Asiana Airlines Business Class: Hong Kong to Seoul

Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ 722
Hong Kong to Seoul
Departs: 1:15PM, Arrives 5:30PM
Seat 8J

Upon having my boarding passed checked-in at the gate, I was informed that I had been upgraded to business class. While looking around at the gate, I noted a group of at least 100 students waiting to board the plane. I’m guessing that had something to do with the upgrade.

This flight is operated on a 747, and has Asiana’s old business class seat which are angled flat. Although the Smartium business class seat has much more privacy and is more comfortable, this flight only last a little over 3 hours. Nobody was seated next to me, so I had some semblance of privacy.

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Business Class

Business class is located on the upper deck. Business class is set up in a 2-2-2 configuration.

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Seat 8J

The seat is on the narrower side. Although there is a small divider between the seat, there does not seem to be very private.

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TV Screen, Leg Room

There is a decent sized TV screen. There is an ample amount of leg room as well.

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Slippers

Waiting at my seat were a thin pair or slippers.

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Seat Controls

The seat controls look outdated, but were easy to use.

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Air Vents

Air vents were a welcome sight, and something rarely seen on internationally configured planes. These were also welcome as Asiana tend to keep their planes very warm.

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Storage Area

There is a huge storage area next to the window seat.

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Seat Divider Control

There is also a control button for the divider between the seats.

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Outlets

A pair of outlets is also located between the seats.

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Pre-Departure Beverage

I was offered a pre-departure beverage and chose a glass of water.

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Hot Towel

A hot towel was also offered.

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Phiaton Headphones

Phiaton headphones were offered.

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Menu
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Menu
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Menu
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Wine List
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Wine List
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Wine List
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Wine List
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Wine List
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Wine List
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Wine List

Once settled in, menus were offered.

For lunch, I chose the Western option.

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Smoked Duck

An appetizer of smoked duck breast was served with a red pepper relish and some greens. The duck was tender, but did not have a strong smoke flavor. IT was served with a side salad with greens and frisee but was a little overdressed.

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Beef Stew

The entrée was beef stew with noodles and green beans. The tray looked like part of a TV dinner. The stew was fairly tasty, although it looked somewhat messy.

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Fruit Plate

A fruit plate consisting of watermelon, grapes, melon, and dragon fruit was served next.

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Ice Cream

Lastly, a small container of vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream was served.

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Bathroom Sink

The business class bathroom was fairly spacious. The sink was fairly wide and had a decent amount of space.

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L’Occitane Products

L’Occitane amenities were offered, which I generally like.

Service was friendly and professional. Asiana’s service is not overly pro-active, but if ringing the service bell, an attendant will be at your seat in a matter of moments.

It was a pleasant surprise to upgraded on this sector.

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge – Hong Kong Airport

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SilverKris Lounge

The Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge at the Hong Kong Airport is open to First Class passenger, Business Class passengers, and Star Alliance Gold members. I was able to access the lounge thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status.

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Front Room
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Coffee Maker

Upon entering the lounge there is a small room with some chairs and small tables. There is also a coffee maker in the room.

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Bar

Upon entering the main part of the lounge is a bar.

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First Class Lounge

The First Class Lounge is located to the left when entering the main portion of the lounge.

Food offerings include a refrigerator full of drinks, coffee maker, pastries, salad, desserts, chips, fruit, dim sum, and other hot dishes, including noodles, vegetables, soup, rice, and fried chicken.

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The main part of the lounge offers different types of seating from tables, booths, and chairs.

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Seating

Back further in the lounge are little private tables that mimic an airline “suite”. Although cool in concept, the space is a little small and cramped.

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Seating

Further back in the lounge, are some lounge chairs.

The food offerings in the lounge are pretty good. The lounge is on the smaller side but is a good space to kill some time before a flight.

Indonesian Restaurant 1968 – Hong Kong

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Surabaya

Indonesian Restaurant 1968, a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand recipient, specializes in Indonesian food as the name suggest. Specifically, food associated from Surabaya, as the owners are from that island.

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Interior

The restaurant is decorated very casually, like you are invited into somebody’s house/living room. Plush couches adorn one side of the table, while comfortable chairs adorn the other.

