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Favorite Specialty Restaurants and Foods


MarkWiltonM
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We are longtime Celebrity and Holland-America cruisers who have booked our first cruise on Oceania Riviera. For us, cruising is all about the food.  We would appreciate hearing what your favorite dishes/snacks/desserts are on Oceania and which specialty restaurants you like best. Also, comparisons between the main dining room vs. buffet and between main dining room vs. specialty restaurants would be appreciated.

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In the past  the buffet   is served by the staff  more cafeteria style than buffet  IMO

They have a made to order grill station/pasta station &mornings omelette station

Food is the same quality as the GDR

You seat yourself

 

GDR is open dining  they will seat you on your own or ask if you want to share

food  same quality as the rest of the ship

 

Specialties  everyone has their favourite

food is subjective

probably a dozen threads here  about  that  use the search feature above

 

You prebook  at least 1  seating for each restaurant   you may have more  depending on the sailing & cabin choice

https://oceaniacruises.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360005477653-How-many-dining-reservations-am-I-allowed-in-each-specialty-restaurant-

 You can try for extra reservations each morning at the dinner reservations desk

 

On Oceania  no need to pay extra for the better food like on HAL

Except the wine pairing menu  in La Reserve  on Marina & Riviera

 

Check out the Preismans Blog  for photos  of the past menus etc..

https://www.thepreismans.com/marina19_menus.htm

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55 minutes ago, MarkWiltonM said:

We are longtime Celebrity and Holland-America cruisers who have booked our first cruise on Oceania Riviera. For us, cruising is all about the food.  We would appreciate hearing what your favorite dishes/snacks/desserts are on Oceania and which specialty restaurants you like best. Also, comparisons between the main dining room vs. buffet and between main dining room vs. specialty restaurants would be appreciated.

“Serious food” on Celebrity or HAL is sort of an oxymoron.

Most importantly, recognize that O’s dining venues all have the highest quality food. The difference among them is the focus of the menu and the ambiance. And referring to the Terrace Café as a “buffet” is a disservice.

 

As for “don’t miss” dishes:

>Duck and watermelon salad at Red Ginger

>Aragosta Fra Diavolo at Toscana

>Sole at Jacques

>French Onion soup at Polo
And then there are the baked goods including:

 

 

 

CAB4CD55-D0BD-4A75-A34D-CD05A929D087.jpeg

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My favorite is Dover sole.  It is served in several dining venues.  Best is in Jacques. Then most things are better in Jacques.  
food is excellent with very good choices. If you sail on O, you will eat well.

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Just eat everywhere and make your own conclusions. If you listen to people on this board you'll think that Jacques is the best restaurant, while in reality Red Ginger is their most popular venue. Some will tell you they have the best milkshakes ever in Waves, while I personally don't care for them. 

 

As Lyn said above the only extra charge is La Reserve, and if you like wine pairing dinners then I would recommend it. 

 

One of my favorites is the Almondine pastry for a breakfast starter, it's like eating Ooee Gooey Butter Cake cooked in a croissant. The Chocolate croissant is another favorite. 

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2 minutes ago, ORV said:

One of my favorites is the Almondine pastry for a breakfast starter, it's like eating Ooee Gooey Butter Cake cooked in a croissant. The Chocolate croissant is another favorite. 

ORV

 You are making me hungry  LOL

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14 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

ORV

 You are making me hungry  LOL

While making me nauseous. I can't stand anything sweet at breakfast. And that's the point IMO. We passed on Red Ginger cause we're not into Asian fusion. But we get seriously good Asian food specific to individual countries. Take all the reservations if you wish. Oh, yes, sample menus are available on their website. I also had the best escargots I've every had on O. But some people think that wouldn't like snails. LOL.

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7 minutes ago, clo said:

 I also had the best escargots I've every had on O. But some people think that wouldn't like snails. LOL.

