Explora Journeys reveals culinary offering

Explora Journeys has unveiled details for EXPLORA I’s five all-inclusive restaurants. Alle menus feature distinctive signature dishes that blend visual artistry with sensory excitement.

Explora Journeys has revealed information on five of its outstanding six onboard restaurants on EXPLORA I, the first of six ships, that will set sail on 17 July 2023 from Southampton in the UK. Among the ship’s 18 food and beverage venues these 5 restaurants offer guests superb all-inclusive menus that include unique signature dishes influenced by a variety of international cuisines.

The visual excitement and sheer variety of luxury dining experiences at Explora Journeys’ restaurants come thanks to the leadership of Franck Garanger and his extraordinarily talented team. Restaurant kitchens of international stature are all about precision and technique; but equally important is an understanding of produce – perfectly fresh, sustainable and locally sourced, with components such as bakery and pasta made from scratch onboard. The culinary team aims to maintain a delicate balance of creativity and restraint, an approach that allows beautiful ingredients to shine, taking guests on a journey of discovery via flavours drawn from cuisines around the world.

Explora Journeys’ sommeliers have also gone the extra mile to source boutique labels offering unusual, sometimes very rare, wines of unexpected provenance. A specially curated mixology programme includes the signature Ocean State of Mind cocktail, as well as beverages uniquely designed to accompany specific regional menus. Alongside this offering is a special focus on interesting, alcohol-free beverages.

World-leading refined dining

Sakura is inspired by the ancient tea rooms of Kyoto (the name means ‘cherry blossom’). Its chefs follow traditional Japanese techniques, using meticulously sourced ingredients to create an authentic pan-Asian experience. Menus embrace not just Japanese, but Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian cuisines, too, with a specialist sommelier on hand to advise on sake, shōchūs and other Asian-influenced drinks.

One of the sgignature dishes in Sakura is the Wakame salad, smoked Madagascan pepper, and Wagyu beef tataki.

Japan’s famously luxurious Grade 5 Wagyu beef, is never cooked or grilled – it’s delicately torched, an authentic cooking technique that sears the meat at an extremely high heat, preserving its astonishing melt-in-the-mouth succulence. The Madagascan pepper is an exceptional variety that grows wild on tall lianas in the heart of Madagascar’s rainforests. Intensely aromatic and exotically spicy, it imparts sweet, very fragrant, rustic hints to the dish that linger long on the palate. Wakame is a highly nutritious seaweed that is associated with a range of health benefits, but it also gives this salad an irresistible umami flavour with a hint of sweetness. 

Marble & Co. Grill is cool and contemporary, with soft lighting and relaxed, attentive service – a mellow and welcoming place to dine that redefines the European steakhouse concept. The aim is simply to provide exceptional cuts of sumptuous, sustainable meats, rigorously sourced for their intense flavour and provenance. There’s an in-house Dry Ager, as well as a cellar stocked with fine wines.

Grilled prime rib, aged for 30 days, cherry tomatoes, Hollandaise Sauce is one of the signature dishes.

Sourced from a top-quality producer found only in the Deux-Sévres region of the lush Loire Valley, the Jersiaise breed is world-famous for its sensational flavour and intense marbling. As such, it is one of the most sought-after cuts for prime rib, the chefs’ choice for creating the finest version of this steakhouse classic. For optimum enjoyment, it is topped very simply with cherry tomatoes and a velvety hollandaise sauce.

Med Yacht Club recalls sophisticated Mediterranean beachside restaurants offering regional ocean-inspired dishes, a convivial place for guests to enjoy with friends and family. The tastes and textures of Italy, Spain, Greece, France and North Africa are captured in sharing plates that include plant-based ingredients, accompanied cocktails and wines from the vineyards of the Mediterranean.

One of the signature dishes here is the Grilled octopus with San Marzano tomato sauce, Taggiasca olives, green beans, parsley.

The sharp, sundried Taggiasca olives complement sweet San Marzano tomatoes, creating a perfectly balanced bed for expertly grilled octopus. The dish is a tribute to the importance of province when sourcing the finest ingredients – a minimum requirement of Explora Journeys’ chefs.  

Emporium Marketplace is all airy marble minimalism where the food is king. Cooking stations serve destination-inspired dishes, with sushi, seafood and exquisite meats presented alongside pasta cooked to order and freshly baked pizza. Guests can enjoy charcuterie and fromagerie, and bread and pastries delivered straight from oven to table. Fresh juices, smoothies and acai bowls are served at breakfast.

Here guests will definitely enjoy the handmade tortelloni, ricotta cheese, spinach, tomato-sage butter.

It’s often the simplest dishes that take great skill – this classic is no exception. Tortelloni are ring-shaped, filled pasta ‘pockets’ that originate in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. Made onboard from scratch every day in the authentic Italian way, it’s a process best described as art-meets-science. Carefully sourced flour is used to make dough that has the correct degree of elasticity;  this is essential to giving the tortelloni their mouth-watering light and silky texture before being filled with ricotta and spinach, then gently coated in tomato-sage butter.

Fil Rouge offers exquisite, French-inspired international cuisine in an intimate ambiance where guests can linger longer to truly appreciate the level of gastronomic creativity. The décor features intricate hexagon shapes contrasting with clean white walls, a tribute to timeless elegance in its purest form. 

The signature dish at Fil Rouge is Tuna tataki, crispy tomato-olive tart, vegetables, vanilla white pepper.

Explora Journeys’ chefs choose bluefin tuna for their tataki. This Japanese dish involves searing the tuna at a scorching temperature before rapidly cooling it, leaving the centre rare – only the finest quality will do for this time-honoured technique. Caught in the sea close to Cartagena Bay on the Mediterranean coast in south-eastern Iberia, it’s among the best-grade tuna to be found anywhere in the world.

Also read: Meet the culinary experts on board Explora Journeys

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