19

NOVEMBER, 2016

Food
Service
Style

A short while ago it was announced that Seabourn Cruise Line had partnered with the esteemed American chef Thomas Keller to provide new culinary experiences aboard the Seabourn fleet of Ultra Luxury Cruise ships.

Chef Thomas Keller is the first and only chef to hold multiple three star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide and is widely considered to be a coup for the cruise line.

Given that we were aware of the plans to implement the Thomas Keller concept throughout the fleet, it was with great anticipation that we joined the Seabourn Quest – the first of the cruise lines luxury cruise ships to have the Thomas Keller concept rolled out. The previous specialty restaurant on Seabourn Quest was known a Restaurant 2 which featured a special “tastings menu”.

As part of the makeover, Restaurant 2 has been updated and is now known as “The Grill” by Thomas Keller which has a distinctive “Chop House” feel about it.

Roasted Free Range Chicken as Served in “The Grill”

Photograph by AboutLuxuryCruising

With a limited number of tables and being in quite a confined space, dining in The Grill is by reservation only but Seabourn do try to make sure all guests have one booking per cruise.  We were on a 3 week voyage and were able to make 3 reservations.

On arrival in the restaurant you are greeted by a hostess, who in our case was Diana, a charming young lady from Hungary, who is a real credit to Seabourn. Once seated the theater of the restaurant begins with your choice of cocktails, wines and other beverages before the big reveal and detailed explanation of the menu.

“Dining in The Grill is by reservation only, but with Seabourn this is included in the cruise fare”

Starters menu

Photograph by AboutLuxuryCruising.com

The menu choices perfectly reflect the American Chop House theme with traditional starters, mains an deserts.  A nice touch were the selection of crudités, bread and breadsticks to settle you in to the evening.

Starters included a Classic Caesar Salad prepared at your table, Salads, Prawn Cocktail, Crab Cake, New England Clam Chowder, Double Consommé Soup and Whole Calico Artichoke.  A good selection and well presented.

Main Courses are known in The Grill as “Plates” and include some good old favourites that you would expect in a chop house style restaurant.  These included Eggplant Parmesan, Dover Sole, Lobster Thermidor, Roasted Free Range Chicken & Prime new York Strip Steak.  Each day there is also a “special” which on our first visit to “The Grill” was Prime Rib which was sensational.

The most amazing selection of sidings were on offer with the main course and you could choose a many or few as you wished.  You will not go hungry here!

Seven Layer Coconut Cake

Photograph by AboutLuxuryCruising.com

Deserts featured a choice of Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart, Seven Layer Coconut Cake, Dark Chocolate Layer Cake, Ice cream Sundae and Sorbet.

To round off the evening a stack of Cookies appear on your table to enjoy with your coffee or after dinner drinks.

All in all a great place to eat maybe once or twice on a cruise otherwise it doesn’t feel special.  The food is quite rich and the portion sizes are quite large.  No real need for Cookies at the end of the meal as there is unlikely to be any room for left.  Service was somewhat “in your face” and felt a bit false, but it was delivered well.  Having eaten in the Grill a few times you will know the menue by heart and the descriotions of the variuos menu coices. Nevertheless, good entertainment value.