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Kale and quinoa. Has Qantas gone hipster?


As palates have become more discerning amid the hipster movement and the “MasterChef effect”, so too has the Qantas philosophy behind feeding travellers.

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While the carrier has stopped short of offering a fully hipstered-up menu of “free-range water” and “slightly aroused kimchi and kale tacos” foraged from an on-board food truck, the days of “meat and three veg” have gone in favour of ingredients that would have before defied airline food expectations.

Passengers flying domestic business class will now see dishes such as seafood bouillabaisse or fish of the day, sourced from local fishmongers in the port from which the plane departs.

New breakfast dishes include huevos rancheros (Mexican-style eggs) with spicy tomato red capsicum ragout on soft tortilla; and Brookfarm macadamia nut toasted muesli with apricots.

There are also hipster offerings: the lunch menu includes a pulled-pork burger with pickled cucumber, sriracha and coriander slaw on brioche bun.

Qantas head of national product and service delivery Helen Gray says as people have become more adventurous, so too has the menu. “We call it the MasterChef effect,” Gray said.

Demand for salads has also soared: kale and quinoa star in dishes in business class and economy.

The carrier is also supporting local artisan businesses, serving hand-rolled butter from Pepe Saya, and a chocolate mousse with sour cherry compote and white chocolate shavings from Madhouse Bakery in Sydney, made to a recipe from celebrity chef Neil Perry’s Rockpool restaurant.

The steamed white fish of the day with mustard greens, gai lan and fragrant rice served with a Jiang Xi chili sauce, is another signature of a Perry’s Spice Temple restaurant.

“Neil’s got a very specific philosophy on that and he believes what tastes good on the ground tastes good in the air,” Gray said.


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