Here is Qantas’ secret first class lounge menu

First class travellers and other high flyers enjoy a special menu that’s off limits to everyone else...

By David Flynn, May 23 2023
Here is Qantas’ secret first class lounge menu

Anyone who’s visited the flagship Qantas First Lounges at Sydney or Melbourne will have sampled the seasonal delights of the first class lounge’s a la carte menu.

But there’s also a secret menu – or a ‘special menu’ as Qantas calls it – reserved for the airline’s first class passengers, most elite frequent flyers and other VIPs.

You won’t see this menu on display at any of the lounge’s regular restaurant areas where most Platinum-grade frequent flyers (and their Oneworld Emerald and Emirates Skywards Platinum equivalents) tend to gather.

The special menu is available only in a roped-off ‘premium’ dining area, which in turn is reserved for an elite cohort of travellers:

  • first class passengers
  • Platinum One members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program
  • members of the invitation-only Qantas Chairman’s Lounge
  • and assorted other guests considered to be ‘VIPs’, or at least a cut above the norm

(Don’t try plonking yourself down in this area: access beyond the red rope is only for those escorted by a Qantas First Lounge concierge.)

In Sydney, this exclusive dining room is just past the entry to the lounge’s day spa, and the current special menu for autumn lists two dishes.

  • Salmon sashimi with finger lime and coriander (which the menu suggests is best paired with a glass of Grosset Springvale Riesling 2022 from South Australia’s Clare Valley)

  • Scotch fillet minute steak with Café de Paris butter and chips (paired with either a Yarra Yering Pinot Noir 2021 from Victoria’s Yarra Valley, or the Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2021 from NSW’s Southern Tablelands)

Interestingly, both dishes have appeared on previous seasonal iterations of the standard Qantas First Lounge menu – indeed, a “Black Angus minute steak with chips, chipotle butter and lime” is still listed on the menu of the Qantas First Lounge at Los Angeles.

Qantas has been trialling this exclusive menu for passengers escorted into the primo dining space as it considers ways to further differentiate the first class lounge experience for actual first class flyers and those high-value Platinum Ones and Chairman’s Lounge members.

After all, entry to the Qantas First Lounge is equally available to someone who’s paid for a Qantas first class ticket to London and a Platinum frequent flyer on a Jetstar economy fare to Auckland or Bali – so, the argument goes, why shouldn’t that first class flyer receive a better, more more premium, more elevated experience?

Thankfully, there’s another little-known aspect of the Qantas First Lounge which every visitor can enjoy: a glass or two of very top-shelf red wine.

A new Qantas First Lounge menu also means new wines and cocktails.
A new Qantas First Lounge menu also means new wines and cocktails.

In addition to the red wines listed on the Qantas First Lounge’s standing menu, there’s usually something special to be found in the decanter sitting atop the bar.

When Executive Traveller visited the Qantas First Lounge earlier his month, that red was a superb Clonakilla – previous hidden hits have been drawn from the best of Yarra Yering, Rockford Basket Press, Henschke and Penfolds.

And all you have to do is ask your waiter for a glass from the decanter. That’s it: it’s nothing to do with status of class of travel. There’s no secret password, no knowing nod or wink or subtle tap of the nose.

“The special decanted wine is something that is quite special,” explains Lexie Bucholtz, a wine specialist from the Neil Perry team who overseas the Qantas First Lounge’s food and wine selection.

“It will usually be from one of those really premium Australian producers, it’s a real treat for our customers and (the wines) cycle through quite often, which is really nice.”

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 408

I have to say that as nice as this special menu and dining area is for those P1s like myself, it could be a lot better. I mean, it's a good start for sure, but salmon sashimi isn't anything THAT special, nor is a minute steak, especially not when the same steak has been on the LA F lounge menu for years. Neil Perry really needs to dig a bit deeper here and come up with a few extra dishes and ones that really ARE 'special'.

That said I heartily applaud Qantas trying to make the F lounge visit better and even more 'special' for First flyers and P1s in recognition of their commitment to the airline.

Definitely agree, as a 'special' menu this is a good first step but there the items on it should be more 'more special'. Doesn't mean Qantas has to go over the top with lobster etc and the kitchen is probably stretched just trying to cope with all the regular Platinums, but maybe even the salt & pepper calamari could be placed on the breakfast menu for these VIPs.

