When Holland America Line launched Koningsdam last year they not only inaugurated their first new ship in six years, they also introduced some new culinary delights. In addition to the main dining room and favorites such as Pinnacle Grill, the Italian Canaletto and the pan-Asian Tamarind, Koningsdam features the French seafood restaurant Sel de Mer, a new farm-to-table dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center and traditional Dutch treats and European beer in the Grand Dutch Cafe.
Holland America Line recently invited us for a culinary walk onboard their new pride and joy. We started our culinary adventure with a visit to the Main Dining Room.
Spanning two floors the dining room’s modern interior is marked by curved pillars leading up to the ceiling with colourful glass light fixtures. At the center of the room stands a two-story high wine tower wrapped by a copper enclosure. The restaurant offers the traditional two seatings and menus that highlight the dishes of Holland America Line’s Culinary Council.
As we make our way along Deck 2 towards the Culinary Arts Center we pass nine interactive displays that allow guests to explore the lives of food and wine dignitaries, their culinary secrets, recipe tips and favorite dishes.
The Culinary Arts Center – presented by Food and Wine Magazine – is used for cooking demonstrations and hands-on cooking classes by visiting celebrity chefs and the ship’s own foodexperts. It features large mirrors, televisions and an open kitchen making it possible for everyone to watch the food preparation and learn from the comfort of their table.
In the evening, the room transforms into a new dining concept called Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center (à la carte pricing), an immersive farm-to-table experience where the chefs prepare simple, artisanal dishes in the show kitchen and guests enjoy each course as it is freshly prepared. Every meal emphasizes fresh, thoughtfully sourced selections while incorporating select ingredients harvested from a glass-enclosed growing area near the entrance of the restaurant.
Located next to the Culinary Arts Center is Sel de Mer (à la carte pricing). Sel de Mer, meaning “salt of the sea” in french, is an intimate French seafood brasserie, where guests can choose their evening meal from the à la carte menu featuring a selection of fresh fish and shell fish displayed on ice in the center of the room.
Seperated by a glass-enclosed wine room from Sel De Mer, Koningsdam’s steakhouse, Pinnacle Grill ($35pp) represents the height of exeptional dining. Open for lunch and diner, the restaurant offers a menu featuring dishes inspired by America’s Pacific Northwest, such as King Salmon from Alaska, and responsibly raised beef from Washington State’s Double R Ranch.
As we continue our Culinary exploration onboard Koningsdam we head out to the new Grand Dutch Cafe (à la carte menu) on deck three. The whimsical Dutch Cafe displays vibrant shades of Delftware’s blue and the silhouettes of charming Amsterdam buildings. It is a salute to Holland America Line’s rich heritage and the ideal place to grab some Dutch-themed snacks and taste a delicious Belgian beer.
The self-service Lido Market on deck nine has been transformed into a modern marketplace with different themed stations perfect for grabbing something on-the-go or have a dish quickly made to order.
“Breadboard” for example serves freshly baked breads, pastries, and signature sandwiches, “Wild Harvest” offers a selection of salads, fruits and health-conscious options and “Homestead” serves home-style scrambled eggs at breakfast and herb-roasted chicken and other comfort classics at lunch and dinner.
Adjacent to the Lido dining area, Canaletto ($15pp) features an authentic Italian “sharing” dinner experience that offers a variety of dishes to enjoy and share with family and friends. The small-plate menu was conceived out of the desire to slow down the meal and create a more authentic Italian experience.
To complete our culinary walk onboard Koningsdam we have a quick look inside Tamarind. First introduced onboard ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam, Tamarind ($25pp) offers a menu that brings the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan to the Panorama Deck of Koningsdam. The restaurant features a small sushi bar and offers stunning views overlooking the Seaview Pool on deck nine.
Complimentary 24-hour in-room dining, the poolside Dive-in – offering signature burgers, hot dogs and fries – and New York Pizza and the à la carte priced Gelato with milkshakes and classic European ice creams complete the culinary offerings onboard Koningsdam.