HALONG BAY, Vietnam – British Michelin-starred chef John Burton-Race will bring celebrity star power to the largest and most lavish cruising vessel to debut on Halong Bay when he hosts a seven-course dinner next month.
Burton-Race, who has appeared in a string of popular television shows including French Leave, Return of the Chef, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here and the BBC’s Great British Menu and Kitchen Criminals, will host the dinner with renowned French winemaker Maison Castel for 80 guests as part of a special one-night cruise aboard the new President Cruises vessel from January 5-6, 2019.
Acclaimed for his modern British cuisine, Burton-Race's dinner will feature a ‘tuna and scallop carpaccio with yuzu sorbet, salted peanuts and lime dressing’ starter and mains ‘fillet of turbot with ribbons of vegetables, chive butter sauce and truffle’ and ‘fillet of beef with sweetheart cabbage, crispy shallots and capers, sourdough croutons, olive oil butter and beef marrow jus’.
He will prepare and bring all of the ingredients from the United Kingdom to Halong Bay for the occasion.
Dishes will be matched with 'made in Bordeaux' wines presented by Maison Castel wine ambassador Stephanie Voy. The culinary journey will be followed by a live performance by a Brazilian jazz duo in a piano bar that evokes the refined atmosphere of a 1920s New York jazz café.
President Cruises will also introduce an imaginative 40-course lunch and dinner menu featuring innovative European-inspired dishes crafted in consultation with Burton-Race, who is training all of President Cruises’ chefs and food and beverage staff. Marinated salmon with salmon jelly, soy, cucumber, wasabi mayonnaise, fennel flower and Oscietra caviar will be among the menu's signature dishes.
“I couldn’t think of a better destination to escape the UK’s notorious winter weather than Halong Bay,” said Burton-Race, who, in 2000, took over the Landmark London hotel. After notching up two Michelin stars at the Landmark, he then opened the New Angel restaurant and hotel in Devon that was awarded a Michelin star in 2005. “The ultimate goal is to charter new territory with President Cruises concocting a culinary experience that packs as much of a punch on all of the senses as Halong Bay itself with its spectacular limestone karsts.”
The ship's new a la carte and buffet menu including a free-flow a la carte dinner will be a first for Halong Bay, with other cruise operators only offering dinner as either a set menu or buffet.
ABOUT PRESIDENT CRUISES
New luxury Vietnamese cruise operator Lion Asia last month debuted the first of two President Cruises ships at the UNESCO World Heritage site. The second vessel will take to the water in 2019.
The 1200-ton five-deck steel craft measures 86 meters long, 13.9 meters wide and 13 meters high, making it the largest overnight ship to ever ply Halong Bay’s waters. It is also the first on Halong Bay to include an elevator system catering to people with disabilities and the elderly.
The ship is also home to two sun decks totaling 324sqm and 250sqm and 46 high-design cabins. The 130sqm President Suite offers a generous private terrace, open-air jacuzzi, private bar and dining area, and floor-to-ceiling windows affording sweeping vistas of the bay.
A limousine transfer service with reclining seats connects Hanoi with Halong Bay on a new highway that has cut the drive time between the destinations in half to two hours.
Prices for the special one-night cruise aboard President Cruises from January 5-6, 2019, start from USD 2500 (VND 58,343,000) for two persons include three meals aboard, wine during the dinner with Burton-Race, and all Halong Bay sightseeing fees, taxes and services charges.