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Neopian Nibbles: Krawk Island's Golden Dubloon!

by riss_chan


Ahoy Neopian Times Readers! Food critics and first mates Riss (riss_chan) and Sammy (ciarza) have returned this week to review Krawk Island’s most famous restaurant, The Golden Dubloon! This cosy eatery just east of Warf Wharf is a popular destination, attracting Neopians from far and wide to dine on the swashbuckling inspired cuisine. The Golden Dubloon is highly renowned and can draw in crowds into the thousands of pets, so it is nearly impossible to simply waltz inside and be seated immediately. The cramped quarters of the establishment only allow for one hundred patrons at a time, so you will need a fair amount of patience and a bit of luck to secure your spot (or maybe some extra dubloons to bribe the maitre’d… not that we’d know about that, of course.). While the eatery is certainly exclusive, we were determined to get a table to see if it lives up to its reputation.

     Upon entering The Golden Dubloon we were greeted by none other than Captain Hackett himself, a pirate Lupe with an eye patch, a long wiry beard, a hook for a paw, and a permanent scowl etched on his face. You’d be right to be intimidated by the Captain, as he glares at his customers from beyond the bar and barks at them not to dawdle. Fifteen minutes is all you will get to make your selections -- take any longer and the Captain will (literally) throw you out of the building himself. Don’t be wasting his time with your Neopoints either; if he can’t hear the tell-tale clanging of dubloons in your pockets you won’t be served or even acknowledged. While it was not exactly a warm welcome into The Golden Dubloon, we were nonetheless still excited to sample their selection.

     Before diving right in, let us explain how ordering at The Golden Dubloon works. The menu has four different categories: Cocktails, Starters, Main Courses, and Desserts. You can order from just one category or all four of them, but from each category, you may select only ONE item… Hackett doesn’t want anybody hogging all of the grub. With so many great choices it can be difficult to pick just one item from each category, so we’re here to help. Luckily, since we are a dynamic dining duo we were able to review not just one, but TWO items from each category! Without further ado, here’s our review!

     Cocktail: Land Lubber

     Fruity, fizzy and priced just right at two dubloons, this is a drink you will want in your arsenal. Some of the other patrons may make fun of you and call you a Land Lubber for ordering this drink but don’t mind them. Those pirates spend a lot of time at sea, they’re incredibly salty as a result. With a tropical drink in hand, your mind will be nothing but calm waters with smooth sailing. 7/10

     Cocktail: Cannon Fodder

     This drink is served in half of a hollowed-out cannonball, perfect for a pirate restaurant. Adorning the beverage is a lit sparkler which truly makes the concoction resemble dangerous ammunition which is about to fire -- how fun! While the presentation is absolutely amazing, we found that when it came to flavour it wasn’t quite as explosive. The dark red juice had a hint of cherry but was overpowered by an unpalatable tarry flavour. Furthermore, the texture was strangely gritty and we’d swear there was ACTUAL cannon powder at the bottom of the glass, almost as if it was a used cannonball rather than a prop as the menu claimed. We asked the Captain and he glared at us, denying he would EVER serve drinks in cannonballs that he found washed ashore to save a few dubloons… But we’re not so sure... Overall, this cannonball was a bit of a dud. 3/10

     Starter: Tropical Breeze

     While ice cream seems a truly odd choice to serve as an appetizer, it certainly piqued our curiosity and we found ourselves unable to resist ordering the Tropical Breeze. With a generous serving of both Chokato and Tigersquash flavoured ice cream, this dish boasts a rich body of savoury flavour without the sweetness of most ice creams. The chocolatey-tomato notes of Chokato were a stark contrast against the tangy taste of Tigersquash and kept our taste buds guessing with each bite. Creamy and pleasantly cool, this dish was both invigorating and refreshing after a long day on the sun battered wharf, and a perfect start to our meal. 8/10

