Out of the hundreds of recipes Qantas creates every year, there is one dish that is the most wanted – and it may not be what you think.
If you were to take a stab at guessing the most popular Qantas dish – out of the hundreds it creates yearly – what would it be?
It may not be everyone’s first guess, but it is in fact a soup.
But this is not just any soup, it’s a zucchini and basil soup created by renowned chef Neil Perry – so you know it’s going to be full of flavour.
The Aussie restaurateur, who also happens to be the man behind curating Qantas’ menus, told news.com.au the demand for the dish has always been very high.
“We’ve probably had more people writing for the recipe of that beautiful simple soup than any other dish,” Perry said.
And he would be correct. Over the years, travel bloggers have raved about the dish, describing it as the “best” plane food.
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“Best soup I’ve had on a plane and the bread was so nice, tasted just like American Boudin Sourdough,” an Aussie traveller wrote in an Instagram post.
“Good work Qantas!”
Another blogger wrote alongside a snap of the dish that “plane food ain’t so bad when you get @pepesaya butter feat. Italian zucchini soup with shaved parmesan #qantasfood”.
‘Not quite Nigella’ said the soup has a great flavour and a little texture, “although it could be a bit hotter”.
“The croutons were plentiful, a bit too plentiful and weren’t very crisp so they ended up getting wet quite quickly,” the food blogger said in a review.
“It’s served with a green leaf salad and a fantastic merlot vinaigrette. Sourdough and rye bread was offered but I wasn’t hungry enough to try them.”
Perry, who owns restaurants including Rockpool Bar & Grill and Margaret, also revealed Qantas boss Alan Joyce’s favourite meal.
“[It’s] an old Rockpool dish that we bring back probably every two or three years from popular demand,” Perry said.
“It’s a beautiful fish poached in coconut milk with garam masala, like a very light light Indian curry almost.
“So that’s been incredibly popular.”
Another favourite is a Jiangxi-style fish that was brought in from his modern Chinese-inspired Spice Temple restaurant almost 15 years ago.
“It’s a wonderful little bit of salted chilli – so it’s a little bit spicy, but has this beautiful, sweet sesame dressing and we steam it in the cabbage leaf and then it’s served with rice.
“And that’s a really fantastic dish.”
Perry is the airline’s creative director of food, beverage and service and said they create roughly 750 in-flight recipes a year.
“So you extrapolate that over 25 years and there’s quite a bank of recipes that we’ve got going.”
He also often shares a lot of the recipes saying it is a “good sign” that people are enjoying the food.
Qantas recently added an Italian twist to its on-board menu for the flights between Australia and Italy.
On the flight from Perth to Rome, those lucky enough to be sitting up the pointy end of the plane can have dishes including the one and only zucchini and basil soup with parmesan crouton, a spaghettini with prawns, garlic and chilli dish, and a tiramisu for dessert.
On the way back to Australia from Rome, the menu highlights include bucatini all’ amatriciana, grilled fish with peperonata, pine nuts and basil, and mozzarella bufala, finocchiona salumi, anchovy and artichokes.
Those in economy can look forward to braised Wagyu beef with broccoli, carrots and soft polenta and a rosemary, garlic, sea salt and olive oil focaccia.