NCL "Best of the Best" Lunch Review Aboard the Norwegian Pearl

Posted by: CruiseReporter on 04/29/2011 - 02:15 AM

We tried out the NCL "Best of the Best" dining event for lunch at Le Bistro. The premise was that Norwegian would let you eat some of the very best they have to offer from their specialty restaurants. At a cover charge of $15, it took little convincing to try it out. Some of the dishes were put out buffet style in the forms of some simple dishes from the Lotus Garden (the Asian specialty restaurant). They were not much better than the stuff from the Garden Cafe- dishes like Lo Mein, fried rice, Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork and BBQ Spareribs were decent tasting but not what you would consider "best of the best". They also were not as warm as they should have been. On the positive side there were salmon and tuna sashimi on the buffet, and the desserts were outstanding. The highlight we thought was the Coconut Tapioca Pudding dessert that came from the Lotus Garden.

For appetizer we went for the Italian Antipasti Platter (from La Cucina), the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (from Cagney's) and the Escargots Bourguignonne (from Le Bistro). The Crab Cakes were the best of the bunch. Since we had eaten at Le Bistro, we thought the appetizer w/ the four cones should have been on this "Best of the Best" menu as well.

For soup we went for the Onion Soup au Gratin (from Le Bistro). It was a bit bitter and salty but grows on you, but we couldn't finish it- too salty. For our main entrees we went for the Lemon Pepper Shrimp (from Lotus Garden) and the Fillet De Saumon D' Atlantic (from Le Bistro). The shrimp dish was so-so, but the salmon entree was quite good- the fish was cooked nicely with a crust but yet not overcooked.

Overall the food from the Norwegian Cruises "The Best of the Best" on the NCL Pearl was a bit disappointing. The service was excellent as usual, however, and there was even small band playing some live music. Since it was just $15 per person, I would recommend trying it out for the chance to eat some of the dishes from the specialty restaurants that you haven't eaten before. The name of the event was a bit misleading though- it definitely wasn't the best of the best, but rather "Select Dishes from the Specialty Restaurants".

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