For our CNY 2016 trip, Ms Buddha and I decided to skip the festivities back home and instead flew off to Fukuoka Japan for a bit of a early year break. Ms Buddha and I have normally flown Cathay and this time it was no different, one odd thing was that for the “direct” flight that Cathay offers for the Hong Kong to Fukuoka route, there is a short 1hr stop in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport – as a result, Ms Buddha and I ended up having 2 meals on the flight – once on the Hong Kong and Taiwan and another on the Taiwan to Fukuoka leg.
So with about an hour to kill between the two, what else better to do than to explore the newly renovated Cathay Lounge! The airport itself isn’t too big, but once out of the plane, you actually have to go through security checks again for your carry-on luggage before making your way to the lounges. All the lounges for the different airlines are located in the same area – with Cathay’s one being the first one after you come up a set of stairs.
Given that this was only opened second half of 2015, everything still looked very new – a big plus! The reception were friendly as usual, although I have found that the reception staff at all the Cathay lounges tends to be a bit more formal than my preference.
Once past the reception, you come to the first lounge section which houses a long table table – this section is also where you’d pass if you’re going to the bathroom – there are a few nibbles (mostly desserts).
After the entrance lounge, you move through a small business center – which has always puzzled me as how useful these are given that most people can now do most of their work from their tablets, or like me, who actually brings along a powerful thin gaming laptop and a rental wifi egg where ever I go.
Past the business center, you enter the dining area where you can order made to order meals, from dumplings to noodles.
For the journey back to Hong Kong, Ms Buddha and I stopped here again, and I ordered some snacks – it was actually really busy that day so they had a staff there specifically for taking orders and handing out the buzzer. The great thing was even when it was busy, the food came very quickly.
For the short stop, I went for some prawn dumplings (Har Gow) and vegetarian spring rolls. The spring rolls were done quite well in that the frying was not too oily but very crisp. The dumplings were a slight disappointment in that it was hot, but the skin was a bit too thick, and I’m normally someone who enjoys the thicker skin.
Once past the dining area, you enter the large area for just relaxing, there’s a bar up at the very end for drinks orders as well.
For our first visit, I didn’t get any food but instead just went for my typical Gin & Tonic – the staff there were very smart and asked whether I wanted a double (who can refuse!)
When I got back with my drink and water for Ms Buddha, she informed me that she had heard the barman’s question about the “double” and that she hears all. I said, I know you heard, and then made a wonder to the bathroom – on the way there I spotted some Taiwanese Pineapple cake (a favourite of Ms Buddha) and returned with the small plate to make her forget about her prior question.
Verdict on the cake was that it was “okay” but definitely not the good ones that Ms Buddha has had before – but overall, she looked satisfied.
Time flies when you’re traveling, even when you’re just stuck in a lounge, so in what felt like minutes, boarding call was announced and we made our way to gate to board our Taipei to Fukuoka flight.