One area that I was not sure about onboard was the food, the photos I found before booking looked great, but you never really know until you try. The food is definitely one of the reasons why I am going to do another couple of the Cruises to Nowhere…
Hope you don’t get too hungry reading this post.
On the second night we had a booking at the Chops Grille, the steakhouse on board. This was probably the most underwhelming meal of the trip, though not due to the service, it was great. The steak left a bit to be desired.
Not a bad start, I had the beef carpaccio, though I would have liked a bit more parmesan…. The other starter was Tuna Tartare.
As the 16 ounce ribeye on the bone was a bit larger than I was looking for two of us decided to split the steak. Unfortunately the rules onboard don’t allow for that in the kitchen so our waiter “halved” the steak at our table.
This sort of steak would probably been better if served sliced, especially if it is being shared. Lacked a bit of flavour from my perspective, needed more seasoning, though still a good quality piece of meat.
We finished of dinner with Apple Pie Ala Mode and Cheesecake, both of these were enjoyable, nice finish to the night.
With this meal we had a great bottle of 2010 Cheval des Andes, gave this a 4 out 5. It was not a bad price, especially when our 20% discount was taken off the top.
With the Unlimited Dining Package you get 20% discounts on wines over USD100, 40% discounts on wines under USD100
For breakfast on my second day at sea I decided to try the Solarium Bistro. This is bistro serves “healthier” options, so of course I went with bacon and pork sausages… served with an omelette with a little chili.
Was not a bad spot for breakfast, only issue was that the coffee they serve comes in huge urns American Style, so skipped that.
For lunch on day 2 we headed back to Jamie’s Italian. I had the Calabrian Chicken
“Fiery free-range chicken breast from White Oak Pastures farm, in a tomato, black olive and caper sauce with arugula, Parmesan @ your choice of side”
I enjoyed this, nice bit of spice…
The Chef’s Table
The Chef’s Table is a private dining room in the aft section of the Chops Grille. This room could probably handle 12 guests fairly comfortably, though we were the only guests on night 3.
The menu for the evening is a “tasting” menu of dishes selected by the Chef, though the serving sizes were a lot larger than the usual tasting portions I am used to. Paired wines are included as a part of the Chef’s Table package.
Course 1 – Scallop Carpaccio
First up was the Scallop Carpaccio with yuzu vinaigrette and crispy quinoa.
The wine paired with this course was a 2018 Pinot Grigio from Bottega Italy, which was ok, a 3 out 5.
Course Two – Smoked Tomato Soup
Next up was the soup, Smoked Tomato Soup with garlic focaccia croutons and parmesan. I quite liked this.
Not sure about the wine paring though, a 2016 Conundrum Chardonnay, Sauvignon Balnc, Semillon from the Napa Valley, also 3 out of 5. Would have gone with a light red, possibly a rosé made with Grenache.
Course Three – Maine Lobster Salad
The Maine Lobster Salad came with hearts of palm, pineapple, cilantro and vanilla dressing. Great presentation. Not sure about the pineapple…
A 2016 Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand was paired with this dish. Another ok wine, 3 out of 5
Course Four – Roasted Branzino
The Roasted Branzino was served with grilled zucchini, peppers, lemon confit and pesto. I did enjoy this, especially as it was baked…
As you can see with all of the serves they are quite large, so don’t eat up before dining at the Chef’s Table.
For the wine the pairing was a 2015 Domaine William Févre Chablis Premier Cru Chardonnay from Burgundy. A bit better, 3.5 out 5.
Course Five – Grilled Filet Mignon
The menu had Grilled Filet Mignon with truffle potato purée, asparagus and bordelaise sauce listed, but we were lucky to get a lobster added to ours. Great dish, but way too much food… I did enjoy it though.
A 2016 Robert Mindavi Maestro Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley was paired with this. This was probably the best pairing for the night, 3.5 out 5.
Dessert – The World
This was nicely presented and, whilst the chocolate dome / orb with a hidden centre is a bit common place, I still enjoy waiting for the hot chocolate sauce to do its magic. And it tasted as good as it looked.
The pairing with the dessert was a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini, it was that good I had to have two of them 😂
Taste of Royal
On our last day at sea we attended the “Taste of Royal” lunch. The idea behind this is that various signature dishes from around the Royal Caribbean Fleet are served. This is definitely worth attending.
First Couse – Wonderland
This is a dish from served in the Wonderland Restaurants. Citrus Seas Tuna Tartare – Fresh spicy tuna. wasabi tobiko, yuzu mayonnaise, phyllo Parmesan crackers. I enjoyed this, not enough spice for me, but then again that is not unusual.
Second Course – Giovanni’s Table
The second dish is served in Giovanni’s Table restaurants, the Quantum does not have one of these onboard. Mascarpone Cheese Risotto with Crab Meat – Carnaroli rice, crab meat, lemon, mascarpone, peas and aged Parmesan. Another great dish…
Third Course – Chops Grille
The steak course was from the Chops Grille. Fillet Mignon and Spicy Jumbo Shrimp – Grilled asparagus (I am not a fan, so had them skip that for me), mashed potatoes, red pepper flakes and cream garlic butter. Not bad, but was not as good as the first two dishes in my humble opinion
Fourth Course – 150 Central Park
This was another dish from a restaurant that is not on Quantum, 150 Central Park. Fried Cheesecake – Nuttella, whipped cream and caramelized popcorn. Very nice…
As the option to pair wines with the Taste of Royal was not available we picked a couple of wines ourselves.
To start with we had a 2015 La Crema Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, very nice 4 out 5. Followed by a 2015 Viña Errázuriz Don Maximiano Founders Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Aconcagua Valley Chile. Enjoyable, 3.5 out 5
Overall the food and service in the restaurants onboard was of a high quality, though I did not try the main dining room nor a few of the other restaurants onboard, there is always the next cruise.
The only “disappointment”, and would not have been so if the rest of the meals had not been so good, was the first meal in Chops Grille.
The biggest surprise was how good Jamie’s Italian is. Would definitely be dining there again on my next cruise.
Meal of the trip was probably the Taste of Royal, though difficult to split the Chef’s Table and Taste of Royal.
6 thoughts on “Cruise to Nowhere – The Food (and a bit of Wine)”
Happy New Year, I am jealous!
Happy New Year’s Mary.. Only 11 days until my next cruise…
Food sounds great. Paired wines sound a bit strange, and I think you were really generous with Conundrum rating 🙂 Cheers, my friend.
The food was great. Agree about the paired wines. By the time we got to the Conundrum it was late in the day, so we had had a few drinks by them, might have helped the wine…. Cheers
Just checking – what kind of prices are we looking at for the wine? By chance do you have any photos of the wine list? Ta!
The prices were not “bad”, the Cheval Dos Andes was around USD140 per bottle which is quite close the regional retail price for the same wine. A bottle of Veuve non-vintage was USD96 per bottle. If you have one of a drinks package or the unlimited dining package you get a discount of 40% on wines that cost less than USD100 per bottle and 20% on wines that cost more than USD100 per bottle.
I did buy an 2016 Alion for cheaper (with the discount) than retail in Singapore.
Will try to remember to take a photo of the list the next time I am on board.