That would make me nauseous  🤢 

I have tried them

 

 Food is  subjective  everyone has different tastes

 

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33 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

That would make me nauseous  🤢 

I have tried them

 

 Food is  subjective  everyone has different tastes

 

I've long said that if you like butter and garlic, you'll like snails. To me it's just the texture.

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I have so many favorites that I would probably list half of the items being offered.

 

But, for the most unusual dish - seared lamb chops for breakfast! The first time I saw it on the breakfast menu, I thought it was a typo. They are incredible. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Rob the Cruiser said:

I have so many favorites that I would probably list half of the items being offered.

 

But, for the most unusual dish - seared lamb chops for breakfast! The first time I saw it on the breakfast menu, I thought it was a typo. They are incredible. 

 

Sounds interesting.

I will have to give that a try on our first O cruise next year.

 

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Comparing the GDR with Terrace buffet, you'll find more variety in Terrace.  The menu in GDR is constant but in Terrace you'll find something new every day. There may be a section of the buffet that coincides with what port/country you were in that day.  One of my favorites in Terrace is the profiterole station which was only there only one or two nights on my last cruise.

 

Everyone has different tastes in food but my favorite speciality is Red Ginger.  The tuna tataki and miso glazed sea bass were wonderful. 

 

 I've never been disappointed with any of my meals on Oceania. 

 

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Sunlover12,

The GDR menus changing  daily but also several items are available every night, steak and fish and our fall back meal when we scale back from richer options, Jacques Chicken which is wonderful. 
Terrace Cafe in the evening is great, always that steak and lobster from the grill plus many other options and port or country delicacies. Definitely faster dining than GDR and a great place to go when you have had a busier day.
I agree with you on Red Ginger, the Miso Glazed Seabass is AMAZING along with the Watermelon and Duck salad.  RG is always our first dinner reservation, and if possible, our last supper before disembarkation.  Our Restaurant Manager friend  Boris got me to try the RG Rack of Lamb and it is absolutely the best!!!  When eating with other guests we always order a Rack for the table so everyone can share it. If RG is my #1, Toscana is my #1a because the Italian Chef’s are the best. The Lasagne is the standard against which we compare any restaurants Lasagne and it has never been bested. You must try it as an appetizer or entree, you make the call. The Filet and Rack of Lamb there is also magnifico. 
 

That is it for now and we can not wait to get back aboard Riviera this Fall.  🤞🛳🥂🍷🍽
 

Bonnie and Gerry 

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Long time Celebrity sailor here......

The only thing I thought was better on the X is the Indian fare. Their curries are much better.

The sole in Jacques is indeed memorable and I could dine on the watermelon and duck salad daily.

We had a few issues with the beef in Polo but the lamb shanks were even better than Blu's.

The best thing about a longer O itinerary is having so many choices at every meal.

Can't wait to get back onboard!!!!

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5 hours ago, sunlover12 said:

Comparing the GDR with Terrace buffet, you'll find more variety in Terrace.  The menu in GDR is constant but in Terrace you'll find something new every day.

Are you sure about that? 

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2 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Are you sure about that? 

The GDR has a menu section with basic Jacques Pepin “favorites” that repeat nightly. However, the main GDR entrees and several appetizers (as well as desserts) change nightly. AND at least one of the nightly changing GDR items will find its way onto the Terrace menu.

 

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8 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

The GDR has a menu section with basic Jacques Pepin “favorites” that repeat nightly. However, the main GDR entrees and several appetizers (as well as desserts) change nightly. AND at least one of the nightly changing GDR items will find its way onto the Terrace menu.

 

That's what I expected.  I don't think any ships whose name doesn't start with USN would have that unchanging menu 😉

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11 hours ago, ORV said:

Just eat everywhere and make your own conclusions. If you listen to people on this board you'll think that Jacques is the best restaurant, while in reality Red Ginger is their most popular venue. Some will tell you they have the best milkshakes ever in Waves, while I personally don't care for them. 

