I’ve cruised on one other Celebrity ship with Qsine restaurant before, but never tried it because it seemed, well, kitschy. And when I dine, I prefer good food over kitsch any day of the week. My friend Nikki, however, had enjoyed Qsine twice, and she has good taste. So when she said it was a must-do, I listened. (I’m not always stubborn.)
I reserved our group of ten, including Nikki, before we set sail, and I was cautiously optimistic. I’ll start with the negatives, but here’s a spoiler alert: we ended up loving it.
Once seated, our wait staff eagerly brought out iPads (menus) and water, but it took a while to get the attention of a wine person. Once we got our orders in, our glasses were never again empty. Our server came over and asked if anyone had allergies or food sensitivities. Although it was already in my reservation, I let him know that I cannot have anything with mayonnaise, chickpeas, or mango. (That was the oh-so-fun conclusion of an elimination diet earlier this year. No friggin’ mayo. Oh, and did I mention that my next door neighbor has a mango tree, and I make a hell of a frozen mango daiquiri? No mas.)
I was summarily dismissed by the waiter with a wave of the hand and a “don’t worry about it“. We were not off to a good start. The number of dishes that come with mayo, and cannot be modified, including the famous “disco shrimp“, is astounding. None for me.
At Qsine the menu consists of 20 items, each represented on the dreaded iPad by an icon. (As my friend Don described one of the dishes “it’s the genie/lantern one” Oh. OK, that explains that.) I found the menu confusing and gimmicky. Our waiter described the dishes as small and shareable. Well, with ten people, we ordered two of each. That did not seem outrageous until they started coming. Shareable? You betcha. Small? Not so much.
Sushi lollipops are undeniably popular: adorable, delicious, and sadly, served with mayo. Not to worry, a new sushi restaurant opened right down the hall and a special, delicious, vegetable roll came out for me, after lamenting that I would not be able to indulge. An entire tray of tuna and salmon lollipops appeared just for my non-shellfish-eating parents. Little did we know what else was coming.
Clearly, we ordered too much food.
There was a bookcase full of impossibly tiny dishes. Greek salad in one, tzatziki in another, chicken skewers, lamb chops, and a tiny dish of lamb something-or-other that was spicy and flavorful. A grilled chicken skewer with Persian spices was the best thing at dinner according to FKGuy. I enjoyed the Indian dishes – aloo chole (I skipped that chickpea dish), lamb curry, chicken Rogan Josh (another favorite) and shrimp vindaloo. All delicious, and dare I say, better than the Indian place on 6th street in New York where I happened in with a friend. We were the only customers, and seemingly the only person working there was changing his shirt as we walked in. I digress, back to Qsine…
Fortunately, we managed to cancel a few dishes, but not before the sliders, filet mignon and fish and chips showed up. These sliders were delicious, tiny cheeseburgers, complete with condiments on the side, bun on the side, and to enjoy as you like it. Filet mignon here comes with five sauces, including a tasty mushroom concoction, mac and cheese, and creamed spinach.
Somehow there was something called lava crab, lobster escargot fritters, and a meatball trilogy (the weak link in the meal).
Overall, the meal was wonderful. Service, despite a rocky beginning, turned out good, and the food was excellent. There was just so much of it. Would I go back? Sailing in a suite afforded us access to Luminae, which is better than any of the specialty restaurants on the ship, however, yes, I would certainly go back and enjoy Qsine again.