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May 6, 2014 / oneworld82

SFO-HKG on Cathay Pacific First Class – High Class in the sky

May 1st, 2014

CX803, SFO-HKG (77W)

First Class, Seat 1K

01:20 – 06:30+1


Within 5-6 minutes I cleared the line in the business class/first class section and got onboard. All premium cabin passengers entered from the same door located at the very front of the plane, which meant that business class passengers had to go through the first class cabin. In any case, I was greeted by Paz – the main purser – who warmly welcomed me onboard before introducing me to Lina, one of the two incredibly-awesome flight attendants who took an amazing care of me during my flight. Lina escorted me to my seat (1K) and promptly asked me whether I’d like something to drink – to which I responded: “Krug, please”.

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Dim light - still sexy

Dim light – still sexy

Decent storage space

Decent storage space



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This was my first time flying the refurbished CX product, and I must say that the difference with the old one is minimal, although new upholstery meant a fresher look indeed. Reading lights on both side, a new control panel for seat and lighting, and BOSE headphones completed the picture. The main washroom on the plane was spacious and beautifully decorated, again with Aesop amenities (gotta love that Australian brand!).

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After settling down, Ling came back with my Krug and with an amuse bouche which she proceeded to place on the side table. She showed me the bottle before pouring, as it should be done. The champagne tasted, as expected, great, and the amuse bouche – a little cup of tomatoes and lobster, was very delicious and fresh.

After my second glass of Krug my other flight attendant, Wing, came by to introduce herself and to offer me a pajama, amenity kit, and menus. Wing would prove to be the most efficient of flight attendants – a real gem!

Cathay Pacific recently switched pajamas provider from Shanghai Tang to PYE, a designer that produces pjs using only organic cotton exclusively for CX. The quality was very good indeed, not only of the pajama but of the slippers and eye mask as well. Everything came into a cotton bag that looked very stylish and classy. The amenity kit was produced by Ermenegildo Zegna and featured Aesop products – which is my favorite skin care brand. If you have ever tried any Aesop product, you’ll probably know what I am talking about.

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As someone on FlyerTalk had announced recently,  the menu doesn’t feature balik salmon anymore. What a shame! The “enhanced” caviar service comes with a similar size (compared to before) of caviar, presented on the original tin box and accompanied by a mother-of-pearl spoon; blinies, eggs, and crème freche finished the presentation. The caviar, to be fair, was excellent; it was produced my Calvisius, and Italian brand that farm sturgeons and that is, hence, sustainable. The whole thing was very good, but I did miss the excellent balik salmon to go with it…








Before getting the caviar, though, I had gotten another glass of Krug which was served with some cashew nuts.

The supper menu featured, as usual, both Western and Chinese offerings.  The whole thing read as follows:


Amuse bouche

A little delight to start the flight



Caviar and Champagne

Caviar and Champagne, a perfect match

Served with traditional gasrnishes of blinis, chive crème freche and chopped egg


International Favourites

Mushroom cream soup

Heart of romaine with grilled jumbo prawn

Caesar dressing

Grilled USDA prime beef tenderloin with red wine sauce and Bernaise sauce, parsley potatoes, asparagus and baby carrots


Artichoke and cheese cannelloni with tomato and cream sauce


Chinese Favourites

Double boiled ginseng with chicken soup

Cold plate – marinated seaweed with carrot and daikon radish

Cod with sweet wine sauce, served with steamed jasmine rice, baby pak choy and carrots


Cheese and Dessert

Cambozola, Yellow Cheddar, Munster, Herb Goat Cheese

Fresh seasonal berries with sweet rose water

Chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream with raspberry coulis

Red bean soup with lotus seeds (they actually loaded black sesame seeds soup)


Tea and coffee





Maryland crab cakes with tartar sauce

Roasted beef with sun-dried tomato horseradish mayonnaise on sour dough bread and mesclun salad

Shui gaw noodle soup

Hot pot rice with steamed chicken and black mushroom, served with chicken broth

Ice cream




Orange or apple juice

Strawberry smoothie

Fresh seasonal fruit

Natural or fruit yoghurt

Assorted cereals


Main courses

Free range eggs – freshly scrambled, fried or boiled served with grilled back bacon, pan-fried pork sausage, Lyonnaise potatoes, grilled tomato and sautéed mushrooms

Dim sum with chili sauce

Shrimp dumpling, siu mai, mini chicken glutinous rice wrapped with lotus leaf, chiu chow dumpling

Sliced beef congee, served with pan-fried pork bun


Bread basked

Assorted breakfast bread and fresh toast served with preserves, honey and butt

Tea and coffe


As you can see, the menu was pretty extensive (for such a late night departure) and varied.

