Ok, so I dusted off my trusty AMEX Platinum charge card, and thought I would visit a non Oneworld lounge for a change while at Hong Kong airport by visiting the AMEX Centurion lounge. I don’t usually visit the AMEX lounges as I usually have access through the airlines, so I didn’t know what to expect regarding the food options and how they faired in regards to nutrition.
So… if you have a choices of lounges to visit in Hong Kong, should you venture to the AMEX lounge for the food? Read on to see whether a travel dietitian would.
- Ok so other than the giant honeycomb sitting on the bar, the second thing that caught my eye was this lounge had a salad bar. Fantastic! There were bowls of Mediterranean Salad, Mexican Salad, beetroot salad, mesculin salad and so it got a dietitian tick for this!
- Also on the bar was a great looking cheese board with quite a few varieties of cheese available for a snack or light meal. Cheese makes for a healthy choice when travelling as it is high in protein which helps keeps you feeling full and satisfied.
- The portion sizes of sweet treats at the dessert are #dietitianapproved! I’m all for sweet treats being part of a healthy lifestyle (let’s be honest I love chocolate and have it regularly), however it can be easy to overeat, especially if there are huge slices on offer. Here there were quite a few different desserts on offer from macaroons, to Black forest cake, to a Blueberry crumble and all in bite sizes pieces.
Not so great- caution!
- Be careful if you are hungry and looking for a snack, as there are a few unhealthy snack choices. Now while I gave a thumbs up earlier for the cheese board available, that was the only healthy snack choice I could see. The other snack foods I saw were corn chips with sour cream, guac and salsa, chicken wings, spring rolls, jelly beans, cakes and ice cream (ouch I know… icecream… hurts me to write that but it’s true). These foods can be very tempting to eat, and easily overeat, especially if you are bored and waiting for a flight.
- There were a number of hot dishes on offer for people looking to have a main meal within the lounge. While it is great to see a variety of dishes on offer to help suit different people’s tastes, from what I could see, many of these dishes looked to be high in energy. For example there were processed crumbed fish fillets, a beef and carrots dish that looked like it had a sticky, sweet sauce, a pasta dish with a cheesy sauce and minimal vegetables and a fried rice style dish.
- Unfortunately there are lots of refined carbohydrates on offer and I couldn’t find many whole grain, high fibre options. There were white crackers, white bread, rice, noodles and pasta choices so not a lot of fibre here. One type of bread roll was a slightly darker brown colour which suggests it may have been higher in fibre, but certainly there were no really dense wholegrain options.
Last Word From A Nutrition And Healthy Eating Perspective!
While it is possible to eat well in this lounge by making smart choices – many of the food choices weren’t very healthy. It can be a challenge to eat well if you don’t like the many of the foods on offer, and also if you are tired. If you are transiting through Hong Kong like I was (I got off a 10 hour flight and had a 5 hour layover before getting on another 10 hour flight) – chances are you feel tired and are fatigued. When you are tired it can be harder to make healthier choices, and so you really have to be mindful and careful with what you choose in this lounge. The snacks may be very tempting, and even if you just have small portions these can add up very easily if you have a number of snacks over the time you are transiting.
Now while I could make a healthy, balanced meal as you can see below, I didn’t really have any choice in what I choose to put on my plate as the healthy choices were limited.
And don’t forget if you would like me to do a specific airline lounge nutrition review then just let me know!
NOTE: All pictures are my own and I review a lounge from just the foods I see during my visit. There may be different options available at other times.