A getaway to Singapore isn’t truly complete without dipping your toes into the city-state’s eclectic and vibrant dining scene. Similarly, a visit to the Qantas International First Lounge is the perfect way to end your trip in style when it’s time to say xià cì jiàn (see you next time) to The Lion City.

Opening in late 2019 – just before COVID-19 forced it shut again – Singapore is the latest chapter of Qantas’ upscale First lounges. Those who make it past the frosted doors will usually be flying in First Class or toting a frequent flyer card with a platinum tinge.

Curious to see what awaits within the white marble walls? Here’s our take on the Qantas International First Lounge in Singapore, with an updated food review from 2024.

Lounge location and details

The First Lounge is located in Terminal 1 of Singapore’s Changi Airport. From immigration, turn right toward the D-gates and follow the signs to the first set of escalators on your left. You can’t miss the dazzling exterior of the Qantas First Lounge.

The lounge is open daily from roughly 3:00 pm and closes when the last Qantas service departs. This is usually just before midnight when QF1 makes its long voyage to London.

Lounge layout and seating

Inside, my partner and I are quickly welcomed and offered a table at the restaurant. Despite having no exterior views – a common issue with lounges at Changi – the Qantas Singapore First Lounge is simply beautifully designed and lit. We’re both quite impressed.

The designers’ touch

The lounge’s fit-out, with room for 240 passengers, is the brainchild of Sydney-based design firms Caon Studio and Akin Atelier. The 1,000 sqm floorspace certainly gives the directors of both firms, David Caon and Kelvin Ho, plenty to play with.

The Qantas First lounge seems to ooze luxury thanks to the use of Carrara marble, European oak and brass as the three main defining materials. There’s also no tacky furniture in sight. Your bottom will rest easy here with some pieces by Gebrüder Thonet, Carl Hansen & Søn and Walter Knoll.

Main lounging area

Immediately to the right as we walk in is a ‘VIP room’, which can be cordoned off should the need arise. During our visit, though, it was open to all. A Coelux skylight embedded in the ceiling emulates a blue sky and gives the impression of natural light. It can also transform into the night sky, including the moon.

The effect is pretty cool – but it’s even more amazing in the shower suites, which each have their own skylights as well (more on that later).

Further along, there are more spaces to rest and work. For solo travellers, the dark green pods are a standout for lounging and working at their computers. The seating mix also includes communal work tables and comfortable sofas for more social encounters.

Restaurant and bar area

The rest of the lounge is taken up by various restaurant sections and bar seating. The dining room is massive and consists of three different sections. Evidently, Qantas expects most lounge visitors to spend time on a leisurely meal rather than just sitting around near the front. Tables are elegantly set for two or four but are quickly adjusted for solo diners or larger groups.

The open kitchen is located at the rear end of the lounge. If you like, you can dine here and watch the expert chefs in action.

In this lounge, the drinks come to you. But on the off-chance you feel the need to wander around and order something at the bar, you’ll find your destination in the middle of the lounge. It’s well-stocked with a sizeable variety of spirits, beer and wine.

Wining and dining

Like Qantas’ International First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, Singapore also has a la carte dining. It features a mix of cult favourites (salt and pepper squid, anyone?), familiar Western dishes and Asian-fusion treats.

The dining menu as of April 2024.

Over two recent visits in March 2024 (each with a companion), I sample a wide range of the latest menu, including:

  • Prawn wontons with black vinegar and chilli
  • Grilled broccolini salad with fennel, pine nuts and spicy corn salsa
  • Signature laksa with crayfish
  • Steamed barramundi with Jiang Xi sauce, radish and cabbage, cucumber pickles and jasmine rice
  • Chef Linda’s stir fry black pepper beef with fragrant Jasmine rice
  • Coconut and mango sorbet with palm sugar syrup and toasted coconut
  • Signature flourless chocolate cake with double cream and raspberry sauce
  • Banana fritter with pineapple, pandan crème and ginger sorbet
  • An off-menu special: Torta di Verona

Every dish is excellent, though some are clear favourites for me. Forget the salt and pepper squid – the prawn wontons are the perfect way to kick off dinner in Singapore.

Crayfish laksa is a luxurious choice. It could use more kick, though I understand it’s a delicate balancing act to accommodate more people. Both the steamed barramundi and Chef Linda’s black pepper beef are absolute stand-outs. The rich flavours in both dishes pair well with steamed rice.

I particularly enjoy the unique twists on each dessert, such as the palm sugar drizzled on the sorbet and the Torta di Verona being served ‘Qantas pavlova style’ in a glass. But my wife and I’s favourite dessert is simpler fare – the crispy banana fritters with pineapple, pandan crème, and ginger sorbet is a winner.

I just hope that Chef Linda’s shrimp-paste chicken wings – which were on the menu in 2022 – will return one day!

Chef Linda is the Executive Chef at the Singapore First Lounge.

