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andydates

Serenity: Umi Uma updated menu and Silk dinner comments

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MalbecWine,

Rainbow Palace is wonderful - I ate there just before boarding Serenity in November and loved it. Great food, service, ambiance.

I second your recommendation!

Peggy

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8 hours ago, andydates said:

Just got back last night from Serenity.  On the positive, the churrascaria actually included another non meat item for those not into all the meat.  They have branzino served in the self serve buffet area now as well.   Attached is picture of it.   I enjoyed my dinner there and overall was good, but for some reason the Picanha steak was very tough and chewy this time, even though it was thinly cut, and still a bit red so not overcooked.

 

Back with the discussion on Silk, it definitely is not authentic, and dare I say in some respects even worse than the Kung Pao Chicken in fast food chains like Panda Express.  Peppercorns were briefly outlawed but have not been since 2005.  I verified with kitchen staff that they don't have high powered gas wok, but they still should be able to do a better job, and get the flavor right.  

 

As far as my comment on the fried rice, I didn't mean to say it was excellent, but at least it was a better attempt at keeping it authentic.  I say this being Chinese born in the US, with both parents from Hong Kong, and living in Los Angeles area, we have plenty of authentic Chinese restaurants.  At least in LA, the Chinatown here is not the best Chinese cuisine you will find in LA.  Chinatown in LA has become mostly a place for new immigrants, and a big Vietnamese population for some reason.  The best authentic Chinese food in LA area is in the Monterey Park/Alhambra/San Gabriel area.  As far as authentic Chinese fried rice, should not be overly greasy, and especially not dark brown with lots of soy sauce to make it dark.  The color of the rice should just be lightly browned.

 

I would agree that the food should be classified as Chinese fusion, and not actually Chinese food.  It is not hard to do authentic Chinese food though, as Crystal did have it once before when they featured Din Tai Fung onboard.  They specialize in dumplings, and offer some other noodle/fried rice options with some other appetizers and vegetables, but doesn't offer a broad menu with other meats/seafood.  It is more of a family style restaurant, nothing fancy, but authentic, and would be happy with that.  For those of you not familiar with the chain, their website with menu is at http://dintaifungusa.com/menu

 

I will be trying the new Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas in May with my kids, and although I think most of the food on Royal Caribbean is horrendous, except for some of the specialty restaurants, it will be interesting to see how authentic they get the Chinese food.  This ship will be home ported in Shanghai, so once the ship arrives there, the majority of the passengers will be Chinese, so they should be able to get the Chinese food right.  From what I read, the majority of the food in the main dining room will be Chinese food.  If a mass market line like Royal Caribbean can get it right, and Crystal cannot, it will be a shame especially since Crystal has Chinese owners.

 

 

 

 

branzino-churrascaria.jpg

Thanks for sharing your impressions. We are also going to cruise in July to Japan out of Hongkong on a cruise, which is advertised as “cultural enriching cruise”, meaning the majority of the passengers will be Chinese and the cruise line, we will be sailing with, will mainly cater for those passengers. We will see if they manage to deliver good Chinese food.

Ivi

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8 hours ago, xrvlcruiser said:

MalbecWine,

Rainbow Palace is wonderful - I ate there just before boarding Serenity in November and loved it. Great food, service, ambiance.

I second your recommendation!

Peggy

Peggy, I am so glad you enjoyed that elegant restaurant.  I don’t think Crystal can come close to it in any way.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, travelberlin said:

Thanks for sharing your impressions. We are also going to cruise in July to Japan out of Hongkong on a cruise, which is advertised as “cultural enriching cruise”, meaning the majority of the passengers will be Chinese and the cruise line, we will be sailing with, will mainly cater for those passengers. We will see if they manage to deliver good Chinese food.

Ivi

Ivi,

 

What ship are you going on?

 

MalbecWine,

 

I checked out the reviews on Yelp regarding Rainbow Palace, and it doesn't seem authentic either according to the reviews.  First of all, in a Chinese restaurant when most of the patrons are not Chinese will never be authentic, and also not providing chopsticks automatically is a sign it caters to non-Chinese crowd.

 

Here's a review I found which I found on point.

 

"If you are looking for real Chinese food look elsewhere. No Chinese people inside. If I were an older American and married to an older American and only had Chinese food in America, Rainbow Palace would be 5 stars. But I'm not old, go to Asia often, and I'm married to someone born and raised in China. Service is very old school. You have to be asked if you want chopsticks. Nothing to write home about here. Flavors were good to me but even I kept thinking for the same price how much food could we get at Temple Street Eatery. We had Chicken Gwin Jin and South Sea Curry Scallops. I really liked the sauce on the scallops. So I'm going to ask my mother-in-law to make it. Don't get me wrong, food was good just not at this price point. I will not be returning for at least 30 years. Just not our style. It might be just what you are looking for so read a few other reviews."

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Reviews are very subjective.  The owners are from Hong Kong and so is the chef.  It is a treat to go to the upscale restaurant with emasculate service and ambiance.  It is definitely not cheap to dine there but for special occasions we enjoy it.

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We totally agree that Silk is dreadful. Sure its not authentic Chinese food, but its not even decent Westernized Chinese food. We were on the Serenity from Lisbon to FLD and  FLD to LA and  before on the Symphony from Manila to Singapore. 

