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My first test of food quality "Is it edible?' Enjoyment is the next criteria which includes taste and presentation. On my last cruise with P&O on Azura in October several meals failed the first hurdle and few passed the second. One was so dried up from where it had been kept warm under the heaters I was able to hold the plate at an angle of 45 degrees and nothing moved. One of the disadvantages of plated meals where they are plated in the kitchen and then kept warm.

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What the hell is this? Looks like the detritus left from a liver transplant...if that came to me at dinner I'd be sending it back to see if it could be resuscitated..

Actually we have had the opposite experience,we have sailed twice this year with P&O Aurora and Oceana at every meal time we were always warned by our waiter to be careful as the plates where HOT

Hi Rodger Not for me I'm afraid...whether it's the modern way or not...I don't like mine either rare or burnt...I'm a cook it right through man.   That's what kitchen thermometers were invented for

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Well I made the above comment over a month ago and my view hasn't changed.

 

Perhaps when using the proverbial 'broad brush' to chastise some cruise food as 'poor' quality wouldn't it be good to hear exactly what characteristics of the meal deemed it to be 'poor'.

 

In fact I'd be interested to hear how members rate food 'quality'.

 

I'll start the ball rolling.

 

The vast majority of food - meats and fish - served on cruise ships has been frozen before it comes onboard.

 

I normally judge my food on a plate by three criteria - taste, colour and texture.

 

Freezing food by its very nature affects the latter of those three. The texture is degraded and the blood and natural juices are also degraded, often lost.

 

Food for thought?

 

9493127997_29ee1565c7_z.jpg

What the hell is this?

Looks like the detritus left from a liver transplant...if that came to me at dinner I'd be sending it back to see if it could be resuscitated..

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Hello Terminator. It would appear we are in a minority as far as meat is concerned. My wife and I like our meat cooked, as you obviously do. My wife was once told on a Cruise the Chef would not cook a steak well done.We cringe sometimes at cookery programmes on the television as the blood comes oozing out of the rare meat.The modern way apparently,

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Well I made the above comment over a month ago and my view hasn't changed.

 

Perhaps when using the proverbial 'broad brush' to chastise some cruise food as 'poor' quality wouldn't it be good to hear exactly what characteristics of the meal deemed it to be 'poor'.

 

In fact I'd be interested to hear how members rate food 'quality'.

 

I'll start the ball rolling.

 

The vast majority of food - meats and fish - served on cruise ships has been frozen before it comes onboard.

 

I normally judge my food on a plate by three criteria - taste, colour and texture.

 

Freezing food by its very nature affects the latter of those three. The texture is degraded and the blood and natural juices are also degraded, often lost.

 

Food for thought?

 

9493127997_29ee1565c7_z.jpg

I understand your point. My last cruise Caribbean 6 weeks on Azura flying back 26.12.2015 left me asking "what the hell has happened?'. As usual I booked the now replacement for 17, Epicurean, each night. My final take on it was "OK". I knew the extra cost, for whatever reason I was happy with it and paying it, it in no way factored into my critique of the food. Rather my overall feeling was who designed this. Meals came served as I requested but for example one lamb dish arrived with enough lamb on the plate for a small family, but just accompanied by a small cube of a jelly, a single carrot (very small) and a smear of a puree. Nothing was 'wrong' individually but I prefer a more balanced meal, protein, veg and sauce that mix and complement each other in balanced quantities. A starter came in a glass goblet at a 45o angle, no problem I like a quirky presentation but the cocktail was so cold it may as well have been frozen. You just could not get the flavours they all were obscured by the iciness factor. Thats just a couple of examples. Did I complain? Well I didn't have to, the Maitre D' soon registered a problem and I just chatted to him about it. Yet it didn't seem to get totally better after 6 weeks. Yes I could have shipped out but I prefer the smaller restaurant etc and the food wasn't rubbish not just as good as it could be. Elsewhere on the ship the GlassHouse food always before fine was this cruise exceptional. Room service used on 8 occasions was up 10 notches. Epicurean just not there for me. Will I not use it in a few weeks time? No the same reasons i use it as my MDR remain, it wasn't that bad, I just hope it will get to where I want it to be. If it doesn't then yes twice btitten twice shy I will need to consider things. 

