The food aboard Pacific Explorer is modern, varied and of good to high quality.
There are four free restaurants: The Pantry, The Waterfront, Angelo's and Dragon Lady. A Taste of Salt, (degustation), 400 Gradi, Charlie's and Shell and Bones are all additional.
Replacing the traditional buffet, The Pantry is a food-court style eatery with numerous food stations ranging from traditional roasts to Mexican, Asian and Indian options. Passengers are served in most cases, however there is a soup, salad and sandwich bar that is self-serve. The Pantry also has a bar and a dedicated dessert section. Copious seating that is cleaned constantly. It can be a bit chaotic and lining up balancing plates might not be the best option for less mobile passengers.
The dedicated main dining room has classic international dishes with many new plant-based options. The quality and variety of dishes have improved and the service was very good. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there were often long queues, so it you’re after a quick meal, the Pantry is a better option.
Beautifully decorated with black and white images of Sophia Loren, Angelo’s offers tasty Italian classics such as arancini, lasagne and risotto. The ambience is elegant and tasteful and the food delicious. Do not pass up on the desserts, the cassata is unmissable.
By far the most popular eatery on board, Dragon Lady offers delicious Asian dishes. The entrance is adorned with bird cages and Asian motifs, and inside, the moody lighting adds a certain mystique. Dishes include curries, rice-paper rolls, stir fries, soups and other Asian nosh. If you like duck, the curry is delectable.
Pizza, pasta, calzone, antipasto 400 Gradi is the signature restaurant of award winning Australian restaurateur Johnny Dr Francesco. The pizzas are delicious, the wine list impressive and the service exceptional. While it is not included in the fare, the prices are reasonable and well-worth forking out a few dollars for a terrific meal. As the only eatery open after hours, it’s a popular spot for hungry late-night cruisers.
The once al fresco pool side casual outlet has now been transformed into an elegant, swish eatery. Beautifully decorated, Luke’s offers a lovely range of dishes using high quality ingredients. The lunch menu includes burgers, grilled prawns and the ever-popular truffle fries. Dinner is a la carte and includes some of Luke Mangan’s signature dishes, including the liquorice parfait. Lunch menu items range from a $6 to $26.
A Taste of Salt
Luke Mangan’s multicourse degustation with matching wines will have any fussy diner delighted. The degustation features many speciality dishes, including king fish sashimi, prawn toast and pan-fried gnocchi. Great value for $99 per person. Make sure to wear stretchy clothes.
Barista coffee (with many flavoured syrups to choose from), frappes, plus delicious cakes, and cookies, Charlie’s is lovely spot to relax with a drink.
Shell and Bones
Located in a dedicated section in the Panty on Deck 14, Shell and Bones is a seafood-lovers dream. Dishes include the famous hot or cold seafoods towers. If you’re a carnivore, there are also meat options available.
Food allergies and other dietary requirements are well catered for aboard Pacific Explorer. Before boarding the ship, guests are encouraged to fill out the extensive list of allergies and restrictions on Cruise Control (the online check-in portal). Once aboard, there are several gluten free and plant-based meals available in most of the eateries.
Dragon Lady: From all the included restaurants on Pacific Explorer, Dragon Lady is our favourite. It almost feels strange not paying for eat at this moody, Asian-fusion eatery due to the very high quality of dishes and the delicious offerings. During recent four-night cruise, we ate at Dragon Lady twice and would have easily scoffed down more of the delicious nosh if it we were aboard for longer. The standout dishes include the duck curry, laksa and the scrumptious chai ice cream. Book early to avoid disappointed.
Taste of Salt: For a truly indulgent experience, the Taste of Salt degustation is the best additional restaurant to dine aboard Pacific Explorer. Make a night of it and savour many Luke Mangan signature dishes with matching wines.