The dishes arrive cold and there is no taste. Just bland food. This is true of most of the asian food aboard Crystal. For example, curries have a heat level of zero, the Naan resembles pita bread and I havent seen basmati rice once. The Cunard curries while not super are better. 

 

Silk needs a complete overhaul or lets go back to tastes!

 

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The problem with ‘authentic’ food is that sometimes it is tweaked to fit what the chef ‘thinks’ the diner wants.

On our Indian crewed ships we had two catering departments .. one run by Indians for the Indian crew .... equals genuine food. The other was run by Goanese and they cooked for the European officers, the problem being they cooked what they thought we wanted. The two styles were from different planets😀 The later was somewhat dubious and wherever possible, given the choice, we would go for the proper stuff!

The genuine Indian food was marvellous, especially when they went on deck at dawn, collected the ‘still flapping’ flying fish, into the tandoor, and served with a fresh chapatti or two.

I miss those impromptu breakfasts. 😕

 

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Seems that the spicy crab appetizer is gone from the menu at Umi Uma.

 

Glad that I "stocked up" on it during my last Crystal cruise.

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We just ate at Umi Uma last evening.

 

Although we experienced the revised menu on Symphony in May we didn't try some of the new dishes.

 

I will post about them later but I do think that the new menu is an enhancement over the former one with some tweaks and additions to the Nobu Specials, having the Lobster Tempura as a standard offering and some of the other new ones such

as Sea Bass.  

 

I am not a liver type of person (well when it comes to eating it other than once a year chopped liver) but see that there was even a liver dish.

 

Like Chinese restaurants on land you will get all sorts of opinions on that one.  A reminder that food is subjective.

 

Hopefully there is sufficient choice on board to make everyone happy.  

 

I never seem to run out of food to eat.

 

Keith

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Personally I like American Chinese, so all this obsession on truly authentic, seems just a bit much to me.  P. F. Chang's is popular for a reason. 

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11 hours ago, gkbiiii said:

Personally I like American Chinese, so all this obsession on truly authentic, seems just a bit much to me.  P. F. Chang's is popular for a reason. 

Since we do not live in United States of America, we really do not know what is American Chinese. We have eaten in China town in New York and in Boston. It is very similar than the food we have eaten in China.

Ivi

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16 hours ago, gkbiiii said:

Personally I like American Chinese, so all this obsession on truly authentic, seems just a bit much to me.  P. F. Chang's is popular for a reason. 

 

16 hours ago, gkbiiii said:

Personally I like American Chinese, so all this obsession on truly authentic, seems just a bit much to me.  P. F. Chang's is popular for a reason. 

P.F. Chang’s and we have two of them in our area is absolutely horrible and loaded with sodium.  The worst junk food chain we have ever ate at and the most unhealthy food.  The chain now has to put the calories on their menus and you would be shocked..what sounds healthy is NOT!

 

We have been to Hong Kong many times and even the street food is better and healthier than P.F. Chang’s.  No comparison.

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16 hours ago, gkbiiii said:

Personally I like American Chinese, so all this obsession on truly authentic, seems just a bit much to me.  P. F. Chang's is popular for a reason. 

 

 

I also like Puerto Rican/Cuban Chinese.  The fried rice is so tasty!!!

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In NYC you can get anything and that’s why we like N.Y. and SFO.  The Food capitals of the US and I will say Vancouver as well.  

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ySome Western (American) Chinese food can be quite good and tasty, so there is a case to be made for it to be the style served on Crystal. The real issue in MHO is that it's not done terribly well in Silk  which could be a combination of a lack of really high heat gas stoves, limited ingredients and a catering to the avetage western palate.  So if Silk is to be what it is, tome to kick it up a notch or two

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2 hours ago, MalbecWine said:

 

P.F. Chang’s and we have two of them in our area is absolutely horrible and loaded with sodium.  The worst junk food chain we have ever ate at and the most unhealthy food.  The chain now has to put the calories on their menus and you would be shocked..what sounds healthy is NOT!

 

We have been to Hong Kong many times and even the street food is better and healthier than P.F. Chang’s.  No comparison.

 

Personally I have always considered "healthy" and "North American Chinese Food" to be mutually exclusive terms. I suspect the point the poster was trying to make is that a vast number of people like North American Chinese food. I suspect (and this is pure supposition) that if you surveyed every single person who ate in Silk on a given cruise, the complaints posted here (over and over again) about "authentic" would be a tiny minority. We will wait until we are on Serenity in February and make up our own minds.

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On 12/14/2018 at 7:27 AM, edgee said:

By standard you are expressing there is no point in eating Chinese food anywhere except those 3 cities. Chinese food can be done world class, good to excellent, and mediocre. Would like to see Crystal's Chinese restaurant at least in the good to very good category. It is currently very mediocre. We dined at Silk on Symphony in June. Very mediocre. We were set to give it a try again on recent Serenity cruise with friends. A few nights ahead of  planned evening in Silk for the four of us our friends dined there alone. They then  asked that we change our dinner date to Waterside, as they found the food in Silk not good at all. Heard similar complaints from others, so we ended up not dining in Silk at all during our 16 night cruise. Couple of nights we went upstairs for Churascaria, Silk was nearly empty. Crystal certainly needs to work on this.

 

I agree with you entirely, I live in Hong Kong and there is a lot of truly awful Chinese food here. 

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