Passengers jetting off overseas or coming back home on Qantas flights can tuck into a new-look menu, launching across all cabins from 29 March 2023. The food-focused refresh is part of a sweeping $100 million customer experience investment plan, which also includes major updates to the Qantas lounge network.

On flights between Australia and Asia, the second meal service will finally be upgraded to offer more substantial meals in both Business and Economy. Previously, the Red Roo offered a light snack before landing.

Qantas Creative Director of Food, Beverage and Service, Neil Perry, said the new menus would continue to showcase Australian produce to millions of travellers worldwide.

We are spoilt for choice in Australia when it comes to being able to source top quality food from fantastic Australian producers, and together with generous servings and great service, these are the key ingredients to creating an enjoyable meal.

Over time, it’s been fantastic to see a broader curiosity around international cuisines and plant-based dining, which has allowed us to become more adventurous with our menus.

– Neil Perry, Qantas Creative Director of Food, Beverage and Service, 21 March 2023

Point Hacks editor, Daniel Sciberras, was one of the first to preview the new menu at a launch tasting inside Qantas’ Sydney headquarters. Here’s what you can expect.

Some of the dishes (and cabin class it’ll be served in) on offer at the media launch. [Image by Daniel Sciberras]

First and Business Class refreshed menu

Those flying in the fancy cabins can expect a menu that’s both different, and yet, familiar. Neil Perry keeps the fan-favourite proteins such as snapper, beef fillet and chicken, but dresses them up in a new way.

In First Class, new dishes include:

  • Calvisius caviar on buckwheat blinis with Pepe Saya crème fraiche.
  • Queensland spanner crab and sweet pork salad with green mango, cashews and nam jim dressing.
  • Crumbed Margra lamb cutlets with lemon myrtle celeriac puree.
  • Seared Glacier 51 toothfish with saffron sauce, steamed potatoes and braised fennel.
  • Riverine beef fillet with green beans and rosemary toasted potatoes. 
Seared Glacier 51 toothfish with saffron sauce, served in First Class. [Image courtesy of Qantas]

Business Class passengers could find:

  • Seared Grasslands beef fillet with Café de Paris butter.
  • Bannockburn free-range chicken Kyiv.
  • Seared snapper with black bean sauce, seasonal greens and salted chilli.
  • Crumbed snapper roll with pickled cabbage and tartare sauce (second service for Asia flights).
  • Stir-fried noodles with wombok, cucumber, sesame and chilli oil (second service for Asia flights).
Korean-style baked eggplant with stir-fried green beans and pickled vegetables. [Image by Daniel Sciberras]
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Premium Economy and Economy see new changes

In Qantas Premium Economy, the meal service will soon also include a starter salad, plus an ice cream service later on. For the main courses, passengers could order dishes such as:

  • Salmon with tomato fennel sauce
  • Red quinoa and brown rice
  • Braised lamb shank with red wine mushroom sauce and potato puree.

Meanwhile, in Qantas’ international Economy cabin, fresh new options include:

  • Cajun prawns with spiced rice.
  • Korean chilli and garlic chicken with kimchi.
  • Black pepper beef with oyster mushrooms.  
  • Chicken fried rice (second service for Asia flights).
  • Sage and lemon ravioli with kale and Napolitana sauce (second service for Asia flights).  

Domestic flights and lounges also benefit

Qantas has already been rolling out new domestic Economy menus since October 2022, including a greater focus on vegetarian options. But it’s those in Business Class who will see more changes, such as:

  • Increased number of lighter options such as a Ploughman’s and cheese plate, chicken and corn soup with dill and green pea soup with mint.
  • Addition of starter salads on longer flights, such as grilled prawns with Asian slaw and edamame.
  • Premium snacks from Koko Black, Brookfarm and Carman’s Kitchen.
  • Return of pre-departure drinks (juice and water).

Over in the lounges, Qantas promises to bring back enhanced ‘plates of the day’, ice cream, and decadent desserts such as the chocolate ganache cake. International Business Lounges will offer up light bites such as beef, bacon and dark ale pies.

Summing up

Regular flyers will likely have seen the same dishes on repeat over the last year, particularly on international Business Class flights out of Australia (Humpty Doo barramundi, anyone?). We’re eager to see how Qantas’ revamped inflight menus fare in the field. If the menu preview is anything to go by, then it’s a change to look forward to.

Adding a substantial meal option to Asia flights will certainly improve the experience of both Economy and Business Class passengers. For domestic Business Class flights, adding a proper starter salad will definitely be a welcome change, particularly on the transcontinental journeys between Perth and the eastern states.

Ditto for the return of pre-departure drinks, but it’s worth pointing out that Virgin Australia already does this (and with sparkling wine in the mix!).

Daniel Sciberras attended the menu launch as a guest of Qantas. Featured image courtesy of Qantas.

Qantas launches new menus & enhances dining on Asia flights was last modified: August 24th, 2023 by Brandon Loo