Qantas is upgrading its menus on all domestic, international flights

Larger portions and new lounge menus feature in the Red Roo’s biggest dining overhaul in years.

By Chris Ashton, March 21 2023
Qantas is upgrading its menus on all domestic, international flights

Qantas is rolling out a “bigger and better” menu offering across its full domestic and international network this month, both on the ground and in the air.

The overhaul will include replacing the ‘refreshment’ meal towards the end of business class flights to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo and Seoul with a more substantial dinner.

The popular Ploughman’s Platter is also making comeback on domestic business class routes as a lighter alternative to a full meal – ideal for passengers who’ve already enjoyed lunch in the Qantas Business Lounge – while longer domestic flights such as east-west routes will gain a starter such as grilled prawns or Tasmanian smoked salmon.

First class: Crumbed Margra lamb cutlets with broccolini, brussel sprouts and celeriac puree.
First class: Crumbed Margra lamb cutlets with broccolini, brussel sprouts and celeriac puree.

The new menus have already started to appear on domestic flights, with international routes set to follow from March 29. 

Highlights of the new A380 first class menu include:

  • Calvisius Caviar on Buckwheat Blinis with Pepe Saya Crème Fraiche
  • Queensland Spanner Crab and Sweet Pork Salad with Green Mango, Cashews and Nam Jim Dressing
  • Crumbed Margra Lamb Cutlets with Lemon Myrtle Celeriac Puree
  • Seared Glacier 51 Toothfish with Saffron Sauce, Steamed Potatoes and Braised Fennel, and
  • Riverine Beef fillet with Green Beans and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes. 
First class: Seared toothfish served on zucchini ribbon.
First class: Seared toothfish served on zucchini ribbon.

New meals on international business class flights include:

  • Seared Grasslands Beef Fillet with Café de Paris Butter
  • Bannockburn Free-range chicken Kyiv, and
  • Seared Snapper with Black Bean Sauce, Seasonal Greens and Salted Chilli
Business class: Korean fried Bannockburn chicken with pickled radish.
Business class: Korean fried Bannockburn chicken with pickled radish.

Domestic travellers can also look forward to a wider range of light options in business, such as a ploughman’s lunch with a selection of cheeses and a free-range chicken and pistachio terrine, and the addition of starter salads on longer flights. 

Frequent visitors to Qantas Club and business lounges, where dishes are often called out as ‘average’ and ‘lacklustre’, will be glad to know those menus are also in for a revamp. 

Business class: Seared snapper with black bean sauce and seasonal greens.
Business class: Seared snapper with black bean sauce and seasonal greens.

Fresh ricotta and crispy pancetta with roasted cherry tomatoes and sourdough, along with beef, bacon and dark ale pies are both set to debut at the international business lounges.

Sydney and Melbourne’s First Lounges will see the introduction of ‘plate of the day’ dishes, such as steamed blue eye with pickled daikon, sesame and shiso vinaigrette, and eight-hour beef brisket with potato puree, tarragon and shallot butter. 

But it’s not all about the pointy end: the Qantas 2023 menu is taking wing across all cabins and will also see the arrival of larger portion sizes.

First class: Queensland spanner crab and sweet pork mango salad.
First class: Queensland spanner crab and sweet pork mango salad.

International premium economy meals will begin with a starter salad, while new dishes include salmon with tomato fennel sauce; red quinoa and brown rice; and braised lamb shank with red wine mushroom sauce and potato puree.

Also in economy there’ll be a second meal on the longer flights between Australia and Asia.

The changes expand on last year’s domestic economy menu overhaul, which saw the introduction of new vegetarian and diet-specific meals in November 2022 after the airline copped fierce backlash by removing those offerings on short flights. 

Additional reporting by David Flynn

08 May 2020

Total posts 41

Pleased to hear improvements on the way.  Last week I was offered a side of bread with my toastie and chocolate with my chocolate

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 68

Great news, just did MEL/PER/MEL J class - main course, then pudding, chocolate bar, lindt Choclate and then an ice cream WOW! Would have liked a starter/salad and a piece of cheese, too much sweet stuff!

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 966

Last night’s business meal was ok for a 3 hour flight on Alliance metal QF branded.

The Sydney Business lounge needs an upgraded menu quickly as it was very expensive unimpressive.

JD1
JD1

03 Aug 2020

Total posts 14

Great to see some nice changes on the way. I’d love it if Qantas brought back serving tea/coffee again on all domestic flights. 

Lmc
Lmc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 106

Bring back the cheese box and a Chivas regal, perfect for the 60 minute flight Syd to Melb!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2012

Total posts 14

It’ll be amazing to have a change from Toasties, lacklustre salad, soup and corn chips in the QF Club, particularly in BNE/SYD/MEL. In my opinion the catering in regional lounges such as CNS/TSV are better than the big 3!

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 464

I am flying them again later this year Adelaide to Sydney and will be keen to see what the standard breakfast looks like being on the 6am flight and all in Economy.I ordered Kosher over the years same sector a handful of times which was decent.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 May 2019

Total posts 30

Looking at these menus, it looks like a downgrade relative to what was on offer pre-Covid. The international first menus are substantially worse than the offerings from competitors like Singapore and Emirates in terms of ingredients and presentation. No surprise that Neil Perry appears to have distanced himself from all of this.  Qantas should really consider bringing in some fresh young culinary talent in this.

