A nod to finer Qantas moments

April 13, 2010 at 10:55 am 7 comments

I spend a lot of time travelling domestically on planes.  A lot.  Which means countless airline meals.  In Australia, there’s not much competition and as far as I’m aware, the only airline to provide meals as part of travel tickets is Qantas.  From time to time I’m delighted by Qantas’ menu choices.  Tonight’s post is a nod to some of the finer fare freely fed to me by Qantas and a tip for you, fellow traveller.

A tip: consider developing dietary requirements

I try not to eat wheat because it irritates my skin.  Qantas knows this because I told them.  (Well, our very clever travel organising person at work told them.  Anyway…) It seems that sometimes it’s good to have special dietary requirements.  Why?

1. My meals are delivered first.  Before the hosties make their way down the strip lit aisle with their cart, I’m always, without fail, delivered my meal.

2. Generally, my meals are fresh and interesting.  Since flour is a cheap and easy thickening device or provides a filling base (e.g. pasta), it’s included in a lot (read: MOST) airline meals.  When catering to the gluten free amongst us, the airline is led to think creatively about menu choices.  It shows.  (I cast shifty glances over my fellow passengers’ meals for the sake of comparison.)  Invariably, the ingredients in my meals look fresher.

3. Since my meal arrives first, I’m usually finished by the time the cart arrives to serve my fellow passengers.  At that point, the hostie will take my tray, offer me another wine and I’m free to use my tray table to work (or ehm.. whatever I like really.)

The catch?  If you do call yourself a coeliac (but you’re not), and find yourself sucked in by the bolognese in business class (ahem.. first hand experience) consider how it might look.

The fruit platter – a breakfast phenomenon

Of all my free domestic airline meals, my favourite is breakfast.  Were I a gluten eater, I’d probably love having the warmed cheese and bacon sticks (or whatever those heaven-scented baked items are), but I’m not, so I request a fruit platter.  I must tell you that different local Qantas kitchens prepare varying styles of fruit platter.  My favourite is the Brisbane –> Sydney platter.

I’ve included a big picture of it below that I took to help you believe how awesome the Brisbane –> Sydney fruit platters are.  My apol’s for it was taken on my iphone and the picture quality is bad, but I think you’ll get the idea.

The Qantas Brisbane -> Sydney breakfast fruit platter, with banana, juice and tea

The Qantas Brisbane -> Sydney breakfast fruit platter, with banana, juice and tea

Occasional afternoon awesomeness

When I travel home in the afternoons I’m keen to see what the Qantas afternoon snack lottery might offer.  More and more I cheerfully applaud their clever planning, for gluten and dairy free snacks are appearing with frequency.  One day however, I’d not quite let go of my love of wheat and I was presented with this:

Qantas cupcake - a terrific surprise!

Qantas cupcake - a terrific surprise!

By the time I took the photo, this cute cupcake was a bit battered.  Sadly, before the plane took off, I’d not turned my phone onto airplane mode.  Despite my constant flying, I don’t love it, so anything with the potential to upset steering of the craft (eg. phone interferance) I avoid.  Mr L thinks I’m paranoid and I probably am, but back to the story…

I desperately wanted to take a photo and didn’t have my camera, so my phone (again, sorry about the poor quality shot) was my only option.  I sat there with the cupcake on my tray table.  Then I balanced it precariously on top of some cookies I’d bought at Brisbane airport in the hope it would still be pretty when I got to shoot it.

The trip down was bumpy and despite my best efforts, the little cupcake got a touch battered.  I can assure you though, it was perfect before the descent.

I must say, it was very pretty, though too sweet for my liking.  Surely not as tasty, nor gorgeous as those that my friend Julie makes, but it left me impressed nonetheless.

A request – your advice?

Mr L and I are flying through a number of continents in the middle of the year.  We will have a lot more airline food.  We’re yet to book flights within the USA.  Were you to suggest airlines based on memorable food experiences, which would they be?


Entry filed under: australia, Breakfast, Brisbane, Flying, Gluten free, sydney.

Wildes Restaurant + 212 Margaret St, Brisbane Nanna G’s lunchtime fave: Myer Cafe

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Breany  |  April 14, 2010 at 2:57 am

    It’s lunch time, reading this has made me hungry. Think I’ll hit the local iku for some tucker!

    • 2. myfavouritefruits  |  April 14, 2010 at 3:06 am

      Yum Breany, I love Iku! Which one do you visit? The Neutral Bay one does these amazing wraps with roasted veggies, beans and tahini. Good times indeed.

      May your lunch time pilgrimage be fruitful and satisfying! 🙂

  • 3. georgiabrowne  |  April 14, 2010 at 6:17 am

    I fly London to Sydney once a year with Virgin Atlantic and get the gluten-free meal. This time it was really appalling. They served me a yogurt pot for breakfast that had oats in it and was clearly marked contains gluten. I was so angry but they didn’t seem to care. Your fruit platter looks delicious. I might consider flying with Qantas next time, although they are having too many safety scares for my liking!
    I’m glad to see someone else takes photos of their food on the plane 🙂
    Here’s my account of the food on Virgin. http://fooddorks.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/virgin-atlantic-gluten-free-failure/

    • 4. myfavouritefruits  |  April 14, 2010 at 10:23 am

      Hi Georgia – oh how disappointing that Virgin wasn’t more diligent with your meal. 😦 Perhaps their issue was that they felt oats were safe to provide you. Some oats are gluten free, but according to the Coeliac society, since many are grown on crop rotation, they may be compromised. See this link for more info: http://celiac-disease.com/gluten-free-diet-do-you-eat-oats/

      I’ve just read your post and wonder if those preparing for the London -> New York flight is better than the one looking after London -> Sydney? Could be worth a pepsi challenge? In any case, while the prospect of eating your mini pillow gave me a giggle, it’s not enough to keep a girl going on a long haul flight!

      By the way – those Gu chocolate pots look delicious! Have you seen them in Australia, or are they only sold in the UK?

  • 5. Megsy L  |  April 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I can officially attest to how AMAZING all of the products made by GU are!!! They are to die for. Some of them even come in little glass ramekins that you get to keep… score!!!! But unfortunately my favourite fruits lady they do not have any plans to broaden their horizons and hit the Aussie market in the near future. And the reason why I know this is that I asked them!!!! Oh well… better for the waist line anyway!!!

    • 6. myfavouritefruits  |  April 23, 2010 at 11:02 am

      Oooooh – I’m so sad to hear that Megsy L! I will have to look out for them when Mr L and I visit the UK mid year. xx

  • 7. Qantas goodness, part II « My Favourite Fruits  |  April 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

    […] 2010 This (very quick) post is a follow up to the post from a couple of weeks ago named “A nod to finer Qantas moments.”  This afternoon I flew back to Sydney from Brisbane and the afternoon snack was a packet […]


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