Review: Izumi on Rhapsody of the Seas
Izumi, how do I love thee? Shall we count the ways?
Over the years, I have managed to eat at seven different Izumi locations across Royal Caribbean and review them, here on the blog. You might think the experiences tend to run into each other, but on Rhapsody of the Seas I found fairly unique Izumi experience.
Of course, the sushi at Izumi remains very consistent (and excellent) across the fleet, thanks to the hard work of the specialty restaurant's ongoing efforts. The sushi alone is worth my many visits to Izumi, and why I continue to make reservations for Izumi. It is pretty much one of those spots I visit whenever I have an excuse to do so.
Speaking of excuses, on our Rhapsody of the Seas cruise, there was an advertisement in the Cruise Compass towards the end of the cruise where you could pay $25 and get a $50 credit to use at Izumi. You may not run across such a promotion, but always keep an eye out for specials!
Izumi on Rhapsody of the Seas is not easily stumbled upon, as it is located at the very top of the ship on Deck 12. In fact, it's kind of on a half hidden deck, behind the Viking Crown Lounge.
Suffice to say, there is not a lot of foot traffic in this part of the ship.
For those that do venture to deck 12 to see Izumi, it is arguably the most beautiful Izumi location I have ever been to across Royal Caribbean's fleet.
The restaurant sits in a kind of half circle, with an "upper deck" that overlooks the Viking Crown Lounge below.
Out the back of Izumi, you have a perfect view of the aft of the ship, with the Solarium roof providing the perfect viewing angle to the ocean and sky behind it. During our lunch, we spent most of the time just gazing out to the back of the restaurant (when we were not gorging on the terrific food).
If you are new to Izumi specialty restaurant, it is a specialty restaurant that is priced a la carte. That means, there is no cover charge and you simply pay for the food you order.
All meals at Izumi begin with a complimentary bowl of edamame, which is a boiled soy beans sprinkled with salt. A perfect starter to nosh on while you look over the menu.
I always start my meal with a bowl of miso soup. To me, it is a quintessential Japanese meal starter.
Izumi has a fairly large menu, and their appetizer selection includes some really tasty options. The gyoza dumplings and chicken kara-age are great shareables (although one person can easily finish them off).
Having tried the Mixed Poke Taco on Brilliance of the Seas last year, I gravitated right back towards them again on this go around. Tuna, avocado, albacore and octopus in a crispy wonton shell is a really good combination.
Also somewhat new and already a favorite choice is the Boxed Yellowtail. When it comes to sushi, yellowtail is never a bad choice.
I also opted for another sushi staple, the Crispy Spicy Tuna.
I never shy away from an opportunity to dine at Izumi, and when I found that $25 for $50 deal in the Cruise Compass, I found my perfect excuse.
In a nutshell, the food at Izumi is excellent all around. Their sushi is of outstanding quality, and their non-sushi items are also quite good (if not underrated). Even if you are not much of a "sushi person" I think you will find something to enjoy on the menu.
By far, if you happen to be sailing on Rhapsody of the Seas (or another Vision Class ship with Izumi on Deck 12), do yourself a favor and go up there for lunch. The views on worth the price of the food you get.
When it comes to dining at Izumi on Rhapsody of the Seas, come for the sushi, but stay for the views.