P&O Food – Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill

Just back from spending a short four night trip on the Pacific Dawn for Australia Day.  Aaand… it was a great reminder why we usually sail Princess!  The ship is quite small but packed to the gills (lots of quad rooms) and everyone in a party mood which was great.  The biggest problem with P&O in my not so humble opinion, is the dining.  The buffet tends average to poor, the room service is not included, and the only dining room (on most of their Australian fleet), the Waterfront Restaurant, isn’t large enough to accommodate everyone onboard in two sittings – so getting bookings for dinner is a bit iffy tending towards difficult, to sometimes, just, nope.

Anyway, we went to the Waterfront the first evening on the ship and had what I would call the most ordinary meal I have had on a cruise ship in over 200+ days at sea.  Bland pasta, over cooked steak, and ridiculously pushy service edging us out the door (which was a stark comparison to a later lunch sitting where we were left nearly 40 mins with no one taking our order, and then two waiters each trying to say our table wasn’t in their service area!).  Every breakfast menu was the same – poached eggs that were boiled solid, avocado that tasted like it was squeezed out of a tube, feta pieces so small as to be non-existent, and mixed up orders.  Lunches were likewise uninspiring due to the same menu offered everyday, and things like sliders with mushy pulled pork similar to the consistency of canned tuna, seafood and fish pie with soggy pastry and defrosted marinara mix in a mysterious flour based white sauce, and again with the bland pasta (it said gorgonzola pasta for crying out loud!  How can it NOT taste even a tiny bit blue?!).  So, all round uninspiring food and below average service… seriously, my local pub which does nothing more than cheap steaks and schnitzels, but for a mere $12 lunch specials provides a far superior meal with way better service.  Waterfront Restaurant – 2 out of 5… would not try again.

So we decided to check out the Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill, one of the specialty restaurants on the ship in the hope of finding something that was actually nice to eat.  Others had said it was worth the AU$49 cover charge and by the time we’d had a couple of meals in the Waterfront, we were ready to risk it.

The restaurant is small, probably seats about 40 patrons, but has a lovely decor and enjoyable ambiance. Lovely quiet music and attentive staff which makes for a sharp contrast to the bustle in the MDR.  The menu, well it was fabulous… and the food turned out to be amazing!  So much so, we ended up booking to go back again so we wouldn’t have to face the Waterfront’s underwhelming offerings.  I took photos of all the different dishes we tried, so I could share them here.

House baked plain and zartar bread with Luke Mangan olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dukkah.

Five Spice Cured Duck – with golden beetroot, almond dressing and crisp pancetta.

Charcuterie Plate – bresaola, capicola and proscuitto

Kingfish Sashimi – with ginger, eschallot and Persian feta

Top: Scallop Sashimi – with confit potato, salmon and avruga roe, truffle and chive dressing. Bottom: Arancini of Wild Mushroom and Leek – with taleggio and green golden dressing.

Tempura Prawns – with wasabi and sesame, daikon and carrot salad.

‘Glass’ Sydney Crab Omelette – with enoki mushroom, herb salad and miso mustard broth.

Oysters Kilpatrick

The oysters attract a $2 per oyster surcharge, and we thought we’d try them out – but to be honest, my own Oysters Kilpatrick efforts at home, wipe the floor with these.

Oysters Tempura

Lobster Agnolotti – corn puree, soft herbs, sauce vierge

Warm Goat’s Cheese and Caramelised Onion Tart – with beetroot salad

Highly recommend the goat cheese and caramelised onion tart – really fantastic blend of flavours on this dish… the sweet onion, tart cheese and slightly vinegar flavour of the beetroot was beautiful.

Brushetta – of crushed peas, feta and maple bacon.

Dukkah Crusted Lamb Fillet – with roasted pumpkin, feta, rocket, green olive salsa, and harissa yoghurt dressing.

Another favourite, the dukkah crusted lamb fillet was superb – beautifully prepared lamb and lovely flavours and textures.  Fantastic, definitely try this if you get the chance.

Grilled Snapper – with parmesean and truffle oil fries, served with chipotle aioli.

Petuna Ocean Trout – grilled, with teriyaki wok-fried vegetables and coconut sambal.

Cajun and Herb Spiced BBQ Baby Chicken – with homemade BBQ sauce.

