Kaiseki is one of two restaurants on board Silver Muse that carry a cover charge of $60 pp, the other being La Dame. Located on Deck 4, Kaiseki is one of the smallest dining venues, seating a maximum of 38-40 guests. Up to 14 guests can sit "ringside" in front of the teppanyaki griddles where the chefs perform their culinary magic.
Another 24 guests can enjoy the experience at nearby tables for two, four or six, and tables can be joined together for large groups.
We arrived at Kaiseki right on time for a 7:00pm dinner. As soon as we are seated, we are offered Sake, a traditional Japanese wine which can be served warm or chilled. Of course, any drink can be ordered from the bar. Rickee ordered a Sapporo Japanese beer.
Everyone is served an Amuse Bouche of Edamame with pink Himalayan sea salt on the side. A sweet soya sauce was an unnecessary addition to the otherwise delicious beans, which we consumed so quickly I forgot to take a photo of them!
The menu offers three courses: a starter, a main course and dessert. The Kikkoyu Monyou Bowl starter course is selected from the Fish, Meat or Vegetarian options. Rickee and I both ordered the Meat bowl.
The starter bowls arrive stacked together to form a ball, then are un-stacked to make three separate serving dishes. Clever.
The Meat bowl included a seaweed salad, pork belly bon bon (meatball) and Wagyu beef tataki. All were excellent. The main course is served dégustation-style, so everyone gets to try each item from the Teppan grill. This was fine for us, but if you don't like, or can't eat, shellfish or seafood, you may want to consider another dining venue.
Rickee and I received a small tray with a variety of dipping sauces. For some reason, the couple sitting next to us did not receive theirs. They were a little puzzled as to why.
The first of three main course items we received was the Butterfly Lobster served with signature mustard dip. The lobster was plentiful, and the largest portion of the three meats served. However, there was no signature mustard dip to be found. If it was one of the sauces in our sauce tray, it was cleverly disguised.
The lobster was perfectly cooked and nicely presented in a hollowed-out tail. The mustard dip would have been nice.
The second item to arrive was the Miso Black Cod. This portion was small, but well prepared and well seasoned.
The final main course dish to arrive was the Wagyu Beef Teriyaki. The fork-tender chunks of Wagyu beef were cooked right in front of us by Chef Edmund.
The portion of Wagyu Beef Teriyaki was small, but delicious. Wagyu beef is very expensive, so I assume that is the reason for the small portion size. We each received about seven bite-size chunks of perfectly-cooked steak. The last item to arrive was actually the bowl of fried rice, which we also had the pleasure of watching Chef Edmund prepare.
Throughout the meal, Chef Edmund entertained us with his mastery of the knife and the spatula. He even performed a magic trick at the end of the meal.
For dessert, I ordered the Green Tea Sorbet and Rickee had the Signature Tempura Ice Cream. I was hoping for something along the lines of the Green Tea Ice Cream served at Seishin on Silver Spirit. However, what I received was cold but flavorless, and not even sweet.
Rickee's Tempura Ice Cream was basically three small scoops of vanilla ice cream dredged in corn flakes then deep fried. It was the better of the two desserts, but mostly corn flakes and little ice cream. Honestly, the dessert course did not live up to the rest of the meal.
Our dinner at Kaiseki was one of the most unique we have experienced on a cruise ship. Notwithstanding the lackluster dessert, all of the dishes served were well prepared and delicious. The meal is well worth the $60 cover charge, in my opinion, and is something every Silver Muse guest should experience at least once per cruise. After all, you are getting dinner AND a show!