A few nights ago Trevor and I decided to give the Samba Grill a try on board the Radiance of the Seas.
This restaurant is a specialty restaurant which is not included in your cruise fare. The cost is $25 per person.
Now I need to explain what this restaurant is all about. It is a brazillian style churrascaria. When you look at the menu, the names of the meals are hard to understand as they are in brazilian but with some imagination you can work out that they are all roast meat type meals. How can you go wrong with roasted meats?
The Samba Grill is located on deck 12 and is only accessible via the weather deck which is the only negative about this place. On the night that we went it was blowing a gale so it was an adventure getting there.
When you first arrive and you are seated, your waiter will explain how it works. It is very different from other places you might have been to.
There are 9 types of roasted meats that are brought out to your table in courses. You have a salad bar that you can help yourself to and they also serve side dishes to your table including steak fries, roasted vegetables and fried bananas! (Trevor loved these).
Ok so here is how it all works.... you have a light at your table that you can change from white to green and to red.
Green means that you are ready fro your first or next serving of meat. Red means that you do not want to be served at that time and white means that you are finished and want dessert.
When we started the meal I was a little unsure as I am a picky eater but I soon worked out that this type of food is very earthy and simple when you think of it.
Our "Gaucho" (the brazilian style meat server) came to our table as soon as I changed out light to green.
Imagine a waiter who brings a large roast meat skewer to your table. He asks you to use the small set of tongs that they give you and as he carves, you use your tongs to grab a slither or small slice of the meat.
This meat is fantastic. The most tender, juicy and flavoursome meat. They do serve a set of sauces to your table and suggest a different sauce with each meat serving or if you don't like these, there is rock salt which goes really well with the meat too.
Now you do have to pace yourself at this restaurant. BIG TIP: have a light lunch on the day you intend to go to Samba because you will need it.
After our first meat serving, we switched out light to red and savoured our food. The servings can be small if you wish, just take a sliver of the meat and then you won't overeat. Don't fill up on the side dishes though or you won't make it through the nine cuts of meat.
After a while, we were ready for our next meat and changed our light to green. Our Gaucho then served us this wonderful chicken breast on a skewer wrapped in bacon. I am generally weary of chicken breast as it tends to be dry but not this one.... juicy and flavoursome with the taste of bacon.
Each meat serving was a another type of flavour yet it was just simple meat cooked on a skewer and slowly roasted to perfection.
Towards serve number seven, I must admit that I was out for the count. I tried number eight but could not tackle number nine which apparently is the best, the filet mignon! Trevor said it was fantastic.
At this point we put our light to white and were ready for dessert. We forced ourselves to try the decadent desserts which you need to leave a little room for.
This dining experience is unique and special and is really worth a try on your cruise on Radiance of the Seas if you plan to come on board. For the cost of $25pp, this was well worth it and in our view the best service and food that we have experienced on the ship.
The waiters went the extra mile for their customers. Half way through the meal, it started to rain outside and the only way to the ladies room was to go out on the deck and get wet and wind ravaged. The waiter took us the back way through the galley and the crew elevators so that we would not get wet and waited patiently for us to come out of the ladies room and then escorted us the same way back to the restaurant.
I think the access to this restaurant was an oversight in the recent dry dock refurbishment of the ship but if you can put that aside, this is a fantastic restaurant but more than that it was an eating experience.
I have posted a few pictures below of the unique table light system that you use to control your courses throughout the meal.