By Carolyn O' Donnell
Cruise Critic Contributor
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Dining

The quality of the food on board was very high, and included local specialties, dishes from neighboring Asian countries, and Western options. Meals followed a pattern, but within this there was plenty of daily variation. Breakfast generally comprised a buffet of fresh fruit, cereals, breads, deli items (eg cheese, smoked salmon) and hot foods such as sausages or mohinga, the fish soup the Burmese typically eat in the morning. Additionally, there was a menu featuring dishes such as eggs Benedict, omelettes or eggs prepared in different ways.

Lunch was buffet-style, with tempting salads using local ingredients (pickled tea leaves, crisp butter beans) and Western components, while hot dishes might include prawn curry, roasted chicken or stir-fried vegetables, with cakes or something like fruit mousse in individual ramekins to follow.

If no excursions were planned for the afternoon, tea with sandwiches, cakes and dried fruit was served in the piano bar. During excursions a variety of drinks (sometimes sparkling wine and beer) was served, accompanied by local snacks or biscuits.

The evening meal was comprised of an Asian and a Western multicourse menu that changed daily, and passengers could choose from one or each. Western options some evenings included foie gras, rack of lamb, steak or fish. The meal started with an amuse-bouche, and ended with petit fours and coffee or tea, and included an optional cheese course. Almost everything is included in the fare, except selections from the international wine list. The staff pay attention and get to know passengers and their preferences quite quickly. There is no set seating. Special requests are accommodated where possible.

The program for each day was set out in a booklet in the cabin, and meals were generally conducted within a two-hour period with timings altered to accommodate excursions if necessary. Food was fresh and plentiful, and exceptional compared with what would be available on land -- in many parts of Burma most of the population don't have refrigeration. There is one air-conditioned restaurant on board, but lunch can be eaten on the Observation Deck. The bar there and on the Main Deck stayed open as needed.

Belmond Road to Mandalay Information

Belmond Road to Mandalay Ship Stats

  • Crew: 87
  • Launched: 1996
  • Decks: 4
  • Passengers: 82

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