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Cruise Dinner: Day 3

October 8, 2013

After having had an “Italian” lunch today by dining at Verdi’s, the ship’s very own pizza joint, my husband and I both stepped a bit out of the box tonight with our dinner choices.  I think we were both surprised at the other’s dinner selection.

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Before we get to dinner, we’ve got choices to make for our dinner starters!  Yes, I know, we could just go straight for the entrée and skip the appetizers or the soups and the salads, but what fun would that be?

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For my appetizer, I chose the chilled pineapple, honey roasted pistachios and mascarpone cream.  Actually, I saw mascarpone and I didn’t need to go any further.  Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts after all, and that prominently features mascarpone, so how could a dessert with mascarpone, pineapple and pistachios be any different?  It was so yummy!  The mascarpone didn’t even really taste like mascarpone, probably because of the addition of the pineapple juice.  But it was so good nonetheless.  I was a little surprised though that the honey roasted pistachios, while they had good flavor, lost all of their crunch!

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My husband had to go with the smoked salmon appetizer.  This from a man who will eat smoked salmon whenever its available.  The appetizer was called smoked wild salmon with condiments and soda bread.  In reality you could have served this smoked salmon with just about anything and my husband still would have ordered it.  Capers, lemon and bread, why yes, thank you.  He could have done without the raw red onion though.

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When it came to the soup selection, my husband and I both chose the same thing, the chilled New Zealand kiwi and stone fruit smoothie.  Interesting that tonight they called it a smoothie, when just a few nights prior, they called this a chilled fruit soup.  Either way, it was tasty and presumably healthy.  Combine a soup and a drink in one and serve as a course at dinner, brilliant idea.

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Here’s where our dinner selections begin to get a bit out of the box and we get a bit adventurous in what we decide to order for dinner.  My husband opted for the vegetarian meal of the night which was fried tofu with miso sauce and Chinese pea pods.  I knew my husband wasn’t adverse to tofu.  In fact, he liked tofu as long as it was prepared the right away.  What I never knew was that he liked it enough that he’d actually order it for dinner off the menu.  That selection shocked me!  It turns out that he actually liked the dish as he’s a huge fan of the Chinese pea pods as well.  I guess you learn something knew every day!

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With my dinner entrée, I also decided to go for something a bit different, but not as far out of the box as fried tofu.  I chose an entrée called Hotate Gai No Kimiyaki.  It was a Japanese scallop dish with broiled scallops with sweet Japanese wine sauce, mushrooms and asparagus.  I had more mixed results than my husband.  I absolutely loved the broiled scallops.  They were perfect delicious and the sweet Japanese wine sauce they were cooked in added a nice flavor.  However, they were broiled with some sort of a creamy/custard sauce on top which I didn’t enjoy.  The flavor combination with the scallops and the texture and consistency were a bit off-putting.  No worries, I rectified that by just removing these creamy/custard tops and just ate the scallop.  Problem solved.

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For dessert, we both went back towards more traditional and standard dessert options we both knew we would like.

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I chose the chocolate – Kahlua opera gateau with coffee crème anglaise.  It was more like a napoleon or multi-layered chocolate hazelnut cake.  It was really moist with the addition of the Kahlua and perfectly delicious.  A little dollop of homemade whipped cream and some coffee crème anglaise complete the dessert.  I had no complains here.  In fact, I probably could have taken a 2nd piece.

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My husband went with the warm soft center chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  When it came out to the table, I thought it might be a bit too much chocolate for him as he’s not the biggest chocolate fan, but he said he liked it.  It wasn’t really a chocolate pudding, but more like a chocolate molten cake with a warm soft center of chocolate.  The combination of hot, rich chocolate and cool vanilla ice cream was a good combination for him.

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In addition to the dessert, my husband also asked for an order of the vodka-lime sorbet.  I’m sure my husband was thinking back to the vodka vanilla bean ice cream he had at NineThirty at the W Westwood.  Being that this was lime sorbet, it was even better as my husband absolutely loves the acidic, tangy sour flavor from limes and lemons.  I assume this sorbet must have been pretty good, because even with the dessert that already had ice cream, he was able to finish this one off quite easily.

We had meals today that took us all around the globe, from Italian at lunch to Japanese for dinner and everything in between.  This was a good first day at sea for us and a really relaxing day on the ship.  We had one more full sea day to look forward to tomorrow before finally arriving in Vietnam the following day.

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