Flying first class with Qantas over the next few months? Then you're in for even more of a treat than usual as the seasonal menu turns to the flavours of Spring.
Earlier this week we shared the pre-flight delights of the latest menu in the award-winning Qantas First Lounges and Qantas International Business Class... but there's plenty of sky-high dining to enjoy if you're at the pointy end of the plane.
“Many of the dishes are new to this particular menu” says Roger Barstow, one of four chefs from Neil Perry’s Rockpool Group who work with Qantas to shape its international inflight dining.
“That includes the lobster and chervil tartlet, the beef carpaccio and caramel crème dessert.”
Here are some of the highlights from the menu for QF1, Qantas’ flagship Airbus A380 service to Dubai and London.
A lobster and chervil tartlet joins the lamb kibbeh with cumin spiced yoghurt as a pre-dinner canapé.
Next, choose between the asparagus, goats curd, green peas and Ligurian olive salad with lemon vinaigrette (which is also offered as a Small Plate on the new business class menu)…
… or the beef carpaccio with marinated mushrooms, parsley and parmigiano reggiano.
The first class Small Plate selection includes snapper laksa (which features as a Main Plate in business class)…
… and prawn tortellini with pine nuts, preserved lemon, sultanas and burnt butter.
(There’s also that fave of frequent flyers, the ‘signature steak sandwich’ with tomato and chilli relish.)
Let’s assume you’re not already full from adding those lighter dishes on top of dining at the Qantas First Lounge, and that you’ve still got room for a Main Plate.
The star of the new Spring menu would be the pan-fried Patagonian toothfish served with zucchini, chilli and tomato scapece, polenta and pine nut pesto.
The toothfish is from “Glacier 51”, a sustainable fishing zone in the Australian ares of the sub-Antarctic region.
Also on offer:
- a salad of roasted red capsicum and pumpkin with farro, corn and borlotti beans
- chicken breast poached with spring vegetables, Dutch cream potatoes and seeded mustard
- seared snapper with shaved fennel, snow peas, lemon and olive oil
- the famous Rockpool Bar & Grill-style braised beef cheek with Mac and Cheese, broccolini and your choice of horseradish, seeded or hot English mustard
If that’s not enough, there’s an additional dish which isn’t listed on the menu but will be suggested to first class travellers by the cabin team.
This is the Market Inspiration plate, which combines best-of-season ingredients but is typically available for only four weeks at a time.
Right now it’s a delicious Fraser Island spanner crab served with Pepe Saya truffle butter and spaghetti.
“It’s all driven by seasonality, so we’re using produce when it’s at its best” Barstow says of the dish, which will be offered only through to September 28 before another special plate takes its place.
Other Rockpool favourites now appearing on the first class menu of other Qantas flights will include
- snapper poached in coconut milk and garam masala with fine egg noodles and snow peas
- beef fillet with green beans, potato and cabbage gratin
- roast lamb rack with roasted rosemary potatoes and a choice of harissa or minted jelly
- and for dessert, a caramel crème served with strawberries
The Qantas First Class Tasting Menu
If that's all just too much to choose from, Qantas offers a classy alternative: a tasting menu which takes you from canapes to chocolates in nine courses, with sommeliers to pair up each dish with the perfect wines.
Here's the Spring 2014 tasting menu for QF1 from Sydney to Dubai:
- Lobster and chervil tartlet
- Lamb kibbeh with cumin spiced yoghurt
- Cream of cauliflower soup with toasted hazelnuts, eschalots and breadcrumbs
- Beef carpaccio with marinated mushrooms, parsley and parmigiano reggiano
- Pan fried “Glacier 51” Patagonian toothfish with zucchini, chilli and tomato scapece, polenta and pine nut pesto - or -
- Rockpool Bar & Grill style braised beef cheek with “Mac and Cheese”, broccolini and your choice of horseradish, seeded or hot English mustard
- Salad of baby cos, radicchio and frisée with palm sugar vinaigrette
- Caramel crème with strawberries
- Selection of cheese served with accompaniments
- Cacao handmade chocolates
Australian Business Traveller's Chris Chamberlin sampled the Winter 2014 tasting menu in August on a Qantas A380 from Sydney to Hong Kong, and described it as being "closer to something you’d expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant on the ground than flying high at 40,000 feet."
- How to use Qantas frequent flyer points to upgrade to first class
- The Qantas first class lounge: sampling the Spring 2014 menu
- New Qantas business class inflight menu for Spring
- Qantas upgrades business class breakfast
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