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Decoration
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Decoration

Indonesian knick knacks adorn the walls.

I came at the very end of lunch service, so the restaurant was mostly empty.

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Gado Gado

The Gado Gado ($78 HKD) was a modern take on the classic Indonesian salad. The salad sat on a bed of green leaf lettuce, which is not the norm. The mix of potatoes, eggs, and lettuce was drenched in an avalanche of peanut dressing. The dressing was very thick, but not too sweet.

They do have a lunch menu which includes an entrée, salad, and drink.

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Nasi Rendang
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Nasi Rendang

I got the Nasi Rendang ($128 HKD), which came on an oblong platter. The rendang was tender with just a hint of heat. The rendang was flavorful, but like every other time I’ve ordered rendang, the portion was on the smaller side. It was served with rice, and vegetables.

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Salad

At first, I thought the “salad” was just a bowl of sambal, chili sauce, on a bed or lettuce. It wasn’t until I spotted a couple pieces of chicken that I realized that this was the salad that came as part of the lunch. Although it looked on the intimidating side, the “sambal” was actually not that hot. The salad was actually pretty taste.

Overall, the food was pretty good. Service was on the spotty to poor side however. I am not sure if that was due to it being the end of lunch service, and the staff was ready to take their lunch break, or if service is always this way.

I’m not sure if Indonesian Restaurant 1968 is capable of stepping up their game enough to eventually garner one Michelin star, but service would need to drastically improve.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery – Hong Kong

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Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is an interesting tourist attraction. It is a Buddhist temple, but not an actual monastery as there no monks living there.

There appears to be some confusion in getting to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, but is actually quite easy.

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Sha Tin Station

Take the MTR to the Sha Tin station. Take Exit “B”, where the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is noted at the bottom of the directory.

After leaving the station, turn left and walk down the curved walkway. Continue along the sidewalk as it will curve to the left. Once you reach the corner, you will see a mall that has an Ikea in it.

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Turn Right Here

Cross the street towards Ikea and turn left. Once you reach the next street, you will see the Sha Tin Government Offices building. Cross the street towards the building, then turn right.

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This Way

The sidewalk will come to an end in some bushes.

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Final Landmark

Across the street you will see the parking entrance to the Grand Central Plaza. Continue into the dirt path where the sidewalk ends.

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Fake Monks

At the fork in the trail, take the right fork where you will sign a paper sign stating, “Beware of Fake Monks”.

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Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

You will then see a “Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery” banner.

The temple is up a long, steep walkway which is lined with buddhas along both sides. I’m not sure there are actually 10.000 buddhas, but the variety and expressions of some of the buddhas are quite interesting.

This is definitely an interesting side trip when in Hong Kong.

Michelin Star – Yat Lok – Hong Kong

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Yat Lok

Yat Lok is a much heralded one Michelin Star restaurant specializing in roasted meat, goose in particular.

Anthony Bourdain has dine on camera several times over the years at this very restaurant. Some people complain about the price, saying that it is very expensive for what it is, and that there are many other restaurant that serves roasted meats at a much better price.

That may be, but along with Kam’s, Yat Lok sets the gold standard.

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Exterior

From the street, the restaurant has a very small storefront, and you could easily pass by it without much thought.

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Store Front

The only thing that may catch your attention is the roasted meats hanging in the large window, along with the multitude of Michelin Star stickers.

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Partial English Menu

They do have menus in English. Once you are seated, look above you, as the English menus are usually hanging on the wall somewhere.

There was some communication breakdown somewhere between placing my order, and the dish I received. I ordered the roast goose and roast pork platter at $155 HKD, along with a side of vegetables.

Once the order was brought to my table, I was severely disappointed in the portion size for the price. I now understood why many people got upset with the supposedly high prices.

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Roast Goose & Pork

The roast goose was glimmering in goose fat and glaze. The skin was very crunchy with just the right amount of fat under the skin to coat your mouth in oily deliciousness. The goose itself was rich and succulent. The roasted pork has a very thick and crunchy skin that bordered on jaw breaker hard. I thought the roasted pork skin at Lei Garden was thick and crunchy, but that was nothing compared to Yat Lok. The pork itself was tender and full of flavor. The roasted meat sat atop a pile of rice with a drizzle of goose fat sauce.

