Floating restaurants, anywhere in the world, are always popular with tourists and local gourmands.
The atmosphere is just right for daytime with a landscape spread beyond and romantic in the evening when the lights flicker on the water. Some of the best such restaurants in the world , like the Jumbo Floating Restaurant off Aberdeen harbour, Hong Kong, Sea Palace, Amsterdam, our very own Kettuvallams, the floating boats in the Kerala backwaters, are some examples. One advantage these restaurants have is that they are close to the shore. So for the gourmands as well as the restaurant-owners logistics work out conveniently.
Restaurants on Quantum of the Seas
But what about the cruise ships that are on sea for weeks but have to cater to a huge number of passengers who, in the holiday mood, expect the best and also variety.
An idea of the need for meticulous planning can be experienced while sailing in a ‘Smart’ cruise ship like the Quantum of the Seas which was recently launched from Southampton in England. It is dubbed ‘Smart’ for its innovative technology at every step keeping with the electronic era. That extends from super-fast checking in to making reservations in one of the signature restaurants.
It’s in keeping with the profile of the new ship that world-renowned Italian chef Jamie Oliver of the famous British television show “Jamie’s Kitchen” has opened shop in the new cruise ship with the name ‘Jamie’s Italian’.
The décor with strands of chillies hanging from the wall and cheerful colours with some of the chef’s books welcomed us to the restaurant as it was ready to ail from Southampton, England. After sipping a glass of wine, arrived a signature antipasti plank piled with cured meats, pickles and succulent goat cheese apparently flown in from a farm in Italy. Pasta dishes followed next. But the unforgettable dish was the pork roast, soft and well-done with a sauce to match. The olives brought from a particular farm in Italy were special too, big and juicy. And what can be an Italian meal without a platter of desserts?
From Jamie’s sunny Mediterranean atmosphere step into the formal “Grande” restaurant, in the manner of old-time cruises. The menu is different too. The ship has 18 restaurants with different cuisines to choose from. If Izumi offers the finest Japanese food , Chic is more into cuisine with a twist.
All this shows that eating out, literally, in a ship can be as good, if not better, even while away from the land. – Ranjita Biswas