Qantas Sydney, Melbourne first class lounges: new Summer 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, December 4 2023
Qantas Sydney, Melbourne first class lounges: new Summer 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 Summer 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 Summer 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 mango, coconut yoghurt and coconut flakes (compared to spring’s combo of rhubarb, orange and ricotta) plus ‘Qantas honey’, which comes from beehives at the airline’s Mascot headquarters.

On the healthier side is a breakfast salad of avocado, asparagus, kale, peas, chipotle hummus and a poached egg (this is also available in a pared-back ‘plant based dining’ version).

A smaller change sees the egg white omelette served with tomato, ricotta and basil (compared to the previous menu’s asparagus, ricotta and chives.)

All day dining: served from 11am onwards

The ‘all day dining’ menu is where the biggest changes swing from one season to the next, and there are plenty of those in Summer.

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 – although in the later, the figs and raspberry of spring make way for the tropical tastes of mango and pineapple.

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

  • Mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, basil, balsamic and Cobram Estate Hojiblanca Extra virgin olive oil
  • Crispy braised lamb with cumin, sesame salt and pickled cabbage (we reckon this will be a hit)
  • Snapper with cherry tomatoes, white beans, lemon, parsley and garlic crostini
  • Grilled chicken breast with chipotle hummus, asparagus, zucchini and chimichurri
  • Plant based dining: Fabbrica semolina tonarelli with walnuts, kale, green olives and capers
  • Vee’s Pad Krapow: stir fried pork belly with Thai basil, prik nam pla and jasmine rice (this is a creation of Qantas First Lounge chef Vee)
  • Gal-bi Jjim style 8-hour soy braised beef brisket and lettuce wrap with radish pickles and ssam-jang sauce
  • Qantas honey flan with Kensington Pride mango (dessert lovers shouldn’t miss this one)

New cocktails

Five new lounge-created cocktails are also on the runway, including

  • Running Rhubarb – Rhubi Mistelle, dry vermouth, sparkling
  • By Byron – Brookie’s Slow Gin, watermelon, lime, soda
  • Calypso – white rum, mezcal, basil, salted pineapple, lime

As we’ve previously noted, and to the dismay of most visitors, the Qantas First Lounges favour those cocktails over whatever else a traveller may order, to the exclusion of stronger classics like martinis.

“We want cocktails that are something special, not your standard cocktails,” explains Lexie Bucholtz, from the Neil Perry team, “and something that's refreshing, very easy to drink and lower in alcohol,” saying Qantas’ preference is towards “a lighter aperitif-style offering.”

“If someone asks for something that's not on the cocktail menu but within that lighter aperitif-style, we’re able to serve that… but when it comes to things like martinis and double-shots, that’s not our style.”

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 Summer 2023-2024 menus using the links below:

PS Don’t forget that you can also visit the Qantas First Lounges on the domestic leg of the Melbourne-Perth-London flight, along with the upcoming Sydney-Perth-Paris flights starting July 2024 and seasonal Sydney-Perth-Rome flights between June and October 2024.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1205

Re Domestic Access.... remember from July 2024, QF will axe the domestic tag of QF9 so access to the international lounges on the domestic sector will end.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 106

Will be travelling from Melbourne on Air NZ and Emirates on three planned trips in J in 2024 and will be adjourning to the Q 1st class lounge in a heart beat with our two guests. According to the article, hard to beat.

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 94

Doing QF1 in a few days.  Will give the faves and a few new items a test.

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