Trust Qantas to bill a downgrade as an upgrade, particularly when prices are sky high. 

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 95

I’d just like to be able to buy a beer or wine before the freebies start at 4pm. I can on Virgin, Rex and Jetstar.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 177

Totally, totally agree. 

At least having the choice of an supplemental 'menu' would be an improvement rather than adding a salad dish to the catering offered. QF's management style is just simply out of touch of the travelling public's needs.

Give the passengers a choice onboard!

25 Jun 2012

Total posts 60

I’d love to see something more edible than those disgusting pies and pasties they continually serve in economy. 

I miss the days of dish with rice or pasta, these box meals are simply garbage. 

11 Mar 2019

Total posts 4

What a coincidence. I flew SYD-BKK on Thai Airways last week and all I did afterwards was rave to anyone who'd listen about the TWO FULL HOT MEALS served in TG Economy on an 8.5hr flight. Because I could not help contrasting it with QF's pathetic panini (second meal) service on comparable flights. I'd be inclined to stick with Thai Airways ex-Syd just for the generous feed alone. 

NT
NT

30 Apr 2013

Total posts 13

This has changed. See announcement for longer Asian flights

22 May 2011

Total posts 88

Looks good and about time!  Honestly if I see humpy doo barramundi yet again…..

Good to see the pre-flight welcome drink return however would be nice to see the return of a sparkling option as Virgin do. 

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 464

I hope across the board some improvements are made.It's been ages since I went domestic on them anywhere.what happened to getting a special meal on all flights

05 Jan 2021

Total posts 25

Great to see improvements particularly to the business class cabin.

Domestic meal offerings are currently mostly pathetic - sometimes just a  "toastie" or some "slop".

Lately some of the weird culinary ideas of Neil Perry have started creeping in - unrecognizable green slimy things and main courses with grain seeds . Not to my taste but maybe someone likes them.

Good to get back to the days of a decent beef steak on a meal flight .

I'm trying to be positive on this one but so many Qantas enhancements seem to quickly get de - enhanced !

11 Mar 2019

Total posts 4

I'm not a corporate frequent flyer by any means and all my travel is out of my own pocket. So an airline's culinary offerings are among the first things I rate against my fare as paid. QF's descent to the culinary bottom is reason enough to look elsewhere. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 58

Good news. QF international business class has been lacklustre for years compared to Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Singapore, even Emirates, and the small, snack-like serves that have sometimes constituted "meals" just seemed skimping and mean-spirited. As for the menu, the "Sydney Airlines" feel of Qantas has always been reflected in Neil Perry's groovy menus, and maybe it's time to look at some of the chefs working in Australia's other culinary capitals, especially Melbourne, to inspire those of us who are gastronomically inclined.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Aug 2014

Total posts 11

My last QF9 and QF2 flights the business meal was much improved and even wine quality better. I was disappointed on my last Emirates trip as food and wine seems to have dropped a level from pre-COVID. Still a wider range of alcohol than others but not the stand out wine list they used to have. I don't get the SQ raves. Every time I try them the food is average, the staff have no idea about the wines and until recently the lounges were average.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 130

All good to hear and long overdue  , just wondering what the offerings are for our vegetarian flyers?  ( don't attack me)

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2540

Hi mb68, and no attacking here - I know many carnivores (omnivores?) who for various reasons choose vegetarian dishes from time to time, myself among them.

Qantas didn't detail many of the vegetarian dishes, apart from saying there would be "plant-based options across all cabins", but one of the sample international business class dishes served at the launch was a "Korean-style sesame baked eggplant with stir fried green beans and pickled vegetables" (and it was delicious).

21 Feb 2020

Total posts 9

David, any word on food for we intolerant souls? I have ticked the gluten free box for my trip to Europe, however all things corn is equally ( or worse) an issue. Should I just BYO to be in the safe side?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2540

No word on that front, Patricia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Apr 2011

Total posts 17

Yes Patricia

There are quite a few dietary options on Qantas, mostly to cover religions, personal choices or beliefs, but almost nothing for medical conditions based on science. My daughter has nut alergies, but selecting that nuts alergies option has gone years ago. Very frustrating. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Mar 2023

Total posts 1

Pleased to hear Qantas is at last looking at changing menus. I have found in the last few years inflight food has become worse and more frugal. Even in First Class  I have experienced poor quality  and a tub of Ben & Jerrys ice cream for dessert shows cut backs. I have been tempted to take my own food on board.

Though apart from changing menus perhaps a change of chef. Neil Perry still seems to favour dishes highly spiced with chilli, Morroccan spice , curry etc seeming to dominate. 

02 Nov 2017

Total posts 21

I recently flew business class to Auckland and return from Christchurch. I was shocked at how parred down the catering was compared with pre-covid. Breakfast offering was bacon and egg pie or  Fratatta. Aren’t they the same thing? In contrast BA offered a full English breakfast in Euro Club on the same trip. Dinner was just as bad. The soup course has gone and the entire meal is on a single tray. 

SCM
SCM

28 Sep 2022

Total posts 15

Good to hear, Qantas has had budget-carrier tier food even in business for a very long time now - it's about time they fulfil their role as a full-cost carrier to provide basic quality food.

09 Dec 2023

Total posts 2

Hi,

Is it true there are no more wine list in business class on some asian destinations?


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