Asian Market Kitchen is the confluence of three dining concepts (sushi/raw bar, teppanyaki grill and Asian-fusion restaurant) developed over the course of two-and-a-half years by Chef Roy Yamaguchi for MSC Cruises' Miami-based ship, MSC Seaside. The cuisine at Asian Market Kitchen, a specialty restaurant onboard, is inspired by Yamaguchi's many international influences -- Japanese heritage, time spent in Hawaii, culinary schooling in the French tradition and flavors from Thailand, Vietnam and beyond.
Yamaguchi drew design influence from his Asian heritage, but didn’t want the space to feel one-dimensional as just an "Asian restaurant." As a result, the venues are sleek and modern with a lot of light, both natural and in decorative fixtures. Yamaguchi was involved in each step of the creative process -- from the tableware to the music to the paper stock for the menus -- so his personality is infused throughout the experience.
The entire Asian Market Kitchen space accommodates about 100 patrons: approximately 40 people can book Teppanyaki at one time, the sushi bar seats 15 to 20 and the rest of the space is designated for the Asian-fusion restaurant.
The menu at each venue is different. The sushi bar offers about five to six rolls to start, with sashimi and raw bar options. Try the Triple Play -- yamagobo (pickled burdock root), kaiware (sprouted daikon radish seeds), shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, hamachi (Japanese fish), garlic aioli and black sesame seeds -- or the Caterpillar Roll made with unagi "katsu" (freshwater eel), cucumber, bigeye tuna, avocado and kabayaki (more eel).
The teppanyaki grill offers traditional hibachi-style meals in addition to fusion options. Order teriyaki filet mignon, a vegetarian meal with spicy noodles, tofu and shiitake mushrooms, or opt for the surprising grilled Vietnamese essence lamb chop (served in a red wine curry sauce).
Asian Fusion by Roy Yamaguchi serves 35 different dishes including melt-in-your-mouth lobster fried rice made with lap cheong (Chinese sausage); steamed pork, shrimp and crab dumplings; blackened ahi; and miso soup. Six to eight desserts are on the menu, including Roy's famous chocolate souffle cake (a recipe nearly 30 years old), as well as pineapple upside-down cake with coconut ice cream, and green tea cheesecake.
Yamaguchi excels at the now-trendy Hawaiian raw fish salad known as poke, and both a traditional version and creative takes (like watermelon poke) are served at Asian Market Kitchen.
About a dozen cocktails have also been designed to complement the food at Asian Market Kitchen.
Menus at all three iterations of Asian Market Kitchen will be priced a la carte. Dining packages will also be sold, and the estimated prices are $28 per person for Sushi by Roy Yamaguchi, $30 per person for Teppanyaki by Roy Yamaguchi and $35 per person for Asian Fusion by Roy Yamaguchi.
Cruisers will find Asian Market Kitchen aboard MSC Seaside.