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RV Kalaw Pandaw Dining

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
7 reviews
Editor Rating
5.0
Excellent
Dining
Kristie Kellahan
Cruise Critic Contributor

The general quality of food onboard is very good to excellent. The chefs excel at Burmese specialties, though very good Western options are also offered. Choices are varied throughout the week, and the menu never starts to feel repetitious. Vegetarian meals, as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and allergen-free are happily catered for. If nothing on the daily menu appeals, ask the chef for a special request and if they have the ingredients onboard, they will oblige. Portions are generous. Delicious bread and pastries are baked fresh onboard each morning.

Each of the three daily meals is served in the outdoor, covered section of the upper deck. At certain times of year when swarms of bugs make al fresco dining an unappealing proposition, the tables are moved indoors to the bar/lounge.

Teas and percolated coffee are available in the bar/lounge from 6am each morning until late.

Breakfast is generally served from 7-9am. A buffet selection includes fresh fruit, juice, yoghurt, cereal, sweet pastries, several kinds of bread and spreads. A la carte options may be ordered from the wait staff. These include eggs Benedict, omelettes, scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns.

At breakfast time, passengers pre-order their lunch from an a la carte menu that will include a Burmese dish (prawn curry with fried rice, for example), a Western dish (steak frites, or a BLT, for example) and a vegetarian curry or stir fry. This is complemented by a buffet that includes a soup (the local varieties are especially good, such as mohinga fish soup, or the coconut chicken noodle soup), fresh salads, a vegetable tempura, bread, cheese and fruit. One dessert option is offered at lunch, for example chocolate donuts or bread-and-butter pudding.

Then at lunchtime, the dinner main dish is pre-ordered. Three options here as well: an Asian dish (for eg, grilled butterfish with Masala curry butter sauce and vegetable fried rice); a Western dish (such as chicken breast with shallot cream sauce and market vegetables) and a vegetarian (aubergine pasta with grilled asparagus). Dinner appetisers are served a la carte with only one option -- a salad followed by a soup (cream of carrot and ginger, for example) --, then the main dish, followed by a dessert (chocolate mud cake, ice cream, cheesecake). Dinner is served at 7.30pm most days.

Snacks of salted peanuts and two kinds of cookies are available free of charge at all times in the lounge; passengers are encouraged to help themselves.

Local beer, soft drink and local spirits are included in the fare and many passengers choose these drinks at mealtimes. A wine list is available with wines to purchase, including a very good local Burmese option (white or red) for under US$25 per bottle.

While seating is open, passengers tend to stick with the seat they choose on the first day. As tables are divided into seating for four or five, this hinders easy mingling. Perhaps the crew might consider setting name cards for each meal at different places.

Room service can be arranged, if requested. There is no menu for this. With no phones in the rooms, it would be necessary to find a staff member to make the request. This is a good option for passengers who would like to have a cup of tea or coffee delivered to the room each morning.

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