Tuna (Rare) – grilled, tandoori spiced, with curried lentils, cucumber and yoghurt.

Yale was really impressed with this tuna dish – unusual Indian flavours on rare grilled tuna that was quite distinctive. Very tasty.

Floating Island – with fresh berries and fruit, served with Frangelico anglaise. 

Luke’s Liquorice Parfait – with lime syrup and tuile.

Goey Chocolate Tart, with banana, caramel ice cream and honeycomb.

Strawberry Cheesecake, with jelly, sorbet, light meringue and freeze-dried stawberries

You wouldn’t expect a strawberry cheesecake to be much to write home about, but this dessert was truly delicious and a little surprising.  What I thought was crushed toffee on the plate turned out to be something similar to popping candy.  Made a very pretty and tasty dish, a bit unexpectedly fun as well.

Tiramisu – with lemon custard Ice cream.


The verdict: everything we tried during our meals at the Salt Grill, was absolutely delicious.  And I have vowed, that should I be so foolish as to go on the Pacific Dawn for one of these short cruises again, I would seriously consider adding a $49 per night cost to our overall trip budget, so I can partake of the specialty dining every night and happily avoid the whole Waterfront Restaurant Disaster Area entirely!

Handy Dandy Netflix Codes

Saw this handy list of Netflix codes on Mashable recently and thought I’d save them here, so I can find them easier later.  Awesome cheat sheet… for Netflix and Chill.  🙂

Must remember to have a look at : Zombie Horror Movies: 75405, Quirky Romance: 36103, Dark Comedies: 869, Disney: 67673, Political Thrillers: 10504, TV Comedies: 10375 and Tearjerkers: 6384.

Movies for ages 0 to 2: 6796
Movies for ages 2 to 4: 6218
Movies for ages 5 to 7: 5455
Movies for ages 8 to 10: 561
Movies for ages 11 to 12: 6962

All Netflix Category Codes:

Action & Adventure: 1365
Action Comedies: 43040
Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 1568
Action Thrillers: 43048
Adult Animation: 11881
Adventures: 7442
African Movies: 3761
Alien Sci-Fi: 3327
Animal Tales: 5507
Anime: 7424
Anime Action: 2653
Anime Comedies: 9302
Anime Dramas: 452
Anime Fantasy: 11146
Anime Features: 3063
Anime Horror: 10695
Anime Sci-Fi: 2729
Anime Series: 6721
Art House Movies: 29764
Asian Action Movies: 77232
Australian Movies: 5230

B-Horror Movies: 8195
Baseball Movies: 12339
Basketball Movies: 12762
Belgian Movies: 262
Biographical Documentaries: 3652
Biographical Dramas: 3179
Boxing Movies: 12443
British Movies: 10757
British TV Shows: 52117

Campy Movies: 1252
Children & Family Movies: 783
Chinese Movies: 3960
Classic Action & Adventure: 46576
Classic Comedies: 31694
Classic Dramas: 29809
Classic Foreign Movies: 32473
Classic Movies: 31574
Classic Musicals: 32392
Classic Romantic Movies: 31273
Classic Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 47147
Classic Thrillers: 46588
Classic TV Shows: 46553
Classic War Movies: 48744
Classic Westerns: 47465
Comedies: 6548
Comic Book and Superhero Movies: 10118
Country & Western/Folk: 1105
Courtroom Dramas: 2748
Creature Features: 6895
Crime Action & Adventure: 9584
Crime Documentaries: 9875
Crime Dramas: 6889
Crime Thrillers: 10499
Crime TV Shows: 26146
Cult Comedies: 9434
Cult Horror Movies: 10944
Cult Movies: 7627
Cult Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 4734
Cult TV Shows: 74652

Dark Comedies: 869
Deep Sea Horror Movies: 45028
Disney: 67673
Disney Musicals: 59433
Documentaries: 6839
Dramas: 5763
Dramas based on Books: 4961
Dramas based on real life: 3653
Dutch Movies: 10606

Eastern European Movies: 5254
Education for Kids: 10659
Epics: 52858
Experimental Movies: 11079