     Starter: Crusty Clam Surprise

     SURPRISE - it’s disgusting! We aren’t sure whose idea of upscale cuisine includes pureed clams topped with marshmallows, but we can firmly say that we have differing points of view. Each bite is an abomination - your senses will be overpowered by either a thick salty brine or the taste of stale, dried out marshmallow. Hackett is clearly trying to hop on the salty and sweet trend bandwagon with this starter, but completely misses the mark. This appetizer did all but stimulate our appetite, in fact, we were so green around the gills we were almost seasick. 0/10

     Main Course: Our Famous Krawk Pie

     The Golden Dubloon’s Famous Krawk Pie! Any time a restaurant touts their dish as famous we always make sure to give it a try, and oftentimes are left underwhelmed and disappointed -- but in this case that could not be further from the truth! Although this pie is unassuming with a seaweed-green top and a pale sandy crust it more than makes up for its dull looks by being jam-packed with flavour. Hearty and filling, the Krawk Pie is a purely vegetarian dish and is made with fresh potatoes, carrots, and leeks grown right on the island -- certainly NOT made with any Krawks like some of the locals might tell you… Regardless of the tales they may tell, you will still find locals and tourists alike showing up in droves for a slice of this delicious pie, which undoubtedly deserves the title “Famous”. 10/10

     Main Course:

     Bilge Rat Madeira

     We know what you’re thinking. Rat? Did I read that correctly? Yes, you did. We, however, did not. The lighting in the Golden Dubloon is not the best, you see... Some say to provide a cover of darkness for some of the underhanded activities that happen there. In any case, we thought we were ordering Bilge RICE Madeira, and well... Let's just say this course surprised us in every way possible. Tender and juicy meat, complemented by the crunch of the perfectly seasoned tail, all coated in a homemade Madeira reduction - bilge rat bliss. This was definitely one of life’s serendipitous mistakes, and reminded us to embrace adventure in our meals! We highly recommend this meal and while it is almost perfect, we would like to add a note to the chef that we feel the dish would be improved by pairing the rat with cheese! 9/10

     Dessert: Squid on a Stick

     No, it isn’t a clever play on words. Yes, it is exactly what you think it is. A squid….. on a stick. With eight legs to be split, it’s the perfect dessert to share among a larger party. That is where the lists of positives about this dessert ends. Cold, gummy and sickly sweet - you will want the experience to end immediately. Unfortunately, the rubbery texture will force you to chew it for quite some time, unless you choose to gracefully spit it into your napkin. We would recommend weighing your options carefully though, as Captain Hackett has been known to make those who insult his food walk the plank. Jetsam infested waters may be worth not taking another bite, we’re still undecided. 2/10

     Dessert: Krakuberry Cove

     Light and fluffy, this perfectly moistened cheesecake is drizzled in a tantalizingly sweet Krakuberry sauce. Although Krakuberries are native to Mystery Island, The Golden Dubloon receives regular shipments to assure the berries in the sauce are fresh and of the highest quality. Our one gripe with this dessert is that it is priced at one dubloon on the menu, but when we were ready to pay Captain Hackett growled at us to cough up two dubloons… Something smells fishy to us, and it’s not the Squid on a Stick. Even if that salty sea dog WAS overcharging us, we have to say that we’re not mad about it. The Krakuberry Cove is worth every bit we spent and more -- it certainly shivered our timbers! 7/10

     Overall, our experience at The Golden Dubloon was fair. There was certainly an undeniable sense of charm between the pirate decor and handcrafted menu, however, there were several drawbacks as well. After waiting an exorbitant amount of time to get into The Golden Dubloon, the fifteen-minute dining limit left us feeling rushed and unable to relax as we ate our meals. While we certainly understand the need to clear out the restaurant and serve the many patrons that are waiting outside, there is definitely room for improvement in customer service. Some patrons were given the option to take home leftovers, whereas ours were just chucked in the bin - it seems like a roll of the dice. While The Golden Dubloon did not meet all of our expectations, standouts like the Famous Krawk Pie and Bilge Rat Madeira make it worth considering dropping by The Golden Dubloon on your next trip to Krawk Island. Don’t forget to bring your dubloons! ...Also maybe don’t mention this article to the Captain… he said if we gave him anything less than perfect 10’s he would shoot us out of his cannon. We’re pretty sure he was serious.


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