The cruise ship company’s signature Lawn Club was recreated specially for Taste of London and it was a calm retreat with live music, boules and an elegant wine bar.
Chef Tato Garcia was on hand to present a three course tasting menu with wine pairings by Oz Clarke from Celebrity’s finest onboard restaurants. I had the pleasure of trying Luminae last year, but Xpedition and Blu were new to me, so that was quite a treat.
A common preconception about cruises is that the food won’t be interesting or high quality and catered towards the masses. I can tell you from personal experience that this couldn’t be further from the truth, as Celebrity works with Great British Chefs, top food personalities and local producers to create exclusive culinary experiences at its speciality fine dining restaurants.
For the first course of our tasting menu, we tried Luminae’s celeriac velouté with black truffle and toasted sunflower seeds. The smooth velouté was very subtle and was punctuated by pungent black truffle cream, garlic oil-infused mushrooms, sweet and crunchy toasted brioche and plenty of shaved truffles.
The second course was inspired by Celebrity Cruises destination The Galapagos – Xpedition’s corvina sea bass with sage brown butter, cavolo nero and asparagus. This dish was so fresh and summery with julienne vegetables, a smooth carrot purée and the most delicious piece of sea bass with golden, crispy edges.
It was hard to pick a favourite, but I absolutely loved Blu’s pistachio crusted lamb loin with juniper rhubarb jam. The lamb was slow-cooked to perfection and the tangy rhubarb jam and crumbled pistachio were a stunning accompaniment.
We finished with a mini Lemon meringue tart from the Lawn Club’s afternoon tea menu, but I still had a bit more room to try a few more dishes.
The divine aromas of robata-grilled meat drew me to Roka, where I tried Kobuta no miso yaki – slow-cooked pork belly with lemon, miso and garlic soy. It was spicy, smoky, aromatic and ever so tender, plus the portion size was on the generous side.
I always like to finish a meal on a sweet note and it was the ideal weather for a hearty Warmer apfel strudel with vanilla sauce over at German Gymnasium. The strudel was exemplary with lots of cinnamon, tart apples and delicate pastry and I loved the smooth and light vanilla sauce. Happily Typhoo (the one that Nigella likes) was offering complimentary cups of tea – because cake should always come with tea.
Taste of London was just as good as ever and the addition of the contactless payment option at the restaurants and some shops was particularly helpful. See you at Taste of London Winter!
Chérie City was a guest of Celebrity Cruises
All photos by Chérie City