast breads, served with preserves, honey and butter.
Non-alcoholic Beverage Menu.
Non-alcoholic choices were exactly the same as on my previous flight:
  • Juices: orange, apple, tomato
  • Soft Drinks: Coke Zero, Coke, Coke Light, Sprite, Perrier water, tonic water, soda water and ginger ale
  • Coffees: freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino and caffè latte (regular or decaffeinated)
  • Teas: Hong Kong style milk tea, Ceylon, Japanese, jasmine, oolong, Organic selection: camomile, earl grey and peppermint
  • Hot Chocolate
Breakfast Starter #1: Fresh Seasonal Fruit.
The first offering was a fresh fruit platter.  I have never been able to have a fruit platter on a flight before, as they always contain melon, and I'm allergic to melon.  I was excited to finally be able to have one.

I was really impressed with the fruit selection.  Kiwi, papaya, blueberries, and dragon fruit?  A major step up from the usual melons, grapes, and pineapples.

The fruit was all quite decent, fresh tasting, served cold.  The papaya was my favorite.  I would have appreciated more than just 3 blueberries.

This was shocking good for airplane fruit, and I'd get it again.
Breakfast Starter #2: Banana muffin with butter.
Next came the breakfast bread basket.  This time I had the choice of a banana muffin, a croissant, or a roll.  Not really that much more exciting than the last flight, but this time the breads were actually served warm.  I still think they probably were supposed to be on the previous flight?

I appreciated the warm muffin, and it had a nice strong banana flavor, and it was moist, but ... I just didn't like it very much.  The croissants looked better in this basket than the previous one.
Breakfast Starter #3: Muesli with milk.
Next up was a selection of yogurts and cereals.

The cereal selection again contained Special K, but this time there was also corn flakes, and muesli replaced the granola.

On the previous flight, I opted for the granola, but with yogurt on the side, to make it into a parfait.  It didn't work well, since the yogurt was way too sweet.  This time, the yogurt choices were strawberry, apricot, or blueberry, so I decided to just opt for milk, assuming the yogurt would be equally too sweet.

The milk was absolutely delicious.  It tasted like cream, honestly.   I feel silly raving about milk, but wow, this was good milk.  When the attendant poured it into my cereal I was a bit annoyed at first because she added so much more milk than cereal, and my granola was absolutely swimming in it, but in the end, I loved the milk so much that I drank it all up, and it was even better once a little bit of the sweetness from the granola infused it.  Yum!

The muesli was oat based, fairly generic, but loaded up with all sorts of stuff.  There were several types of dried fruit, bits of apricot, raisins, and dates, all of which added a bit of chew and pleasant sweetness.  There were also assorted nuts, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts.  The hazelnuts were a bit too bitter, but I was intrigued by the fact that they floated.  Did you know hazelnuts float?

This was fine, but I'm not much of a cereal person in general.  That milk though ... so good, that I'd get this again.
Breakfast Main: Dim sum with chili sauce.
And for my main course, I went for the dim sum.  On my previous flight, the dim sum had looked so much better than my selection, and, I was flying out of Hong Kong, so it seemed like the fitting choice.  Plus, well, I don't like omelets or beef curry anyway.

The description of my dim sum platter read: "pork sui mai with scallop, shrimp dumpling, pork and chive dumpling, mini chicken glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf".

I tried them in the order by which they interested me.

I was most excited for the sui mai with scallop, since I love scallops.  But alas, there was no scallop, it had shrimp instead.

Next I moved on to the shrimp dumpling, my second choice.  It was slimy.  The wrapper was flimsy.  And, as I cut into it, water came pouring out.  It was not very good.

Then I tried the final dumpling, pork and chive.  The wrapper on this one was actually good, a bit chewy, but the filling was way too porky for me.  I don't like pork.

And finally, the lotus leaf.  I do like glutinous rice, but I dislike chicken.  Luckily for me, there was more than just chicken inside, I also found sausage, mushroom, and other random unidentifiable bits.

I didn't really like any of this, and I was glad I'd had the fruit and cereal, along with a few treats from the lounge during my stopover.  It sorta makes sense that dim sum can't be good on an airplane, but I was really disappointed by this, since I know Cathay always serves a dim sum choice, I assumed they'd figured out some way to make it decent.

My travel companion selected the omelette, and he enjoyed it, in particular, the full sausage that came with it.
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