Having been recently re-introduced to North America, Quantum’s 13 restaurants underwent considerable changes that required far more than simple signage and menu changes. Even things like portion sizes and food presentation to suit passenger expectations on the new itineraries had to be adjusted. Little things like whether the pork loin is served sliced with a drizzle of sauce or plated whole with a choice of sauces served tableside were evaluated. That meant food may have missed the mark on the ship’s early sailings on arrival in North America—but it was a near miss, not a whopping failure.
Food on Quantum of the Seas has an interesting split between restaurants with most food included in the fare for everyone (with additional charges for select a la carte selections), restaurants that charge a flat fee for the majority of the menu, but which also have selected menu items with a la carte pricing, rounded out by eateries and bars with entirely a la carte food and beverage pricing. Room service is free for a Continental breakfast; all other orders incur a service charge of $7.95 per order.
The Main Dining Room: Quantum has four main dining rooms, two on Deck 4 and two on Deck 3. They are each styled quite differently, but they serve the same menu. We would have enjoyed swapping between the dining rooms, but the two restaurants on Deck 4 served My Time diners, with one handling passengers with reservations and the other serving walk-up guests. Traditional early and late diners were served primarily in the two restaurants on Deck 3, with overflow on Deck 4. Breakfast was served daily on Deck 4 as was lunch on sea days.
Each day’s menu is available on the TV in your stateroom as well as in the Royal App—usually days in advance which is a nice feature to allow you to plan your evenings. In addition to included fare, there are menu options with an upcharge, including steak and lobster options.
The Windjammer: Windjammer on Quantum is on Deck 14. It’s nicely arranged to handle a crowd, with adequate seating at and near the windows so that almost everyone can enjoy the view. Food stations are well spaced and well-staffed. The only real point of disruption we experienced was the same as it often is on other ships: Passengers waited exceptionally long times for custom eggs and omelets. Drink service was both self-serve and offered by waitstaff. Food choices were adequate during all three meals, including child-friendly options. Tips: There’s a small patio of outdoor seating all the way to the rear if the weather is suitable, and whatever you do, don’t walk past those sticky buns. Splurge a little.
Solarium Bistro: This quiet jewel is tucked away behind the Sunshine Bar in the Solarium. Entrances are on either side. Even though children under age 16 are not allowed in the Solarium, they are not turned away from dinner in the Bistro. Reservations are suggested for dinner and the menu is posted in the app. A light breakfast is served daily, and lunch is served except on full port days. The emphasis is on Mediterranean healthy choices in a blend of table service and buffet. In addition to included fare, there are menu options with an up charge.
SeaPlex Doghouse: Unless your hangout is the SeaPlex, you are likely to overlook this hot dog cart replica takeaway eatery. It’s at the far back corner of the SeaPlex, but worth the walk for an interesting selection of dogs, including a traditional American Kosher dog, a juicy Bratwurst, and even a chicken dog. All your favorite toppings are there along with potato salad and slaw.
Sorrento’s Pizza: For pizza lovers looking to grab a slice or a pie, it’s in the center of the action in the Esplanade. It’s open from lunch until well into the late-night hours for the partiers out roaming the ship.
Café Two70: Billed as a gourmet marketplace, this out-of-the-way eatery has a dedicated following of folks who have been there and eaten that. Number one on the list of favs is the Kummelweck roast beef sandwich. Open for breakfast and lunch only. Tip: Stop by here on hectic port days for a warm breakfast burrito to avoid the crowds at Windjammer.
Splash Away: As we previously indicated, Splash Away’s exterior still sported all the trappings of a noodle bar on our cruise. Alas, no dim sum here. What we found instead was the perfect lunch grab and go, especially for the kids working up an appetite in the nearby pools. They serve fish and chips or chicken tenders and chips in little paper trays. There’s some seating around the entrance if you can corral your gang into joining you there.
