Having thoroughly enjoyed Japan Air Lines (JAL) a few years ago and our flights with Cathay Pacific this time around, there are obviously many things Asian airlines are doing that Air Crapada could learn from.

A smile when you get on the plane. Stylish uniforms. Pleasant flight attendants. Not waiting 45 minutes after you land for a ground crew to open the door. Decent food.

Prosciutto with melon, Cathay Pacific flight

These photos were taken from during a business class flight, but the grub in Cathay Pacific’s economy class on the way home was also actually quite decent. Even there, we were presented with a menu of choices so you felt like a human being and not cattle.

During our flight to Hong Kong, we started off with an amuse-bouche of prosciutto with melon and a choice of cranberry juice or champagne.

As we levelled off, the impeccable attendants began meal service. The starter of grilled prawns on crab meat with tomato and saffron drizzle was surprisingly fresh.

Meals on Cathay Pacific

We had four choices for a main course:

  • Stir-fried cod with yellow chives, egg fried rice, gailan and carrot.
  • Braised beef short ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes, shallots, carrots and green beans.
  • Braised chicken with chestnuts, steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables.
  • Mushroom ravioli with spicy tomato sauce and bocconcini.

The food wasn’t as stunning as JAL but was pretty good for plane food. Jason’s short ribs had a lot more punch than my passable ravioli. The sauce was described as spicy, but it wasn’t, just tomatoey.

For dessert, we declined some of the Christmas chocolate log and cheesecake for some fruit and cheese and a very generously poured glass of port.

Between meal service, we could ask for a warm olive ciabatta with smoked turkey, havarti and pesto, braised beef brisket in noodle soup, or a BBQ pork bun as snacks if we were so inclined. Even in economy class, they offered cups of instant noodles if your airborne tummy was rumbling.

Mushroom congee, Cathay Pacific flight

But the best part for me was the second meal. Sole, congee and egg noodles with chicken, mushrooms and bok choy were the choices for the meal that was breakfast where we left, but dinner where we were landing.

The shredded salted pork and mushroom congee with spring onion pancake totally hit the spot for me as I was sick and just wanting that kind of comfort food.