In Onboard Pursuits

Redefining the “Fine” in Fine Dining

White Chocolate Passionfruit Délice with Baumkuchen Sliver

It’s about contrasts:  Hot and cold.  Soft and crunchy.  Solid and air.  It’s about avant-garde works of art that wow as much in their presentation as they do in the mouth.  It’s about the most state-of-the-art sciences applied to history’s most timeless notions of quality ingredients.  And it’s about experiences: rare, refined, and beyond memorable.

A chef prepares a dish using molecular gastronomy
A chef “smokes” slow-cooked salmon with moss essence.

It’s our new, nightly dinner experience now being served in the main Crystal Dining Rooms of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, after four-plus years in development.  And it’s all complimentary.  Using molecular gastronomy, along with new, high-tech galley equipment, expanded local sourcing, and the creativity of our highly trained executive chefs, the innovative program features more than 100 new dishes showcasing modern epicurean artistry.

Seafood Beet Risotto
King Crab, Seabass, & Red Beet “Couscous”

Inspired by top, Michelin award-winning restaurants like Spain’s El Bulli and the UK’s Fat Duck,  the program’s cornerstone is augmentation of our top-rated galleys, with new equipment such as Pacojets, immersion circulators, high emulsion blenders, dehydrators, and smoke and spray guns.  Our chefs spent months studying food science and are now masters in such techniques as precision temperature cooking, spherification and ice filtration.  They can now transform raspberries into noodle-like ribbons, lemons into sugar-like “snow,” spinach and beet root into pea-shaped balls, and lobster essence into an airy foam, without losing the flavors or textures that make the ingredients so mouth-watering.

We’ve also expanded our commitment to highlighting local experiences around the world, via food.  Provision masters work with local vendors to obtain the highest quality fish, produce, dairy, herbs, and spices possible.  Chefs are familiar with the different materials available in ports during different times of the year, and they have shaped dishes around market availability.  For example, during a summertime sailing in Scandinavia, a “Moss-Flavored Salmon” might be slow-cooked using wild-grown greens and fresh fish bought from a Helsinki market that morning.

Scallop & Tuna Tartare
Scallop & Tuna Tartare with White Miso Soup & Olive Oil “Caviar”

The tenderest of meats, the lightest of mousses, and the most flavorful of tastes are in every course, creating a celebration of contrasts, surprises, and overall gusto in every bite.  For example, a geometric, cylindrical white chocolate mousse Délice is sprayed with a red velvet powder that is actually dried and pulverized strawberries.  Upon biting, a pungent center of pureed passion fruit surprises and adds textural contrast, especially when combined with the surrounding coconut macaroon crumble and layered, churros-like strip of “baumkuchen” on top.

Deconstructed Black Forest Cake
Deconstructed Black Forest Cake

All modern fare is artfully arranged using gels, foams, crystals, innovative colors, unexpected geometric shapes, and other methodology that creates an extrasensory, epicurean experience of awe and delight.  Liquids are transformed into solids.  Ice cream is heat-resistant.  An intricate web of chocolate seemingly defies gravity while perched atop contrasting layers of textures and flavors in a deconstructed Black Forest cake.

These modern dishes are highlighted on one side of the new Crystal Dining Room dinner menu.  There are also more traditional, “Classic” options on the other side of the menu.  Both sides change daily, vegetarian selections are indicated throughout, and guests can pick-and-choose from each side to create their ultimate feasts.

It’s all part of our commitment to culinary excellence, from the first onboard specialty restaurants and herb gardens to the only Nobu Matsuhisa cuisine at sea.  We listen closely to our guests and love to introduce enhancements before they even ask, in a way that’s well beyond what they could have fathomed.  This time around, we’re saying bon appétit and then some!!



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1 Comment

  1. Dianne Hayden
    6 years ago

    We love Crystal and generally like to spend around three weeks on board. Whether it is one cruise or two we find we crave some regular food while on board and would like to have some options in tbe main dining room rather than be forced to go to the casual upstairs area. While pretty food and exotic ingredients make the chef happy it gets old very quickly on an every night basis. Things like a simple roast chicken with mash potatoes or prime rib and a baked potato would be a welcome sight. A daily soup choice would be good too for when a salad just won’t do.
    Thanks. We look forward to trying all the new dishes!!


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