Aqua Mekong may be small in size, but it has a bold culinary pedigree. The cuisine is curated by Michelin-starred chef David Thompson and served in a chic indoor dining room, or al fresco on the observation deck.
There are two Aqua Mekong restaurants:
The Dining Room.
Observation deck BBQ (select evenings only).
The main restaurant on Aqua Mekong is The Dining Room. It is an intimate venue with a sophisticated decor that reflects the Vietnamese spirit, with a hint of Paris-chic. What’s more, it has magnificent wrap-around views aft of the vessel.
The seasonal menu is crafted by Australian born Michelin-starred chef David Thompson. He is renowned for his intricate mix of Asian tastes. Indeed, the food on Aqua Mekong draws heavily on influences from Vietnam and Cambodia. This regional inspiration is further enhanced through the use of peak-season produce sourced from the farms of the Mekong River delta.
On my review voyage starters included Grilled Mince Beef in Rolled Betel Leaves as well as Chicken Satay with Fresh Lime & Peanuts. Not to mention a delectable Vietnamese Watercress Soup.
Main course dishes included BBQ Duck with Hoisin Sauce, as well as Long Eggplant with Mushroom and Hot Basil. There was also a somewhat underwhelming Fresh Pesto with Penne, Tomato & Chilli. On the other hand, the Deep-Fried Sea Bass with Three Flavoured Sauce was spectacular. So too was the Red Snapper with Lemon and Celery. Seasonal Asian greens always accompanied the mains.
Desserts were less exciting with dishes like Banana Fritters or Jackfruit Custard. Though Aqua Mekong’s Orange and Almond Cake with Toasted Almonds and Cream was divine.
Editors tip: It’s worth noting that there is also a western menu which includes pasta, filet mignon and even hamburgers.
Seating in The Dining Room is open, so you can sit with whomever you please. However, meals are typically served family-style – that is to say the food is placed in the middle of each table so you can help yourself. It’s also good to remember that Aqua Mekong has set dining times.
At least once per cruise the evening meal is served al fresco on the Observation Deck. More than just a meal, it is a BBQ feast showcasing the best of the Mekong’s fresh produce.
I think the BBQ dinner is a magnificent experience. Set beneath a carpet of stars with the moon rising over the river it really is sometimng to remember. On my voyage we all gathered around a long communal table sharing stories about our adventures ashore while Vietnamese-style shrimps and chicken were cooked on the barbecue. There was also roast potato, rice and Vietnamese salad.
It’s worth noting that the Outdoor Observation Deck BBQ operates weather permitting. Also, the Dining Room is closed on the BBQ evening.
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