When it comes to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), Cathay Pacific pretty much rules the roost. How else to explain the fact that they operate five different lounges at HKG? FIVE! That’s a tremendous amount and during my recent trip back from HKG -> LAX, I had just enough time to stop in at two of them.
Cathay’s flagship lounge is pretty special. It’s divided into First Class and Business and I’m curious to know what First Class had available because the Business lounge made my jaw drop. Literally. It was embarrassing.
Besides the fact that you can get a literal View from The Wing here (how about that, Gary Leff?), the food available far surpasses any other airport lounge I’ve visited. Unlike the warmed-over chafing dishes of the oneworld First Class Lounge at LAX, The Wing offers a full pan-Asian Noodle Bar that would rival most fast-casual restaurants on the street. Dan Dan Mien (spicy Shanghainese noodles), shrimp and pork won tons in noodle soup, two types of ramen, braised beef shank soup, steamed BBQ pork bao (buns), pan-fried pork gyoza (dumplings), and egg custard bao for dessert. And it’s all free.
I tried the gyoza and the dan dan mien and came away pretty happy. The pan-fried dumplings were fantastic. Just look at that sear. The noodles were less successful. Too much peanut sauce made me feel like I was eating noodles with very soupy peanut butter. I would have appreciated a lot more spice, but I’m sure they have to tone it down to appeal to the masses.
The Wing also has two hot self-serve bars, one featuring more Western fare and the other skewing more Asian. You can find dim sum, sauteed vegetables, fried rice, soup, and a wide selection of sodas, juices, and other beverages on the Asian side. On the Western spread, there are a few hot options (sausages? why is there a dish of just sausages?), a bunch of different sandwiches, cheeses, and a nice selection of grab-and-go salads and desserts (plus the same drink options as on the other side).
If you want to grab a drink, they have two different bars to choose from. The traditional Long Bar had a decent selection of liquor, but more importantly, a specialty cocktail menu and a solid wine list. They even offered The Glenlivet 18-Year-Old as their whisky of the month. Nice! Here are the specialty cocktails:
The other bar is The Coffee Loft, a full-service coffee lounge with a barista and everything. Want a latte? They can hook you up. Want some ice cream? They’ve got that, too, and some pastries for good measure.
It honestly made me mad that I had just come from the Harbourside buffet because I just wasn’t hungry enough to try it all.
If you want all of the comfort of The Wing, but in a more claustrophobic space with less exciting food options, The Cabin is perfect for you. Instead of the open expansiveness of The Wing, The Cabin feels just like what it says: the cramped cabin of an airplane. They do have one major advantage, though: the view of the tarmac is much closer at The Cabin.
There’s no Noodle Bar or Coffee Loft here, but they do have The Deli and The Health Bar. The Deli offers one hot sandwich (and a vegetarian option) in addition to the cold sandwiches that mostly resemble what you would find at The Wing. During my visit, the sandwich was shaved ham with pineapple relish. Griddled on a panini press, this sandwich wouldn’t win any awards. You could hardly taste the pineapple relish and the ham itself was fairly dry. That said, it’s a made-to-order hot sandwich in an airport lounge. Can we really complain that much?
The Deli also offers a nice grouping of cold salads, scooped to order, and a lineup of self-serve hot dishes and pre-made sandwiches just like The Wing provided. Here, however, they offered a Thai BBQ pork neck sandwich but I just couldn’t muster the courage to try it.
The Health Bar is really just their regular bar with some healthy smoothies added in. That’s not a criticism. I love that they’re doing fresh juice combinations and smoothies. The photo isn’t great, but here’s the menu:
Based on where your gate happens to be, I’d recommend walking the extra steps to The Wing. The Cabin is certainly a nice option if you’re in the 20-something gates and want something convenient.
Overall, I’ve got to give it to Cathay. They made these lounges really appealing. I almost wish I could have spent more time in them before my flight left. Have you been to the Cathay lounges at HKG? What was your experience like?
Fly&Dine was able to experience the lounges as a result of a hosted flight by Cathay Pacific.