This is the second time I have travelled with Cathay Pacific and so eaten the kosher meals they provide for the economy class, with a three-year interval in between the two experiences.
The caterer for the return flight – from Hong Kong to Paris – had apparently changed and was now Hermolis, an English caterer based in Wembley. One I had tried six years ago while travelling with Swissair.
About half an hour after takeoff, I was shown the three sealed trays for each of the meal I was entitled to, i.e. dinner, snacks and breakfast. Like the first time, there was a certificate on the tray which indicated that the meat was glatt kosher and the roll mezonot.
Dinner, which was served at 2 am due to an 90 minute delay, consisted of: chicken liver pâté (yes, you’ve read correctly), stir fried chicken with vegetables and rice, streusel pie and fruit salad. There was also a bread roll. Apart from the liver pâté, the food was decent – even if the chicken tasted more like a curry than a stir fry. The fruit salad was really good.
I was spoiled for the snacks, compared to other passengers who had the choice between peanuts, biscuits and/or cup noodles since I had three small sandwiches made filled with turkey and pastrami as well as another but different fruit salad.
Breakfast included an omelette with potatoes and baked beans, a Danish Pastry, a challah-like roll, a portion of cheese with crackers, orange juice and a third kind of fruit salad.
For each meal there were a parve coffee creamer, parve ‘butter’ and a sealed cup of mineral water. I have no idea whether there was kosher wine on board since I don’t drink alcohol when I fly.
While the meals on Cathay three years ago had been a bit too light, this was certainly not the case this year. There certainly was ample food but it could have been healthier. Honestly who wants chicken liver pâté in the middle of the night or baked beans for breakfast? A kosher vegetarian option would be a most welcome option to the long list of special meals Cathay Pacific offers.
Another problem was the fact that dinner and the snacks were basari (meat), which means that the travelers who wait for six hours after eating meat could not have breakfast unless they requested to eat the snacks quite early into the flight.
Over all I’d say that the meal was decent but not terrific; obviously the gourmet chefs mentioned on the flyers that were inside the tray had all been on holiday when these meals were made.
My previous posts on the topic:
– Kosher meals on Swissair and Air France in 2007