Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review

Cheese selection in Qantas business lounge canberra
Nutrition Rating: 6.5/10

Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review

Even though I lived in Canberra for many years, this was my first visit to the Qantas Business Lounge Canberra. All my previous lounge visits prior to covid were in the Qantas Club in Canberra and so I was very interested to visit the Qantas Business Lounge. Would the business lounge be quite luxurious since Canberra is the capital of Australia, and many government workers fly Qantas. I have to say I was quite surprised – it wasn’t that amazing. While it is better than the sad sister lounge in Sydney, I found the food very uninspiring and just having a dining table near the buffet did little to spruce up the fanciness of this lounge. In fact, I didn’t find it too dissimilar from the Qantas Club next door (albeit smaller and less busy). The food was fairly similar, with just some tweaks here and there. Now I know you are probably thinking well there is the Chairman’s Lounge domestically and that is where the fancy food is for the really special guests, and yes you are right. But the Qantas Business Lounges are still equivalent to Oneworld Emerald and so I guess I was expecting a little more from this lounge. I was in this lounge for a few hours in the afternoon and so I got to see the transition from lunch, through to afternoon tea, and then on to dinner.

Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra menu 12 Oct 2023
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
The dining table in the Qantas Business Lounge Canberra

What’s healthy?

  • Look at the vibrant colours of this vegetable crudite plates – I love it. So many plant bioactives here responsible for those lovely colours. This plate was available when I arrived but then disappeared later in the afternoon which was disappointing. There was a hummus dip to go with the veggies – delicious and a source of plant based protein. Hummus is a great food – adding some flavour while also helping to boost intake of legumes.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Vegetable crudites plate
  • A lot of dark green salads here with mixed lettuce leaves, kale and rocket being the stars of the show. Great to see the dressing on the side so you can add how much you like. But I was disappointed with the kale salad in regards to the chicken in it. The chicken seemed to be processed chicken (like a chicken you find in the deli next to ham) rather than a cooked chicken breast that had been shredded. The chicken pieces were quite uniform and bland. Processed chicken can have salt, sugar and other additives which is quite different to just roasting a chicken breast and shredding it. So I ate around the chicken.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Selection of salads
  • This delightful cheese plate appeared later in the afternoon – I wish it had been around all afternoon. For people looking for a snack in the lounge, having a small cheese plate can be a nutritious option. Cheese is a source of protein and a range of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and B2. I loved the addition of walnuts – these are the only nut that are a source of omega 3 fats. The biscuits on offer were rice crackers and water crackers – not very nutritious as quite low fibre and not wholegrain. But adding the cheese to the crackers will boost the nutrient content. Try no to eat too many on their own.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Afternoon cheese plate
  • Surprise surprise… the toasted sandwiches make an appearance in this lounge too. No surprises here that the ham, cheese and tomato toastie is a staple of this lounge. There was grated carrot, onions and tuna to mix it up a bit – but still overall nothing very interesting. From a nutrition perspective the onions and carrots are a great addition so try and add these to your sandwich. Tuna is a source of protein but unfortunately unlike salmon it is not a good source of omega 3 fats.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Sandwich fillings
  • Fresh fruit, and mixed fruit and nuts were available throughout the afternoon. Similar to the Qantas Club it was good there were four types of fresh fruit available when I visited – a bit more variety than the typical bowl of apples. The bar had mixed fruit and nuts in a jar but be aware the pretzel and rice cracker mix, and crisps, are not a nutritious choice so try and limit these (these belong in the ‘caution section’ but I couldn’t split the picture up).
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra

Not so great. Caution.

  • Oh why are premade sandwiches so sad usually in airline lounges? During mid-afternoon this platter of sandwiches appeared as snacks. There were egg triangle sandwiches and a ‘mystery’ foccacia filling which I later learnt was pulled pork. When I first tried the sandwich I thought it looked like tuna in mayonnaise, but did not taste like tuna. The pork foccacia was mainly bread with only a small amount of filling. There was noting else except for the pork filling (and a little bit of carrot mixed through the sauce.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Pulled pork foccacia and egg triangle sandwiches
  • There were a lot of white and refined carbohydrates in the lounge including white bread, white wraps, white rolls, rice cakes, corn chips, and rice crackers. White bread and crackers are less nutritious than wholegrain or wholemeal equivalents as not only do they usually have less fibre but also less vitamin and minerals as these are removed during processing. (Note: some manufacturers artificially add fibre and vitamins and minerals back in but it is not known whether these have the same health benefits as naturally present ones). it was good though there was wholemeal and multigrain bread available but these types were still quite light – they did not look like there were many wholegrains included. White refined carbohydrates generally are digested more quickly in the body too, causing higher rises in blood sugar levels which over time can have harmful impacts on health.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Bread and wraps
  • Licorice Allsorts and red raspberries – a staple of many Qantas lounges. Try and avoid having these, especially if you are working and not really taking time to enjoy them. If you do choose to have some, try not to have them every visit and when you do have them limit to 5 (serve them in the very small white dishes that Qantas provides).
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Lollies and biscuits
  • Chicken red curry served with steamed white rice was the main hot dish. It looked fairly good when I opened the lid, but then the familiar Qantas lounge issue of hot dishes being mostly sauce became evident the more I stirred. It had a mild flavour and there were at least some decent chicken pieces. Along with chicken there were some eggplant and what I believe where some bamboo shoots.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Red curry with chicken and rice
  • It can be really tempting to grab a bread roll or add croutons to soup but remember some cauliflower soups can be based on potato along with cauliflower. Adding additional low fibre carbohydrates such as white rolls and croutons isn’t really adding any beneficial nutrients, but can be adding more calories and carbohydrates than needed when sitting on planes and in airports for long periods of time.
Qantas Business Lounge Canberra Food and Nutrition review - Qantas Business Lounge Canberra
Bread rolls and croutons with cauliflower soup

Final words on Qantas Business Lounge Canberra

I am glad I was able to check out the Qantas Business Lounge Canberra – it provided really great insight into the Qantas Business Lounge experience since they can be quite different around the country. I had high expectations for this lounge since it is located in Canberra but it fell short. It had slightly more variety of foods compared to Sydney (which is a woeful business lounge) which I was very surprised at. I thought it may have been more like Melbourne since it is a fairly new style of lounge. You could make a balanced, nutritious meal which was great, but you had to choose carefully. More room for improvement with this lounge.

NOTE: All pictures of Qantas Business Lounge Canberra are my own and I review the food from the menu I was given and the food I ordered on my flight. There may be different options available at other times.

Airport Reviews

Airline Lounge Nutrition Review Rating:
6.5/10
Name:
Qantas Business Lounge
Airline:
Qantas
Airline Alliance:
Oneworld
Location:
Canberra, Australia
Class:
Business, Qantas Platinum, Oneworld Emerald
Time of Visit/Date:
3pm, 12 October 2023
Lounge Food Serving Style (Self-serve / Al la Carte):
Self-serve buffet
Style/Theme of Food:
Modern Australian
Allergy and Intolerance information available:

There was no food allergy or intolerance information on the menu on the day I visted.

There was a note at the bottom:

*GF = Gluten Friendly. Qantas is aware of the challenges of food allergy sufferers. However we are unable to guarantee an allergen free environment in our lounges. Peanuts, tree buts, eggs, milk, wheat, fish, shellfish and other potential allergens may be present in the food and beverages offered in this lounge. Please ask our staff for further information.

Qantas Business Lounge Canberra menu

Is there a limit to the amount of food you can have?:
No

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