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    Cathay Pacific
    Behind the scenes: how Cathay Pacific and Duddell’s bring gourmet Hong Kong dining to the skies
    As their partnership continues, Cathay Pacific and Michelin-starred restaurant Duddell’s unveil a new inflight menu that captures the spirit of Hong Kong, sure to delight passengers as much as the last.
    Duddell's and Cathay Pacific's gourmet inflight meals

    Tender pork ribs, tangy hawthorn sauce, and a dash of apple cider vinegar; together, these elements form a dish that perfectly captures the tastes and textures of Hong Kong’s celebrated cuisine. It’s just one highlight from the new “Hong Kong Flavours” inflight menu from Cathay Pacific and Michelin-starred restaurant Duddell’s, arriving on board this March. 

    Braised beef ribs with port wine

    Braised beef ribs with port wine

    Sautéed abalone and chicken with Sichuan pepper and crispy greens

    Sautéed abalone and chicken with Sichuan pepper and crispy greens

    Since the launch of our partnership with Duddell’s in February 2023, First class and Business passengers have been able to enjoy Cantonese fine dining while cruising through the skies on long-haul journeys. Now, following the overwhelmingly positive response to the collaboration, we’re delighted to unveil a new line-up of carefully curated, Hong Kong-inspired dishes. 

    Just like the last, this new menu is designed to reflect the city’s heritage, diversity and ingenuity, incorporating authentic Cantonese and regional Chinese specialties as well as putting a refined spin on classic comfort dishes. Travellers can expect main courses like indulgent sautéed abalone and chicken with Sichuan pepper and braised beef ribs with port wine, through to light and creamy tofu pudding topped with sweet azuki red beans.

    “Duddell’s sources ingredients that make a dish stand out and prepares them with time-honoured techniques. The care and passion leave a lasting impression [and is] what Cathay Pacific strives to deliver every day.” – Vivian Lo, General Manager Customer Experience and Design, Cathay Pacific. 

    High-altitude dining is a fine art, one which Cathay Pacific has embraced as a cornerstone of our initiative to raise the bar for customer services – from sourcing more sustainable seafood to curating thoughtful wellness menus and serving freshly brewed coffee. In addition to our ongoing partnership with Duddell’s, we've also teamed up with another acclaimed JIA Group institution: French restaurant Louise, to offer passengers a fresh take on traditional French cuisine.

    Of course, when it comes to developing or updating a menu, every element is scrutinised in minute detail. Each dish must be perfect and remain so through challenges like turbulence, while also being practical to prepare and serve when taking into account limited cooking facilities and manpower. And above all: will it taste amazing, 30,000 feet in the air?

    A selection of dishes available in our Business class cabins

    A selection of dishes available in our Business class cabins

    Rising to the challenge 

    Vivian Lo, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Customer Experience and Design, describes how the Duddell’s partnership reflects a shared ethos of impeccability. “Duddell’s sources ingredients that make a dish stand out and prepares it with time-honoured techniques that enhance the flavours. The care and passion that went into ensuring each dish leaves a lasting impression is aligned with what Cathay Pacific strives to deliver every day.”

    Flavour is one of the most difficult elements to get right when designing dishes for inflight dining. At altitude, reduced humidity and lower air pressure impair flyers’ sense of smell and the sensitivity of tastebuds, dulling their abilities to discern flavour. To counteract this, everything is designed to be just a touch saltier, spicier and sweeter than the dishes that would be served in the restaurant.

    Crystal pork terrine with black vinegar

    Crystal pork terrine with black vinegar

    More than 40 meals go out per flight across the First class and Business cabins, and passengers are able to pre-book their choice. 

    Cooking methods on a plane are limited, and dishes are designed to be heated in about 20 minutes: the bulk of preparation is carried out on the ground in Cathay Pacific’s kitchens near Hong Kong International Airport. Cost and sourcing are important considerations, as is ensuring ingredients have a wide appeal and spice levels are appropriate. 

    Steamed chicken with morel mushrooms and goji berries

    Steamed chicken with morel mushrooms and goji berries

    Tofu pudding with red bean

    Tofu pudding with red bean

    Creamy tofu tart with red bean

    Creamy tofu tart with red bean

    Dishes that make the grade include delicate creations including steamed chicken with morel mushrooms and goji berries, as well as humble classics like steamed cod fillet with Chinese ham and shiitake mushrooms, and simple yet delectable desserts such as black sesame tart with tofu ice cream. 

    All Cathay Pacific menus are meticulously revised and presented for internal tastings a minimum of three times before they are cleared for launch, but the Duddell’s dishes served on Cathay Pacific flights have set a new standard for how fine dining can be translated in the air: elevating passengers’ experiences while showing off the best of Hong Kong cuisine.

    Lo adds, “We’re thrilled to bring more authentic Hong Kong flavours to our travellers, from those looking for a taste of home to those with adventures in their hearts.”

    With the next iteration of the Cathay Pacific x Duddell’s inflight menu about to take flight, what other dishes can passengers wrap their taste buds around? There’s only one way to find out: in a First class or Business seat, high above Hong Kong.

    The latest Duddell’s x Cathay Pacific menu is available in First class and Business on selected long-haul flights departing from Hong Kong, from now until February 2025.

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