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Hello Terminator. It would appear we are in a minority as far as meat is concerned. My wife and I like our meat cooked, as you obviously do. My wife was once told on a Cruise the Chef would not cook a steak well done.We cringe sometimes at cookery programmes on the television as the blood comes oozing out of the rare meat.The modern way apparently,

Hi Jaguar. The only reason for the premium cost of fillet steak is that it comes from a muscle on the animal that is not heavily used, so can be lightly cooked thereby retaining the flavours, as there are minimal muscle fibres to be broken down in the cooking process.

The logic therefore is that if you prefer your meat to be well done, you can save money by purchasing a cheaper cut.

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Guest Solent Richard

Hi Jaguar. The only reason for the premium cost of fillet steak is that it comes from a muscle on the animal that is not heavily used, so can be lightly cooked thereby retaining the flavours, as there are minimal muscle fibres to be broken down in the cooking process.

The logic therefore is that if you prefer your meat to be well done, you can save money by purchasing a cheaper cut.

 

Good morning Wheels.

 

That's twice this morning I've complimented you on an excellent comment.

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Guest Solent Richard

What the hell is this?

Looks like the detritus left from a liver transplant...if that came to me at dinner I'd be sending it back to see if it could be resuscitated..

 

Good morning Terminator.

 

I rest my case then.

 

9493127997_29ee1565c7_z.jpg

 

The photograph is of what remains of a chateaubriand I served at a dinner party. 

 

Probably there is only one other cut of meat that will match it. 

 

Of course best accompanied with a cracking Chianti, Chateauneuf du Pape or a full bodied Shiraz - minimum abv 13.5%.

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Guest Solent Richard

Good morning Terminator.

 

I rest my case then.

 

9493127997_29ee1565c7_z.jpg

 

The photograph is of what remains of a chateaubriand I served at a dinner party. 

 

Probably there is only one other cut of meat that will match it. 

 

Of course best accompanied with a cracking Chianti, Chateauneuf du Pape or a full bodied Shiraz - minimum abv 13.5%.

 

Or of course you could try a bottle or two of ...

 

13711713114_ef2b715b18_z.jpg

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Guest Solent Richard

I understand your point. My last cruise Caribbean 6 weeks on Azura flying back 26.12.2015 left me asking "what the hell has happened?'. As usual I booked the now replacement for 17, Epicurean, each night. My final take on it was "OK". I knew the extra cost, for whatever reason I was happy with it and paying it, it in no way factored into my critique of the food. Rather my overall feeling was who designed this. Meals came served as I requested but for example one lamb dish arrived with enough lamb on the plate for a small family, but just accompanied by a small cube of a jelly, a single carrot (very small) and a smear of a puree. Nothing was 'wrong' individually but I prefer a more balanced meal, protein, veg and sauce that mix and complement each other in balanced quantities. A starter came in a glass goblet at a 45o angle, no problem I like a quirky presentation but the cocktail was so cold it may as well have been frozen. You just could not get the flavours they all were obscured by the iciness factor. Thats just a couple of examples. Did I complain? Well I didn't have to, the Maitre D' soon registered a problem and I just chatted to him about it. Yet it didn't seem to get totally better after 6 weeks. Yes I could have shipped out but I prefer the smaller restaurant etc and the food wasn't rubbish not just as good as it could be. Elsewhere on the ship the GlassHouse food always before fine was this cruise exceptional. Room service used on 8 occasions was up 10 notches. Epicurean just not there for me. Will I not use it in a few weeks time? No the same reasons i use it as my MDR remain, it wasn't that bad, I just hope it will get to where I want it to be. If it doesn't then yes twice btitten twice shy I will need to consider things. 

 

Nice comment Jenny.

 

Indeed Azura's 17 Restaurant was the venue that once served my wife and I a pretty reasonable Chateaubriand, carved at the table...

 

6973280083_ddb3d019ff_z.jpg

 

Back to my original photograph though. I would never serve a sauce with that, the flavours and moisture are their own sauce.