Coastal Kitchen: Situated just outside the starboard entrance to Windjammer, Coastal Kitchen is the private dining room for suite guests. Sea Class cruisers (Junior Suites) are allowed to enjoy dinner if reservations are available. Pinnacle Crown and Anchor members may enjoy all three meals if space is available. Sky and Star Class guests may enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner and every effort is made to accommodate them, with or without reservations, though dinner and lunch reservations are recommended. Service is impeccable, and the food is often as good, if not better than even the paid restaurants.
Chef's Table, $$$$: On Quantum of the Seas, Chef’s Table takes place inside Chops Grille on Deck 5. It’s the kind of event dining that could take place almost anywhere, featuring a six-course tasting menu for an intimate gathering of 12-16 diners and complete with wine pairings. By the end of the evening, you’ll have new friends, new food favorites, and probably know a bit more about wine. It’s a memorable 3-hour feast, with a menu that may vary according to the chef’s inspiration.
Chops Grille, $$$$: One might think the menu at Chops (Deck 5 just beyond the Schooner Bar) would be overly heavy on the meat, but we found it a delightful balance of starters, salads, sides, and desserts that managed to enhance the meat entrees. The waitstaff is genuinely interested in ensuring your dining pleasure. The only regrettable thing about Chops is the view of the lifeboats hanging in front of the windows. Open for lunch and dinner.
Izumi, a la carte: Though it is awkwardly located, almost forcing people simply passing by on the starboard side of the upper esplanade on a crowded evening to walk between dining tables, Izumi draws a happy crowd. The menu is primarily Americanized Japanese, combining sushi and hot food like tempura shrimp, fried rice, soups, and teriyaki bowls. It is not a flat-fee restaurant. Guests choose from an a la carte menu. Open for lunch and dinner.
Jamie’s Italian $$$: Chef inspired by Jamie Oliver, this is the most visible restaurant on the ship, centrally located on the port side of Deck 5 in the part of the esplanade called The Via. Dark-wood tables and chairs and strings of garlic and cured meats hanging from the ceiling lend the eatery much of its Italian trattoria feel. Jamie's Italian offers a full menu of delicious Italian staples, many with a unique twist, like crab and avocado bruschetta. Of course, you'll also find more traditional items, including penne pomodoro, linguine with prawns and eggplant parmigiana. Don't skip the meat or vegetarian planks (literally, planks of wood with taster items placed on top). All pastas (including a gluten-free option) are made from scratch on the ship. Open for lunch and dinner.
Wonderland, $$$$: For those who seek quirky food, this is your dinner place. Decor is a nod to Alice in Wonderland and her trip down the rabbit hole; it's all a little off kilter but in a pleasing way. Oversized keys hang from the ceiling, chairs are mismatched, and blown-glass lighting is as artistic as it is functional. The menu itself is a nine-course set meal that's heavy on seafood and even heavier on imagination. Food is deconstructed, reconstructed, foamed, and shaped into whimsical forms. Think Crispy Crab Cones and Liquid Lobster. Plan for a meal that will be slow; several hours for dinner is normal. Reservations are needed and slots fill quickly at the beginning of the cruise.
Room Service, $: Anything outside of continental breakfast incurs a $7.95 delivery fee, including a full American breakfast. The room service menu is available on the TV in your stateroom and in the Royal App. It includes snack foods like hot dogs, pizza, chicken wings, and quesadilla’s as well as sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and grilled salmon.
Chops Grille gets the nod on Quantum. It’s like dining out at your favorite steakhouse at home, with a waiter who treats you like a regular. Every dish we tried – and we tried a lot – was perfectly cooked and presented. Café Two70 is a clear winner for lunch. And frankly, Coastal Kitchen must be included on our list, even though it isn’t available to everyone on board. The wedge salad in CK was actually better than the one in Chops.
We were asked about dietary restrictions at every sit-down meal, which is a good starting point. When a soy allergy was discussed with one MDR waiter, the head waiter promptly appeared to propose options for us. A proactive approach is always advised if servers seem unsure about ingredients. The more experienced waitstaff in the specialty restaurants handled requests regarding specific ingredients by speaking directly to the kitchen.