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What: Stena Line Ferry Plus Lounge from Rosslare to Fishguard (October 2010)
Prices: Around €7 for a main veggie meal.
Vegetarian menu: Soup of the day is vegetarian, there is a veggie sandwich (but sadly it’s goat’s cheese), 2 “meat free” dishes are creamy veg risotto, roast vegetable and goat’s cheese (again!) roast.
Drinks: In the Plus Lounge there is unlimited still and sparkling bottled water, cans of fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and wine.
Service: No complaints.
Comfortable: The dining area in the Plus Lounge is comfortable enough. I’m not a fan of screaming children and had paid for the Plus Lounge to be away from that kind of noise. I was surprised to see (and hear) babies in the area. I’m not sure that it’s fair to allow children into a lounge that is meant to be an expensive sanctuary from all sorts of noise.
Was the food good? I ordered the roast vegetable and goat’s cheese roast and wasn’t expecting to be pleased (I was on a ferry after all and had ordered dull goat’s cheese), but it actually was rather good. I was happy that it was presented in such a way that I could scrape the goat’s cheese off, though the overall presentation could be improved. The vegetables were very well done and quite tasty. I was pretty happy with it.
Toilets: Even if you pay for the Plus Lounge you still have to use the same toilets as everybody else and they really don’t look nice. They were clean enough and functional, though. They do have those deafening hand dryers, which is a big minus for me.
My advice to the chef: Please drop the goat’s cheese. Vegetarians are offered goat’s cheese nearly everywhere they go so it was very disappointing to see it cropping up all over this menu as well. The vegetables were well done, though. Move away from the vegetarian staples of risotto and goat’s cheese (most vegetarians are tired of being offered these two) and be a little more creative.
My advice to the manager: Help to rid the kitchen of goat’s cheese. Rethink allowing children into the Plus Lounge.
Overall: You’ll be surprised at the quality of the veggie food on board. It’s a pity that the chef (who can cook well) relies on the much overused goat’s cheese. With a little more creativity this kitchen could be a really nice surprise for vegetarians, but does not need to be avoided as is.
Note: Management were asked to respond to this review.
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