Chef’s Dinner on the Seabourn Odyssey Cruise

I don’t know what you picture when I say dinner on the ‘cruise’. Some of you make imagine a big-mama buffet in a hall crammed with a thousand people, and some others may be picturing me sitting at the back of the boat trying to catch my dinner. Since there’s only a couple of hundred rooms on the cruise, it’s the perfect size for me since I hate crowds. And it’s also the perfect size to ensure that the food is amazing.
Tonight was the Chef’s Dinner at the main restaurant on the boat, which means it wasn’t any old ‘order off the menu’ or buffet dinner (although both of those are incredible here), it was a 6-course menu created by the Head Chef. Since we’re basically the BNOC’s (Big Name on Cruise), we sometimes get invited by important cruise people to dine with them. It’s more of a request for them to dine with us though. Life of the cruise, some may say. We dined with the captain a couple of days before, and now we were sat with the Environmental Officer. It’s placed seating, and I was lucky enough to be sat again next to Hamish. We take dinner parties by storm.

Of course, there was the obligatory picture with the main man himself. Say cheese!

There are 4 restaurants on the boat, and 3 of them will serve you breadsticks. These aren’t just any ordinary breadsticks though – they’re like the heroin of the breadstick world. I managed to bag myself the recipe before we left the boat. My next dinner party will be an instant success.

I’m pretty shy around people I don’t know, but good thing we were all in a pretty giggly mood. It was a sea day so we hadn’t left the boat, and we all definitely had a little too much energy stored in us.

6-courses, come to mama. I tried to be good all day in preparation for this, but the fact that food is available at your will 24/7 here (and also because of our unfortunate addiction to the cruise’s cookies), that plan failed pretty miserably).

Oh, and there was wine. Lots of it. The house wine is available the whole time, but since our family are a teeny bit of wine snobs (that’s a lie, we just like good wine – is that snobby?) Dad bought a wine package for more premium labels. I wasn’t one to complain.

The dinner started with Tuna Crusted Carpaccio with Cauliflower, Saffron and Egg. I clearly was far too hungry and forgot to take a picture, or was drunk enough to delete it. It could easily be either one, really.

The next dish was a Butternut Soup with Chorizo Oil, which was delicious, but a little to heavy since I knew there was more coming. Much more.

That’s not to say that I didn’t use the soup to all advantages. Breadsticks are just magical.

Then came the Pan Fried Peasant Breast with Crispy Bacon Risotto and Chocolate Sauce. Yep, that’s right, chocolate. Weird? Maybe. Did I eat it anyway? Yes.

Next was what you call a palate cleanser, which is usually a cold sorbet of some sort to cleanse your palate between meals. This was a roasted tomato ‘churned into a refreshing water ice basil salt’ as the menu says. It was like some sick human being had created a tomato sorbet and served it to the world. Not for me. Really, really, not.

But one course down wasn’t going to ruin anything, especially with this baby next. The mains all looked insane. There was a choice between lamb, seabream or asparagus, but I obviously had to go with the Seabream Pan Fried with Fluffy Lobster Gnocchi. It was like the dish was made for me. Add some tenderstem broccoli and I would have given that chef a big kiss.

It was also everyone else’s top choice too. You know when you can’t help peering over at everyone else’s fish to see how your fish size is in comparison. Mine was tiny. Yeah, sure, give the girl the small piece. They don’t know me at all.

Grandma was a little different and chose the Lamb, Slowly Braised Leg Crepenette and Herbed Loin. You can probably tell that Ming took this picture, not me. Sorry Ming, stick to being a pop-star. Gosh I’m being sassy today. I don’t mean it, she’s usually very good – maybe the wine got her?

And to finish it all off, there was dessert. I was a little disappointed when I read what it was – Ginger Soufflé with Soured Rhubarb Ice-Cream. Meh. I wouldn’t have chosen it off a menu, that’s for sure.

I am a bitter, bitter woman. I take it all back, ginger soufflé, I swear. It was delicious. I absolutely licked my pot clean, aggressively attempting to scrape every last piece of it out.

I was full. I was done. The chef got me good. I got a classic Peppermint Tea to help digest what was going on in my tummy. All the tables around us got petite fours and chocolates after their dinner too, but I think they may have forgotten about us. I was praying they would, to be honest, since I knew I would have eaten them and then complain for hours about how sick I would be feeling. Everything happens for a reason, ladies and gents.

The officer was such a nice guy. He told us that we were the ‘funnest people’ that he’d had dinner with on the boat. Ohhhhhh yeahhhhhh. Sure, most people there were triple my age and then some, but that’s not what matters. I am a delight of a dinner guest. Although maybe not for the half hour that Dad and I spent speaking to each other only with sentences that contained one of Ming’s song titles in it. The officer laughed with us anyway. Sorry Ming.

To celebrate how much fun we were, we headed downstairs to the bar and casino.

Later on, we actually broke into the games room with a torch on Hamish’s iPhone to steal the plate of cookies they had in there. It was a new low for all of us. I regret nothing.

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