Qantas has a new Q-Eat programme available for pre-selection for international flights departing from Australia. I wasn’t quite curious enough, but Richard took up the online exclusive offer when I pointed out to him that there’s duck! On a flight! Economy class! This was available on our 9-ish-hour QF117 international flight from Sydney to Hong Kong.
QF117 Qantas Q-Eat: Duck option
QF117 Qantas garlic bread
QF117 Qantas Rhubarb and apple trifle
QF117 Qantas special meal Fruit Platter
QF117 Qantas snack Weis ice cream bar
QF117 Qantas flight dinner: Beef, spinach and cheese gozleme
QF117 Qantas flight dinner: Beef, spinach and cheese gozleme
QF117 Qantas flight menu
QF117 Qantas Q-Eat online pre-selections
Lunch order: Duck a l’Orange brussel sprouts and creamy mash potatoes (online exclusive) – “Classic French dish in which duck breast is roasted and served with orange sauce, consisting of herbs, vegetables, orange zest and juice. The duck is then accompanied with brussel sprouts and creamy mash potatoes.”
That description. So fancy.
It arrived like this:
So it sounded a little fancier than it looked…
Over here, I stuck to my very safe, reliable and/or boring fruit platter. (Mostly boring.)
“Later in the flight” snack for all: Weis ice cream bar (as usual).
“Prior to arrival” meal is a Beef, spinach and cheese gozleme.
QF121, Qantas short-haul international flight from Sydney to Queenstown, economy class. The flight was just over 2 hours, but I could still order the special meal fruit platter.
QF121 Qantas Fruit Platter
QF121 Qantas Main Meal: Smoky barbecue beef with veggies
QF121 Qantas Weis ice cream bar
QF121 Qantas Lindt chocolate truffles
QF121 Qantas Boeing 737-800 USB Port
QF121 Qantas view out the window
Fruit platter: main platter in bigger chunks than usual with skin and rind; side bag contained small Red Delicious apple, small banana, dried cranberries (donated to Richard), soy milk (discarded/returned).
Meanwhile, the rest of them had a good 3 options, which I was quite impressed with:
Smoky barbecue beef with veggies
Roast chicken salad with couscous
Barramundi curry with rice
There was a minor beef sauce spillover incident. (The barramundi would have been my choice if I hadn’t ordered the fruit platter.)
After the main meal, there’s Weis ice-cream bar:
… as well as Lindt chocolate truffles.
USB charger port available on the front of each economy seat of the Boeing 737-800.
On our new quest to try every restaurant at Miranda Fair, we stopped at Mejico Miranda for dinner tonight, which I was feeling a little ambivalent about. On one hand, I’m not a huge fan of eating with my hands in public; on the other soon to be dirty hand, we do love our spicy food and Richard always liked Mexican.
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Scallop Ceviche
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Tuna Tostadas
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Jalapeno Poppers
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Tacos
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Chicken Tacos
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Pork Tacos
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Lamb Adobo
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Our Table
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Our Bill
The place was quite full on this Friday night, but we managed to grab an outdoor table without booking. The waitress explained the “Feed Me” banquet as she handed the paper menu to us. For either $55 per average person, or $80 for someone really hungry, the table would get this, and this, and this, and that… a whole heap of dishes, as she recited the actual menu. I was thoroughly impressed with her excellent memory, but for someone not already familiar with the food options, we just couldn’t follow and would do much better with a printed version of it. We settled on the fact that the banquet was “basically a little bit of everything”, and even though I’m always really hungry (as we all know), I wasn’t interested in the desserts and we opted to order our own dishes.
Scallop ceviche on house-baked tostadas ($16) and tuna ceviche on hand-cut tortilla chips ($16). These bite-size gems were super fresh with the right herbs to give their own distinct flavour, and a nice contrasting crunch from the toasted tortilla chips. I preferred the scallop ceviche and Richard the tuna, but both were very good.
With the maximum 3 chilli icons on the menu and how much I love hot food, I was really, really looking forward to the feta-stuffed jalapeno poppers, served with chipotle mayo ($14). The small plate dish unfortunately received what Richard dubbed the “Shire treatment”. Crunchy, greasy, cheesy – yes, but the jalapeno peppers were very carefully scraped clean of any seeds, resulting in zero detectable heat. Zero, my friend. They should know not to deceive Vickie with 3 chilli icons!
(By now Vickie should also know better than to expect many foods in Sydney to live up to 3 chilli icons, which often only just set her up for disappointment.)
Back to eating with hands, our tacos arrived. The achiote chicken taco ($12) came with chorizo, cucumber, cumin and chives just to keep up with the alliteration, and maybe also taste; whereas the slow-braised lean pork taco ($12) had chilli caramel salsa and aioli with extra pork scratchings. I liked that they weren’t modern cheese-covered abominations, but the soft shell tortilla tasted overpoweringly floury to me; to Richard the tacos just lacked a certain kick.
