For a small ship, Richard With certainly punches way above its weight in terms of cuisine, both in terms of variety and quality. There may be only one MDR/buffet, but you wouldn't be bored if you ate here every night as the food on offer is different each evening. One night it may be Seafood Night, with an ultralocal catch; on another evening, it may be a three-course, sit-down waiter-served meal; or it might be showcasing some regional specialty.
We also love that every day at breakfast, a pamphlet is placed on tables detailing the evening meal to come. It lists the food, whether there is a theme that night or if it's a waiter-served meal, the food's provenance and any history attached to the meal (i.e., if it's a local special, how it arrived in Norway etc.).
It's the same in the extra-fee Kysten Fine Dining venue; the menu choices may be short, but the menu is thick as every dish has a story attached. We'd recommend splashing out in Kysten on one night, especially on King Crab Night, for the variety and attention to detail.
A dinner in Kysten is included in your fare if you have paid the higher Platinum fare. If you are on Basic or Select fare, you will have to pay for an upgrade and then you can choose from a set menu.
If you're on the full or half Coastal Voyage, you are on Full Board, i.e., all your meals in the main dining room are included in the fare.
There is no room service onboard Richard With.
Torget (Deck 4)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D)
Richard With has just one main dining room/buffet, which is open for all three meals (it does close between meals). You can opt for a flexible dining package, or fixed-time dining at two times: 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tables are allocated at dinner time only. Note: Torget is the only venue serving free tea, coffee and juices.
Breakfast, which generally begins at 7 a.m., is self-serve; expect all the standard morning items, with a few more "European-style" dishes, such as cold cuts, smoked fish and, at the cooking station, Norwegian-style waffles.
Lunch is also a buffet, with waiters on hand to take drinks orders.
The evening meal always features a local specialty, either in the form of meat, seafood or dessert. Hurtigruten does a great job in bringing the story of the menu items to life, with a pamphlet detailing the provenance and history of the cuisine. In addition to whatever the focus is on, you'll find a wide variety of other dishes, including vegetarian options.
Dinner is often an event, either a special night -- like Seafood Night, which features local fish and shellfish such as shrimp, crawfish, mussels, oysters, arctic char and salmon -- or a three-course, sit-down meal featuring a local delicacy.
Allergies or intolerances are clearly marked by signs on the menu or on the little signs by each buffet item.
In terms of kids' food, the best thing to do is ask, and the chef will make a burger, pasta or pizza dish.
Service is outstanding.
Pricing was accurate at time of review but may have changed since.
Kysten (Deck 4): 240 NOK (about $30) per person cover charge, plus a la carte prices per item, 99 NOK (about $10) to 345 NOK (about $40); King Crab set menu 695 NOK per person (about $80);
Kysten is a small venue, rarely crowded, adjacent to (but not separate from) the main lounge, which during the day doubles as Brygga, one of two spots to grab an extra-fee daytime snack. The restaurant has an open kitchen and a dedicated chef. It's top-notch Norwegian cooking; we liken it to eating in a Michelin-starred restaurant in terms of the service, the knowledge and the preparation and quality of food.
There are two menus. The first is the full a la carte menu and is included for Platinum fare passengers. Alternatively, you can pay a cover charge to enter the restaurant and then also pay for the a la carte menu items. The second menu is a smaller set menu for those who do not want to pay the cover charge to access to the full a la carte menu. This set menu has a cover charge, but there are no a la carte charges on top of that.
It's not cheap (nothing in Norway is), but it's worth a splurge at least once on your voyage. It rarely (if ever) gets crowded, and you'll be sure of attentive and knowledgeable service by the young wait staff.
Everything is local, so much so that you can sometimes see the fish being loaded from one of the tiny fishing villages the ship pulls in to along the way. The restaurant is priced a la carte, except for King Crab Night, where the famous dish is prepared table-side for you. (You can find out everything about your crab by scanning the QR code attached to its shell -- it will tell you where, when and by whom it was caught.)
The a la carte menu is delicious but limited, with just a handful of starters, entrees and desserts from which to choose from. The menu includes local fish, reindeer, beef and pork, as well as vegetarian dishes.
The wine list is extensive and varied, and there is also a suggested wine pairing. House wines start at a pricy 475 NOK (about $55) and 565 NOK (about $65) for red.
Brygga (Deck 4); a la carte
Sharing the space that Kysten occupies in the evening, Brygga sells a limited selection of food, including hamburgers, steaks, mussels and a local specialty, bacalao.
Multe Bakery (Deck 7); a la carte
Open: B, L
A lovely spot at the top of the ship that sells specialty coffees, pastries and open sandwiches, as well as an interesting selection of local ice creams, including most of your favorites, plus a fish flavor and beer flavor.