Sherman's Food Adventures: Holland America MS Westerdam Vista Dining Room Night #6

Holland America MS Westerdam Vista Dining Room Night #6

For those who stick with the main dining room exclusively, this was the 2nd formal night which is aka "lobster night".  Now this is slowly going the way of the dinosaurs as NCL and Carnival do not offer lobster at any regular dining room menu (except for a surcharge).  For the time being, HAL still offers it and of course, we made sure to make a reservation for the Vista dining room for our second-to-last dinner on our Mexican cruise.

For my choice of appy, I opted for the Foie Gras on an apple tartin with Meidera wine. Unlike the cold and somewhat unappealing texture of the foie gras mousse at a Night at Le Cirque, this one was seared nicely. However, the portion size was too small in relation to the sweet apple tartin. Hence, I felt like I was eating dessert to start my meal (like Dim Sum at a Chinese restaurant).  With that being said, it was still fairly tasty. Viv opted for the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with a creamy cocktail sauce. The shrimp was sweet with a meaty snap while the mild sauce didn’t overwhelm.  However, it didn't really look at that jumbo to me.

For our soup course, I had the Roasted  Parsnip served table side. This wasn’t merely for presentation because this allowed the parsnip and crispy kale from becoming a mush if it sat in the soup. The soup itself was smooth, earthy and mildly sweet. Moreover, it was also served hot so that it was eaten at the right temperature.  This was in stark contrast to the dinner #4 in the main dining toom. The same was could be said about the Chicken and Orzo Soup which was also hot and not over salted. Loved the lemon as it added a brightness to the soup. The ingredients were also not compromised as the broth was served table side as well.   Not sure why this was served in that manner though.

For my entrée, I had the Pan-Seared Sea Bass which was tender and flaky. It was lightly seasoned where some parts were seasoned with lemon juice. The skin wasn’t crispy, yet was still fairly appealing. I loved the parsnip puree underneath as it was creamy and rich. The slight drizzle of arugula oil added a unique essence. I also got the Basil Crusted Veal Rack with morels as well and it was excellent. It was cooked just enough where the meat tender and not dried out. The creamy and woodsy mushroom sauce was impactful. Underneath, the bacon mash was tasty and creamy.

For the main event, Viv had the Surf and Turf featuring a lobster tail and medium-rare filet. The lobster was prepared properly being tender with a slight rebound. It was not dried out and naturally sweet. Size-wise, it was large enough to satisfy.  On the side, the filet was also done right with an even char and was well rested.  It wasn't too big which was a good thing, so we could enjoy the rest of the food we ordered.

For dessert, Viv had the Almond and Orange Cake which looked more like a lemon poppy seed cake.  We weren't that enthused about it as it was too wet.  Furthermore, it ate heavy and was rather bitter from the orange rind.  For myself, I went for the Passionfruit Cheesecake which was more like a curd than cake. It was creamy, lightly tart and purposefully sweet.  Overlooking some minor issues, this meal was more consistent and uniform than the ones from previous nights at the main dining room.  Yet, the star of the show was the lobster of course as most people were ordering that and that only.

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