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Nice comment Jenny.

 

Indeed Azura's 17 Restaurant was the venue that once served my wife and I a pretty reasonable Chateaubriand, carved at the table...

 

6973280083_ddb3d019ff_z.jpg

 

Back to my original photograph though. I would never serve a sauce with that, the flavours and moisture are their own sauce.

This one looks like it has been cooked and rested just right !!

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Or of course you could try a bottle or two of ...

 

13711713114_ef2b715b18_z.jpg

Afternoon Richard

Your posts seem to be at odds with each other.

 

Earlier today you wrote..

"Of course best accompanied with a cracking Chianti, Chateauneuf du Pape or a full bodied Shiraz - minimum abv 13.5%."

 

And then suggest the pinot noir above?

 

I don't see the point of serving a 5 star cut of meat with a 3 star bottle of wine...I know you'll "enlighten me" but as always it comes down to personal choice.

 

I'll allow you yours, please allow me mine.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Guest Solent Richard

Afternoon Richard

Your posts seem to be at odds with each other.

 

Earlier today you wrote..

"Of course best accompanied with a cracking Chianti, Chateauneuf du Pape or a full bodied Shiraz - minimum abv 13.5%."

 

And then suggest the pinot noir above?

 

I don't see the point of serving a 5 star cut of meat with a 3 star bottle of wine...I know you'll "enlighten me" but as always it comes down to personal choice.

 

I'll allow you yours, please allow me mine.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

Good afternoon Terminator.

 

You are correct, that Pinot Noir hardly compares with my two earlier wine recommendations. It was merely me and my sense of humour taking an opportunity to add a degree of 'light humour' to the thread - all a little tongue in cheek really.

 

Having said that I must confess that I have occasionally bought Chianti a few bob cheaper than the £8.00 a bottle the French FB cost: but rarely have I had such value for a little mischievous fun out a couple of bottles of wine.

 

wink.png  wink.png Have a good weekend.

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Guest Solent Richard

If a joint or steak is cooked and 'rested' properly, then served, there would be no oozing blood..as the juices etc are absorbed back into the meat, even when cooked to rare/ medium rare.

 

An interesting point and a methodology that often appears in online recipes and guidance for those who need them.

 

No doubt it was noticed that on my Chateaubriand I had taken the trouble to seal the outside of the joint prior to roasting. A little trick that also aids the retention of juices.

 

No chef worth his salt would argue that leaving the ‘joint to stand’ - I believe that’s the  actual phrase used - would  risk continued cooking: one very good reason I tend to generally avoid using buffet restaurants on board the larger ships.

 

Notwithstanding the above I was, on a recent cruise, attracted to a 'steamboat of beef' on the buffet counter. Heaven knows how long it had been ‘standing’ but its colour and appearance appealed to me…

 

24398269095_66ebe5d70c_z.jpg

 

With some slices of Baguette and a little Dijon mustard it made an ideal tasty, but light, lunch…

 

24030422829_55f6c9386b_z.jpg

 

A photograph is worth a thousand words.

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Guest Solent Richard

Whatever it is in that photo looks absolutely horrible….. I am pleased that I don't eat a lot of meat if that is what is being served these days.

 

Well of course I do take the view that the best food deal at sea, if we are talking about freshness of the original produce, is for vegetarians.

 

Fresh vegetables are replenished more frequently.

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I like your comment Pesky Pirate and for me this is also to rare, but I appreciate others will like it this way when it still moos on your plate!

I prefer the carvery when they get to the end piece with all the juicy well cooked bits with added flavour.

I have always been interested in this big debate when we instruct people according to enviromental health that food should be cooked to a certain temperature, I would hazard a guess that the centre of this joint wouldnt have got anywhere near

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Going back to the original post it would appear that P&0 are following a high risk strategy regarding food.

The food budget is clearly below that of Fed Olsen who operate in a similar price budget, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the logistics from kitchen to table are also sub-standard.

A few pounds saved on the catering budget could be a bad idea if it leads to deeper than expected price discounting.

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