 

As Lyn said above the only extra charge is La Reserve, and if you like wine pairing dinners then I would recommend it. 

 

One of my favorites is the Almondine pastry for a breakfast starter, it's like eating Ooee Gooey Butter Cake cooked in a croissant. The Chocolate croissant is another favorite. 

 

I haven't been looking here for a while so when I came back tonight I wasn't going to answer immediately, but I do have to say:  Red Ginger may be the "most popular" but it isn't with us.  Jacques IS.  As has been said already, personal tastes are what they are.

 

We love Asian food but we like it much spicier than what RG serves.  That is US.

 

We always enjoyed La Reserve dining very VERY much.  It's always been worth the $$$,

 

As to Waves milkshakes, we've never had them.  But I do love the Smoothies up there ...

 

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Posted (edited)

Before I get to specific food items I just want to say a couple of things about ship food in general.

1 in OUR opinion O has the best food at sea. That includes lines like Silversea, Seabourn, QE 2 Princess Grill and Crystal. That is not to say that the food on those lines is not excellent but OVERALL we like O best

2 Everyone knows that food tastes and opinions are very subjective. What follows are OUR opinions which may be very different from others.

Now specifics

Terrace Café - breakfast - endless berries, croissants (plain, chocolate or almond)

                         dinner - lobster tails and jumbo shrimp

Waves  - hamburgers or lobster/steak sandwich

Afternoon tea - some sandwiches (shrimp salad), Victoria cake and esp. Paris Brest pastry

Specialties in order of our preference

1 Jacques - app - foie grass seared or pate, crab salad in lettuce wrap, entrée- lobster thermidor

2 RG - app - deep fried calamari, entrée - lobster Pad Thai and miso glazed bass

3 Polo - app - crab cake or truly jumbo shrimp cocktail, entrée - steamed lobster, prime rib

4 Toscana - app - fritto misto, entrée - bone-in veal chop (one is big enough for 2), Aragosta Fra Diavolo ( I get it in garlic butter sauce instead of tomato).

Whatever you'll choose - enjoy

 

 

Edited by Paulchili
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2 hours ago, Mura said:

I haven't been looking here for a while so when I came back tonight I wasn't going to answer immediately,...

Welcome back Mura. You've been missed (at least by me 😀)

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Re Mura’s comment about Red Ginger food not being sufficiently spicy (and I assume the Indian food they serve is the same in terms of heat?), do they have fresh chillies on board that I could have on the side? No American cruise ship I’ve sailed on has ever had fresh chilli, which goes some way to explaining the blandness (apologies to all those in the States who like hot curry...).

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11 hours ago, Mura said:

We love Asian food but we like it much spicier than what RG serves.  That is US.

 

Exactly! And it's "fusion" which isn't our fave anyway. Sichuan please 🙂

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5 minutes ago, clo said:

Exactly! And it's "fusion" which isn't our fave anyway. Sichuan please 🙂

Didn't you say that you passed on eating there? If that's the case then you have no idea what you've missed by not eating there. I think the OP is looking for recommendations here. 

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17 minutes ago, claranda said:

Re Mura’s comment about Red Ginger food not being sufficiently spicy (and I assume the Indian food they serve is the same in terms of heat?), do they have fresh chillies on board that I could have on the side? No American cruise ship I’ve sailed on has ever had fresh chilli, which goes some way to explaining the blandness (apologies to all those in the States who like hot curry...).

We enjoy appropriately (true to its origins) spicy food. At the same time, we understand the need for O to cater to the majority of passenger palates when it comes to “heat.”

However, we continuously recommend to the exec chefs onboard to expand the available condiments beyond just Tabasco, Sriracha and chili flakes.

In fact, we’ve even given them samples from our stash of individual serving packets of various ethnic condiments (e.g., Tapatío for Mexican dishes) in an attempt to broaden their horizons. 
Sadly, nothing yet.

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