Sampling Qatar Airways' Qsuite business class 'dine on demand' menu
Turn your business class Qsuite into a cosy booth at an à la carte restaurant, or a table for two in the adjoining middle seats.
Qatar Airways is one of relatively few airlines to offer a 'dine on demand' menu in business class. Instead of being locked into eating on the airline's schedule, the dine on demand concept generally lets you choose what you'd like to eat and when you'd like to eat it.
That flexibility is well suited to business travellers on long-distance flights, such as the 15 hours between Sydney and Qatar's Doha hub (which in turn puts most of Europe less than seven hours away).
If you've eaten in the airport lounge before the flight, for example, you can get stuck straight into that report or presentation for the first few hours of the flight – with the added bonus of high-speed WiFi – and take a larger three-course meal when you're done.
Alternatively, you could settle for something light to take the edge off your appetite before you sleep, and tuck into the main meal as your hearty breakfast.
Flying in Qatar Airways' Qsuites takes this to another level. These business class seats have plenty of room to enjoy your meal while watching a movie or TV show on a massive 21.5-inch video screen, and if you close the sliding doors, your suite pretty much becomes a cosy private booth at an à la carte restaurant.
If you're travelling with a partner, selected middle pairs of Qsuites become a table for two.
On my most recent trip with Qatar Airways, flying the Oneworld member's Airbus A350 from Sydney to Doha, I spied four couples in the business class cabin sharing that dining experience.
Qatar Airways' dine on demand menu
While the menu is available as dine on demand, the late afternoon departure of Qatar Airways' QR907 from Sydney to Doha still follows the convention of a main meal service from around an hour after take off. This makes plenty of sense: it's what most passengers are used to, and it coincides with what your body clock considers to be 'dinner time'.
Hence, the menu adheres to the structure of a four-course meal - with soup, appetisers and desserts – with a post-sleep 'breakfast' (starters and mains) as the midnight arrival into Doha looms. There's also a set of light options and, on a separate card, a further half-dozen ‘snack platters’.
I suggest studying the menu as soon as you've settled into your Qsuite, because if a particular dish takes your fancy, it's best to reserve it the first chance you get.
Case in point: on my flight I was seated in the last row of the Qsuites business class cabin, and my first choice of a healthy pan-fried blue-eyed cod had run out by the time the flight attendants reached me.
Here's a sampling of what you can expect when dining in Qatar Airways Qsuites business class.
Qatar Airways' signature pre-flight drink is a refreshing Lemon Mint concoction which you might decide to keep ordering during the flight.
The Pommery Brut Royal Champagne is another a tempting way to begin your Qsuites journey, and I'd also recommend trying the 'karak chai' tea with cardamom.
The dining table is dressed with a small flickering LED lamp – a simple touch which adds a delightful ambience to the Qsuite . Also shown here: a selection of breads served with your choice of olive oils infused with balsamic vinegar, tomato chilli, spicy lemon or pomegranate.
Two appetisers were offered, in addition to a creamy buttermilk almond soup: an Arabic mezze, which I always find hard to resist, and cured fillet of salmon with celeriac remoulade.
The mains menu on this flight from Sydney to Doha:
- Arabic chicken kofta with oriental rice
- braised beef cheeks with roast kipfler potato
- blue-eyed cod pan-fried with mashed potato and cabbage
- macaroni served with a three-cheese sauce and crispy panko Parmesan crumbs
I chose the Arabic chicken kofta with oriental rice, and will readily volunteer that it doesn't photograph nearly as well as it tastes.
- warmed orange semolina pudding
- fresh berries with rose water syrup
- gourmet ice cream selection
Snack platters offering six small bites are exclusive to Qsuites flights, as they're intended to be shared in those 'double suites', although solo flyers can of course order one for some mid-flight grazing. On my flight the platter came with
- Smoked salmon
- Mini caprese salad
- Chicken satay
- Beef and mixed pepper skewer
- Baked toast cheese with mushrooms
- White chocolate brownie
Another light option is the afternoon tea plate of finger sandwiches, warm scones, clotted cream and pastries (there's also a cheese plate with Australian and French cheeses, and a pasta dish such as mushroom tortellini).
Breakfast in Qatar Airways Qsuites begins with a choice of starters, from which I selected the Greek yoghurt, mixed berry compote and toasted granola with nuts (the assiette of cold cuts and smoked fish was a close second choice).
The centrepiece of breakfast can be any of the following:
- traditional Arabic breakfast
- thick sourdough with poached eggs, crushed avocado with lemon olive oil
- cocoanut and chia seed porridge
- fruit french toast with mixed berry compote
I went the healthy route, pairing my Greek yoghurt with the cocoanut and chia seed porridge.
Qatar Airways' Qsuite is already a stellar business class proposition, and the dining experience is equally polished and premium.
The author travelled as a guest of Qatar Airways.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Sampling Qatar Airways' Qsuite business class 'dine on demand' menu
26 Apr 2015
Total posts 20
I really like the fact that the total menu is available. On one of our flights the first menu was breakfast with the dinner one later, we were able to choose from the dinner menu immediately. Service is immaculate - nothing was ever too much trouble.
Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer
14 Jan 2014
Total posts 337
Qatar Airways really are the worlds BEST business class product going!! From innovative, I might even dare say revolutionary hard product to the quality and expansive array different little touches that make the soft product truly exceptional!!
