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-   -   HKG Pier dining ó what a let down! (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cathay-pacific-marco-polo-club/1964231-hkg-pier-dining-what-let-down.html)

Passmethesickbag Apr 6, 19 8:24 am

HKG Pier dining ó what a let down!
 
After a number of years as OWE, I finally got the opportunity what the majority of FT describes as as the Mecca of frequent flierdom — the CX lounges at HKG. Having read about how amazing they are, I did not hesitate to book an itinerary that included two long layovers at HKG — it seemed like a bonus, based on what I'd read. I had plenty of time to try the First Class Facilities both at The Pier and The Wing, with a visit to the QF lounge thrown in for comparison. The reception and reservation desk staff where uniformly friendly and actively helpful. I enjoyed a couple of naps in The PIer's day lounges, and nobody reminded me of the 1.5-hour recommended maximum. The bartenders were absolutely wonderful. But blimey, my five meals at The Pier restaurant were a letdown. My standards are automatically relaxed when there's no expectation to pay for my meal or tip the staff, but with different crew and managers and two different days, I've rarely experienced such a dysfunctional restaurant. The menu, for starters, is very uninspiring, certainly compared to any menu I've seen at the CX LHR lounge (where I've had many very enjoyable meals), and the dishes I tried did not compare favourably to how they were described. And the ones I tried more than once were hugely variable. One of the meals (a Chinese dish, which was missing half of the things listed on the menu and was basically shredded hen in a glutinous sauce) I even had to send back. Every single time, appetiser and main course were brought to me at the same time, even when I'd made it clear that I had plenty of time and preferred to have them served sequentially. Cognac wasn't brought with my coffee, because, when bringing my coffee, they asked whether I preferred VS or XO, and needed five minutes to deliver the obvious choice. Multiple times, I had to ask again for key items (such as tea with my breakfast) after everything else had already been brought to me. On my second day in the lounge, added excitement was brought by the fact that the person who brought my food didn't understand a word of English, and responded to further requests for items that had been ordered but not delivered merely by wildly flapping her arms (as it turned out, that was her entire response — it clearly didn't occur to her to alert her colleagues to the fact that the customer wanted something else). The only thing that was as good as at LHR was the Dan Dan noodles.

So I left HKG bereft of yet another illusion — but also with enhanced appreciation for CX's LHR lounge, and for the QF SYD F lounge and its wonderful combination of food, wines, and service, which I now know to be the top of OW (with honourable mention to JL's lounges at HND and NRT).

QRC3288 Apr 6, 19 8:44 am

If you had spent time reading here, and not on the blogs, your expectations might've been tempered a bit going in;).

The impression out there in the blogs or on Instagram about CX is essentially phony. Not wrong all the time, but not necessarily right either. More like just travel porn. And the expectations they build are essentially what you DONT want prior to going in. I recently advised a cousin looking forward to some future flights to completely avoid reading internet "reviews", "trip reports", etc. They're more downside than upside but they're like drugs, he can't help himself.

andersonCooper Apr 6, 19 8:50 am


Originally Posted by QRC3288 (Post 30971602)
If you had spent time reading here, and not on the blogs, your expectations might've been tempered a bit going in;).

The impression out there in the blogs or on Instagram about CX is essentially phony. Not wrong all the time, but not necessarily right either. More like just travel porn. And the expectations they build are essentially what you DONT want prior to going in. I recently advised a cousin looking forward to some future flights to completely avoid reading internet "reviews", "trip reports", etc. They're more downside than upside but they're like drugs, he can't help himself.

Agree with this.

Having been both LHR and HKG CX lounges frequently - I find there isn't too much difference tbh. Some days you get a good server or a menu that better suits your appetite, some days you don't. To me almost all CX lounges are standardized CX experiences (of course except FRA SFO etc), so I don't feel too much difference between comparable CX lounges.

