Qantas Sydney, Melbourne first class lounges: new Spring 2023 menu

The latest seasonal menu for Qantas’ flagship lounges sees plenty of new dishes plus a refresh of the wine and cocktail list.

By David Flynn, September 14 2023
Qantas Sydney, Melbourne first class lounges: new Spring 2023 menu

“What’s on the latest menu at the Qantas first class lounge?”

It’s a surprisingly common question of top-tier frequent flyers who begin their journey from the Qantas International First Lounges at Sydney and Melbourne.

After all, the airline’s approach to seasonal menus means a raft of new dishes is there to be enjoyed every four months, although many favourites remain too.

Being able to begin your international flight on Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates or other partner airlines – particularly Oneworld members such as Cathay Pacific, JAL, Malaysia Airline and Qatar Airways – at these first class lounges is one of the key benefits of holding Platinum or Platinum One status with Qantas.

(And again, that same perk is enjoyed by Emirates Platinum and Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.)

Executive Traveller has previously taken you behind the scenes of how these menus are developed, including the Winter 2023 and Summer 2022 menus, so let’s just dive into the latest Spring 2023 dishes now being served at the Qantas First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne.

These are in addition to the special ‘secret’ menu reserved for actual first class passengers, along with Platinum One frequent flyers and Chairman’s Lounge members, who are seated in the roped-off ‘premium’ dining area.

At the end of this article you’ll find links to PDF copies of the Qantas First Lounge Spring 2023 menus to download and peruse before your next trip. You’re welcome.

Breakfast: served from 5am to 11am

As is the norm, the Qantas First Lounge’s breakfast menu is more about seasonal tweaks to a handful of dishes.

A case in point are the ever-popular buttermilk pancakes, which are now served with rhubarb and orange (compared to winter’s combo of pears and hazelnuts) plus ricotta and ‘Qantas honey’, which comes from beehives at the airline’s Mascot headquarters.

On the healthier side is a salad of kale, quinoa and mint with walnuts, tahini yoghurt and a poached egg (this is also available in a pared-back ‘plant based dining’ version).

A crisp peach and lemon myrtle bellini joins the Bloody Mary on the morning cocktail menu. 

All day dining: served from 11am onwards

The ‘all day dining’ menu is where the biggest changes swing from one season to the next.

Rest assured that signatures such as the salt and pepper squid, club sandwich, cheeseburger and that oh-so-Instagrammable ‘pavlova in a glass’ remain on deck.

That said, some of the highlights of the Spring 2023 all day dining menu include 

  • Balinese-style duck salad with beansprouts, chilli, coconut and lime leaf
  • Steamed snapper with rice noodles, fragrant coriander broth and nam prik 
  • Lamb shoulder with fennel, potatoes, oregano and honeyed olives
  • 8-hour soy braised beef brisket with ginger and spring onions 
  • Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce
  • Fresh ginger cake with rhubarb, strawberries and burnt orange cream  

New wines and cocktails

We should also draw attention to the many new wines and cocktails being served at the Qantas First Lounges.

The entire white wine selection has been overhauled, with some notable Adelaide Hills callouts such as

  • Grant Burge Pinot Gris 2023
  • Petaluma Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Penfolds Max’s Chardonnay 2022

There are also three new reds:

  • Levantine Hill Pinot Noir 2019 (Yarra Valley, Victoria)
  • Penfolds Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (Adelaide Hills, South Australia)
  • Lambrook Shiraz 2022 (Adelaide Hills, South Australia)

If a light cocktail is more your style, try one (or two) of these:

  • Watermelon Paloma – tequila, watermelon, ruby grapefruit soda, basil 
  • Ruby Cider – white rum, cranberry, apple cider, grenadine
  • Garden Spritz – gin, elderflower, basil, cucumber, soda
  • Low and slow – Brookie’s slow, Davidson plum, tonic, strawberry

Champagne is no longer listed separately on the Qantas First Lounge menu, as the airline appears to be rotating its selection within each season, but on our recent visits the bubbles have included Ayala, Lallier, Piper-Hiedsieck, Pommery and Jacquart.

Also read: Which airlines serve the best Champagne in business and first class?

