Neil Perry and Launch of Qantas Restaurants at Rosetta
Rosetta was the restaurant of choice for the launch of Qantas new restaurants program, which gives customers the advantage of extra points and convenience when they dine in the extensive list of Qantas Restaurants. Check out our Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne.
The World Loves Melbourne was invited to the launch (humble me with some 10 luminaries from the industry) and enjoyed three hours of hospitality and fine Italian cuisine at Rosetta after being greeted by Neil Perry. Being a Frequent Flyer myself I'm keen to explore opportunities to increase my points and so was interested to learn of the Qantas Restaurants program.
Qantas has expanded its frequent flyer points program to the restaurant sector, with customers who frequent popular restaurants (such as all of Neil Perry's restaurants as he explained) able to pick up points alongside their bookings.
Under the deal, Qantas frequent flyers will receive 100 points per person for each booking. Reservations can be made online and confirmed instantly with no booking fee. Patrons with credit cards that earn Qantas frequent flyer points could also earn additional points based on the size of the bill.
Neil Perry spoke to us about his successful 17 year association with Qantas. This was another avenue of the partnership with Qantas moving further into the restaurant sector. After all, Frequent Flyer customers are typically those who dine at popular restaurants - so this is a perfect match.
According to Qantas Loyalty chief executive Lesley Grant, “Our research has shown us that the majority of our members have great enthusiasm for dining on a regular basis and do so both personally and professionally. Previously, we had a modest earn opportunity with a select number of restaurants but the launch of the new Qantas Restaurants provides a more comprehensive list of restaurants to dine and earn points at.”
The partnership with the Dimmi.com.au Booking Network should help further boost the value of the airline’s frequent flyer business, which is being considered for a float as part of a strategic review.
Dimmi chief executive Steve Premutico said the partnership would allow customers to make dining plans with confidence and earn Qantas points at the same time.
Which brings me to this point - booking online is the way to go in this day and age. In the past phoning the restaurant was the modus operandi to get your booking but, let's face it, restaurants can be "engaged" or not open, for example when you call. In America its the custom to book online. Visiting the Qantas Restaurants site and making your booking is a convenient hassle free rewarding experience.
Rosetta is a great example of what customers can expect from the Qantas Restaurants program. The event was held in a private area of the restaurant but I could see a mostly packed restaurant on a Friday lunchtime, and was hoping these diners were taking advntage of some extra Frequent Flyer points.
We enjoyed a selection of Antipasti that captured the best of Italy. The Prosciutto Fratelli Galloni with nectarine and hazelnuts was delightful - the prosciutto being a top grade prosciutto with superior air drying processes. And the advent of seasonality with nectarine, especially on a scorching Melbourne day, was welcome. The hazelnuts brought a pleasing crunch to the equation.
House made ricotta (above) with wood roasted tomatoes struck me as Italian comfort food with finesse.
Yellowfin tuna with roast tomatoes, garlic and lemon was a highlight of the Antipasti. The Yellowfin tuna was prepared crudo or ceviche style, with a dressing of oil and lemon in the Italian way. The small elements of tomatoes and garlic complemented perfectly, and I abandoned myself to garlic flavours knowing I would be returning to my office in Docklands in due course, but not planning to meet clients.
Also pleasing was this Fried squid and zucchini, with Rosetta revelling in the fact zucchini's are fresh and in season right now. The combination of fresh squid and seasonal zucchini was irresistable. As we dined, we were asked to go around the room and introduce ourselves. The group included Janne Apelgren Editor of The Age Good Food Guide and Epicure Editor, Nick Shelton the Publisher and Founder of Broadsheet Media, Matteo Pignatelli industry icon from acclaimed Matteo's Restaurant, Dave Schiene from Yelp, Frank Wilden Restaurant Consultant, Michael Nocella and Mark Moran from Dimmi, and delightful Qantas senior management Stephanie Tully and Amanda Bolger.
And then when firmly entrenched in the Italian comfort food zone, I received a large beautifully cooked meatball from the waiter. It felt like an embrace from my Nonna, such was the comfort factor. Meat balls baked in tomato sauce was a voluptuous and great completion of our Antipasta.
Rosetta delivered with the Primi Di Pasta, namely the Spaghetti with zucchini, chilli and prosciutto. I was excited to see prosciutto make a return to the table, and this dish was again rustic and indulgent with more hugs by Nonna. Perfectly cooked spaghetti combined wonderfully with the prosciutto and the seasonal fresh zucchini. I could devour loads of this...
Gazing out the large windows at Rosetta I started to daydream about my Frequent Flyer points climbing as I continue to wine and dine around Australia. With the hope of enough points to enable a visit to culinary Spain or Italy... Ahhh yes!
Sitting next to me was a delightful Qantas flight attendant (oops didn't get her name), who also worked as part of the Frequent Flyer promotional team. I told her I've been a Frequent Flyer for years, usually Silver, and never quite achieving Gold. But I've loved the Frequent Flyer program, worth about 3 billion dollars to Qantas, in enabling me to travel even more expansively - having visited around 40 countries.
Rosetta kept up the high standard in the Secondi with this Wood fire roasted chicken with panzanella salad. The Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes is a perfect summer salad. The chicken was juicy and brimming with wood oven flavour.
The Charcoal grilled King George Whiting served with braised zucchini, garlic and basil was compelling. Rosetta kept to its theme of honouring the key ingredient, in this case the whiting, by not overcomplicating. The theme of fresh zucchini as an accompaniment was also pleasing.
A cheery salad and crunchy hand cut chips added to the satisfaction.
Rosetta then surprised with its Petit Fours of Canoli di Ricotta and Pesche con Crema di Ricotta. The canoli had us reeling with its citrus flavours being outstanding. The doughnut was also top notch with an explosion of ricotta and fine dough. With a macchiato it was the perfect way to round off our lunch.
About Dimmi -
Australia’s leading real-time restaurant reservation and review website, Dimmi partners with more than 2,000 restaurants nationwide and over 35 online booking partners to provide instant confirmed bookings and qualified dining reviews. Founded in 2009, it has seated more than five million Australian diners at restaurants ranging from hatted fine dining establishments to more casual suburban eateries. Check it out at Dimmi or Sydney restaurants, Melbourne restaurants, Brisbane restaurants and other restaurants here.
About Qantas Frequent Flyer –
The Qantas Frequent Flyer program was launched in 1987 and is on track to reach 10 million members this financial year. The program has thousands of ways to earn points across hundreds of partners including flying, banking, telecommunications and retail. Members can use points with over 30 partner airlines to more than 1,000 flight destinations and over 3,500 products in the Qantas Store. Over 5.6 million Awards were redeemed by members in FY2012-2013.