Cagney’s, on-board the Norwegian Spirit
RATING: Food 4.5; Ambience 3; Service 4.5; Drink selection 5
If you are charging customers extra to dine in a theme restaurant on board ship then it must be special and Cagney’s, tucked away on Deck Seven of the comfortable but tired Norwegian Spirit, which is due for a refit, comes close.
We dined there twice (we were on a five-meal package recommended by our travel agent, Edinburgh-based Bryton Travel, which proved real value) and we were not disappointed.
The first occasion edged it, possibly because of the waiter and the location in the rather dark dining-room, but the food was superbly cooked and presented and every option was explained on request.
The staff delivered on service and on food quality. I’ve rarely eaten a steak where the knife sliced the sirloin like butter. I enjoy it rare and this was, the juice combining superbly with the meat.
I asked for advice on sides. Green beans worked but the gratin potatoes were an acute let-down for me. They were so rich that the taste dominated even the steak and I failed to finish them. A personal preference perhaps but one worth mentioning. Others may love the taste.
However, my bean chilli casserole with bacon was full of flavour and complimented the steak. For those keen to dig deep, it included garlic, onions, bacon, thyme, BBQ sauce, parsley, kidney beans, black beans and red meat.
My wife had loves mac’n cheese and was keen to try this rich American-style side (with Mozzeralla, Grueyre and Brie cheese, heavy cream, butter and garlic). It was, like the potato gratin, also a tad strong for the dish, but a quality side none-the-less.
The executive chef, Bijesh Chandran, came to our table to discuss our meal and he later took time to respond to my request for a recipe for the mac’n cheese and for the bean chilli. A nice touch.
We also enjoyed starters. My shrimp with a special sauce including Worcester sauce and horseradish sauce had a real kick but did not overpower the fish and my wife’s subtle salad was light on calories but strong on taste.
We got talking to Americans at the next table (it was difficult to miss them at they numbered 1,100 on a total capacity of 2,400) and they also spoke highly about Cagney’s. Hard to say better than that but think about a meal package.