Crystal Symphony restaurants

Editors rating:

Crystal Symphony restaurants

Editors rating:

The restaurants on board Crystal Symphony indulge with some of the best food at sea and the service is second-to-none.

By Published On: 7 Mar 2024

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About Crystal Symphony’s restaurants

The restaurants on Crystal Symphony offer an unforgettable culinary experience. Indeed, the food is exceptional and the menus thoughtfully curated.

There are nine dining venues on Crystal Symphony including two specialty restaurants:

  • Waterside Restaurant (the main dining room).
  • Umi Uma.
  • Osteria d’Ovidio.
  • Tastes Kitchen & Bar.
  • Marketplace.
  • The Trident Grill.
  • The Bistro.
  • The Vintage Room.
  • Scoops Gelato Bar.

We rate the Waterside Restaurant as the best on board; if only for the decadent, ever changing menu. In fact, it is so good that some guests quipped specialty restaurants weren’t required!

Dining ratings

Restaurants & foodRating
Dining options
Restaurant service
Food quality & presentation
Specialty restaurant(s)

The Waterside Restaurant

Waterside Restaurant is the main dining room on Crystal Symphony. It is an enormously popular venue with delicious cuisine and exceptional service.

The evening menu is particularly good and ever-changing. Starters include delights like Citrus Cured Hamachi with Lime Gel, Mango-Mint Salad & Chilli Snow as well as Prosciutto di Parma & Silky Egg Yolk.

Prosciutto di Parma with Silky Egg Yolk.
The Prosciutto with Silky Egg Yolk was a sensation.
Thai Beef Salad with Crispy Greens & Asian Vegetables.
The delicious marinated Thai Beef Salad.

Main course is also sure to tempt your tastebuds. We enjoyed the Thai Beef Salad with Crispy Greens & Asian Vegetables and the Chilean Sea Bass with Jerusalem Artichoke, Black Garlic, Edamame Beans & Red Wine Sauce too. However, the Turbot & Butter Poached Lobster with Caviar Velouté was sublime. The Coq Au Vin was also exceptional and so too was the Grilled Black Angus Rib Eye with Baked Red Skin Potatoes & Sour Cream, Olive Oil Roasted Vegetables & Sauce Béarnaise.

Desserts are a treat with Sacher Torte and delicious Custard Fruit Tart with short crust pastry, to name just a few.

Waterside Restaurant is a popular evening venue, especially for early sittings. The restaurant is also open for breakfast and for lunch on select days. Reservations are not required.

Breakfast: 8:00am – 9:30am.
Lunch: Noon – 1:30pm (select days).
Dinner: 6:15pm – 9:00pm.

Umi Uma

Michaelin-star inspired cuisine returns to Crystal Symphony at the acclaimed Umi Uma restaurant. Overseen by master chef Nobuyki (Nobu) Matusuhisa, the menu blends traditional Japanese dishes with ingredients from Peru, where he spent his formative years.

Umi Uma showcases the best cuisine from chef Nobu’s awarded land-based restaurants. There is sashimi of astounding quality including Nobu specials like Tuna Tataki with Cilantro Sauce, not to mention Abalone, and Toro Tartar with Caviar.

Stir Fried Lobster with Garlic, Asparagus and Shitake Mushrooms, Finished with Truffle Uzu.
Chef Nobu’s famous Lobster with Truffle Uzu.

Main course has famous Nobu dishes like the indulgent Nobu-Style Lobster with Truffle-Yuzu, Garlic, Asparagus, Shiitake Mushrooms & Snap Peas. There is also Nobu-Style Black Cod marinated in Saikyo Miso with Baby Peach & Young Ginger; it is among the most popular of his creations. The Grilled Australian “Wagu” Beef Fillet Steak with Anticucho, Teriyaki & Nobu Style Wasabi Peper sauces is also not to be missed.

The petit dessert menu is perfect, with Whiskey Cappuccino & Buttermilk Ice cream. We also enjoyed a devilish Chocolate Soufflé Cake.

Umi Uma is open for dinner only. Reservations are essential.

Dinner: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Osteria d’Ovidio

Osteria d’Ovidio is a new addition to the Crystal dining scene. Named for Crystal’s co-owner Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, it celebrates the classic cuisine of Italy, with a touch of modernity.

The menu is short, which is always a good sign as the chef has time to focus on quality and presentation. Indeed, the cuisine in Osteria d’Ovidio is exceptional.

