Qantas has dialled up the heat in its Melbourne Domestic Business Lounge this week with the long-awaited return of the Spice Bar – its signature Asian street food-inspired dining experience.
Sporting a fresh and fragrant new menu, peppered with familiar favourites, business passengers and Platinum-grade frequent flyers can once-again treat their taste buds to dishes like chicken laksa with friend tofu, Sichuan pork with noodles, and chicken miso soup with pickled ginger and sesame.
Other tantalising options include vegetarian wonton noodle soup, and Chinese wheat noodles with chicken, black vinegar, chilli oil and wombok.
When the Qantas Melbourne Business Lounge made its debut in November 2018, the Spice Bar’s Asian street food influence represented the third ‘signature’ dining experience in Qantas’ domestic business lounge network, following the popular Pizza Bar at Perth and the Cantina at Brisbane – although the later has since been rebranded and revamped into more of a bistro servery.
Qantas’ Sydney Business Lounge remains the odd one out: the faded flagship has yet to receive the same mod makeover as its Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth siblings.
That transformation was in the wings as of December 2019, when Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce told Executive Traveller “the Sydney domestic business lounge is now top of the list for the domestic lounge (upgrade program). “
“I can’t say when the date is, but it will be done, it’s just programming it into all of the capital expenditure that we have.”
Of course, we all know what happened in the following months: the pandemic completely derailed Qantas, to the extent that Joyce confirmed last month that the airline was just “11 weeks away from bankruptcy” after Covid-19 hit.
But as 2022 continues to roll out, Qantas is soaring once more, with resurgent domestic and international travel providing the revenue and optimism needed to launch new routes to the likes of India, Rome and Seoul, bring back the Airbus A380s ahead of time, and commit to Project Sunrise with an order for globe-striding Airbus A350 jets.
The renewel of its domestic fleet, based around the Airbus A220 and A321XLR, continues to bring renewed optimism too.
Maybe the Sydney Business Lounge will even get a bit of overdue love…
Additional reporting by David Flynn