A pan-Asian menu highlights this top-deck dining room that reveals wonderful views.
Featuring a fusion of various Asian cuisines—Chinese, Thai, Japanese—Tamarind is attractively accented with rice paper lamps and dark bamboo furniture. Perched mid-ship on the top deck, the 144-seat venue also boasts panoramic views of the sea. When there’s nothing to see outside you can watch the chef prepare your sushi from the open kitchen. There is a $15 surcharge for dinner here, but lunch—a set menu of dim sum only—doesn’t require a supplement.
Lunch at Tamarind starts with a hot and sour soup, followed by an Asian herb Szechuan sesame salad sprinkled with shrimp chips. We found the salad boring—it tasted like nothing. But the traditional steamed dumplings were satisfying and included chicken, pork, vegetable, and shrimp shu mai. Dim sum from the wok included vegetable spring roll, shrimp won ton sticks, shrimp spring roll and spicy crab Rangoon—the latter was awesome. Four sauces were available to accompany these bites and we found them quite good and not too spicy.
Dinner starts with a traditional soup followed by shrimp chips with various sauces for dipping: hot, medium, sweet, soy sauce—delectable. Shrimp tempura was accompanied by a chili dip and green papaya salad. This papaya slaw was refreshing—acidic, not sweet. For sushi we enjoyed nigiri with tuna, salmon and halibut—these tasted just right. Our favorite was the pork dish with coconut. This delicious dish can be spiced as hot as you want (or not) and we really hit it. The accompanying bok choy with oyster sauce was lovely.
For dessert there was mango sorbet, coconut ice cream, an egg tart, and green tea tiramisu. We chose the vanilla soufflés with mango sauce and chunks of mango pieces (delightful) and loved the chocolate mousse with ginger, though it was a tad heavy.
In addition to Holland America’s signature drinks, Tamarind’s bar is the adjoining Silk Room, which specializes in saketinis—drinks served in cocktail glasses using sake as a mixer and wearing names like Sake Tumi, Sweet Raspberry and Samurai Mojito.
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