Spaghetti al Pomodoro Fiaschetto.
Perfect hand-made spaghetti with cherry tomatoes from Italy.

For starters we especially liked the Spaghetti al Pomodoro Fiaschetto; hand-made spaghetti with the sweetest cherry tomatoes from Carovigno, Italy. Also great was the Lobster in “Acquasale” with Tomato Essence & Basil Olive Oil. However, the “Baccala” Steamed Cod with Potato Foam, Rosemary & Trout Roe was a real treat.

Baccala as Served in Osteria d'Ovidio on Crystal Symphony.
Classic Baccala with a twist; Steamed Cod with Trout Roe.

Main course includes a mouthwatering Veal Chop with Lime Mayonnaise, Vegetable Misticanza & Saffron Citronette. There is also Lamb with Sweet Onion, Balsamic Vinegar & Sea Asparagus. Not to mention a delicate Salt Baked Sea Bass with Tarragon Sauce & Swiss Chard.

For dessert we recommend the Mousse al Cioccolato – delicious! However, there is also a tempting Italian cheese selection.

It’s worth noting that Osteria d’Ovidio offers two degustation menus. One for northern Italian cuisine and the other for southern. Both can be paired with matching wines for an additional fee.

Osteria d’Ovidio is open for dinner only. Reservations are essential.

Dinner: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Tastes Kitchen & Bar

Tastes Kitchen & Bar serve globally inspired cuisine. It is a casual, tapas-style restaurant with a menu well-suited to sharing, which means you get to sample more dishes.

For lunch we sampled the tasty Blackened Salmon with Black Bean Rice & Watermelon-Jalapeño-Cilantro Salsa. At dinner time they serve dishes like Crispy Fried Prawn Dumplings and California Street Tacos with Blackened Swordfish & Pico de Gallo, as well as Gambas Al Ajillo. It’s all very good; and very tempting. No wonder it was a popular venue on our voyage.

Blackened Salmon with Black Bean Rice & Watermelon-Jalapeño-Cilantro Salsa.
Tastes have lighter, tapas-style meals, like this Blackened Salmon.

Tastes Kitchen & Bar is open for lunch and dinner. On our voyage reservations were required in the evening.

Lunch: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Dinner: 6:30pm – 9:00pm


Marketplace is the casual buffet restaurant on Crystal Symphony. It has a sophisticated food offering from around the world. Indeed, it is arguably the best buffet we have enjoyed at sea.

The Marketplace buffet restaurant on board Crystal Symphony.
Marketplace is arguably the best buffet at sea.

At breakfast there is a classic selection of hot and cold choices. At lunchtime we sampled sweet oysters and exceptional cold meats from Italy, as well as perfectly prepared fish and roasted meats. As if that wasn’t enough there is a dizzying array of desserts!

The Marketplace is open for breakfast and lunch only. Reservations are not required.

Breakfast: 6:30am – 10:00am
Lunch: Noon – 1:30pm

The Trident Grill

The Trident Grill is Crystal Symphony’s casual poolside dining venue. They serve a late-risers breakfast with juices and energy bowls. While at lunch time and throughout the day the Trident Grill serve American classics like burgers, melts and strip steak cooked to order, as well as crispy fries and healthy salads.

Reservations are not required.

Breakfast: 10:00am – 11:00am
Lunch: 11:30am – 6:00pm

The Bistro

The Bistro was one of our preferred places on Crystal Symphony, not least because of the great coffee they serve. Although, to be fair the tempting selection of snacks and sweet treats was equally enticing.

Opening hours: 6:30am – 6:00pm

The Bistro cafe on board Crystal Symphony.
The Bistro serves excellent coffee and gourmet teas.

The Vintage Room

The Vintage Room offers exclusive private dining on Crystal Symphony. The sumptuously decorated space has an equally impressive menu which is crafted by the head chef. Indeed, it is a degustation paired with excellent wines from the ship’s extensive cellar.

The Vintage Room is available by reservation only. An additional fee is payable.

Scoops Gelato Bar

At Scoops Gelato Bar you can enjoy authentic Italian-style gelato al fresco with a gentle sea breeze. Choose a classic gelato or try one of Crystal’s innovative new delights.

Opening hours: Noon – 6:00pm.

The author sailed as a guest of Crystal.

About the Author: Jason Kerr

Jason is the founder and Managing Editor of The Luxury Cruise Review. He has a passion for travel, a weakness for espresso coffee and a love of Greek cuisine.

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