Passmethesickbag Apr 6, 19 8:51 am


Originally Posted by QRC3288 (Post 30971602)
If you had spent time reading here, and not on the blogs, your expectations might've been tempered a bit going in;).

The impression out there in the blogs or on Instagram about CX is essentially phony. Not wrong all the time, but not necessarily right either. More like just travel porn. And the expectations they build are essentially what you DONT want prior to going in. I recently advised a cousin looking forward to some future flights to completely avoid reading internet "reviews", "trip reports", etc. They're more downside than upside but they're like drugs, he can't help himself.

Fair point ó in all honestly, I've mostly based my illusions on reading the BA forum, which seems to hold this as the gold standard. But I don't think I could have gotten away with posting this rant there...

kaka Apr 6, 19 9:54 am

since they got rid of the peninsula contract, obvious serving common sense stopped applying.

like when a hk couple orders 1 dessert between 2, sometimes u only get 1 set of cutlery.
or taking away cutlery when you still have orders remaining.

thats before the common complaints here like dirty corners and slow orders.

zzz997 Apr 6, 19 11:09 am

Noticed the service at The Pier deteriorating after the CNY peak season. They got 6-7 staff running like a headless chicken when a supervisor standing still doing nothing & pretending he is the king of the dinning area.

Food quality had been back to the PP-Sodexo transition period, which is horrible. The supervisor helped to take my order yesterday but fail to ask if I would like to have all course at the same time or course by course. It ended up then send me the starter and fruit at the same time while the main course took almost 25 mins to arrive!

My opinion: Please send a new lounge manager!!!!

Uncle Nonny Apr 6, 19 11:32 am

I've enjoyed my time spent in the CX lounges at HKG. Probably has to do with spending way too much time in Admirals Clubs.

thatflyer Apr 6, 19 4:21 pm

I usually go to the Wing.

But yes the food and service has deteriorated since The Peninsula Hotel stopped operating it.

The only nice things I really like are the massive showers with a rain head the size of a waterfall.

Though I donít like the extremely black and dark corridor leading to it. Always feel like I am going to get mugged whilst walking to my shower. And they should really increase the ventilation or put in heated mirrors. Because after a hot shower you canít see anything.

The other nice thing is the free PressReader hotspot. So I can download all the magazine and latest newspapers.

ermen Apr 6, 19 5:44 pm


Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag (Post 30971626)
Fair point ó in all honestly, I've mostly based my illusions on reading the BA forum, which seems to hold this as the gold standard. But I don't think I could have gotten away with posting this rant there...

the difference between the BA board and CX board is that there are not a lot of CX apologists / fanatics here compared to the BA board :) and you wont get many here jumping into defend CX at the slightest criticism... more like a bunch of jaded travellers who are tired of CXs continued deteriorating standards. :)

i havent been intoe CX pier F post the CNY period but shame that the service has gone back down to the PP / Sodexo transitioning period. it was bad then but somehow did improve a short while after - but still very sore on how they cheapened the very delicious burger (no more truffle sauce + thick cut fries!!).

still if one had to compare BAs OWE lounge, Pier F knocks it out of the park. Now comparing to CCR - a more even toss up perhaps (certainly the drink is better in the latter). I agree that QF F in SYD/MEL seems to still set the gold standard.

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londonexpert Apr 6, 19 6:02 pm


Originally Posted by ermen (Post 30972980)
the difference between the BA board and CX board is that there are not a lot of CX apologists / fanatics here compared to the BA board :) and you wont get many here jumping into defend CX at the slightest criticism... more like a bunch of jaded travellers who are tired of CXs continued deteriorating standards. :)

i havent been intoe CX pier F post the CNY period but shame that the service has gone back down to the PP / Sodexo transitioning period. it was bad then but somehow did improve a short while after - but still very sore on how they cheapened the very delicious burger (no more truffle sauce + thick cut fries!!).

still if one had to compare BAs OWE lounge, Pier F knocks it out of the park. Now comparing to CCR - a more even toss up perhaps (certainly the drink is better in the latter). I agree that QF F in SYD/MEL seems to still set the gold standard.

