Airline Lounge Food and Nutrition Review – Initial Impressions
OK so I have reviewed this lounge for breakfast, now it is time to check it out the Qantas Business Lounge Melbourne Domestic during the Covid period 2021 for the other times of the day. You will know I split the review to the breakfast/morning times of the day, and the midday/evening times as the foods can vary greatly.
Right so what do I think? Well the menu choices in the domestic lounges are significantly limited compared to what they used to be, which I can understand. They have tried to have a variety of types of foods, however I found the quality of many of the foods in this lounge to be lacking.
- Good work Qantas for including salads on your covid lounge menus – this is really great to see. The variety and rotation of the salads is commendable and also fantastic to see some imagination in the salads – no garden salads only here! The salads I have seen in the Melbourne lounge have included legumes, pickled vegetables and higher fibre grains such as brown rice. These foods all have health benefits for the body and for many of us can be a challenge to include regularly in our daily diets. So the fact you can get these in salads in the lounge is a big tick from me! Also these salads have had minimal dressings on them too – just enough to add flavour but not to have the salad swimming in it. I have had a number of great salads with some examples you can see below.
- The new vegetable crudites and dip plates are one of the only good things to come from covid in the Qantas domestic lounges. Across a number of Qantas lounges I have visited, there is usually a few variations such as just vegetable sticks and dips; or vegetable sticks, dips, crackers and cheese; or vegetables sticks, crackers and dips etc. There are also antipasto plates available sometimes which come with salami, dip, crackers and grilled/pickled vegetables. These are my current ‘go to’ in the lounge when I am hungry. I usually end up getting a number of plates to really bump up the vegetables, and never have anymore than 1 antipasto plate.
- It was a close call where to place this hot dish (Beef Bourguignon) – it was a close call between the ‘caution’ or ‘healthy’ section. But I included it here in the What’s Healthy section as it did have a fairly decent vegetable content due to the mushrooms, onions and carrots. However please note that serving this dish on a bed of white rice, with potato as well, is something I don’t recommend you consume often as you are doubling up on carbohydrates. I suspect they are using white rice as it is cheap, as it would have been good to see the dish served with mashed potatoes, and then you could have taken the potatoes out of the sauce and included more lean beef and vegetables, while still getting the delicious flavour of potato. I found the rice didn’t add anything either flavour-wise or nutrition-wise. But compared to some of the other hot dishes I have seen served in their lounges (the spaghetti bolognese and vegetarian curry I’m looking at you), this dish was one of the better ones.
Not so great (caution)
- Sandwiches and rolls seem to be fixtures of the Qantas lounges during Covid, and unfortunately I have not come across any in this lounge that have been any good. The main issue is they are mainly just bread, with barely any fillings. And the bread is really poor quality, almost cake like in many scenarios. Take the examples below, you can see that the fillings are almost like a garnish, and all you are really having is white bread. The ham and cheese roll is a really great example – that is a very large roll, nearly the size of a hot dog roll, and there is half a slice of ham, half a slice of cheese and a few spinach leaves (which also looked wilted and sad). The two chicken and rocket options didn’t fair much better (either the Turkish bread sandwich or the baguette) – there was minimal chicken, a whole lot of mayonnaise and small amount of green. So again, mainly bread!
- And what is wrong with white bread I hear you ask? White bread is low in fibre, and does not retain many of the nutrients found in wholegrains. This is due to the processing of the wholegrains, where the nutritious germ and bran layers are removed to make the white flour used in white bread.
- So how to make these better? On strategy I use is to get two sandwiches and take the filling out of one and place in the other, so at least you are bumping up the vegetable and protein content of the sandwich. Or if you are trying to reduce your intake of white bread and refined carbohydrates then try just eating one half of the bread – just get rid of the top layer!
- You may remember I previously mentioned a Vegetable Curry I experienced in the lounge which wasn’t great – well this is it. Now the name Vegetable Curry may sound healthy, and on many occasions they can be, but not this one. The problem was there didn’t seem to be any vegetables in there at all – it was mainly sauce. Mine had a couple of spinach leaves and cubes of pumpkin/carrot and that was about it. The sauce was quite heavy and creamy, and served with white rice, so again not much in terms of nutrition (that I could tell) and could have been quite high in caloires/kilojoules. With the new reduced covid menu, there is only 1 hot dish option (other than soup) and so if you end up with a dish like this as the hot option, then eating well may be more of a challenge when travelling.
- Ok so only half this picture belongs here but there was a line behind me when I took it and I didn’t want to crowd the bar area due to Covid restrictions. But I think you can already guess what I am going to say here! There are three type of lollies on offer as snacks (there are Liquorice Allsorts hiding behind the Jaffas). Try to steer clear of these, or if you choose to have them only have 1 small serve , and not every time you fly. There are also at least 1-2 dessert slices on offer too, which you can see in the menus below, however I did not get any pictures of them.
Last word from travel nutrition review of Qantas Business Lounge Melbourne Domestic for lunch/dinner!
Ok, so not too bad Qantas however if you take away the snack plates, then the review result would be very different.
I look forward to the next phase of this lounge as more and more people start flying domestically. And if you would like to see what I thought of the lounge pre-covid, don’t forget to have a look at my previous review.
Here are the menus I reviewed:
And don’t forget if you would like me to do a specific nutrition lounge review then just let me know!
NOTE: All pictures are my own and I review a lounge from just the foods I see during my visit. There may be different options available at other times.