Virgin Australia is changing up its business class menus for domestic and international flights, with the airline’s consulting chef Luke Mangan aiming to deliver what he describes as “lighter, cleaner, fresher approach” than Qantas when it comes to inflight dining.
That’s in keeping with what today’s business travellers want, Mangan says, citing a leaning towards lighter, healthier options.
“I remember when the hot meal was more popular,” Mangan reflects, “but nowadays more and more people, especially on long flights to LA and Hong Kong, are looking for a salad or a nice light soup or something like that. When I travel I find I go the soup or the salad.”
The new dishes will take flight from March on domestic flights, with June for international routes.
One of the standouts on domestic routes, Mangan says, will be a falafel with roasted mushrooms.
“It's got bacon, labneh and dukkah on it, it’s like a Middle Eastern twist on a big classic breakfast if you know what I mean, but it’s a bit healthier.”
On flights from Melbourne to Hong Kong business class passengers will be tempted by a beef wonton soup with Szechuan pepper and bok choy. “That's one of my favourites,” Mangan confesses.
Asked how his Virgin Australia menu differ from a typical Qantas business class meal, Mangan cites “a lighter, cleaner, fresher approach.”
“I think my food ethos and the way people want to eat is that if I travel overseas on a long flight you don't want to be stuffed with food, and you want to eat when you can casually. You might allow the soup two hours into the flight and the other components (of) your meals a bit later.”
Virgin Australia will be hosting a media dinner previewing the new domestic and international be menus on Wednesday February 7, and Australian Business Traveller will have a more detailed rundown of the new dishes the following day.