Finally I got the chance to visit the Qantas First Class Lounge in Melbourne. Although I had already visited the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney on several occasions this was the very visit to the Melbourne equivalent, and I was rather excited. One of the most anticipated lounge visits in a long time.
As for the design the Melbourne first class lounge in very similar to the one in the international terminal in Sydney. They both have the same furniture, the same colour scheme, the same concepts. But the Sydney lounge is significantly larger and has a semi-circular shape.
The Sydney lounge is generally the most discussed but generally I found the Melbourne one more inviting. It is more compact and intimate and with fewer international flights (and fewer flights with a first class cabin) it gets fewer guests.
I arrived in the lounge in the late morning with two hours to spare until my flight to Hong Kong. It turned out there was just one other passenger in the lounge, so we were two in total, being served by six members of staff.
I had a seat in one of the sofas and was immediately approached by a friendly waitress who welcomed me to the lounge and asked me if I wanted something to drink. There were three different champagnes to choose between – Perrier, Taittinger and the G.H. Mumm Rosé.
She arranged with a glass of Taittinger and then handed me the menu and asked me to have a look and told me she would be back in a few minutes to take my order.
There were several all-day dining options on the menu including starters, main courses and desserts but also some side dishes and some typical bar food such as club sandwiches and a cheese burger.
The drink list was also very extensive, including cocktails, an extensive wine list, beer and champagne.
Eventually she returned, took my order and then assisted me moving my belongings to an empty table in the restaurant. A great aspect of the dining area is that many of the tables have a fantastic view of the apron and the runways. Easily one of the best views at the airport.
I had a top-up of the champagne and then the starter arrived, the salt and pepper squid with green chilli dipping sauce and aioli. A signature dish in the lounge.
For the main course I chose the Neil perry braised beef with Guinness and to drink a glass of Mount Pleasant Home Paddock Shiraz.
Finally for dessert I had the pavlova with strawberries and passionfruit, which seems to be a signature dessert in the Qantas first class lounges. I also had a double espresso to drink.
Very happy with the food and the drinks and not to forget the nice wine selection, but I do miss some premium spirits in the lounge. But what really stood out was the service, which was nothing but excellent. Absolutely nothing whatsoever to comment about, but on the other hand there were not many guests to take care of. The staff come from Sofitel in Melbourne, where I stayed last night, and they are also responsible for the catering.