And the Qantas International First Lounges at Sydney and Melbourne have returned to their true first class roots, complete with a full seasonal à la carte menu and the day spa.
So what’s being served to first class flyers and Qantas Platinum and Platinum One-grade frequent flyers (and their Oneworld Emerald equivalents)?
To help plan ahead for your trip and whet your appetite, you’ll find the latest Qantas First Lounge breakfast and all-day dining menus available for free download at the bottom of the article.
But before to scroll on down, let’s zoom in on a few highlights.
The breakfast menu runs through to 11am and included a welcome return of some favourites – including the popular sweet corn fritters with bacon and avocado – alongside a seasonal twist on some perennials: for example, the breakfast buttermilk pancakes are now served with espresso mascarpone, coconut and maple syrup.
There’s also a healthy bowl of kale, sorrel and avocado salad with quinoa, poached egg, flax and sesame seeds.
Most travellers will find their visit to the Qantas First Lounge at Sydney and Melbourne coincides with the more extensive all-day dining menu, which kicks in at 11am and runs through until the last flight of the evening.
But rather than drive straight into the mains, we’re going to suggest you take things slow and enjoy some of the smaller dishes from the all-day menu.
They’re ideal to share around if you’re travelling with a partner, friends or colleagues.
They’ll also sit more lightly on your stomach than the larger mains – to the point where you might even decide to have sample several starters as your meal (as long as you leave a bit of room for dessert).
The buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes & basil has been away from the First Lounge menu for far too long.
The sweetcorn and tarragon soup, served with a slice of garlic-rubbed sourdough toast, is a delightful warmer for those colder days.
Also new is the wamed golden beetroot and green beans with celery, miso and pine nuts.
After something with a bit of tongue-tingle? Try the Bang Bang chicken salad (yes, there’s chicken hiding in there) with cucumber, sesame and chilli oil.
Another Asian-influenced starter is the Gua bao with roast pork, chilli paste and pickles.
And what visit to the Qantas First Lounge can’t include the oh-so-Instagrammable ‘deconstructed pavlova’ in a glass, which for Autumn is dressed with figs and raspberries?
And sure, you can always have the club sandwich or the grass-fed beef cheeseburger – but all the same, we’d recommend:
- Humpty Doo barramundi with red curry butter and stir-fried water spinach: a long-time favourite of Neil Perry, this sustainably-farmed Northern Territory barra gets a pick-up from the red curry butter of Perry’s new Margaret restaurant in Double Bay
- Spicy cumin lamb noodles with sesame, cucumber and chilli oil: a perfect main for the cooler days, or any day when you fancy this Aussie-Asian combo
- Roast eggplant with braised red capsicum, zucchini and summer basil: one of several plant-based dishes on the menu which proves carnivores don’t have all the fun.