It is safe to say that among the hundreds of restaurants found on cruise ships, none are the equal of the Celebrity Millennium’s Qsine. It is one of two specialty dining venues on the 2,000-plus passenger ship, the other being the very proper French high-style Olympic presided over by the charming Bekir Ileri. Both cost a hefty $45 supplement, among the highest at sea, but there the similarities most definitely end.
If you had to use one word to define the hyper-eclectic Qsine, quirky would work—though traditional diners might choose gimmicky instead. Everything is different here, from the fine thin-walled wine tumblers placed just so on their sides when you sit down to the iPads used to order dinner. You should put aside preconceived notions of what fine dining should be and just submit to the fun and the food.
What you will find on that iPad menu are 20 individual small-plate dishes, so you put together something like a self-directed tasting menu that is presided over and orchestrated by your server. Dishes are drawn from multiple cuisines, mixed and matched in intriguing ways. Each course has its own presentation eccentricity. For instance, the Vegetable Du Jatour is a half dozen small glass jars, each filled with a different purred vegetable and eaten with small spoons. Slider Party is two little patties topped with cheddar presented still sizzling on cast iron and accompanied by little brioche buns and the usual burger condiments. Another course is offered in what looks like a shadow box with many compartments. The dessert menu is on a Rubic’s Cube-like device. That’s right, quirky.
It is nonetheless good and it is fun. Among the many plusses of Qsine is the dedicated galley staffed by a half dozen very hard-working cooks. It is labor-intensive, ambitious and mostly works. Each dish is prepared to order—the French say a la minute—and is immediately served by the equally hard-working wait staff. Anyone who has suffered through cruise ship dishes made earlier and served less than hot will cheer this attribute. One good example is Spring Rolls—the pork filled one is delicious—which arrive crunchy-hot.
Qsine is found on Millennium’s topmost deck with glass all around—if it isn’t too dark there are great views. Maitre d’ Alex, who opened the restaurant when it debuted in 2010, is caring and welcoming, and the wait staff provides an entertaining dining experience. With so much on the menu to try, come hungry. And with so much that is unusual, bring your sense of exploration too.