Cathay Pacific is bringing customers a new contemporary range of plant-based dishes developed in collaboration with leading Hong Kong-based plant-forward restaurant, VEDA by Ovolo.
This innovative partnership further enhances the wellness dining options available to customers when they fly with Cathay Pacific. Customers travelling in Premium Economy and Economy class on selected long-haul flights departing from Hong Kong can now enjoy a huge variety of tantalising, thoughtfully crafted plant-forward options that focus on nutrition and flavour while celebrating international culinary influences.
The collaboration also aligns with VEDA’s and Ovolo Hotels’ ongoing Plant’d pledge to ethical eating, conscious cuisine and cutting-edge vegetarian, with the group becoming the first hotel brand globally to commit to a vegetarian-led offering.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Customer Experience and Design Vivian Lo said: “It gives us great pleasure to announce this new partnership with VEDA, a Hong Kong restaurant that shares our commitment to providing fantastic cuisine while also being more sustainable.
“For Cathay, the difference is in the detail. We know inflight dining is something that is extremely important to our customers, and we carefully work with partners to bring them memorable experiences by sourcing ingredients, designing menus and preparing dishes with great attention to detail.
“Drawing inspiration from the breadth and variety of VEDA’s dishes, we have collaborated with VEDA and Ovolo Hotels Executive Chef Raul Tronco to develop a reimagined selection of plant-forward creations that reflect our brand values of thoughtful and progressive, and go beyond the norms of airline vegetarian meals.”
Ovolo Hotels Founder and Executive Chairman Girish Jhunjhnuwala said: “VEDA and Ovolo Hotels pride ourselves on being an industry leader. We believe that the world changes, therefore we continue to evolve.
“We want to ensure we are doing our bit to help preserve our environment, promote healthy eating and enhance the image of amazing vegetarian and plant-based dining. Our collaboration with Cathay Pacific aligns perfectly with this mantra and our Plant’d pledge, and our wider ‘Do Good. Feel Good’ sustainability commitment.”
Executive Chef Raul Tronco said: “As a vegetarian, I am very excited to see businesses such as Cathay Pacific embrace wellness and sustainability. When I embarked on this journey, I approached each dish just as I would when creating an item for VEDA.
“Designing a meal to be enjoyed at 30,000 feet comes with its challenges. I had to consider everything from how taste buds are affected at altitude, to cooking techniques. After countless hours of recipe testing, I am really pleased with the result and am confident that the curated VEDA inflight dishes offer travellers variety, vibrancy and incredible flavour.”
As Cathay Pacific moves towards becoming a more sustainable airline, it is constantly improving its operations with sustainable practices to deliver refined dining experiences. By exploring plant-forward alternatives and moving towards more eco-conscious use of resources in its catering equipment, the airline strives to provide customers with a more sustainable dining experience, encouraging them to go greener together. In 2022, the airline removed 56% of its single-use plastic consumption from its 2018 baseline.
The collaboration with VEDA marks the beginning of a series of refreshed experiences for customers, from inflight meals to beverages. Cathay Pacific will be unveiling other exciting inflight dining enhancements in Premium Economy and Economy class in due course.
Highlights of the Menu
Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy and Economy class customers travelling on selected long-haul flights departing from Hong Kong from now until June 2024 can enjoy the new menus with a rotating selection of dishes throughout the year.
The refreshed dining experience begins with the appetiser, with a selection of dishes including Bombay carrot salad with cashews, raisins and cherry tomatoes (孟買腰果甘筍沙律), an Indian-inspired slaw that features a fragrant dressing infused with lime juice, coriander powder and ginger, and Hummus with harissa roasted cauliflower and picked red onions (鷹嘴豆蓉配烤椰菜花及醃紅洋蔥) with the North African red chilli paste harissa providing a bold and smoky flavour.
These are followed by a selection of flavour-rich main dishes. The Keralan-style coconut curry with mushrooms, red bell peppers and cumin rice (南印度椰香雜菌咖喱配小茴香飯) is a comforting, warming dish that is infused with coconut milk, tomatoes and a delicate blend of spices ranging from turmeric and curry leaves to mustard seeds for depth and complexity.
Another main highlight is the roasted vegetable tagine with halloumi cheese and pearl couscous (摩洛哥燴雜菜配羊奶芝士及北非珍珠米), a vibrant, fragrant, plant-forward version of the versatile North African stew that features eggplants, carrots, zucchini and pumpkin slowly cooked with a warming mix of spices. Meanwhile, our take on a Thai classic, Panang dry curry tofu with cashews and coconut rice (泰式乾炒紅咖喱腰果豆腐配椰香飯), starts off with a base of green chilli peppers, lemongrass, shallots, ginger and vegetarian oyster sauce tossed with seared tofu and served with green beans to offer a balance of sweetness and spice.
A selection of refreshed appetisers also extends to Economy. The purple quinoa tabbouleh (中東紫藜麥小米沙律) offers a refreshing twist on the traditional Middle Eastern salad with an aromatic combination of fresh parsley and mint pairing with cucumber, cherry tomatoes and onions. The Mediterranean potato salad (地中海式薯仔沙律) gives a makeover to a familiar classic with potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and baby pickles tossed in a creamy dressing blending Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and a splash of vinegar.
For the main course, customers can select from a number of options including Khao soi – Northern Thai-style coconut curry noodles with mixed vegetables (泰北椰香咖喱雜菜麪) that sees a rainbow of vegetables simmered in a creamy, spicy-sweet coconut curry accented with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, green chillies, turmeric and ginger.
A variation of paneer makhani, which has its roots in Northern India, is the paneer cheese in creamy smoked tomato gravy with cumin rice (煙燻番茄芝士咖喱配小茴香飯) featuring soft cubes of paneer cooked in a rich tomato cream sauce along with mushrooms, green peas and a variety of spices, including smoked paprika to give the dish its unique character. Alternatively, customers can enjoy the vegetable masala with green pulao rice (咖喱雜菜配薄荷香飯), which is made by cooking basmati rice with an assortment of vegetables and aromatic whole spices, along with the added twist of mint and coriander chutney lending an herbaceous touch and turmeric for a pleasant kick.