22 Oct 2019

Total posts 2

That salt & pepper calamari has always been there even during breakfast hours. All you need to do is just ask 😂

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 27

Love the squid. Love the squid.

Is this a recent thing? I flew QF  First out of Sydney in December and wasn't invited to any roped off area or told about a special menu.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 462

Yes, it's new - only in the last couple of months.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 967

I like the "and assorted other guests considered to be ‘VIPs’, or at least a cut above the norm". I wonder what makes the cut...............

Maybe celebs and others judged to be of 'high commercial value' despite not being in F or having P1 status.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jan 2017

Total posts 23

Back in the early 90's, I was classified as a "Commercially Important Passenger" as I processed the Qantas bill for one of their larger business customers. 

It was hilarious being upgraded to Domestic first when the partners were only upgraded to business.

Been a while since I was WP, but would be interesting to know whether I would have qualified for the VIP area now.

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 68

I certainly won't make the cut unless I can get UG seat on QF001/19June, SYD/LHR with points, which is in not going to happen only 3F available at this stage! Crazy paid $25k for 2 seats last year. Flying to SCL in March and they want $12k each return J. Still good to see QF doing well.

LAB
LAB

27 Oct 2021

Total posts 2

That's embarrassing, especially in light of today's news on profits. The whole thing is tired and needs a proper shake up. Neil Perry should retire gracefully from this role and stick to fawning over burnt bread in Double Bay, let someone come in with fresh ideas. When I was in the Melb 1st Lounge last month the service and food were dreadful. The so called famous squid was cold and oily and the main courses forgotten (ended up taking almost an hour to come). The fact that bloggers and reviewers, mostly on Qantas dime, still have to pad their articles out talking about Squid and Pavlova feels like it's still 2010...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Dec 2012

Total posts 24

There's nothing secret about the menu now.  

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1199

Maybe it is because beef prices are super high now but I'm not sure I see steak and chips as particularly exclusive.  

07 May 2015

Total posts 38

Yeah sorry but if this is supposed to be a 'special' menu for first class pax and CL members it's way off the mark. There is nothing remotely 'special' about a few slices of salmon sashimi or a sirloin 'minute steak' with chips at least when it comes to the usual standard of the F Lounge menu. The lounge menu has had some amazing dishes in the past, maybe time to bring some of those back as VIP offerings.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 139

Three flights in F and only once was this offered proactively

Being an av geek allowed me top politely enquire and then access was granted

The core of service culture philosophy on Qantas needs dynamite

07 May 2015

Total posts 38

Despite my criticism of the 'secret menu' I will offer praise where it's due for the decanted red. This is something every visitor to the lounge should try, I've had some incredible wines from this, including a stunning Penfolds (can't remember the Bin number sorry) and a Rockford Basket Press shiraz.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 412

Was in there a couple of days ago and liked the added attention and service very much. Very appreciated and provides a special feeling. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2015

Total posts 6

I have been Platinum One for several years and flew out of Sydney recently and never been invited to roped off area.

Thanks for alerting me to this.

27 Nov 2016

Total posts 24

I really don't like the idea of a "secret" menu, roped off area or bottle of wine, seriously? Either have a F/P1 area or don't, we're not children!  Having said that I agree with most other comments here in that the whole thing needs a revamp and good on them for trying.  However, QF definitely needs to axe Neil Perry.  The food and the food choices are dreadful (particularly in flight) & as a P1, the repetition of same old same old in the lounge when today's version is not even as good as the original is a sign that it is time for a change and not to steak and anything.  

I have noticed lounge staff (always good) even more proactive on arrival and I have been surprised (& delighted) to be offered a spa appointment immediately on arrival in the lounge lately - a much preferable option IMHO to a roped off area and sad old squid & pavlova!!  

I am hoping for some big changes under the new regime but I don't hold out a lot of hope for someone who has been at the airline for 28 years and worked closely with AJ for much of that time - can't see a fresh vision ahead at all sadly.  Just hope she cares about customers even a little more!!

29 May 2019

Total posts 1

I have been lifetime Gold for many years and P1 for for the last 10 years. I travel long haul flights regularly and therefore frequently start my journey in the F Lounge, mostly in Sydney. I have always had a great experience there and the staff are always friendly and helpful.

I have NEVER been aware nor offered a "secret menu" as a P1. I will ask them about it next time and see how they respond.


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