Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holland America

For our honeymoon, Dennis and I choose the Caribbean tour with Holland America's new ship, NieuwAmsterdam.  We didn't do much on our trip: relaxing, sun tanning, and dinning with people at least twice of our age (or thrice).

Wasabi Soy Crusted Beef
Tenderloin from Tamarind
Manhattan, the main dinning hall, serves all three meals.  The food... well... for food that had to be mass produced quickly and within budget it was pretty good.  Objectively, it was rather disappointing for a cruise that boast to have the best foodie experience.  Also, sharing table with other couple sounded good in theory but was super bad idea in reality.

 South East Asian Spice Samplers
 from Tamarind
Lido, the not-24hour buffet, was where Dennis and I ate most of our breakfast and lunch.  Ironically, the buffet offered the variety, portion and ingredient control of all the restaurants.  We were able to tailor our dish to make sure we got enough fibre and vitamin C, while keeping our calories in check.

Lobster Salad at Pinnacle 
Tamarind was their high end dinning (and you have to extra) on the top deck, with view.  They offer a wide range of Westernized Asian cuisine, everything from below average sushi to fancy pad thai, on fancy plates.  I thought the concept of this restaurant was innovative by utilizing the knowledge and skills of their employees on board and the food was delicious.  I would compare it to Red Door.

Pinnacle Grill
Canaeletto is their attempt at offering some Italian options on the cruise.  Don't go there.

Pinnacle Grill is the best restaurant on board.  In fact, it was so good that the restaurant was booked full within 12 hours of boarding.  Therefore, as soon as you board and before you go to your room, head down there and make as many reservation as they are willing to give you.  The food here was aaaaaamazing.   The best steaks I had ever had and was top 10 for our friends from New York.
Then there is the special Le Cirque nights with special menu with wine pairing.  Each dish was delicious and some were mind melting. I couldn't get enough of it, and, as I ate, I lamented that this restaurant was only on a cruise and I could not sample each dish (over and over again).  Then there was the ambience. The restaurant reminded me of a cozy Jewelled box with crystal, velvet, and candle light: very French and very fancy.  The staffs were super nice,  personable, and seemed to be having as much as we were.  A restaurant like this will do very well in Vancouver.

Tamarind Chocolate
Wine: If you are from Canada, their expensive wine list is still a discount.  The wine masters were very knowledgeable.  Befriend with them at the pinnacle bar to find out their secret stash of wine that are not on the wine list.

Wine Tasting was also worth going to.  Even with some wine education, the chocolate wine paring session offered lots of information I didn't know.

Cooking Classes was also interesting, but if you are a Food Networkolic or a seasoned cook, these classes won't offer you anything new.

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