Faith & Spirituality: 26835
Faith & Spirituality Movies: 52804
Family Features: 51056
Fantasy Movies: 9744
Film Noir: 7687
Food & Travel TV: 72436
Football Movies: 12803
Foreign Action & Adventure: 11828
Foreign Comedies: 4426
Foreign Documentaries: 5161
Foreign Dramas: 2150
Foreign Gay & Lesbian Movies: 8243
Foreign Horror Movies: 8654
Foreign Movies: 7462
Foreign Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 6485
Foreign Thrillers: 10306
French Movies: 58807

Gangster Movies: 31851
Gay & Lesbian Dramas: 500
German Movies: 58886
Greek Movies: 61115

Historical Documentaries: 5349
Horror Comedy: 89585
Horror Movies: 8711

Independent Action & Adventure: 11804
Independent Comedies: 4195
Independent Dramas: 384
Independent Movies: 7077
Independent Thrillers: 3269
Indian Movies: 10463
Irish Movies: 58750
Italian Movies: 8221

Japanese Movies: 10398
Jazz & Easy Listening: 10271
Kids Faith & Spirituality: 751423

Kids Music: 52843
Kids’ TV: 27346
Korean Movies: 5685
Korean TV Shows: 67879

Late Night Comedies: 1402
Latin American Movies: 1613
Latin Music: 10741

Martial Arts Movies: 8985
Martial Arts, Boxing & Wrestling: 6695
Middle Eastern Movies: 5875
Military Action & Adventure: 2125
Military Documentaries: 4006
Military Dramas: 11
Military TV Shows: 25804
Miniseries: 4814
Mockumentaries: 26
Monster Movies: 947
Movies based on children’s books: 10056
Movies for ages 0 to 2: 6796
Movies for ages 2 to 4: 6218
Movies for ages 5 to 7: 5455
Movies for ages 8 to 10: 561
Movies for ages 11 to 12: 6962
Music & Concert Documentaries: 90361
Music: 1701
Musicals: 13335
Mysteries: 9994

New Zealand Movies: 63782

Period Pieces: 12123
Political Comedies: 2700
Political Documentaries: 7018
Political Dramas: 6616
Political Thrillers: 10504
Psychological Thrillers: 5505

Quirky Romance: 36103

Reality TV: 9833
Religious Documentaries: 10005
Rock & Pop Concerts: 3278
Romantic Comedies: 5475
Romantic Dramas: 1255
Romantic Favorites: 502675
Romantic Foreign Movies: 7153
Romantic Independent Movies: 9916
Romantic Movies: 8883
Russian: 11567

Satanic Stories: 6998
Satires: 4922
Scandinavian Movies: 9292
Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 1492
Sci-Fi Adventure: 6926
Sci-Fi Dramas: 3916
Sci-Fi Horror Movies: 1694
Sci-Fi Thrillers: 11014
Science & Nature Documentaries: 2595
Science & Nature TV: 52780
Screwball Comedies: 9702
Showbiz Dramas: 5012
Showbiz Musicals: 13573
Silent Movies: 53310
Slapstick Comedies: 10256
Slasher and Serial Killer Movies: 8646
Soccer Movies: 12549
Social & Cultural Documentaries: 3675
Social Issue Dramas: 3947
Southeast Asian Movies: 9196
Spanish Movies: 58741
Spiritual Documentaries: 2760
Sports & Fitness: 9327
Sports Comedies: 5286
Sports Documentaries: 180
Sports Dramas: 7243
Sports Movies: 4370
Spy Action & Adventure: 10702
Spy Thrillers: 9147
Stage Musicals: 55774
Stand-up Comedy: 11559
Steamy Romantic Movies: 35800
Steamy Thrillers: 972
Supernatural Horror Movies: 42023
Supernatural Thrillers: 11140

Tearjerkers: 6384
Teen Comedies: 3519
Teen Dramas: 9299
Teen Screams: 52147
Teen TV Shows: 60951
Thrillers: 8933
Travel & Adventure Documentaries: 1159
TV Action & Adventure: 10673
TV Cartoons: 11177
TV Comedies: 10375
TV Documentaries: 10105
TV Dramas: 11714
TV Horror: 83059
TV Mysteries: 4366
TV Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 1372
TV Shows: 83

Urban & Dance Concerts: 9472

Vampire Horror Movies: 75804

Werewolf Horror Movies: 75930
Westerns: 7700
World Music Concerts: 2856

Zombie Horror Movies: 75405

netflix and chill