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Strand Cruise Dining

5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
28 Reviews
Gary Buchanan
Cruise Critic Contributor
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5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Dining
28 Reviews

The executive chef is from neighboring Thailand and has been instrumental in training his nine fellow Burmese chefs in the art of preparing delicious local dishes as well as French, Thai and international cuisine. Breakfast is served in the Strand Restaurant; lunch is enjoyed under canopies on the Sun Deck; while dinners are creative and range from evening small-bites served around the Sarkies Bar when the lavish Strand Afternoon High Tea leaves passengers replete, to a gourmet French dinner and Burmese Shan-style meal served family-style in the Restaurant, as well as the incomparable sandbank dinner.

Food is of a consistently high standard. Beef is sourced from Australia; lamb from New Zealand; salmon from Norway; chicken from Brazil; foie gras and cheeses from France. Lobster and sea bass come from the south of Myanmar; while all fruit, vegetables and salads are sourced from high-quality outlets in Yangon. Speciality coffees are prepared with Illy beans.   

The complimentary wines at lunch and dinner include French, South African and Chilean wines as well as Red Mountain Sauvignon Blanc from Myanmar. There's also a comprehensive wine list which includes fine vintages such as Puligny Montrachet 2011 and Pomerol 2009.

Strand Restaurant (Upper Deck): The air-conditioned Strand Restaurant has eight tables for two beside the windows on either side. In the center of the room are two long tables for eight as well as four tables for four, which comprise banquettes and chairs. At the aft end are five tables for two which can be combined into a table for four, six, eight or ten. There is a central buffet countertop in white marble. The room exudes a colonial ambiance with a lacquer-ware display at the aft end, four central palm tree-effect pillars; teak floor and rattan chairs with grey, ochre, olive-green, sienna and candy-stripe plush cushions. Venetian blinds shade the room from the sun and there's a drop-down screen with audio-visual projection equipment. The attractive flatware is by Luzerne and this comes into its own on the French Dinner when colorful chargers grace the starched, white tablecloths.

Breakfast includes a wide selection of freshly-prepared local fruits and juices, yoghurts, cereals and cold cuts, as well as superb oven-fresh croissants and patisserie. There is also a menu for ordering a variety of egg dishes along with bacon and sausages. In addition, there's the option of a Myanmar breakfast of Mohinga (a fish-based noodle soup) or vegetarian dishes. Strand Restaurant (Upper Deck) serves breakfast (from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) as well as dinner (times vary).

The Tapas and Dinner Together meal is creative and fulfilling and includes items such as slow-cooked lamb shank and oven-roasted salmon.

The French Dinner includes terrine de foie gras (made by the executive chef); grilled lobster or filet mignon Rossini. The "Shan-style Myanmar Dinner", served family-style, is a wealth of local delicacies tempered for international palates and endorses the region's philosophy of balancing the flavors of sweet, sour, savory, creamy, bitter, astringent, salty and hot. Vegetarians are well catered for with an array of choices. Dinner is generally served between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. On the three-night itinerary, dinners include the Burmese, French and Small Bites meals as well as the Strand Afternoon High Tea. The four-night itinerary has the inclusion of the sandbank dinner.

Sun Terrace (Sun Deck): Lunch each day is served on the Sun Deck (times vary) and comprises an attractive array of salads (both Oriental and international); soups; hot main dishes, which range from roasted Wagyu ribeye beef to freshly-made pasta, are served from a separate hot buffet. There's also an array of French breads, French cheeses (plus Myanmar camembert), indulgent desserts and fresh fruits. On one afternoon during each cruise the Strand Afternoon High Tea is offered with either local tea and coffee or Dammann speciality teas.

The Sun Deck Buffet has a table for cold items and hot buffet with à la minute cooking station. All the serving areas are under canopies. The dining and relaxation area of this deck has a color palette of white and primrose. There are six sets of couches for four passengers on the left and right hand sides. In the center are four high-back, white "peacock-fan" wicker chairs which form the centerpiece of four tables of four. There's a drop-down screen and a/v equipment for showing films under the stars.

Sarkies Bar (Sun Deck): The Small Bites at Sarkies Bar offers a serving of tasty treats, and makes for a very sociable evening.

Room service: Breakfast and dinner items from the restaurant menu can be served in cabins and suites, along with refreshments, upon request. Bottles of water are placed in cabins and suites twice daily (morning and evening).

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