A joy to fly with them.
07 Dec 2012
Total posts 2
I must first state my worldview, I was a QANTAS flyer in every sense as I thought it was my countries airline and it was the best, it was. Over some 40 odd year of flying with them I have witnessed the change from "Australian Best" to cheapest provider of support and maximum profit. I appreciate that the world has changed and every airline must be viable but I feel that the reduction in service, not from the air crew which has slipped but is still very good but the rest of the package is now terrible. In Adelaide we are just also-ran that QANTAS would prefer to forget because we do not represent a corporate profit, how could I not be entranced by an airline that not only comes directly to our city but then provides the cheapest and best quality service my wife and I have ever received from some dozen or so international airlines. Yes in my retirement we can now fly business class, which my aging body not only likes but demands for long flights. All I can say is QATAR have reset the standard for quality flying and in spite of a few minor issues the eight flights we have had with them have been so much better than the flying kangaroo or other airlines it is chalk and cheese, personal view only from old and picky flyer.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
24 Aug 2011
Total posts 789
You don't fly QF for the food.
18 Nov 2015
Total posts 118
And you don't fly it for the fares. Or the seats. Or the lack of wi-fi.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
10 Jul 2013
Total posts 36
I share your pain with QF not flying internationally from ADL
02 Jul 2017
Total posts 12
Well put, how disappointing but how accurate. Precisely the same view.
Emirates Airlines - Skywards
15 Mar 2019
Total posts 20
Like McKiggan we are an older couple, (although not yet retired!), who regularly travel to Australia from the UK, (and back again). We started by utilising our national airline, BA, but rapidly switched to Virgin for their far superior Upper Class product. With the cancelling of the Sydney flight we looked for alternatives and have settled on one of the Middle East airlines. Both Emirates and Etihad have had their issues, generally with the "Hub" lounges or transfers, but last year we found an excellent deal with Qatar, travelling into Adelaide and out from Sydney. The Q suites, with their dine on demand option, PJs for the long legs and great service from the FAs means that this will be our "go to" airline from now on. If only they added a chauffeur service it would be ideal!
The food was excellent, wine choices were good and the Rose Champagne was a real winner for me. I can thoroughly recommend the entire concept but do be aware that the Q suite is not yet available on all Qatar flights. It should be. Does anyone know if it will be retrofitted to the fleet for the UK to Australia legs?
18 Nov 2015
Total posts 118
Completely agree with David H. As an Aussie expat living in London, I no longer even consider Qantas as a viable option for my numerous trips to Australia each year. Qantas fails on a number of fronts:
02 Jul 2017
Total posts 12
When will QF wake up to this. Their people have access to FF information to provide an accurate view of premium business leaked to other OW carriers. They don't use this and ask the question why? Unfortunately they appear to believe their own myths.
05 Dec 2018
Total posts 146
Having Qatar Airways as my first business class experience is both blessing and curse.
Blessing as it's damn good including the catering schedule and choice. It has also given me a reference point on how awesome business class can be.
Curse now as I have had a few business flights with Qantas and it just doesn't compare to Qatar both hard and soft product.
Qantas service is very hit and mostly miss in terms of warmth and basic care (like taking a glass away before take off so I don't have to hold it down and the ignoring when I say excuse me many times).
If there were no rules on routes airlines could fly, I would love to fly Qatar Melbourne to Los Angelas direct.
26 Apr 2015
Total posts 20
We are in the same boat as Mckiggan - long time Qantas flyers - we are Life Time Gold with them. After a few disappointments too many we started trying other airlines and did a trip from Aus to JFK with Qatar last year, getting 4 legs with Qsuites. Total convert as the service on board was amazing and we really like the dine on demand. It is absolutely our first choice for business class now. We have also just advised our daughter to book business with them for a trip to a London in two weeks.
I still love the Qantas staff (most of them anyway, I have had some bad ones), but the products just don't compare and given we are self funded I am not paying for an inferior product.
18 Nov 2015
Total posts 118
Totally agree with you Flying mermaid. I've given up on Qantas now for my 5-10 business class trips from the UK to Australia each year.
28 Sep 2018
Total posts 13
I just love Qatar.
I am a UK guy, now an Aussie citizen living in Perth, leisure traveller to UK and Europe, spending the kids' inheritance. When I met my intended who was Australian, I was a BA advocate, gold card but watched as they abandoned the regional airports like Birmingham and Manchester and kept older planes. So, it meant trekking to Heathrow to go anywhere. My Wife encouraged me to try Emirates – local flight from Birmingham, chauffeur from the door and good business class. The lounges in Dubai and stopover service were excellent.
And then Qatar arrived.
The service at check-in and on board is excellent. Great food, wide choice and superb wines. 2 champagnes to choose from! And the Q Suites have revolutionised business class travel. My last flight in November was faultless. I like the flexible dining, but I was surprised at the menu order from Doha to Perth. Leaving Doha at 0700 the first meal was dinner. Before arriving Perth 18.25, the meal offer was breakfast. It is a moot point, but I try to get on my destination timeline as soon as I board, so from Doha breakfast would have suited me and dinner on arrival. Lounge in Doha is overfull most mornings and their other airport lounges need more work but the new Heathrow one would be a great model. Not always the cheapest airline but I now look for Qatar first and change dates to get best value.