As a lover of sushi, I could not pass up the opportunity to dine at Izumi on my Royal Caribbean cruise. In this post, I will review my experience of Izumi and provide you with information about the menu, pricing and what to expect. This review is based on the restaurant onboard Spectrum of the Seas, the first Quantum-Ultra class ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet. We ate at Izumi twice during our 15-night cruise.
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Introduction to Izumi Sushi
On most Royal Caribbean ships with Izumi, this specialty dining restaurant offers a combination of sushi and hibachi dishes. On Spectrum of the Seas, which is designed for the Asian market, the cruise line has split these into separate specialty dining restaurants: Izumi (sushi) and Teppenyaki (hibachi). Anyone can dine at Izumi but it’s best to make a reservation for dinner in advance. As it’s a specialty dining restaurant, it is not included in the cruise fare and additional charges will be added to your onboard account unless you are using one of Royal Caribbean’s dining packages (more on this later).
Izumi is located on Deck 5 of the Royal Esplanade of Spectrum of the Seas. On other ships it may be less prominent, for example, on Rhapsody of the Seas it is tucked away on Deck 12. My advice would be to hunt for it if you enjoy sushi.
In Izumi, you can expect to find sushi and sashimi dishes on the menu, with a la carte pricing. As previously mentioned, most Izumi menus also include hibachi dishes.
Izumi Sushi Atmosphere
On arrival to Izumi, we were warmly greeted by the staff who showed us to our table. Despite being obviously nice, friendly people, this may have been due to the fact that it was never busy during our cruise and they were glad of the customers and something to do!
Never the less, we were treated like old friends at Izumi. The manager came to speak to us on numerous occasions during our meal and told us about the head chef and his recommendations. All Izumi chefs are specially trained to ensure quality and consistency across the Royal Caribbean fleet.
I quite liked the vibrant orange decor and Japanese-inspired wall art. The open counter allows diners to watch the fresh sashimi and sushi being prepared before them, much like other sushi restaurants I’ve visited.
Tables are arranged primarily for two to four people as well as the option to sit at the counter. It is one of the smaller restaurants onboard.
The restaurant is open plan so don’t go expecting an intimate dining experience. You can still hear the music from the Royal Esplanade and see people walking passed, especially if your table is on the outer section.
Izumi Opening Times
Izumi is open for lunch and dinner. Times vary depending on port days and sea days so it’s worth checking the opening times before you go. Reservations shouldn’t be needed for lunch but are recommended for dinner. You can make reservations at the main reservations desk, over the telephone from you stateroom or directly with Izumi.
Izumi Dress Code
The dress code for Izumi is casual. You’re welcome to dress nicely but smart shorts and t-shirt is perfectly acceptable. I wore a nice top and cropped trousers, whilst Craig wore shorts and a polo shirt (you can see what we wore later in this post). Jeans, polos, sundresses and blouses are all acceptable to wear. Izumi would be a good option for people who want to enjoy a nice meal without dressing up on formal nights.
Izumi Sushi Menu
Edame beans are served as a complimentary starter.
|Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura
An assortment of shrimp and vegetable tempura served with tentsyu bonito stock
Crispy chicken thigh meat, marinated in soy ginger mirin, served in Thai sweet chili sauce
|Pork Gyoza Dumpling
Pan-fried pork wontons served with gyoza sauce
For my starter, I chose something I knew I’d enjoy, pork gyoza dumpling. These were very tasty dipped in the gyoza sauce.
The salads are a light option, ideal for lunch.
|Seaweed Wakame Salad
Sesame oil, white sesame seeds
|Deluxe Seafood Citrus Salad
Blanched lobster tail, octopus & shrimp ebi, pickled sweet cucumber & kaiso seaweed, daikon sprouts, roasted sesame seeds
|Ahi & Albacore Tataki Salad
Chunked tuna, seared albacore, smelt egg, daikon sprouts, dried chili thread, cucumber, spring mix, ponzu, sesame, chili oil
Diced tofu, sliced carrot, daikon sprouts, cucumber, asparagus, cherry tomato, ginger dressing on the side
These carpaccio dishes are thin slices of raw fish, all come with five slices.
