What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

Cathay Pacific will roll out its new 'business class dining concept' this month, with the meal service taking a step closer to a first class experience.

Meals will be individually plated and delivered to passengers by hand rather than by trolley, as the airline adopts more personalised and upmarket approach.

Cathay also expects this will result in a "quieter and calmer cabin environment", especially on late night flights.

Passengers will have a choice between three appetisers and "up to six main course choices" on flights over ten hours in the initial launch of the service to the likes of Chicago (on July 30), London/Gatwick (in August) followed by Frankfurt, Manchester and Washington DC (September); Amsterdam, Paris and Johannesburg (October), Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona (November) and London/Heathrow (December). 

And, being very much on trend, light and healthy 'wellbeing options' feature in every main course.

On flights from Hong Kong the menu will be changed every month, with a quarterly menu refresh for flights to Hong Kong.

Fights from Hong Kong (but not, for now, the return leg) will also see a new range of Hong Kong Favourites inspired by local dishes, such as

  • Hong Kong char siu pork with egg noodles, seasoned soy sauce, spring onion and ginger (shown below)
  • Wok fried seafood in lobster soup with ginger, spring onion, crispy and steamed rice
  • Beef brisket with flat rice noodle soup
  • Mango with pomelo and sago

But before all that eatings starts, business class passengers will notice the new-look menus.

Printed as eight pages on quality paper, they not only detail the meals and drinks available on that flight but include foodie-friendly articles such as 'Anatomy of a Laksa' and feature a local chef revealing their favourite eateries both in Hong Kong and around thr world.

There will also be a breakfast menu card which passengers will complete before hitting the hay, so that they can wake to what the airline described as a "hotel room-service" experience.

However, these are set menus rather than allowing travellers to pick-and-mix from a wide selection of items.

In addition to what's described as 'traditional' Chinese and Western breakfasts, there's also a lighter Continental breakfast plus a minimalist Express breakfast of a piece of pastry and a drink, which can be served 60 minutes before landing for passengers who wish to maximise their sleep.

Refreshments will be revamped as a selection of 'most loved dishes' available throughout the flight as a snack between meals on services to North America and Europe, including the airline's signature burger and popular soup noodles. These will also appear on the main meal menu.

Next year will see Cathay's 'new business class dining concept' extend to medium-distance routes, with plans to include Sydney and Auckland in February 2019 and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth in May 2019.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

18 comments

  • Skipp

    Skipp

    20 Jul, 2018 12:48 pm

    Look forward to the new meal service in business class coming within the next 12 months - it will make a nice change.
    I just hope (for the future) that Cathay Pacific will stop serving the exact same economy class meals in "Premium" economy class.
    No member give thanks

  • boeingmannn

    boeingmannn

    21 Jul, 2018 10:34 pm

    CX serves Business Class food in Premium Economy. Not sure where you got that information from.
    No member give thanks

  • dm12

    dm12

    25 Jul, 2018 08:41 am

    not last time I flew them, was the economy meal just presented a bit more nicely
    No member give thanks

  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    20 Jul, 2018 01:34 pm

    Why bother with the white linen tablecloth if they are serving it on a plastic cafeteria tray? The promo pictures show all set up to eat off the tray. Euww.. I will take it all off the tray and set it up like other airlines J class. FAIL for presentation, CX.
    Member who gave thanks

    QFcrew

  • mrj

    mrj

    20 Jul, 2018 02:42 pm

    I recently suggested to Cathay that their business classs food is amongst the worst of all airlines. Interestingly their response failed to mention this planned revamp.
    No member give thanks

  • AADFW

    AADFW

    20 Jul, 2018 02:57 pm

    I'm really glad they're going back to classy, glossy paper stock for the menus versus the uncoated groundwood paper they switched to a few years back. Now if they would only bring back that trademark chocolate box at the end of the meal...
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    20 Jul, 2018 03:25 pm

    I was on CX a few weeks back and the chocolates made an appearance on every flight...
    No member give thanks

  • Manjit Sadhwani

    Manjit Sadhwani

    20 Jul, 2018 03:19 pm

    It's about time
    No member give thanks

  • HKAus

    HKAus

    20 Jul, 2018 03:41 pm

    CX Catering is bar far the most outdated and leaves an overall cheap and poor guest experience of most International airliners. CX have unfortunately chosen over the last decade to reduce their overheads where guests can see and feel the difference. Personally after 5 years as a Diamond CX member I have moved to competitors; poor catering, moody crew members, consistently delayed flights (due to over use of planes with no margin for delays) and ridiculous pricing have enabled me to now enjoy such operators as KLM, Virgin Australia, Qantas & Lufthansa; all with an overall better "J"Class experience. Interestingly as a result of my change in travel I was dropped to Gold and this year even though I should have dropped another tier, they obviously are trying to get pax like myself back because they extended my gold status.
    No member give thanks

  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    20 Jul, 2018 04:39 pm

    It was taken CX far too long to make changes to the atrocious F&B that has annoyed their long term supporters . The plastic cafeteria tray certainly brings the enhancements down a few levels can’t, understsnd who approved this inclusion . Totally agree with HKAus, supported CX for over two decades but over the last two years the deterioration in service , punctuality and value has been palpable.


    No member give thanks

  • Tony OBERON

    obi

    20 Jul, 2018 04:48 pm

    Looks marginally better - but CX are you seriously going to use a plastic tray? At least put a cloth on the tray - if for no other reasons than hygiene! I’m a germophobe and I cringe to see cutlery sitting on a plastic tray, which cannot be washed at the same high temps as crockery. Lysteria et al here we come.
    No member give thanks

  • JOHN M

    mewettjohn

    21 Jul, 2018 11:33 am

    I think everyone who travels Cathay agrees that the dining experience had to be upgraded, this looks the goods.
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    21 Jul, 2018 03:48 pm

    I'm glad to read I'm not the only one here that thinks CX's food quality in J is underwhelming and that placing utensils directly on the tray is disgusting.One step forward, two steps back really.
    No member give thanks

  • boeingmannn

    boeingmannn

    21 Jul, 2018 10:38 pm

    For those complaining about the use of the plastic tray – without it the service would take forever. CX already has a lack of cabin crew and this new 'concept' will already extend meal service duration. Don't push it.
    No member give thanks

  • Ray McIntosh

    raymac

    22 Jul, 2018 11:48 am

    Having flown with Qatar Business last year from Adelaide to Barcelona I experienced this same dining concept - ie no trolleys. This is what Business Class should be like on all airlines!! Sure it takes a little longer to get the service but on a 12 hour flight who really cares. It's an experience I am looking forward to again next year.
    No member give thanks

  • HongKongAlan

    HongKongAlan

    22 Jul, 2018 02:30 pm

    Cathay has been so far behind in F&B for too long. Just hope they bring back proper salt and pepper shakers if nothing else.
    No member give thanks

  • Richard Robertson

    iM

    23 Jul, 2018 12:50 pm

    Qantas has been serving individual meals (no trolly and no tray) in business class for years.
    No member give thanks

  • Ming Tak Poon

    derek2016

    8 Aug, 2018 03:57 pm

    Any impact on the Dining style (A La Carte, Dine on Demand) on CX First class?
    How's the difference when compared with the Dining style (A La Carte, Dine on Demand) on CX First class?
    No member give thanks

Guest

19 Jul, 2019 08:00 am

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