The first time we experienced the taste of Salt Grill by Luke Mangan was last year during our first cruise with Pacific Eden. Although you pay to dine here, this onboard restaurant is very popular, lunch and dinner reservations get fully booked within hours of boarding. Despite our attempt to book early, we ended up on the waiting list, which is the next best option as it usually pays off, thankfully the lovely staff were able to accommodate us for lunch and things even got better when Luke Mangan came to say hello at our table.
We were so impressed by the food and service that we’ve promised that if we ever cruised with P&O again, we will come back to Salt Grill which we did on our last cruise.
One thing we’ve learned when booking a cruise is to check out all the add-ons and packages, the savings they represent can be surprising. Celebrating birthday during your cruise? you can never go wrong with the birthday package – which includes a bottle of sparkling wine and birthday cake that can be served at any of the speciality restaurants onboard.
The staff at the Salt Grill are always very polite, we were warmly greeted and our table was in the middle of the restaurant, never mind the sea view, it’s dark out there anyway. Dining here is like being on dry land, it’s an elegant space with the right balance of lighting and a pleasing colour scheme. Patrons dress to impress too so you feel a fine dining vibe.
For our pre-paid dinner, we could choose basically anything from the menu. There are items though that attract additional surcharge like the oysters $2 each, and lobster tail $22.
We began our dinner with a plate of Charcuterie, a mixture of bresaola, capicola and prosciutto. The meat had a soft dusty aroma with lovely texture and just right amount of saltiness.
Crushed pea, maple and bacon are not the familiar toppings for a bruschetta that I would imagine but this trio really works well with the crunchy bread.
Oysters tempura was served over bright rock salt, no dipping sauce but the light batter didn’t overpower the sea taste of the oysters.
Last entree was the delicate and flavour packed five spice cured duck, served with crispy pancetta and almond dressing.
House plain bread and zartar were freshly baked both were soft and fluffy served with Luke Mangan oil and dukkah.
For mains, we were tempted to try out a serving of fish and grilled meat, the selection on the menu sounds very appetising.
Both dishes were served at the same time. The grilled snapper was tender with slight crispy skin but the flesh was a little dry, size was smallish but considering how much food we’ve already consumed, it was perfect.
The sirloin 200g from Jacks Creek , NSW, Black Angus grain-fed served medium rare hit all the right spots, it was tender and juicy. This dish also came with crunchy beans and shallot along with buttery mustard and a classic béarnaise sauce.
Mashed potatoes and creamed corn, bacon, parmesan and lemon thyme came as sides, both were irresistible and complemented the main dishes well. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir accompanied this meal.
Definitely leave a room for dessert, the selection is to die for! Smooth and luscious, the Calvados custard with botrytis semillon apple, brown butter crumble and vanilla ice cream are not to be missed. It was a pity the liquorice parfait was unavailable, this signature dessert is a must try.
My guilty pleasure for the night was the gooey chocolate tart with banana, caramel ice cream and honeycomb, it was just delicious.
What a night of food! Service at Salt and Grill is very personalised, the floor crew are always there for you and you can feel their sincere hospitality. It is highly recommend to pre-booked your lunch or dinner at Salt and Grill if you’re planning of cruising with P&O in your next travels to avoid disappointment.
E_deliciou_s independently paid for this meal.