Acclaimed Australian chef Mark Best will design his first restaurant at sea onboard premium Asian brand Dream Cruises, beginning from the launch of the burgeoning brand’s maiden ship Genting Dream, which sets sail from November this year.
The 219-seat alfresco eatery has been dubbed ‘Bistro’ and will include a 54-seat outdoor dining area and an eight-seat Chef’s Table experience in a private room to the side. Menus will feature farm-to-table fresh Australian produce and a selection of both contemporary Western and Asian-inspired dishes, trumpeting the efforts of small local beef, lamb and seafood growers and producers. The Bistro experience will also offer a typical Chef Best wine pairing experience – a prominent element of his land-based restaurants in Australia.
As part of his involvement with Dream Cruises, Chef Best will contribute to the brand’s culinary enrichment program, which will aim to teach new skills, dish preparation and cooking techniques to guests while onboard.
The addition of Bistro will be part of a 35-strong restaurant and bar dining complement on Genting Dream, which will also include Asian outlet Blue Lagoon, Japanese cuisine at Umi Uma, high tea at Palm Court and a combined evening Chinese dinner and cabaret show experience at Silk Road.
Over a 25-year career, Best has carved himself a place among the world’s elite restaurateurs for his particular love of creative food artistry, with a personal love of French cuisine leading to it becoming a specialty. The Sydney-based chef has opened and run three land-based restaurants, beginning with Peninsula Bistro in Balmain and continuing with Marque and Pei Modern, the latter now both staples of the local foodie scene in both Melbourne and Sydney.
“Bistro’s menu is brimming with the very best of Australian produce with a cultural mix of Asian flavours, inspired by my frequent culinary travels across South East Asia, China, Japan and Korea and the cultural diversity of Sydney, my home town,” Best commented.
“My philosophy is to cook simply, to really bring out the flavours of the ingredients and then delight the palate with a creative Asian twist. For example, some favourite dishes are small potatoes gently poached in butter with seaweed; the best Australian lamb served with potato and kimchi; and Murray cod cooked in green grape juice.
“It is my aim at ‘Bistro’ to revolutionise ocean going dining with a dining experience rivalling any land based experience,” Chef Best added.
Today’s Dream Cruises announcement expands Best’s involvement with cruise ship dining, as the Aussie foodie already sits on Holland America Line’s Culinary Council, assisting in its work to develop cooking experiences for passengers including the Culinary Arts Centre.
Genting Dream is currently in the final stages of fit-out at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and will begin life cruising from two home ports in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. A second ship, World Dream, will debut a year later in November 2017.