The other specialty dining restaurant on the ship is Chops Grille, where steak dinners are (supposedly) their forte. I’ll honest and go straight to the point. The quality and taste of the food was only ok or slightly above average. What was most disappointing was the poor execution of the steak.
The interior fixtures are signature classic American steakhouse, from the hardwood furniture, heavy chairs, pressed white tablecloths and “romantic lights”. I wish the lights were brighter as my eyes (and camera lens) were straining to focus on the food. Lighting was terrible for photo taking, so please pardon the poor quality pictures.
Service is flawless, attentive (yet not intrusive), professional but still warm and genuine. If you order a bottle of wine but can’t finish it, the staff will sent it to the Main Dining Room so you can continue to enjoy it the next evening.
Chops Grille is only opened for dinner, with a fee of USD 30 per head, which includes gratuities. Unlike Giovanni’s Table and the Main Dining Room, where you can order as much as you desire from the menu, at Chops Grilles, its limited at one main course per pax, but unlimited appetizers, side dishes and desserts.
We were especially taken with this fragrant Onion Bread, which went very well with the accompanying cream cheese.
Folks who prefer lighter soups will be fond of the Forest Mushroom Soup. Scented with truffle oil, this is a seriously tasty stomach warmer.
Succulent and moist is the Alaskan Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Crab Cake with a thin crisps crust. Seasoning is spot on, accompanied with a dollop of remoulade sauce that brightens the decadent appetizer.
You can give the Not So Traditional Caesar Salad a miss, the Main Dining Room’s rendition is much better. Because it was not chopped up and tossed, the layers inside the head of lettuce were not dressed and hence too grassy.
Steaks are supposed to be the specialty at Chops Grille but what was dished out was pitiful. Not only was the New York Strip over-done (Hubby sent it back), but the second attempt was not up to expectations either (steak was unevenly cooked). Choice of sauces include Classic Bearnaise, Chimichurri sauce, Green Peppercorn and Cabernet reduction.
If you are not a fan of steak, seafood, fish and chicken options are available.
Herb-crusted Jumbo Shrimp on wilted spinach, with asparagus, grape tomatoes and lime-crab beurre blanc. While the shrimps were not remarkable fresh, the lovely combination of flavors made up for it.
Both my in-laws had the Pan-fried Barramundi Fillet which was only average. Served with fondant potatoes, butternut squash puree and crispy tempura vegetable bundle.
As for sides, we had classics such as Double whipped mashed potatoes, Crimini mushrooms and leek, Steamed asparagus and Fried onion rings. Soso only.
We were enthralled with the show-stopping Crème brulee, which made a theatrical entrance as the brandy lilted up, encasing the dessert with dramatic blue flames. And yes, it taste as good as it looks 🙂
Red velvet was quite the unloved child. I gave up after a couple of mouthfuls as it was too dry.
For a lighter conclusion and refreshing palate cleanser after a filling feast, the Passionberry Duo, comprising of layers of berry and passion fruit mousse, is a suitable choice.