This weekend we were invited aboard the Carnival Sunshine and got a peek at the recently revamped ship. Carnival Sunshine made it’s first voyage around Europe last week after Carnival Cruise Lines took the Carnival Destiny out of service earlier this year. The 17 year old ship was almost completely gutted and rebuilt with all new deck-top areas like a water park with three giant water slides and a rope course fun park. The ship, renamed from Destiny to Sunshine, also underwent a major expansion of dining options and includes a Guy Fieri burger bar, a steakhouse, and Carnival’s very first Asian restaurant called JiJi.
Dubbed the best Asian kitchen on the high seas, we were thrilled to get to try it out. The pan-Asian menu takes diners on a 1000 mile journey through their menu with dishes featuring from Mongolia to Indonesia. The dishes are cooked to order in a show kitchen just beyond the tables and arrive fresh out of the wok. Everything is intended to be shared family style and we ordered 3 appetizers, 3 main course, and 2 sides for our party of three.
Chicken spring rolls, shrimp dumplings called Jade Shrimp Har Gow, and a slow-braised pork belly arrived with a selection of signature JiJi sauces. Our waiter, hailing from China, poured a hot caramel chili sauce of the pork belly and the presentation was so elegant, we almost didn’t want to dig in. The scents of lemongrass were just too tempting not to and the beautiful little plates were practically devoured.
With tastes true to the regions, a spicy peppered beef from Mongolia, slow braised Wagyu beef short ribs from Vietnam, Chairman Mao’s stock pig from Peking, and an extra main course of Kung Pao chicken from Sichaun all made their way to our table. We piled steamed Jasmine rice on our plates along with a little of each main dish. The peppered beef and Kung Pao chicken were perfectly spicy on our palettes, cooled by a beer for Tim and JiJi’s signature green tea martini for me. The Wagyu beef was so tender is just melted in our mouths. We weren’t sure what to expect with the clay pot stewed pork, but it was just as delicious as everything else.
By the time our waiter came by to tempt us with dessert, I was so stuffed from the Asian feast that I had to have my arm twisted into selecting the rose creme brulee with ginger ice cream. Always a fan of an excellent cream brulee, I’m glad I gave in. Of course, an Asian feast isn’t complete without a fortune cookie and they arrived in style. My fortune professed that I’d be wildly successful – here’s hoping that one comes true!
And we hope JiJi is wildly successful and Carnival expands the Asian eatery to more of its ships. At just $12 per person for dinner ($5 for kids), we think it’s a bargain to boot.
Thank you to Carnival Cruise Lines for inviting us aboard the Carnival Sunshine and hosting us during our time aboard the ship. As always, all opinions are entirely our own, and were in no way influences by green tea martinis or pre-dinner mojitos at the RedFrog.