Cover Photo Credits: Royalcarribean.com
For those who have read my previous post on Quantum of the Sea will know that I have mentioned that all the complimentary meals were not so fantastic so I decided to sign up for the dining package to try some of the paid restaurants onboard. You will find that the moment you board, there will be staff throughout the ship trying to upsell to you their beverage packages as well as the dining packages. There are dining packages for 2 restaurants, 3 restaurants or all restaurants. I signed up for the 2 restaurant package at USD 63 per person.
The first restaurant we opted for lunch was Jamie’s Italian. I am a fan of Jamie’s restaurant and have been to Jamie’s Italian both onshore and onboard so I know the food will not disappoint.
They had a nice showcase display of their top-selling dishes to entice any passing customers at the atrium in front of the restaurant. As expected their cold cuts platter was being featured too.
The restaurant itself is fairly small in size and has the same Jamie’s Italian decor from the shore restaurants. The main atmosphere was a cosy casual Italian dining restaurant.
So how the dining package works is slightly different from the shore restaurants. Every customer on the package is allowed to order 1 main and 1 pasta and an unlimited number of sides and starters. This is the reason why there is no price on the menu as you have to be on the dining package to dine at these restaurants.
For starters, we had the garlic bread which was recommended by our server as one of the best selling items in Jamie’s Italian. We had initially wanted to skip this to keep our stomachs for other dishes but I am glad we did not. The bread was served fresh and warm with a light fragrance of garlic. The bread itself was soft, fluffy and very buttery which makes it quite addictive on its own.
Huge on parma ham, I had to order the parma ham with melon and cheese. The ham was very light in taste compared to some of the saltier versions outside and I found the melons either not sweet or ripe enough to provide that nice contrast to the savoury ham.
The red pepper soup was smooth and creamy with a nice charred flavour from the grilled peppers. There was also a slight peppery kick from the red peppers themselves. The soup was a nice stomach warmer for the rest of the mains.
We also had the mushroom fritters for starters, the mushrooms were nicely fried and crispy and the creamy sauce was a mix of lemon mayonnaise with light chilli powder.
The fried calamari was served with the same lemon mayonnaise sauce as well as a wedge of lemon. The calamari was crispy and tender and the serving was also perfect for sharing with at least 3 persons.
Our pasta was served next; the first one is the highly recommended truffle tagliatelle which is one of the most ordered items across Jamie Italian restaurants. The pasta came in a cream sauce which has great flavours of mushrooms and truffles. As the truffles used were the black truffles, the taste was very woody and subtle but had deep flavours. The pasta was cooked al dente style and paired with the cream sauce very well.
The prawn linguine came in a thick tomato sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes and a bunch of rocket leaves. This prawn linguine is well-loved and often ordered and even the menu states it is the famous prawn linguine. The taste is nicely balanced between the acidity and the sweetness of the tomatoes. The prawns were huge and succulent as well.
As a seafood lover, I had to order their Venetian Fish Stew which came with loads of seafood like mussels, clams, squid, fish and prawns. There was also some crab meat topped on the crispy baked bruschetta which can be used to soak in the goodness of the stew. The stew was bursting with seafood flavours from the deep savoury taste to the sweetness of the seafood itself. The tomato flavours also complement the seafood very well.
Our next main was the slow-roasted porchetta which is really just pork belly. The pork belly is stuffed with vegetables and peppers and slow-roasted over fire to create the juicy and flavourful porchetta. The skin was crispy but not as crispy as the Chinese roast pork but the meat was tender and flavourful but a tad fatty and oily for me. For those who enjoy pork belly, this is really a melt in your mouth dish, for me I ended up cutting out all the fats so there was not a lot of lean meat to much on.
Our last main dish was the lamb chops scottadita which is grilled under a rick and doused with a mint sauce. Personally, I don’t take too much lamb as I did not like the gamey taste but surprising this lamb chop was very clean in taste and has no gamey taste at all. The meat was nicely done and tender with nice meat juices flowing. The mint sauce was very light and does not overpower the original meat taste.
By now our stomachs were bursting but who could resist a nice Italian dessert? So we ordered the cheesecake with a burnt meringue top. The meringue was very sweet and the cheesecake was smooth and velvety but I found the combination bursting with too much sugar so I did not finish the cake.
My companions had a better choice with the gelato topped with fruits and crunchy nuts which was a nice sweet balance for the whole meal.
Overall, the meal at Jamie Italian on the cruise was my favourite meal for the entire cruise as the quality was really great. I loved pretty much every dish I ordered and would love to try everything else but our stomachs could not take any more food. At a good deal of USD 32 per person, we had so much dishes among us.