You can download the Qantas First Lounge Spring 2023 menus using the links below:

PS Don’t forget that you can also visit the Qantas First Lounges on the domestic leg of the Sydney-Perth-Rome and Melbourne-Perth-London flights.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 142

Far far better than anything served in F in the air

Solution:

1. Increase Neil Perry's budget for F and J so he is able to flex his culinary muscles the way his restaurants have shown he can, but which is currently woeful on board, helping him to create a crystal clear demarcation between the F and J product (totally absent)

2. Have a different chef for onboard catering and keep Neil Pery for the lounge menus (much less feasible)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 83

  1. Try the new watermelon tequila cocktail, a couple and you will sleep all the way to Jakarta. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Nov 2018

Total posts 1

Sorry, as the flurry of comments displayed on Alan Joyce’s departure showed, it’s time for menu change and Neil Perry to hang up his hat. 

I’m so tired of the standard repetitive “signature dishes” that the vast majority of customers are said to want.  Very debatable statement from Qantas. These uncreative dishes, eg salt and pepper squid, fall so far behind most other airlines first and premium lounge offerings.  There is no battle with a choice of salt and pepper squid in the Qantas premium lounge in Singapore or lobster in the Emirates lounge.

I returned on an overnight flight from Japan last week in business class and was appalled by the dinner and breakfast offerings that have reached an all time low, particularly when the airfares are so high.

I’ve been Platinum for about 10 yrs but definitely going to try other airlines going forward. 

Vanessa needs to make some significant changes.  One of those is to retire Neil Perry also and get some fresh ideas back onto the menu.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Nov 2018

Total posts 6

Am wondering if Executive Traveler is too close to Qantas, as there hasn't been much objective balance regarding how this airline has betrayed it's customers on so many levels (read other publications like SMH, Guardian and The Australian).  Expect modifiers to delete this, so it's really just a direct message to ET (which I have relied upon in terms of credibility and reliability for many years) saying please keep them accountable. Thanks

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

Hi Paul - we haven't been covering the ongoing Qantas issues "like SMH, Guardian and The Australian" for exactly that reason: because this is all being extensively covered by so many other publications with vastly greater resources than we have – so there's no value in us just covering the same ground when the stories are already being told elsewhere.

We can't simply can't 'compete' with SMH/Age, Guardian, The Australian, News Corp, ABC etc etc: so why would we expend resources to at best duplicate their coverage, and more likely to fall short of that because of their greater resourcing?

Furthermore, those publications' deeper resources can be channeled into those stories and what's become ongoing coverage, which also means that if we reported one instance, we'd be obliged to keep going with what's become a never-ending stream of follow-ups. 

I've had plenty of experience in seeing first-hand how that actually drains resources and quickly becomes to the detriment of an online publication, because we'd not be able to focus on content that is unique to Executive Traveller and which our readers have come to expect. 

We'd rather provide practical content readers can use, which for example has included several updated pieces on how to claim a Qantas Covid credit / refund, the use-by date for making a credit booking, when there were points promos to make those bookings etc. I believe it all comes down to differentiating Executive Traveller from other outlets which are more mainstream, and looking at where we can 'add  value' with our own coverage, rather than jumping on the same stories as you're already seeing everywhere else.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Sep 2023

Total posts 2

Hi David

Are you aware of whether the Melbourne First lounge also has a special ‘roped off’ area? 

As a P1 frequent flyer, I’ve never been shown or told about the area in Sydney, despite using the lounge many times., and am flying through Melbourne in a couple of days.

Thanks

Only important P1 are shown that area. I have visited many times and being on the otherside of the rope is so dam exciting I can hardly contain myself. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 142

In fairness to Executive Traveller there was a flight review of F on the A380 a number of years ago which expressed appropriate concern over the declining food and beverage product. It would however, be useful to see each review accompanied by a COMPARISON to the same product on other carriers if possible - this is what is ultimately useful to the reader. It sometimes occurs but not with the precision it could.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 142

Seano74

Both are meant to, but typical of our national carrier you often have to remind staff this is a benefit and you are then escorted into the area (poor communication between the reception and waitpersons).

A cost cutting measure that has become v clear to me as a P1 for over 5 years is the deliberate omission of a service to completion and then the remedy of it ONLY WHEN enough people have complained and made a fuss. This saves money in the short term but is shortsighted as recent events have proven.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Sep 2023

Total posts 2

Thanks for the responses ian62

Totally agree with your comments. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2021

Total posts 12

Agree with other comments. I too have had the privelege of travelling Business Class to/from HND, KIX, and BKK in 2019 pre-covid, 2022 & 2023 post covid, and must concur with how disappointing the Neil Perry offerings were. 

So, So disappointing on every level, portion, taste and presentation.


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