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Cruise Dinner: Day 7

October 29, 2013

You know what they say about time flying when you’re having fun?  It’s so true.  Especially when you’re on vacation.  When you’re at home in your every day life, sometimes hours, days, weeks just seem to drag on.  But when you’re on vacation, a week passes by in the blink of an eye.  After having spent a week on this cruise journeying from Hong Kong to Vietnam, we’re at the last day of this trip.  Tomorrow, we’ll arrive into Singapore in the pre-dawn hours and disembark shortly thereafter.  Better make the most of this final meal on board the ship while we can.


I was interested to see what we would be treated with tonight for our final meal.  Unfortunately, for me, the menu leaves much to be desired and a lot that I don’t like.


My husband started off his meal by ordering the flaky puff pastry case filled with chicken, mushrooms and sauce supreme.  None for me, thanks.  But my husband liked his puff pastry well enough.  But, sometimes, it’s hard to go wrong with flaky puff pastry, regardless of what the filling is.


I decided to give the chilled cream of pear and ginger soup a try.  I had enjoyed all the other chilled fruit soups I had tried throughout the week.  Luckily, this one wouldn’t disappoint.  The soup had a nice subtle undertone of ginger laced with a lot of sweet pear, which was perfect.  I was afraid that it might be too strong on the ginger taking away any hint of the pear at all since ginger can be very strong.  But this was the opposite, lots of creamy, sweet pear and just a tiny bit of ginger.  This chilled fruit soup was just as good as any of the other soup I had enjoyed this week.


Unable to find much on the entrée menu that seemed terrific, I went with the safe choice of grilled New York cut strip steak with green peppercorn sauce, charred tomato and shoestring potatoes.  The steak was huge, and as much as I like steak, that was a bit too much for me to finish.  And unfortunately, the steak just couldn’t compare to the steak I enjoyed at Sterling Steak House earlier in the week.


My husband, for the second night in a row opted for the barramundi dish of barramundi filet with munthari butter sauce, garden vegetables and couscous.  My husband didn’t enjoy tonight’s barramundi as much as he did the previous night, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that this barramundi filet was drowning in this munthari butter sauce.  I think my husband pretty much left the couscous untouched.


The highlight of our final meal was dessert.  Though, isn’t dessert the highlight of most meals?


Just before we ordered our dessert, we were asked to wait in the dining room a bit as there would be a special presentation since it was the last night of the cruise.  The Head Chef, along with the Maitre  d’hôtel came to the dining room to make a presentation and thank all of the guests for joining them on this voyage.  Then all of the line cooks and sous chefs came out and did a parade around the dining room so that everyone could show their appreciation for all of their hard work this cruise cooking for us.  Finally, all of the waiters and assistant waiters came out as well and did a Baked Alaska parade.  This is something my husband had never seen before, so he was quite excited.  Baked Alaska is a dessert often associated with cruises and it used to be tradition 15-20 years ago that every cruise ended with a Baked Alaska parade.  The staff would carry out Baked Alaska’s while the lights in the dining room would be turned off.  Along with the Baked Alaska, there would be lighted sparklers that would provide light and create a festive atmosphere in the dining room.  Unfortunately, there have been one too many accidents where the sparklers have caused fires in the dining room, so this practice has been stopped.  For tonight’s Baked Alaska parade, the waiters did carry Baked Alaska’s parading them in to the dining room with the lights off, but instead of sparklers, each Baked Alaska was topped with a fake, battery-operated flame, and the meringue on the outside of the Baked Alaska had already been flambéed in the kitchen rather than being done table side.  Though this wasn’t the traditional Baked Alaska parade, it was still fun.


Everyone in the dining room received a piece of Baked Alaska to enjoy, and in some cases since there was so much Baked Alaska leftover, people were encouraged to take multiple pieces!  A Baked Alaska is essentially a sponge cake the surrounds neopolitan ice cream, then covered in meringue which is then flambéed to set the meringue.   Sliced tableside and served with a bit of chocolate sauce, my husband really liked his first experience enjoying a Baked Alaska.


While I accepted my Baked Alaska slice, I actually ordered another dessert off the menu, the sweet mud pie with calvados-vanilla anglaise.  A layer of chocolate mousse topped with chocolate ganache inside an Oreo cookie crust, this was rich, sweet and delicious.  This dessert certainly satisfied my chocolate tooth!

Ok, so our entire last meal didn’t completely disappoint.  The first half was disappointing for a final meal, but the Baked Alaska parade and the yummy dessert helped to make up for the disappointment of the meal itself.  It was now time to head back to our room and finish our last minute packing so that we could put our suitcase outside our door by midnight so that it could be offloaded and ready for us to claim when we disembarked the ship early the next morning!


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