Favourite Four: Dining With A Difference
Food. We aren’t saying it is the be all and end all, but you can’t have a really great holiday without plenty of it. Cruise ships offer more dining options than ever, but if you’re looking for dinner with a difference during your time on board, give one of these a go.
Wonderland – Royal Caribbean
‘From the depths of the imagination comes a feast for the senses’ says Royal Caribbean International about unconventional eatery Wonderland.
Disappear down the rabbit hole on an Alice in Wonderland inspired foodie adventure that blurs the line between what is real and what is imagined, creating one of the most unique dining experiences at sea. Wonderland’s menu takes you on an eccentric journey through ‘themes’ rather than courses, separating dishes into elements: Sun, Ice, Fire, Water, Earth and finally the desserts, Dreams.
Merging molecular gastronomy and cocktails by a former mixologist for The Bellagio in Las Vegas, the menu has to be seen to be believed. Dishes include Baby Vegetables in the Garden (complete with soil and pebbles) and Liquid Lobster with bone marrow and caviar. Finish with a Cotton Candytini; a glass of candy floss which melts away when you pour over the alcoholic component.
Sample it on: Anthem, Harmony, Ovation and Quantum of the Seas.
Qsine – Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises describes Qsine as ‘uniquely unordinary’ and the popular speciality restaurant certainly breaks from the norm. From orders placed on an iPad to a dessert list on a puzzle cube, Qsine delivers unexpected twists galore. A wildly creative menu thought up by Celebrity Cruises Master Chef James Beard features the likes of Disco Shrimp, Sushi Lollipops and Chintini’s (that’s Chinese Martini’s, obviously…).
We’d hate to ruin the surprise but for an idea of what to expect, imagine familiar ingredients dished up in a way never seen before; ‘Painter’s Mignon’ takes a filet mignon and serves it on an artist’s palette with a side of paint pots, whilst ‘The Cupcake Affair’ features an ice-your-own cupcake and enough sprinkles to sink a ship, if you will. Playing with your food has never been so encouraged.
Sample it on: Celebrity Eclipse, Reflection, Silhouette, Infinity, Millennium, Summit and Constellation.
Moderno Churrascaria – Norwegian Cruise Line
The meat just keeps on coming at Moderno Churrascaria, Norwegian Cruise Line’s authentic Brazilian steakhouse and something of a hidden gem on Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships. Start by loading up your plate with artisan cheeses, cured meats, ceviche and a seemingly endless selection of salads, before moving on to skewers laden with slow-roasted beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Pasadores keep serving you until the meat sweats call time on your feast, at which time you can turn your card to red, stopping them circling again and avoiding the ‘eyes bigger than your belly’ situation we so often find ourselves in.
When it comes to washing it all down, it has to be a Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.
Sample it on: All ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, with the exception of Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Spirit.
Silk Road and The Sushi Bar – Crystal Cruises
Nobu is a veritable magnet for the rich and famous, with Madonna once quoted as saying ‘You can tell how much fun a city is going to be, based on whether Nobu has a restaurant in it’.
Nobuyuki Matsuhisa partnered with legendary actor Robert de Niro to launch the very first Nobu in New York’s hip Tribeca neighbourhood in 1993, and the rest is history. The critically acclaimed restaurant now has 32 branches around the world, including LA, Milan, London, Tokyo, Dubai and Hong Kong, to name but a few. In 2003, Crystal Cruises brought Nobu’s inimitable Japanese-Peruvian cuisine to the seas on board Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, with the opening of Silk Road and The Sushi Bar.
Alongside Nobu signatures like black cod with miso, lobster with truffle-yuzu sauce, and grilled wagyu beef rib eye steak, the menu also features dishes created exclusively for the Crystal Cruises restaurants.
Sample it on: Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.