Cocktails, bubbly and more

Singapore may be hot, but you won’t fly out thirsty. During our visit, two Champagnes are on the ice – Duval Leroy Brut Reserve and Taittinger Brut Reserve. There are more than ten other wines across white, red, rosé and dessert varieties, plus beers and soft drinks.

The cocktail list is quite unique too. Across both recent visits in 2024, we try a range of beverages, including:

  • Sour Plum Margarita: tequila, mezcal, agave, calamansi, sour plum
  • Non Paloma: Lyre’s non-alcoholic tequila, blood orange kombucha and grapefruit
  • Non Colada: House pineapple cordial, coconut water and soda
  • House Lemonade: ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime and lemon
  • Barley Water: pearl barley, rock sugar, lemon

I heartily recommend the sour plum margarita. A rim of salt balances the margarita, which cleverly integrates Singaporean twists of calamansi and sour plum. Both mocktails, the Non Paloma and Non Colada, are tasty impersonations of their traditional cocktail inspirations.

But in my opinion, it’s the creative non-alcoholic drinks that shine. For example, the house lemonade isn’t too sweet and comes with a lemongrass sprig that acts as both a stirrer and another burst of flavour.

And if you feel you’ve had one too many glasses of Champagne before your flight, the perfectly balanced barley water will help you reset.

Lounge service and amenities

The Qantas Singapore First Lounge’s restaurant features Sofitel-trained staff who are a highlight. Service is very efficient and attentive.

In a mildly embarrassing episode during my 2022 visit, I drop my soup spoon into the laksa bowl. After managing to fish it out, a wait staff magically appears by my side, bearing a new soup spoon on a plate. With attention to detail like that, it’s really no surprise that each dish is cleared very soon after we’ve put our cutlery down.

During the first of my 2024 visits, I only have around 30 minutes to spare before needing to dash off again. But the staff are no strangers to quick transits, and I enjoy a three-course meal before time’s up.

Qantas’ Singapore-based lounge management team is also friendly and evidently takes great pride in operating the lounge.

Refresh in the shower suites

Remember the awesome Coelux skylight in the VIP area? It’s even more amazing in the shower suites. The lighting effect is much easier to see here, and the soft glow of the ‘morning sun’ on the marble walls looks very realistic! Want morning, afternoon, dusk, or nothing at all? It’s done with a press of a button.

The nine shower suites feel opulent. Products from LaGaia Unedited – which are in the Sydney and Melbourne First Lounges – also feature here. The water pressure is decent enough, and I have a revitalising shower.

If you need to unpack a bag, you can use the pull-out door from the side that rests on the toilet lid. It’s not the most elegant solution for a First Class lounge, but it works well enough.

Work essentials

If your work requirements stretch out to the evening, you’ll find the Qantas International First Lounge to be the perfect place to settle in. Universal power plugs are located throughout the entire space, usually under or between seats.

Qantas’ lounge WiFi is impressive, measuring more than 200 Mbps in uploads or downloads. Move aside Instagram Stories; that’s enough grunt to upload your whole camera to the cloud.

Lounge access options

The Qantas International First Lounge is a very exclusive space, and the entry requirements reflect that. Having said that, Qantas’ access policy is fairly liberal if you’re a Qantas Platinum or oneworld Emerald frequent flyer.

Just make sure you’re on an eligible airline flight departing in the late afternoon onwards, as the lounge only opens from around 3:00 pm. Passengers on non-Qantas flights may be denied entry if the lounge is nearing capacity.

  • Class of travel: First Class passengers on Qantas, Emirates and oneworld partner airlines.
  • Airline frequent flyer status: Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members departing on a Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates or oneworld marketed and operated flight.
  • Airline partner frequent flyer status: Emirates Skywards Platinum members departing on a Qantas or Emirates flight.
  • Alliance frequent flyer status: oneworld Emerald members departing on a oneworld flight.
  • Complimentary lounge pass: only with ‘Titanium’ passes from the Qantas Premier Titanium Card, or with ‘P1-Benefit’ passes issued to Qantas Platinum One members.

Summing up

The Qantas International First Lounge in Singapore is another testament to how well Qantas does the premium lounge experience in its major ports. Every detail is considered, from the lounge design features to the furniture and the food and beverage offerings.

Overall, there’s very little to fault – the staff are excellent, the space is modern, and most travellers will be quite comfortable having a decent meal and maybe a shower.

The lounge is best enjoyed as a passenger departing from Singapore, so there’s time to indulge in all the amenities on offer. Transit passengers will likely find the experience to be quite rushed, especially considering the time needed to walk to and from the gate and to clear gate security again.

But if you drop in for an express meal, the lounge staff are ready.

Photography by Brandon Loo, who travelled to Singapore at Point Hacks’ expense and accessed the lounge as a regular passenger through his frequent flyer status. Featured image courtesy of Qantas.

Qantas International First Lounge, Singapore was last modified: April 4th, 2024 by Brandon Loo