More About Kosher Meals on Cathay Pacific

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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

Kosher meals on Cathay Pacific in 2010

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Kosher Meals on Cathay Pacific

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After Air France and Swissair in 2007, I have now tried the economy class kosher meals on Cathay Pacific.

The first meal was lunch: Greek Style Mushrooms, minced lamb with pasta, brownies, apple compote and a bread roll. The mushrooms were quite tasty. The meat had been cooked like a bolognese sauce, with carrots and tomatoes, but with lamb instead of beef, which was a pleasant variation. The dessert was not great but acceptable.

There was a certificate on the sealed tray which indicated that the meat was glatt kosher and the roll mezonot,

I used to think that this was to make things easier for the traveller as far as the brachot are concerned but having read the OU’s guide to blessings, I am not so certain. What do you think?

The next meal was nine hours later and, since we were to land in the morning, was breakfast. It corresponded more to my idea of an Israeli breakfast than a European one: a thin slice of turkey breast, scrambled eggs and ratatouille, another brownie and apple compote again.

My overall impression was quite good. The caterer, Servair, is much better than the English supplier of Swissair and I would recommend it to anyome travelling with Cathay Pacific. I wish however that the portions had been a bit larger and would advise big eaters to stock some food (parve as both meals contained meat) in their travel bags.