Sherman's Food Adventures: Carnival Freedom Posh Dining Room Night #5

Carnival Freedom Posh Dining Room Night #5

Our last port for our 7-day Carnival Cruise aboard the Freedom was on the island of Roatan, Honduras.  Again, we weren't that well versed with the place and resorted to google for information.  Turns out that the mainland is fairly impoverished, so venturing out on your own is not advised.  As for the Roatan, the same rule doesn't necessarily apply.  However, we were a bit lazy and decided to make it a beach day instead.  Only a 10-minute walk from the ship, Mahogany Bay was a great place to just lounge around and enjoy the nice weather.  Upon our return, it was our 5th dinner of the cruise in the Posh main dining room.

On every menu, there was a featured item that was labelled "food you always wanted to try, but haven't yet dared".  Seems like I had been ordering that every night (but I've had it all before!).  This time around, it was Escagots Bourguignonne.  These were textbook being tender with a bite, while not chewy.  They were bathed in a good dose of butter and garlic.  Loved soaking up the sinful sauce with bread.  My son had the Fried Shrimp with roasted red pepper remoulade.  When they described them as shrimp, it was spot on as they were tiny.  But that made it almost like popcorn shrimp.  They were crispy with a cold-water crunch.  The dip wasn't really all that spicy, it was creamy with a tang.

I also tried the Roasted Pumpkin Soup which was thick and creamy.  Normally, I'm not a huge fan of anything pumpkin due to the intense aroma.  This soup was balanced with just a touch of pumpkin essence.  It ate more like a roasted acorn squash soup which was nicely accented by all-spice and nutmeg.  The croutons on top soaked up all of the soup and were not longer crunchy, but that didn't matter much.  Lastly, Viv had the Chicken Pastelitos filled with chicken, peppers and onions.  The puffed pastry on the outside was buttery and flaky while the filling was moist and tender.  We thought it tasted mostly of peppers as there was plenty of them.

For my main, I had the Penne Maricos with shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels and salmon in a lobster cream sauce.  I only had a bit because my son took it from me (as his dish wasn't very good).  I did get to sample it and the lobster cream was mildly seasoned being aromatic and sweet.  The seafood was pretty on point except for 2 of the scallops as they were a bit rubbery.  The pasta was just past al dente.  My son originally ordered the Braised Short Rib with potato and pea gratin and green beans.  However, it was pretty tough and dry.  Not sure if this was a one-off with the piece he got, but it wasn't very good.  The red wine sauce was tasty though being meaty with depth.

I ended up eating the extra dish we had ordered being the Pescado Asado Cubierto con Tostones.  It was essentially a lightly fried basa fillet covered in a mixture of plantain and breadcrumbs.   This was on point with flaky and moist fish that was well-seasoned and aromatic from the coating.  On top we found a mixture of black beans and corn which added texture and a bit of sweetness and earthiness to the dish.  My daughter decided on the Beef Lasagna with a thick layer of melted mozzarella on top and a tomato basil sauce.  This ate and looked more like a meatloaf than a lasagna, so it was texturally rather odd.  However, the meat was tender and lean while the sauce was tangy and bright.

Viv probably had the best dish of the night being the Chicken Milanese with charred lemon and green beans.  It consisted of a breaded and fried piece of chicken which was pretty good.  The meat was tender and moist while the breading was firmly crunchy.   Flavours were pretty subtle where the charred lemon was necessary to bring brightness to the dish.

Onto dessert, we had the Chocolate Panna Cotta with warm chocolate sauce.  This was a no sugar added dessert, but it ate quite well.  The panna cotta itself was a little stiff, but still silky and chocolaty. I'm not sure if it actually needed more chocolate sauce (which was good) as it didn't vary up the flavours much.  It would done well with a berry sauce with a contrasting tang.  We also got the Buttered Popcorn Pot de Creme.  This was interesting with the nutty popcorn aroma complimented by salted caramel.  Yes, this was fancy caramel corn atop a semi-sweet and silky custard.  As you can see, this was a decent meal with a few misses.  We were still enjoying our eats so far, no one can be perfect.

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