Salt Grill – by Luke Mangan

Time to write about our favourite fine dining whilst cruising experience. We have enjoyed the pleasurable culinary experience, which is Salt Grill, on a number of occasions, mainly onboard Pacific Dawn, with one dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Surfers Paradise.


We discovered Salt Grill on our first cruise. There is a surcharge for this restaurant as it is not one of the included meal options onboard. For us though, it was well worth the surcharge.

Service here has always been impeccable. Well above the standard we have ever experienced anywhere else. Staff are well trained, attentive, and, if you interact with them, they will respond in kind. Each cruise, we have found by the second or third dinner, drinks appear without ordering, based on what they remember we ordered previously. A small personal touch some might not enjoy, but we do,

Now, upon boarding for a cruise, we unpack before visiting Salt Grill to book in for dinner on the first evening. They always have a half price surcharge on the first evening as well as for the last couple of sea day lunches. Throughout the cruise Salt Grill is dinner only, however the decision to open for lunch on the last couple of sea days, with a half price surcharge, has been a popular one.

The complimentary breads delivered to the table after your arrival, are most enjoyable. By now you are starting to realise the thought put into marketing of the celebrity chef. Olive oil accompaniment is Luke’s own, dishes are marked with Salt Grill, by Luke Mangan, and a list of items to buy, including the olive oil is on the menu. All however, completed somewhat tastefully, without the overpowering of most marketing.

We adore the food presentation in this restaurant, with meals beautifully presented every time. The menu isn’t what I would classify as extensive, however it does cater for most tastes. Meals we have enjoyed, at both restaurants have been of high quality.

After enjoying the onboard experience so much during our first two cruises, withdrawal symptoms sent us searching for Salt Grill in Australia. An email booking through to the Hilton in Surfers Paradise explained we had loved Salt Grill so much onboard, that we were now wanting to find that experience in Australia. A booking was duly confirmed for us to celebrate our anniversary. We were not disappointed. The night we dined, we were given a very quiet area, private area to ourselves. Our waitstaff were fabulous, with a great sense of humour. Food was divine, topped off with a complimentary dessert from the kitchen.

Yes we are definitely devotees of Salt Grill. One or two other restaurants have come close, one in fact equal, however we are still searching for the one to beat our experiences at Luke Mangans restaurants.

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