Food & wine

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As part of the cruise we were entitled to a complimentary visit to a specialist restaurant. Not being a great fan of Italian food or fish, I voted for the Crown Grill. In addition, we had a voucher for a bottle of wine not to exceed $70 (AUD). I’d never bought a bottle of anywhere near $70, so this was an experience. I managed to find a Calrendon Hill, syrah for $70, which was one of the cheaper wines . . . .

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Crown Grill Ruby Princess – picture off the internet, mine didn’t come out!

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Black tiger prawns as an appetizer.

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Goats cheese salad followed by

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Black & Blue onion soup, which included Jack Daniels . . .

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For me the pièce de résistance,
an 8 oz filet mignon, medium / rare cooked to perfection.
I used the goats cheese salad to accompany the meat.

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A light pudding, one must watch one’s weight . . .

Overall, we enjoyed the meal, but later on I’ll make a comparison with another specialty restaurant.

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Samples of a few dishes from the main dining room – every evening we had a two page menu, which allowed me to try various items that I might not try from a restaurant close to home. From memory the above is a shellfish terrine with prawns & scallops as a starter.

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An Asian dish – Singapore or Thai noodles with tofu (the white bits), and chicken.

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A prawn main dish – although we had three or four dishes for dinner, the amount of food for each dish was not excessive, so at the end of the meal one didn’t feel over full. Portion control also controlled my weight.

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Grapefruit scallop salad as a starter – nice and tangy.

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​Prosciutto with melon, but I can not remember the sauce.

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Well presented and colourful

The main dining room menu covered ‘Starters’, Soups & Salads, Mains and a separate menu for sweets & puddings.

Later we decided to try Curtis Stone’s – Share- restaurant, which was the second specialty restaurant. The extra cost was $35.00 AUD, ($29 USD) per person. The dinner would be six courses, without wine unless you took your own or bought it from the wine list.

Princess Cruises operate a system that you can board with a bottle of wine for each person in your party (adults) free of surcharges, if the wine is drunk in your cabin. You are permitted to take additional bottles at the time of boarding for a ‘corkage fee’ off $15 AUD per bottle, which is what we did and boarded with two bottles each and I paid $30 corkage. By paying the corkage I could take the bottle to any restaurant and ask them to serve it during the meal. If I didn’t finish the bottle it would be stored for the following evening in the ship’s store ID’d with our cabin number and ship’s card number.

Having experienced the $70 bottle at the Grill I produced my $10 bottle ($25 after paying corkage) for the Curtis Stone evening.

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I only hope Paul Mas was pleased  . . .

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Entrance to the Curtis Stone Sharing – reception was behind the glass case on the right.

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This picture thanks to our friends with whom we were travelling.

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Inside the restaurant – it was a very pleasant ambiance and the lady who served us was excellent, she answered all our questions and explained the choices and the dishes that we picked – don’t forget we had six courses to pick.

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We could have been in any good restaurant in Sydney, plenty of space between the tables.

course one STARTER

Charcuterie
’Nduja is a spicy, spreadable salami that comes from the southernmost Italian region of Calabria.
Cured from prosciutto, with prominent chilies and spices.
Choice of beef bresaola, duck prosciutto, or fennel-infused finocchiona.
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course two SALAD

Tomatoes and Burrata
A variety of local tomatoes paired with oregano oil and dressed fennel leaves
Asparagus and Radish
Lightly roasted asparagus with arugula pesto, red bell pepper relish and
sourdough croutons
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course three PASTA–MADE FRESH DAILY

Pork Ravioli
Green curry filling coated in lemongrass cream, and topped with crunchy chicharrones
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Ricotta Cavatelli
Roasted sunchokes, pickled beets and a Castelmagno espuma
I’m not a fan of pasta, but this dish was quite tasty.

course four:
Sea Lobster Bisque: Quick-seared cold-water lobster tail pieces with Madeira crème fraîche and fennel confit
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Once again, not being a fan of shellfish, but enjoyed this dish. One has to be
adventurous’ on holiday . . .

course five
Strip Loin Steak
Charred and sliced New York steak on top of a pomme purée, with braised mushrooms
and a porcini jus
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Medium rare – beautiful.

course six
Almond Marzipan
Warm cake paired with strawberry coulis, candied almonds and crème fraîche ice cream
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Followed by coffee –
Overall a lovely meal that was different (for me that is, thanks to the pasta & shellfish) and I never felt over full.
Quiet music in the background – good company – nice wine, a perfect evening.
We all enjoyed the Curtis Stone restaurant a little more than the Crown Grill.

The idea of the title ‘Share’ is that we would share part of each dish with family & friends – we didn’t Share but stuck to our own choices! Love & friendship only goes so far . . .

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Picture thanks to our friends.