One of the speciality restaurants on the Grand Princess (and many Princess ships) is the Crown Grill. As the cruise line’s premium steakhouse, prime grade steaks and chops and the finest seafood feature on the menu. The restaurant has a cover charge however, we ate gratis thanks to an inclusion with our fare on our 3 night Adelaide to Melbourne cruise – Heck, it was that good I would’ve paid the AU$45 cover charge for it anyway!
Is it rude or weird to tell you waiter to hold your main courses being delivered and leave a restaurant for around 10 minutes? I think it very may well be, especially if you were on land, but we’re on a ship and the cover charge is included. We didn’t leave for anything serious, it’s just that we had some tickets in the cruises last night casino draw and we had this strange feeling we should be there. OK, so I may have just answered my question, yes it is rude to leave for a prize draw, but we are glad we did!
The Crown Grill is slightly roomier than the main dining rooms and our seating is a table for two (no racists at our table tonight!). The dark wood panelled walls that frame pictures of mans ability to build mighty structures give it a masculine vibe but also evoked a feeling of first class travel in a bygone era. Service is spot on, staff are engaging yet not obtrusive.
‘Let’s not fill up on this’ we tell each other as we’re down to the last quarter – but the rosemary and garlic roll was really good, crispy outside and soft in the middle with pops of pungent garlic. Thankfully, the entree’s started arriving halting us from finishing it off!
One and a half scallops each was seriously not enough. I could have gone a few more of these, the creamy beurre blanc and the pop of the salty salmon caviar make the dish sing on your palate!
Jessie wasn’t aware that the beef tartare is raw – ‘Isn’t it carpaccio thats raw?’ she asked. I explain that while carpaccio is raw, its thinly sliced whereas tartare is finely chopped. The fried quail egg added a lusciousness and smoky dressing ties it, with the accompaniment of a polenta chip, together. The dish is delightful, every element works together to create a fabulous tartare.
While not the most elegant looking soup, it was really good. There was a depth of flavour in the prawn stock that was unbelievably tasty.
There was nothing to complain about the salad except for us ordering it as it just didn’t seem to work with the other dishes we’d chosen. The goats cheese is quite mild compared to most and the side of tomato sauce was just odd.
At 9:15pm Jessie and I look at each other with the same thought – can we really leave the restaurant half way through a service? Yes, we took the risk and headed downstairs to the casino. We thought it was two draws of $250, but in fact it each person drawn gets a spin of the prize wheel. My name was picked out and I got to do the first spin. Prizes ranged from $20 casino credit up to $250 cash, I gave it one big spin and after what seemed like forever the wheel slowed and stopped right on… $250! The attendant was even surprised telling me she had never seen the $250 be won! Woohoo.. I collected my cash and we headed straight back to the restaurant (with VERY big smiles on our faces)!
There are two ways the Maine lobster tail can be served, as the menu reads – ‘broiled (thats under the griller for us Aussies and Brits) with pepper butter’ or ‘grilled (under the broiler for those from North America) in garlic butter’. The description of the cooking method seems to be the same to me… We go for the garlic butter and once it is served the waiter cuts the flesh from the shell. The lobster tail is perfectly cooked, so very moist and tender. This is by far my favourite dish – it feels very decadent.
While the lamb looks a little weird in this picture, its freakin great! A melt in your mouth moment was had when we tucked into these. I am drooling now just thinking of them…
For the side we chose creamed spinach. I’ve had this before on Princess Cruises and always enjoy it. The spinach is soft and the cream takes away that bitter taste. I’m a fan.
There are three salts, yes! Three different salts to choose from and the menu reads as such:
‘Himalayan Mountain Pink Salt – Experience this exotic ingredient that boasts a robust salt and mineral flavour, which is said to provide many health benefits and remove toxins from the body’
‘Smoked Applewood Salt – Sweet Applewood from the Yakima Valley fuels the fire that flavors this smoked sea salt with a subtle fruit wood taste’
‘Hawaiian Black Salt (Hiwa Kai) – Combined with active charcoal, this solar evaporated Pacific sea salt had a stunning black color, silky texture and natural saline flavor’
We try a little of the smoked Applewood and the Hawaiian Black and both are unique in flavour although we try not to get to carried away as the food is already perfect. If I was to have a steak, I think the Hawaiian Black Salt would be best.
We were seriously full at this point, so our waiter offers for our desert to be take-away – what a great midnight snack these made! My fav was the key lime pie bar, although the salted caramel crème brûlée came in a very close second. I only tried a wee bit of the triple chocolate treasure and it was lovely but very rich, so it gets third place.
There were so many other men items I would have loved to have tried such as the black and blue onion soup with thyme, Jack Daniels and roquefort crust or jumbo king prawns in whiskey, chilli and garlic marinade with onion fried rice….. I wish I could go back another meal real soon, but for that I’d need to book another Princess cruise….maybe if I do I’ll win some more money?
Do you think it was rude to leave half way through service? What would you have done?
One Comment Add yours
I love how cruising staff are total feeders haha! That tomato sauce with the salad is pretty odd as is the lamb presentation but it looks like a solid offering. I tend to prefer the places with the additional tariff as they really do upp the ante on the food.