When cruising, we always like to try out the premium restaurants on board. On the Celebrity Millennium, we headed to Qsine. The restaurant is meant to be fun and modern, you order shared dishes via iPad that are creative and presented with flair. Some hits, some misses… at $45, we expected more.
I wouldn't call Brad and I foodies, but we have definitely eaten our fair share of casual to fancy dining. We have eaten some amazing food in our lives either when traveling, call out to Pizzeria Mozza, or home in Toronto, yes, I'm talking to you Origin. Normally we gauge a great meal if it was memorable. Flavour wise, this meal wasn't as memorable as we would have hoped but I'm thinking maybe we went in with too high of expectations.
Our spectacular service was provided by Thabi, of Zulu descent, from South Africa. She was bubbly, friendly and you could tell that she loves her job. She was probably more excited about the food then we were! The service was definitely the highlight of the meal... aside from the pulled pork spring roll, but I'll get to that shortly.
You can order as much food as you want. Tap tap tap away on your iPad and add things to your order. We went through and picked a bunch of stuff that looked good. As a sidebar, they had cute little movies that tied in with the menu items… for example Disco Shrimp was a… wait for it, dancing shrimp. Well for most of the items we couldn't get rid of the bloody dancing shrimp. The novelty wore off fast especially when I wanted to see the lava crab.
Being the small eaters that we are, we did tell her that we wanted to try lots but not be overly full. Thabi suggested we do half orders and that worked out perfectly. A little taste but not full by the third course? Sign me up.
First off, they brought some bread. I'm not falling for that. It is a nice touch, but there is no way I'm going to fill up on bread when I have meat coming. I tried a little, just so I could be judgy, and my verdict was that it would have been better if it was warm and buttery.
Next up was the disco shrimp. I had high expectations but it wasn't dancing sadly, and there was no mirror ball that magically appeared. I think it did come with a flashing light, but my memory is failing me. It was good, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't mind blowing like the video led me to believe.
Sushi lollipops were next on the list. The half order was 4 rolls instead of 8. You can see a small picture up above. Nothing to report here. Sushi. On a stick. Meh.
Now the spring rolls. This is where I had my favourite taste of the night. How can you not love pulled pork as a spring roll? Brilliant idea. It wasn't Brad's favourite but I was taken by it. The other one was vegetarian, but whatever, it is eclipsed by the pulled pork goodness. This was actually a half order, if we had the full order we would have had four spring rolls... two per person! The BBQ sauce it came with WTF Sauce was to die for. And before you go all What The F on me... WTF = White Truffle. (You don't need to go to Qsine to eat the spring roll. A few nights later the dining room had it on the menu...)
The next course was the Lava Crab but unfortunately they chop it up at the table and obviously they weren't notified by our steward that we request pictures of all our food before we bite in. It was crab wrapped in phyllo pastry and it was delicious. You will just have to draw a mental picture.
Next up was the Persian Kabob. Meat. How could it not be good? Well, I guess it could be raw or tough, but this stuff was delicious. Again, this is a half order so that sword would have been doubled up if we had the full one. The meat was good, but the sauce made it a little too rich in my opinion. Since this is vacation and I was on a cheat day, I did eat the saffron rice and it was delicious.
Ugh. Next up is the meatballs three ways. I love a good meatball. If there is a meatball on the menu that is what I'm going to be ordering. Especially if it is big and meaty and not on pasta. What was intended to be my favourite dish when ordering was definitely a let down. Three huge meatballs: veal meatball with mushrooms, beef with cheese centre and marsala sauce, and turkey with a cranberry centre. I found the meatballs to be too crumbly with breading or whatever they used to form the ball. The flavours were disappointing, actually maybe there was too much flavour which overpowered the meat. The only highlight of this dish was the cranberry filling.
Near the end of the savoury list was the taco with the build-at-your-table guacamole. What an awful idea. I was near full. Who the hell wants to use a mortar and pestle to mush up avocado? Aren't I paying good money to have someone mash it for me? Even in Mexico where I'm paying $6 for guacamole they do it for you! It was frustrating and I think I made a mess. The mortar was smooth marble and it should have been lava rock that would stop the smooth avocado from spilling out as you try to squash it. Do I have to go on? The tacos were good, but this could have been better if I didn't have to construct the deconstructed.
The last course before dessert was the Chi-tini. 5 various Chinese dishes served with rice. It was good, but I can't remember exactly what each flavour was, but think sweet and sour pork, lemon chicken etc. This course could have been skipped, I have had all these before in the buffet on the lido deck. (Yes, Celebrity Millennium doesn't have a Lido deck but it sounded good)
Finally we get to dessert. I didn't need it and nothing called out to me, but I ordered anyway. It is vacation after all and I did make it to the gym once during the 14 day cruise, so I earned it.
I got the bignettes which is just fancy for donuts. I was disappointed the apple fritter was just an apple ring deep fried in batter, but that's fine. I'm used to doughy cinnamony apple fritters from Tim Horton's. What was the highlight of this dish wasn't the caramel sauce which I didn't actually like, the chocolate sauce that was too rich, but it was the lemon curd. I could have drank it from the bottle. I do enjoy good tart lemon as a dessert to freshen me up after a big meal. (My favourite dessert thus far is the lemon tart with pine nut crust at Bouchon in Las Vegas, just in case you were wondering)
Brad's dessert was a little more elegant looking. He said it was good, but he wasn't wowed by it. OMG, I think we are officially hard to please.
Ultimately the meal was good, the service was fantastic because of Thadi, but we aren't sure it is worth the $45 per person. If you want some adventure then definitely give it a try, but foodies may find this meal a bit disappointing when you look past the creative presentation. When it boils down to it, the food is standard cruise fare presented in interesting ways with very few surprises in flavour.
This article is in the category: Travel.