Tuna sashimi, house ponzu olive oil, wasabi aioli, masago smelt egg, garlic chips, jalepeno
|Albacore Tataki with Sesame Dressing and Crispy Leeks
Seared albacore sashimi, house ponzu olive oil, creamy sesame dressing, fried crispy leeks, daikon radish, black sesame seeds
|Octopus Yuzu Chimichurri
Octopus sashimi, house ponzu olive oil, yuzu citrus chimichurri, masago smelt egg
The following Izumi Sushi dishes can be ordered as two pieces or five pieces. You could choose to order a few smaller portions to try or opt for five pieces of one you love.
|2 pieces||5 pieces|
|Albacore Shiro Maguro||$6||$10|
|Egg Tamago Yaki||$5|
|Freshwater Eel Unagi||$6||$10|
|Sea Bass Suzuki||$6||$10|
Combination / Bowls
This is another great option at Izumi Sushi that can be ordered as a main course but we opted to order one to share between two of us. Sashimi is raw fish so may be not to everyone’s liking but it is safe to eat due to how it’s prepared.
Seasoned tuna, albacore, octopus, avocado chunk, sea salt, sesame oil, soy sauce, onion, scallions, masago, sesame seeds, seaweed salad, sushi rice
|DX Sushi Combo
Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, eel, sea bass, shrimp, albacore, spicy tuna
|Sushi Nigiri Combo
Tuna albacore, salmon, yellowtail, sea bass, octopus, kampachi, shrimp, salmon roe
|Assorted Sashimi Combo
3 tuna, 3 yellowtail, 3 salmon, 3 octopus, 3 amberjack
You can order these sushi dishes as half or whole rolls. This makes it great for trying a few or sharing. I can highly recommend the Champagne Lobster in Yuzu Wrap and the Spicy Crispy Shrimp.
|Champagne Lobster in Yuzu Wrap
Blanched lobster, avocado, daikon sprouts, yuzu fruit wrap, champagne sauce, dried chili thread
Spicy creamy tuna sushi terrine topped with yellowtail sashimi, scallions, ponzu
|Snow Crab California
Snow crab, avocado, cucumber, soy paper
California roll topped with assorted sashimi
|Salmon Lovers Roll
Crab asparagus roll, salmon sashimi, avocado
|Seared Tuna Tataki
Shrimp tempura, seared tuna, garlic ponzu sauce
|Spicy Crispy Shrimp
Shrimp tempura, tempura flakes unagi sauce
Shrimp tempura, freshwater eel, unagi sauce
The manager suggested that we let the head chef create a selection of his favourites and we weren’t disappointing when he brought us this selection. The combination of flavours within the sushi rolls were spot on. We shared this between two of us and were rather full by the end.
Chef’s Signature Rolls
Baked Snow Crab and Eel Dynamite contains snow crab, freshwater eel, cream cheese, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo, garlic chili oil, lemon slice and champagne sauce. You can order this as a half ($9) or whole roll ($16).
By the end of our meal we were pretty full but managed to share a Japanese dessert of Assorted Mochi Ice Cream ($5). It was encased in sweet mochi rice.
Royal Caribbean Dining Package
Having experienced it, I would highly recommend pre-purchasing a specialty dining package before your cruise. As we were on a 15-night cruise, it was nice to have the option to try the different restaurants onboard. In my opinion, the specialty dining restaurants on Royal Caribbean were particularly good. We chose the five-night dining package but a three-night package or ultimate dining package is also available.
The five-night dining package can be used for five visits to the specialty dining venues but it’s important to know that some restaurants are al a carte and some are all inclusive. For example, the five-night dining package gives you $35 credit in al a carte dining venues such as Izumi. Anything you order above this amount is charged. We found that this amount was more than adequate for our meal at Izumi but not at the Teppenyaki restaurant.
Celebrating at Izumi
I enjoyed Izumi so much during our first visit that I decided that I wanted to dine there for my birthday onboard. When we made our reservation, we mentioned the special occasion. They certainly made it memorable (and me, a little embarrassed) when they brought out a birthday cake at the end of our meal and sang Happy Birthday!
Final Thoughts on Izumi Sushi
There’s a definite freshness to Izumi, from its decor to its menu. If you like sushi and sashimi, it’s certainly worth visiting for lunch or dinner. I particularly enjoyed the sushi rolls and the pork gyoza dumpling but the dessert was a pleasant surprise to round off the meal.
The staff at Izumi Sushi were very friendly and accommodating, particularly for my birthday.
If you’re looking for a change from the Main Dining Room, Izumi is a great option, especially if you are looking for light and healthy dishes.