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the grass is always greener. The QF F class lounge is pretty ordinary these days and deteriorated a lot in terms of the food quality. Also the worst thing is the speed.
i generally find the pier to be ok. Donít expect it to be a Michelin star restaurant and keep your expectation in check.

jiaotze Apr 6, 19 6:06 pm

Several months after the switch the Sodexo and the lousy roll-out, an extremely affable Sodexo manager was brought in who really got things into shape. He was a friendly, outgoing guy who knew what he was doing, and over a couple of months the change was like night and day. This year, I've been in Pier F about 10 times and I haven't seen him once. Perhaps it's a coincidence, but my experiences in Pier F dining have been mediocre at best and downright lousy at worst over this period. It's inexplicable how the quality is so all over the place. There is no consistency whatsoever in the food or service. Just goes to show how important good management is. FWIW, I was no big fan of the Peninsula's management. I found many of the staff cold and snooty. And without a doubt, the range of items in the pantry now is much better (which was also achieved by the Sodexo manager who has now vanished).

sxc Apr 6, 19 7:41 pm


Originally Posted by londonexpert (Post 30973014)


the grass is always greener. The QF F class lounge is pretty ordinary these days and deteriorated a lot in terms of the food quality. Also the worst thing is the speed.
i generally find the pier to be ok. Donít expect it to be a Michelin star restaurant and keep your expectation in check.

I still think the catering in the QF F lounge is way better than the CX lounge. I know you have said that you think that the QF lounge has a lot of prepared meals. However I donít think Iíve had anything in the QF F SYD lounge that hasnít been prepared fresh. Whereas most of the CX lounge catering is pre-prepared and able to be served out of a warmer.

jagmeets Apr 6, 19 8:25 pm


Originally Posted by jiaotze (Post 30973023)
Several months after the switch the Sodexo and the lousy roll-out, an extremely affable Sodexo manager was brought in who really got things into shape. He was a friendly, outgoing guy who knew what he was doing, and over a couple of months the change was like night and day.

I remember this chap distinctly. IIRC he rocked up, took an active, engaging, part in the service and very politely asked for feedback on areas where they could improve. I did let him know that the experience had been a lot better than expected given Sodexo, initial experience, FTíers experiences.. at which he had been surprised and we had a nice little chat about flyertalk/how word gets around, Peninsula->PP->Sodexo. The following visit, he remembered, or pretended to remember me (but carried through well enough), and again ended with a request for on the spot feedback to improve if I had the time.

Seems that the beancounters had their way..

HKGglobaltrotter Apr 6, 19 8:42 pm

Last week I found two small flies in my wonton noodles soup. Enough said!

Quality, quantity, presentation are all irrelevant when they couldnít get the most basic right. Itís just gross!

There was a Sodexo senior management in Pier F that day. He came and apologized. He explained he oversees all the CX lounges operation and he sat down with me for a good 10 mins for my candid feedback...

londonexpert Apr 6, 19 8:57 pm


Originally Posted by sxc (Post 30973176)

I still think the catering in the QF F lounge is way better than the CX lounge. I know you have said that you think that the QF lounge has a lot of prepared meals. However I donít think Iíve had anything in the QF F SYD lounge that hasnít been prepared fresh. Whereas most of the CX lounge catering is pre-prepared and able to be served out of a warmer.

just went there recently if u compared to menu to when it first opened you can see a lot of the food has downgraded (ingridents wise) used to have fresh fish crudo, steak etc... now just some braised beef and lamb noodles, spagetti etc..
also it takes forever compared to the pier and no faster option available

i know taste is subjective but tbh QF offering is not that good when compared to CX - esp onboard! I canít believe they kept the same menu as 4 months ago and both quality and quantity is bad...


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