SPOILED FOR CHOICE
This latest Silversea liner has pushed boundaries with its dining concept of eight restaurants and cafes, seven of which open for dinner, including Hot Rocks on Deck 10, with a casual dress code and DIY lava-stone cooking. Others are designated either informal or formal, bookings are essential for most and two have a per person surcharge. On my voyage, some passengers are perplexed, others downright cross, that there is no main dining room at which you can start a big table and ask the maitre-d’ to bring across other passengers to form a party. As a solo traveller, I am merely overwhelmed by the options and play it by ear for dinner, enjoying a great Neapolitan pizza at laid-back Spaccanapoli on Deck 11 (the top level) one evening and managing to gatecrash a few tables even when not in my best formal rig. But I do find the neighbourhood style of myriad restaurants with different cuisines a welcome, refreshing concept, even if advance dinner reservations take away any spontaneity.
Luckily, by Day Two, Susan No Friends at her table for one is saved by a friendly Melbourne travel agent and two animated British couples and we form a convivial gaggle at meals afloat and ashore. Lunch is an easier affair for solo diners as is a meal at Japanese diner Kaiseki (pictured) with its sit-up counter, home to a sushi and sashimi expert by day and theatrical teppanyaki chefs at night. The moodily lit Indochine serves the best food from a spice-laden menu that includes southern Indian curries and Thai-inspired noodles and stir-fries, and has plenty of smaller tables for two (or one) and a more relaxed reservations policy. And passengers familiar with other Silversea ships will instantly recognise the Italian-inspired La Terrazza at the stern of Deck 7, which has tremendously good breakfast and lunch buffets as well as a la carte dinners, and the Relais & Chateaux-accredited La Dame for French fine dining. Silver Note supper club, with tapas plates from 8pm, is also terrific, and who doesn’t want to toe-tap to jazz from a duo named Twice as Nice while sipping that well-earned second Limoncello.