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Cruise Dinner: Day 2

October 1, 2013

Well it’s now Day 2 of our 7-day cruise.  We’ve just pulled out of our berth at Ocean Terminal on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong and are leisurely sailing through Victoria Harbour as we make our way south from Hong Kong towards southern Vietnam.  In between, we’ll have 2 full sea days.  Days to rest and relax, sleep in, go to the spa, go to the gym, play Bingo, gamble, participate in an art auction, lounge by the pool, participate in dance classes, eat to our heart’s desire, watch ice carving demonstrations, go on a kitchen tour, and on and on and on.  There’s never a shortage of activities on a cruise ship, especially on sea days when the guests on board have no choice but to be on board!


We’ve discovered that because the cruise ship we’re sailing on just came finished their Japanese cruise schedule right before we boarded, the cruise line anticipated a higher-than-normal Japanese clientele.  Therefore, certain amenities were put in place to make Japanese guests feel more comfortable.  One of those has to do with our nightly dinner menu, which includes on appetizer and one entrée each night which is specifically a Japanese specialty.  This is interesting as it provides for a wider option of food selection then you see on most cruises.


Tonight, my husband opts for escargot for his appetizer.  My husband fell in love with escargot last year when we were on our Scandinavian cruise, and this one of the items he most looked forward to dining on while we were on this cruise.  To my husband, anything baked in garlic-herb butter has to be good.  After all, how could you go wrong with butter?  I’m not in that boat, but if he likes it, well then more power to him.  And believe me, he really liked it.  So much so that we was contemplating ordering a second serving of the escargot.


I chose an appetizer that was just a little bit less exotic.  My appetizer was pear and blue cheese with candied pecans and rice wine dressing.  The combination of the pear and blue cheese was divine.  The tangy blue cheese a great counterpoint to the sweet pear.  The candied pecans added nice texture and that nutty flavor and the rice wine dressing was a bit tangy to compliment the sweetness of the pear.


For the soup course, my husband and I both ordered the classic French onion soup with Gruyère cheese crouton.  I loved the Gruyère cheese crouton.  It was perfectly melty and baked on the top of the soup as it should be.  The soup was wonderful and full-bodied, filled with sweet onions.  And the broth wasn’t too salty as French onion soup can sometimes be.


The entrée I chose was slow roasted beef striploin au poivre served with green peppercorn and brandy sauce, premium fresh vegetables and parisienne potatoes.  The beef was perfectly cooked and the green peppercorn and brandy sauce was flavorful and rich.  For a meat and potatoes kind of girl, such as me, this was the perfect entrée and just the right size too.


My husband opted for the crispy duck a’l’Orange with orange curacao sauce, braised red cabbage and Macaire potatoes.  My husband attacked the duck, and I was surprised he had as much of it as he did because it was two large pieces of duck.  The orange curacao sauce really tied the dish together and brought the duck, potatoes and red cabbage together.  My husband finished the duck, the potatoes and took a few stabs at the red cabbage.  Better than I could have done.


After the meal comes the best part, dessert!  I knew right away what I’d be ordering.271272

I’ve said before that I can’t say no to ice cream and chocolate, right?  Well, I should amend that to say I can’t say no to ice cream, chocolate and soufflés.  A soufflé for dessert is my ultimately dessert dream.  While difficult to make correctly, it’s heavenly to devour.  So, even though I’m not the biggest fan of papaya, as soon as I saw the exotic papaya and banana soufflé with coconut cream sauce on the menu, I had to have it.  The soufflé came out to the table piping hot and a beautiful light orange papaya color dusted with powered sugar.  Once presented at the table, the waiter took a spoon, poked a large hole through the center of the soufflé and poured in the wonderfully delicious, but light, coconut cream sauce.  Wow!  This soufflé was terrific.  Perfectly cooked throughout, it was light and airy and fluffy and had a wonderful undertone of banana flavor and a very mild papaya flavor.  The star was the coconut cream sauce.  What an amazing dessert.


My husband chose the meringue stacked mile-high with Chantilly cream for his dessert.  Served with strawberry sauce and chocolate shavings, he enjoyed it much more than I thought he would, especially since he’s mentioned before that he’s not really a meringue person.  I think that the Chantilly cream filling inside the meringue casing really helped make this dessert flavorful and rich and less meringue-like.  And the acidic and tangy strawberry sauce was a good mix of flavors as well.

What a great way to really start off the cruise.  Our belly’s full, we enjoy the rest of the evening sitting out on our balcony watching the waves lap against the side of the ship as we look forward to 2 full days at sea to just do whatever we want.

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