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Veggies

The vegetables were tender and barely wilted, retaining some texture. It came with a small side of sauce that was slightly sweet, with Chinese five spice.

Once my bill came, I was pleasantly surprised. Rather than the $155 HKD I was expecting; my bill was $73 HKD. For just under $10 at a one star Michelin restaurant, this is a great deal. Yat Lok is worth a trip for a very affordable one Michelin star experience. Going at off times may be your best bet as wait times can be considerably long from what I hear.

Michelin Star – Tim Ho Wan – Sham Shui Po – Hong Kong

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Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan is now a chain of dim sum restaurants, with locations spread across Asia from its original spot in Hong Kong that now spans as far south as Indonesia.

Famed for being the cheapest Michelin Starred restaurant for years, which has been supplanted by Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Singapore, where a meal can be had for under $2.

With regards to Tim Ho Wan, two of their branches in Hong Kong each hold 1 Michelin Star. Since I was staying on the Kowloon side, I decided to go the location located in Kowloon.

I tried to go at an off time since lines can be horrendous there. The flip of the coin, is that the food might not be the “freshest”.

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Interior

The restaurant is clean inside, well organized and tables are spread out fairly well.

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Baked BBQ Buns

The signature Baked BBQ Buns were sort of underwhelming. They were lukewarm, bordering on cold. They were still crunchy, but the disappointment in not having it served hot was glaring.

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Har Gow

The Har Gow was typical but nothing special. The har gow is on the smaller side. The skin is a little thick and chewy. The filling did not have much taste, as it seems like there is some sort of “filler” in addition to shrimp, thereby making it less “shrimpy”.

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Pan Fried Radish Cake

The Pan Fried Radish Cake was fried and tender. The crust added a bit of sweetness. The radish was tender, and still had a bit of a bite to it. Paired with the chili sauce, this is a good combination.

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Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp

The Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp come three to an order. The vermicelli was nice and chewy, paired with a sweet soy sauce. The shrimp were small, but still on the sweet side.

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Pork Dumpling with Shrimp

The Pork Dumpling with Shrimp (Sui Mai) were larger than the Har Gow. The dumplings were full of pork and shrimp. The skins were not as chewy the Har Gow, but still good.

Obviously, the star at Tim Ho Wan is the Baked BBQ Buns. This is the dish that garnered them the Michelin Star. The rest of their dim sum in my experiences are mediocre at best, and nothing that you couldn’t find at most dim sum restaurants.

McDonald’s Next – $35+ Burger- Hong Kong

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McDonald’s Next

I’m not a huge fan of McDonald’s, and can count the number of times I have eaten there in the past 20 years on one hand.

I will usually go into a McDonald’s while traveling, just to see what adaptations they make to their menu to make it more “local”.

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Salad Ordering
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Burger Ordering

McDonald’s Next garnered major attention by converting an existing McDonald’s in Hong Kong into this new concept.

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McDonald’s Next Salad Bar
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McDonald’s Next Salad Bar
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McDonald’s Next Salad Bar

McDonald’s Next first surprise is the addition of a salad bar. It is not a do it yourself salad bar, but it does include 19 ingredients including quinoa.

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Bakery Selection
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Sandwich Selection

Bakery items, sandwiches, and panini’s are also included on the menu.

Perhaps the game changer of McDonald’s Next is the ability to customize your burger. There are interesting ingredients available such as Portobello mushrooms, several types of cheese, jalapenos, a variety of sauces, avocado’s and other interesting ingredients.

I wanted to see how expensive a burger I could build. When I began the ordering process, there was nobody at the build your burger station. I maxed out just about every ingredient, but as time passed an influx of customers came in. I didn’t want to hold up the line so I quickly finished up my mock order.

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$35+ Burger

The grand total came out to $285 HKD, or ~$36.77. I think if I was able to still add a couple of remaining ingredients to their max, you could have a burger from McDonald’s costing over $40.

That’s just incredible.