DRAGON ROLLS AND CROCODILE ROCK
For its first “Dinner and a Show” review, Porthole visits Crystal Serenity to experience the evening’s finest features … exactly as Nobu and Elton would have wanted.
By Janice Wald Henderson
I’ve devoured all the ahi and am lingering over a pot of sencha tea. A quick glance at my watch — it’s nearly showtime. But I’m not fretting over taxis or theater lines. Rather, I take an elevator ride and short stroll before slipping into a comfy showroom seat. After-dinner drink? Why yes, thank you. Soon I’m entranced by a rocking show — so much so that cool, jaded me is jumping up and dancing in the aisle.
Nearly every ship has one standout show. And most have one must-visit restaurant. Paired together, “Dinner and a Show” makes the stars align and the night magic. On posh 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity, dinner at Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, followed by “Rocket Man: A Tribute to Elton John” is the twosome that enchants.
Crystal Cruises is perpetually praised for both its luxury ships, Serenity and Symphony. Pampering service, impressive cuisine, and impassioned lecturers have brought the line many awards. Recently, Crystal tweaked its entertainment roster, sparking new excitement. Some acts are blockbusters, performed in the showroom just one evening per cruise. Others, like opera singers and master magicians, appear more often in intimate settings.
There’s little to improve upon in the gastronomy department as Crystal Cruises gets details right. Crystal Dining Room’s modern menu exudes versatility and finesse, while Prego dazzles with regional Italian dishes and sophisticated flair. Still, the Silk Road and The Sushi Bar restaurant (aboard both ships) steals Crystal’s culinary show.
The eatery stars the eclectic, electric cuisine of master chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa. Yes, that Nobu, who packs his glam eponymous restaurants — from Milan to Mexico, Bahamas to Beijing — with equally glam guests. Few cruise ship restaurants affiliated with celebrated chefs come close to Silk Road and The Sushi Bar. Most superstar chefs with restaurants worldwide can’t micro-manage each venue’s quality. But Japanese-born Nobu, who shot to fame with his Asian cuisine with Peruvian and European influences, makes it work.
This is an excerpt only. To read this article in its entirety, pick up the current issue of Porthole Cruise Magazine.