After cleaning my beautifully-set dining table, Wing brought my ginseng and chicken soup. For those of you who don’t know, ginseng is a highly-sought after, expensive ingredient in Chinese cuisine that has many health benefits and that has a very pungent, distinguished taste to which most Westerners wouldn’t be used to at first. Having had ginseng soup for a long time, I came to fully appreciate this root and its properties. The soup – a clear broth – was very tasty, zesty; the chicken was perfectly tender. In a word: yum.




Then, the main dish was served – comprising three small plates with steamed rice, cod, and vegetables respectively. Let me tell you this: it was delicious. I am not sure how they did it, but the cod here onboard was less dry than the one I make at home…! The steamed vegetables had the right crispiness and consistency, and the chili sauce that came with the dish added the right flavor to the steamed rice. This dish totally made me happy and it was a reminder of how healthy and tasty real Chinese cuisine is!

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After finishing up my main I was rather full, but as many of you know I cannot pass on cheese, and so I ordered some Cambozola and goat cheese; these were delivered by Lina in a beautifully-presented plate, together with assorted crackers and grapes. I declined dessert, but I was offered pralines which I gladly took.




After finishing to watch my Dickens’ movie (sad and a little boring, to be honest), I went to the lavatory to brush my teeth and get ready to bed. When I came back, Wing was finishing up my bed, which was beautifully made. Anticipating customers’ needs – that’s what really makes a hotel and an airline great!

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The bed was very comfortable (I liked the pad), and the cabin didn’t feel too warm at all. The pajamas were of a very nice quality, and didn’t keep me warm either. Within minutes, I fell asleep and rested for a few hours.

After waking up, I checked the map and I saw we still had a good 7 hours to go before getting to Hong Kong. I then called Lina, and I asked her for some desserts – specifically the red beans soup. After a couple of minutes she came back apologizing and informing me that a black sesame seeds soup had been loaded instead of the red beans one. I said it was fine, and she proceeded to prepare it for me – cold as requested. The soup was well prepared and tasty – if you have never tried it before, you should.

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I had it with some jasmine tea (delicious) and another glass of Krug. After blogging a while longer, I started – incredibly – to get hungry again and so I ordered the roast beef sandwich with mesclun salad. Lina prepared it for me literally in minutes, and the presentation looked great. Unfortunately, the bread was room temperature and the roast beef a bit too chill (the steak sandwich aboard Etihad Airways was much better), but overall it was a decent snack. Another glass of Krug ensued.

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After this snack I dozed off a little longer… 14 hours are a long time on a plane I am starting to realize, but being in First Class, well,  I cannot complain.  I started watching a Bollywood movie, “Gori Tere Pyaar Mein” featuring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor; it was quite entertaining, as expected. About three hours before landing, Lina came by asking me whether I wanted breakfast or whether I wanted to wait longer. I said: “sure”, and I asked her for some fruit, a cup of coffee, orange juice, and dim sum. Minutes later Paz came by preparing the table and serving me the fruit platter. We chit chatted a bit and I discovered that this crew is based in SFO and flies only this route; they get two nights in Hong Kong to rest, before flying back. Then, the dim sum ensued. They were very good, just as I remembered from 2 years aback. I poured the remaining Krug into my orange juice and I made myself a nice mimosa for a 3am HKG time breakfast (~lunch time in Dallas, TX). After brekkie I fell asleep for a good hour, before waking up and heading to the restroom to change back into my clothes. I ordered a final cappuccino to wake up, and blogged while watching Nebraska. CX Studio, I must say, impresses me with its choice of programs and movies! There is something for everyone, and the selection is very updated. Top notch.

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About 40 minutes before landing the captain took the airwaves up and informed us of an early landing (about 10 minutes). The cabin crew started collecting trash and tiding everything up, and in no time we landed at HKG airport on a cloudy morning. I must also mention that Lina handed me over a survey that I thoroughly filled asking me lots of questions about my overall CX experience, from check-in till landing. I must say: it wasn’t too hard to be generous with this excellent airline.




After landing at break of dawn, we arrived at our gate 10 minutes ahead of schedule. It was a memorable CX flight. The hard product, the crew, the food, the beverages were all top notch. Flying Cathay Pacific is such an amazing guarantee of high, consistent quality that I already look forward to my LAX-HKG-KUL flight over Thanksgiving. Thanks CX for another great experience!




Leave a Comment
  1. Kurt Alfred Kluever (@kloover) / May 7 2014 10:43 am

    In the 6th photo, there’s a shot of your grey duffle bag…what brand is that? Thanks 🙂

  2. PedroNY / May 7 2014 12:31 pm

    Great write up, thank you for this one. Good to see new cabin and new caviar service, very timely! Looks like you had a little bit of turbelence during soup/tea shots. Keep on posting, I enjoy reading your blog.



    • robertocusato / May 7 2014 1:10 pm

      Thanks Pedro. Yes, the tea service was extremely turbulent! I am actually impressed of how smoothly FAs handled it!


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