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Neopian Dining: The Golden Dubloon


by lycheeprincess

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Welcome to Neopian Dining, your guide to the best (and worst!) of Neopian restaurants. I’m your host, Chagum the Bori. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a culinary connoisseur from the mountains of Shenkuu. I love to travel almost as much as I love to eat, so you’ll find me all over Neopia looking far and wide for amazing food.

Tonight I'll tell you about my experience at The Golden Dubloon, one of Neopia’s oldest restaurants. It has a rich history all its own, and it’s still a much-loved part of the island today. And though it’s popular with tourists, it’s also where the locals come to eat, which is always a good sign.

Don’t forget that the official currency of Krawk Island is dubloons; you’ll want to make sure you have enough on hand to pay the check. A four-course meal at the restaurant can cost anywhere from seven to twenty-eight dubloons! After all, it’s not called The Golden Neopoint, right?

After making a much-needed stop at the Dubloon-o-Matic, I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes early for my seven o’ clock reservation; the host was not at their stand when I came in, so I had a couple minutes to myself to look around the foyer. In it hangs a large portrait of Hannah— yes, the Hannah!. A passing waiter saw me looking at the portrait and mentioned to me that she actually used to work here as a barmaid. No kidding! Can you imagine being waited on by Hannah the Adventurer?

After about ten minutes, a frazzled-looking Krawk appeared.

“Good evening, and welcome! Did you have a reservation with us tonight?” she asked, opening the book on her stand.

I said “yes” and told her my name. She squinted at the book for a moment, then nodded.

“Okay, Chagum,” she said. “Your table is ready. Right this way.” The Krawk led me across the restaurant— which, even on a Wednesday night, was lively and quite loud with the chatter of customers— to a little booth near the bar.

Luckily, it didn’t take very long for me to be greeted by my server, Rosetta, who took my drink order on the spot. There are many exciting beverages unique to The Golden Dubloon, from specialty drinks like the Land Lubber to its artisan sodas (the Raspberry Pop looked especially promising!); however, I knew that I had to try the Dubloon’s famous house-made grog.

The grog here comes in several different flavors. Those of you with more traditional tastes may like the Tchea Grog, but I chose the Krakuberry Grog. Krakuberries are a type of berry native to Krawk Island, and for those of you who’ve never tried them, they taste like a tangier version of a cherry. They’re delicious as a jam. Because of its sourness, the krakuberry is extraordinarily difficult to make into a good beverage, but my grog was a pleasant reminder that it is possible to do. Luckily, that night happened to be one of The Golden Dubloon’s “bottomless pitcher” nights, so I could have all the grog I wanted, and Rosetta was very prompt about offering refills.

Now onto the good stuff: the food!

My first “course” of action… ha!… was to pick out an appetizer, and The Golden Dubloon’s offerings range from standard fare like the Shiver Me Shrimp to more unconventional dishes, such as the Double Stuffed Guppy. And if you like eating dessert before dinner, then the Tropical Breeze— “a generous helping of Chokato and Tigersquash ice cream”— is your dream come true.

However, looking for something lighter to kick off my meal, I decided on the Tomato Cannonball. It’s a fresh tomato that’s braised in a tomato sauce with fresh herbs, then, as the name implies, shot out of a cannon to finish it off. This results in a tomato that’s crispy on the outside, but juicy and delicious on the inside. It was so delicious that I almost forgot I was eating something healthy!

Choosing my main course was a little trickier, as The Golden Dubloon has quite a variety of entrees. For Neopians with less refined palates, there’s Barnacle Bill’s Belt Busting Burger. It’s a gigantic burger well-loved by the Food Club pirates who stop by here on the regular, but Rosetta informed me that they also can prepare a smaller version of it if you ask, as all the burgers are made to order. Loretta Fontaine's Perfect Pizza is also a perfect option for any younger (or young-at-heart) pets you happen to be dining with.

I was fairly bemused by the Bilge Rat Madeira. I noticed that the person at the table behind me was having that and I didn’t really like the looks of it. To each their own, I guess! Personally, I was torn between the Famous Krawk Pie— a time-honored dish here at The Golden Dubloon— and the Cap’n Threelegs Cutlass Crusade. After much thought, I decided on the latter.

My entree took a little while longer to arrive than I would have liked. Rosetta apologized profusely and told me my grog would be on the house. And in the end, it was well worth the wait! The Cap’n Threelegs Cutlass Crusade, named for the owner of the Swashbuckling Academy, is described on the menu as a “large juicy steak, cooked extra rare and served with a jacket potato and asparagus”. And as simple of a dish as it may sound, it was truly one of the freshest, most succulent steaks I’ve ever had. Rosetta told me the marinade recipe is hundreds of years old and pretty much kept under lock and key here. Good luck finding that in the Neopedia!

Of course, even the best of meals owe much to their accompaniments: the potato that came with my meal was baked to perfection and smeared with butter made from grass-fed Kaus, and the asparagus was pan-seared with fresh garlic and herbs. Absolutely delicious!

To end my meal on a sweet note, I decided to sample one of the restaurant’s house-made desserts. I was tempted by the Krakuberry Cove, which is a cheesecake drizzled in krakuberry sauce— however, I was sort of krakuberried out from all that grog I’d been having, so I wound up choosing the Mocha Joy Fun Pop instead. Unfortunately, I found that the mocha portion of the ice pop was strangely salty and bitter, so I won’t be having that again next time.

Remember that if you order a full four-course meal, you might be eligible to take home some leftovers! Granted, this is pretty rare, but I was lucky enough to be sent home with another Tomato Cannonball. (I guess I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow!)

My experience at The Golden Dubloon was a great one. Like with any restaurant, there is definitely some room for improvement here, but the few snags in the evening were outshadowed by both quality service and quality food.

By the way, who I bumped into on my way out of the restaurant?! None other than Hannah herself! I was a little starstruck, but I think she was too hungry from all that adventuring to even notice me. Oh, well! There's always next time.

PROS:

There’s some delicious food to be had here, no matter your budget.

The menu features lots of options for the health-conscious Neopian, like the Caesar Salad and Grog Light.

The service was excellent. Rosetta is apparently a long-time employee of The Golden Dubloon, and I appreciated her cheerful demeanor and attention to detail.

CONS:

The decor was a little outdated, and while there are lots of interesting knick-knacks around the restaurant to look at, most of them could’ve used a good dusting off.

I think they’re a little understaffed; Rosetta and her sister seemed to be the only servers working that night I was there, and it was busy, too! Though Rosetta didn’t show it, I’m sure she was stressed out tending to all those tables at once.

MY RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 
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