The only main we ordered was the lamb adobo with house-made chimichurri ($29). The rare lamb was super tender and fatty on the sides, and I thought it was nice enough with the adobo and didn’t need the accompanying oily and subtle-tasting chimichurri. Not the biggest of main in volume, but definitely good enough to be a winter night dish if you didn’t skip the green sauce and trim off the fat like I did.
Looking back at the menu, I discovered a few of the dishes we ordered that weren’t spicy at all were actually given 1 chilli icon. I also don’t know if we would get better value from the banquet menu or if it’s just designed for the less picky. Overall, apart from the “Shire treatment”, I was quite happy with the meal and service. Eating with my hands might not be so bad after all?
Westfield Miranda level 2 Shop 2202, 600 Kingsway, Miranda NSW 2228, Australia
Speciality / Cuisine
Entree (ceviche, Small Plates, tacos): $12-16 Main (Bigger Plates): $24-32 Dessert: $10-12 Set Menu (Feed Me): $55 per person (classic) / $80 (deluxe)
Our company had a table at the Cancer Institute NSW’s 2015 Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research (“Cancer NSW Awards”) dinner held at the Doltone House, Hyde Park tonight. We dolled ourselves up after work (which for me really just meant I slipped on a dress), brought our partners along, and gradually regrouped at the function where excellence and innovation in cancer research was celebrated. We all know, however, that there was only one thing I was really after tonight: the food (sorry, you genuinely excellent and innovative cancer research people).
Doltone House Hyde Park, August 2015: Table
Doltone House Hyde Park, August 2015: Table
Doltone House Hyde Park, August 2015: Bread
Doltone House Hyde Park, August 2015: Prawn Cocktail (entree)
Park, August 2015: Lamb Back Strap (entree)
Park, August 2015: Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks (main)
Park, August 2015: Chicken Breast Wrapped in Prosciutto (main)
Park, August 2015: Belgium Chocolate Fondant (dessert)
Park, August 2015: Passionfruit Cheese Cake (dessert)
Doltone House Hyde Park, August 2015: Awards Night Menu
Before the awards night officially began, cocktail canapes were served around the dimly lit ballroom where professionals professionally mingled. Tonight, the canapes menu was rather Asian-inspired, with items such as the very soft and sweet mini barbecue pork buns, prawn dumplings with soy sauce that was too salty, and my favourite bite-sized smoked salmon cream cheese pikelets. No pictures of the canapes; we had also unfortunately and inadvertently formed a closed circle that didn’t invite many canapes waiters.
There were many famous faces, including the witty and hilarious master of ceremonies Adam Spencer, whom I admittedly hadn’t heard of because I live under a rock, and other big names from the health field. We helped ourselves to the soft crusty bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip on the table. After the first couple of awards, entrees were served. The awards presentation was viewable from pretty much all angles because it was cast on the many large wall-mounted TV screens.
The great thing about bringing and sitting next to a partner to events like this? The opportunity to choose my dish! We worked out early on who would get which plate from the menu. For the entrees it was an easy decision. Richard got the prawn cocktail because he loves prawn, and I’m certainly not going to complain about my perfectly cooked, flavoursome herb-rolled lamb back strap.
For the main, I picked the chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto served with polenta, while Richard had the other, the slow cooked beef cheeks with creamed potatoes.
The only thing I remembered about my chicken breast in prosciutto was how ridiculously salty the accompanying polenta was. I finished the meat and the buttered spinach, but just couldn’t take another bite of the cornmeal.
Richard’s slow-cooked beef cheeks was definitely the far better choice. It’s succulent and tender and oh my god Richard you have a slow cooker at home we have to start using it and attempt to reproduce this dish, right now!
Professional manners, professional manners…
The night was overrunning a little by this stage, but there’s dessert to make up for it. They were the passionfruit cheesecake, or the Belgium chocolate fondant.
Another wrong decision on my part for picking the passionfruit cheesecake with berry jam and meringue. Underneath the adorably round cheesecake was a delicately presented meringue that I’ve never been a huge fan of (my fault), which was sickly sweet (not my fault) and despite being crispy, was quite hard to eat without it attempting to fly off in the opposite direction (not sure if my fault). I saw several from other tables leave their meringue on their plate.
The chocolate fondant with orange bitter semifreddo, which I got to try because Richard performed his boyfriend duty and let me have a good chunk of it, was once again superior and the word “indulgent” comes to mind. Still too sweet for my liking, but that’s most definitely just me.
Overall, the award dinner’s serving size was very decent compared to other functions I’ve attended, but I found the food to be generally over-seasoned. But of course the awards night was all about the achievements of the various experts in the field. Congratulations to all the awards winners and nominees for all their accomplishments and contribution to the community!