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Azamara - Prime C Steakhouse Review
Sunday, April 10, 2011  
April 10, 2011 - As a Texan. I like steak. So, when I found out that Azamara Journey had its own steakhouse you can imagine my delight. Prime C is one of two alternate dining venues on Azamara Journey, the other one being Aqualina. Both are located aft on Deck 10; Aqualina port side and Prime C starboard. Both restaurants require reservations and there is a $15 per person charge for dining.

Where Aqualina is decorated in cool blue and subtle tones, Prime C is much more masculine with dark colors, like a classic steakhouse. The bar at Prime C is more substantial than the one at Aqualina and looks like a trendy urban watering hole where you can enjoy your favorite drink and the menu as well. When we arrived at Prime C for our 6:30pm reservation, we were greeted by Prime C Maitre D', Mustafa Kara and quickly escorted to a table at the rear of the dining room next to a large window.

As soon as we were seated we were presented with the large menus and immediately began scanning the vast selection. The menu offers two soups, four salads, six starters, eleven entrees plus a chef special. Where I struggled with choices at Aqualina, it took very little time for me to decide at Prime C. For one thing, Prime C breaks one of the the rules of fine dining, they offer deep fried starters. I hate rules. So, even though the Macadamia Nut Crusted Prawns came highly recommended, I had to try the Crispy Popcorn Rock Shrimps with trio of sauces. Just to cover all the bases, and for journalistic integrity, I decided to also try the Chicken Lollipops with trio of sauces.



  Rock shrimps with trio of dipping sauces
   
The meal began with an Amuse Bouche consisting of a small goat cheese tartlet with fig jam. It would be a crime to serve something that complex in a Texas steakhouse, nevertheless, it was delicious. Rickee and I both chose the Wild Mushroom Soup as our soup course and it was creamy and delicious. As soon as the soup bowls were cleared from the table, my first starter arrived. A bowl of fried popcorn rock shrimp with three dipping sauces. The lightly battered shrimp nuggets were deep fried to perfection and served piping hot. I could have easily made a meal of these. The three dipping sauces consisted of a cocktail sauce, a tarter sauce and some other mild tomato-based sauce. Rickee's plate of Beef Carpaccio was definitely large enough for two people to share, but she managed pretty well. The paper-thin slices of raw steak were topped with Arugula, shaved Manchego, olive oil and crushed pepper.


 
Chicken Lollipop starter with trio of sauces
 
   
Fortunately, Rickee eats much slower than me. She was still working her way through her Carpaccio when my second starter arrived. A platter with what appears to be an Escargot serving dish re-purposed to hold six fried chicken "lollipops". A chicken lollipop is basically the small chicken wing drumette where the bone has been "frenched", so to speak, so that the bone can be used as a convenient handle. This is how the chicken should have been designed to begin with. All of the meat is on one end, dipped in batter and deep fried to perfection. Like the rock shrimps, the lollipops were fryer fresh and absolutely delicious. Of the trio, I never made it past the BBQ sauce. The spicy mustard would have probably been better as a honey-mustard and I never got to the third sauce. Each bone was picked clean in short order.

By the time our main courses arrived, Rickee and I were both feeling full. I was fighting the urge to release my belt and pop the button on my trousers to get comfortable. My bone-in Cowboy Rib Eye was a thick, broiled chunk of meat with a nice bark on the outside. Rickee's Pan Fried Milk-Fed Veal Chop was as large as my Rib Eye. Both were ordered Medium. My Rib Eye was cooked perfectly, but Rickee's veal was slightly over cooked. However, both were delicious. Of the two, however, the Rib Eye is the better cut. Highly recommended is the Grilled Filet Mignon, which we have heard from other guests is the real star at Prime C.

When the dessert menu arrived I was already crying "uncle" but Rickee dug deep and found the courage to order the chocolate fondue. The small pot of warm chocolate sauce was accompanied by small chunks of fresh fruit and brownies for dipping'. But, forget that, just bring a spoon and eat the sauce like a soup! The chocolate sauce was absolutely decadent and delicious.

The service at Prime C should also be commended. Our waiter, Duman, was excellent. And, the galley delivered each course promptly without delay. Everything was served hot and fresh and presentations were excellent. The food at Prime C was flying out of the galley compared to our experience at Aqualina, in spite of Prime C being quite full of guests during our visit.

In our opinion, Prime C should be at the top of any Azamara guest's "to do" list. Not only is Prime C well worth the $15 cover charge, it is a bargain at that price!

Note: Prime C and Aqualina are complimentary for suite guests.

     
     
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