World-renowned chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa cruised aboard Crystal Symphony this week to open his new restaurants, Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, on Crystal Cruises' award-winning luxury ship, Crystal Symphony.  The restaurants debuted on the final leg of Crystal Symphony's March 3, 2008 Trans-Pacific cruise from Los Angeles to Hong Kong.

Internationally famous for his innovative blend of classically styled Japanese foods with distinct Peruvian and European influences, Nobu joined the ship in Hong Kong to personally oversee the launch, which was commemorated with a traditional sake ceremony.  The master chef was joined at the ceremony by Crystal executives President Gregg Michel and the line's chairman, Mitsutoshi Nawa.

During the cruise, Nobu-trained chefs showcased some of Nobu's most popular specialties at The Sushi Bar, including yellowtail sashimi with jalapeƱo and tuna tataki with ponzu sauce.  Among the more than two dozen menu selections at Silk Road will be Nobu-style lobster with truffle-yuzu sauce, saikyo miso black cod and beef with three distinctive sauces.

The new restaurants represent an expansion of Nobu's culinary alliance with Crystal Cruises.  Since 2003, his cuisine has enjoyed tremendous success aboard Crystal Symphony's fleetmate, Crystal Serenity.

Silk Road Executive Chef Hiroshi Nakaguchi previously served as executive chef in Nobu's restaurants aboard Crystal Serenity, and has worked with him for more than 10 years, having held key positions in his restaurants in New York, Miami and Las Vegas.

"During the past four years, Crystal has done an incredible job of ensuring the consistent quality and integrity of my cuisine served aboard Crystal Serenity, regardless of wherever the ship may be in the world," comments Nobu.  "I am very pleased to build upon my relationship with Crystal Cruises and fully expect the opening of The Sushi Bar and Silk Road to further enhance Crystal Symphony's tradition of culinary excellence."

Occupying the former Jade Garden space, the restaurants accommodate a total of 68 guests and will be open most evenings.  While there is no additional charge for enjoying Nobu's extraordinary cuisine, reservations are recommended for Silk Road; dining at The Sushi Bar will be on a first come, first served basis.

Noted interior design architect Alison Clixby of AdFecto Design, who designed Crystal Symphony's Luxe nightclub and Connoisseur Club, has created contemporary, Asian-inspired spaces in shades of sage, citrus green and aubergine, accented by golden organza sheers, plum glass tiles, and a dark granite sushi bar.  DPA designed the mood lighting, which includes custom fabric chandeliers and backlit stone wall treatments.

"To dine at one of Nobu's restaurants is a treat unto itself," says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage operations, Crystal Cruises.  "We are thrilled to present our guests with yet another new dimension of choice and superior quality aboard Crystal Symphony."