Saturday, 18 May 2019

The Glasshouse & Sindhu P&O Aurora 28th April & 10th May 2019

The Glasshouse and Sindhu are two select dining venues on Aurora, where you pay a supplement or cover charge, so passengers can have a different experience, rather than going to the main dining room (MDR) every night.

We decided to visit The Glasshouse first, so our Head Waiter Mrinmoy contacted Manager Michelle and sent her a copy of my dietary requirements.   The Glasshouse used to be Cafe Bordeaux and to be honest I preferred it as it was and having walked past a good number of times during the day and evening it was always very quiet

The menu is not vegan friendly, but I spotted a couple of dishes that could be tweaked, so called round to discuss my requirements and chose two starters to share with Steven and a main course, but left dessert as nothing looked remotely veganisable.

We arrived at 20.30 pm and the place was dead, except for a table of four officers and two couples, so the atmosphere was not great with dance music playing too loud.   I love dance and heavy rock music and everything in between, but the play list was not suitable for a dining environment, more a night club.

We had a table of two and thought most of the furniture unsuitable for dining, with chairs more suited to sitting back and relaxing having a drink

We ordered a bottle of The Holy Snail, which is one of my favourite vegan wines, whilst Steven looked at the menu to choose his main course.

The polenta chips made with Violife cheese were excellent with the romesco dip, as was the houmous dish, so good in fact, we could have easily eaten another portion of each.

Main courses arrived of pearl barley risotto and vegetable bake, both made using Violife cheese  (having vegan cheese available makes such a difference).

We enjoyed the main courses, they were delicious, although a little finesse would have been nice, grating the cheese instead of having big chunks thrown on.

We ended the meal with a pot of camomile and peppermint tea.   The Glasshouse was good, but would we go again, probably not, it just lacked something in our opinion and whoever thought the furniture was good for dining must never have sat there for a meal.

Sindhu hosted a tasting dinner priced at £22.50 per person, so Mrinmoy emailed Manager Vani with my dietary requirements.   I met her and chef to see what vegan options they could create from the vegetarian menu (unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the menu).   Due to my poor experiences in the MDR up to this point, the meal was complimentary courtesy of Rajeev Kumar Senior Restaurant Manager (this was due to all the issues I had in the MDR read all about it here).

Sindhu on Aurora is much nicer than on Ventura or Azura, where the restaurants run parallel with a very busy walk through, so sitting nearby detracts from the dining experience, whereas on Aurora it is much more private with good lighting for dining.

We arrived at 20.30 pm to a busy restaurant and shown to our table, with our waitress being unaware the meal was complimentary and knew nothing about the Kung Fu Riesling vegan wine Rajeev had ordered for us.

I thought a printed vegan menu would be left on our table as a memento, but sadly only the normal menu was left on the decorative dinner plate settings.   This also meant that I had nothing to refer to, to remind me what I ordered, as it was such a long time since we discussed the vegan options.

The starter plate would have fed two, it was not the small tasting portions I expected.   I was nervous after having issues in the MDR and anything I was suspicious of I left, although I would have struggled to eat it all.   The dish was very tasty, beautifully presented and cooked although no idea of the description of each component.

I think the soup was a delicious Malaysian laksa and once more was a good sized portion, so I left some of this too.

The tomato salad with red onion, mango and peanuts was okay, but I am not keen on raw onion and again too big for me.

The main course was the filling from whatever the vegetarian option was, if I recall it was a pastry roll, this was delicious, yet I still left some as I was getting rather full.

A shame I did not take a photo of the dessert, before our waitress poured hot chocolate sauce over the top, as it was spectacular.   However when I saw a white mousse inside, I chose not to eat it concerned it was made with the non dairy creamer I refer to in my review of dining in the MDR.   I ate the caramelised oranges and Steven ate some of the chocolate part, but there was no way I would eat it.

We both ate far too much, so did not have tea or coffee and found it strange, that even though the meal was complimentary, we were charged for a bottle of sparkling water.

The food in Sindhu is well presented and tasty, with big portions I presume to warrant the charge, it certainly was not tasting menu portions.   I can only presume other diners have much bigger appetites than we do, as we felt over faced.