The Wonderland Restaurant aims to bring to their diners a magical and unforgettable experience with their molecular gastronomy dining concept. Firstly the restaurant is decorated in a style that resembles the “Alice in a Wonderland” story with their servers in long coats and tall hats.
The entrance has a gigantic hand pointing your entry into the restaurant
Once inside, you can see high armchairs designed like playing cards as well as floating flowers on the ceilings which attempts to transport you to the scene where mad hatter had his tea party.
We were next passed the menu which was a golden frame with a blank paper and a brush with a bowl of water.
The menu magically appears as you paint over the paper with the brush and water
You get to choose one main and one dessert while the rest of the starter and sides are basically fixed.
The utensils were extremely cute and have an odd shape that matches the theme of wonderland.
We were served the crispy crab cones which were cilantro, avocado mousse and chiba leaf served in a tiny cute cone. The avocado mousse was very smooth and generally covers the taste of the cilantro and chiba leaf. The cone provided a good crunch to the mousse and the taste basically reminds me of guacamole.
The next dish was this tomato water which was served in test tubes and the red tomato juice being treated into made into tiny molecule balls while the rest of the water content of the tomato is separated into the white liquid. The test tube was also served with white foam and we were advised to down the whole tube at one time. The taste was like a slightly diluted tomato juice without the thick fibrous consistency of the normal tomato juice.
The next dish was the bird nest which was served with much theatrical display
The dish was basically blue cheese served in egg white and creamy hot sauce. The eggs were served on top a crispy nest of deep-fried rice vermicelli. The dish had a nice creamy cheesy flavour on top of a light egg yolk taste while the crispy noodles made a great snack.
Next, we had the Mad Hatter’s Purple potted shrimp which was a shrimp covered in the same thin vermicelli and deep-fried till golden brown. The pot had a white creamy sauce which is a mix between mayonnaise and egg cream sauce.
The next dish has spicy tuna in a lime bowl topped with yuzu granite. The iced granite is really just fine ice laced with yuzu flavours which was a very refreshing palate cleanser at this point of time.
The lime has diced spicy tuna which had a creamy and slightly spicy taste. The tuna had a consistency which resembles mentaiko but it is not as creamy as mentaiko sauce. The flavours were good and this was one of my favourite dishes.
The next dish was very pretty to watch as we were served baby vegetables in soil. When the dish landed on the table, the server told us that this is the view of summer
The next scene was the winter scene after they drizzle a cream sauce over the garden. The garden had baby radishes, carrots, asparagus, and some alfalfa sprouts. The sauce made the entire dish slightly sourish and not very palatable. Personally, I did not like this dish at all other than the fresh vegetables.
We were next served our main which was the pork belly with apple sauce and served with a pork crackling which is deep-fried pig skin. The pork belly is very soft and tender but the flavours were not absorbed into the meat so other than the natural meat taste, there was not much seasoning. The crackling was very crispy and tasty which was also quite addictive.
The next main was the branzino in crispy bread in tamarind spice gravy. With great expectation from the previous dishes, the plating of this dish was really disappointing where the fish is baked and placed on top of a bed of rice and a flat fried bread placed on top of the fish. The overall taste was mediocre with the rice, the fish and the fried bread tasting pretty much like their own dish. There was no harmony in the dish at all.
The disappointment grew as the last main; halibut cooked in clean paper came wrapped in plastic foil. The entire dish just looks very unappetizing and hardly had the fragrance of mushrooms when the foil was cut. The fish was also quite mediocre in taste and the sauce was also quite plain.
Tea and coffee were served together with desserts and the teacup served was also colourful to fit into the mystical theme.
The desserts were just so pretty and we ordered one of each option just to take pictures. The apple was like a real glossy apple which appears in many fairytales.
When you cut into the apple, it is fixed with apple raspberry mousse which I found extremely sweet. I had to eat the dessert with the scoop of ice cream in order to eat this as even a sweet tooth foodie like me found it overly sweet.
The next dessert was these mushroom meringues plated like a small mushroom garden served with a light lemony sorbet and some fresh fruits. Again the dish was more pretty than tasty.
The last dessert was properly the best one as this was the only dish that was finished. The dessert came in a chocolate bomb ball.
Next, warm chocolate sauce was poured onto the ball to reveal more chocolate surprises inside with crunchy hazelnuts. The entire dish was very chocolatey but not overly sweet as dark chocolate was used with a good mix of semi-sweet chocolate sauce.
Overall, the food is really pretty to watch and take pictures of but the taste is really not as good as it looks. This was my 2nd visit and the quality of the food has definitely taken a dip. The decor of the restaurant, however, is pretty interesting and some of the theatrical display of the dishes can be quite an experience for first-timers and children.
In conclusion, the dining package is something worth exploring when you are on the cruise and one of the restaurants you should definitely try is Jamie’s Italian as the food quality is great. If Wonderland is not your cup of tea, there are other choices on board to fit the dining package as well.