Leg 2, Day 35 – Chez Doris

Natalia Cohen By

Day 35 – Chez Doris

I’ve been asked to review a very special restaurant today. It’s a wonderfully unique place on a 29ft rowing boat in the Pacific Ocean. Its originality lies in the fact that it has a constantly moving location and with a maximum guest number of 4, it has an unbelievably intimate feel.

On my arrival, I am asked to take off my shoes and enter the tiny dining space via a glass hatch door leading off the deck. The place has a bohemian feel as I am shown straight to my seat atop blue cushion/mattresses, where I await my meal cross legged.

The chef has chosen her favourite meals for me to sample and during the wait, I look around me and take in the surrounding decor. It’s fascinating. There are a number of A4 laminated sheets on the walls containing a mix of information and a small wall fan that actually does a great job of cooling the otherwise unbearably hot, stifling room. The place has a lived-in feel.


I am offered a choice of drink by my waitress Emsy and between the desalinated water and SOS blueberry isotonic options, I choose the later. The meal preparation is a staggering 2 minutes as the Jetboil is ignited. I am informed that to fully enjoy the flavours of each main meal I should further wait approximately 5 minutes.

My samplers today are Oriental Chicken with rice and Beef Shepherds pie.

The chicken is delicious. Its a light, aromatic dish with a decent mix of meat, grain and vegetables. The bright red bell pepper and sunflower yellow sweet corn give the occasional burst of flavour and there are tiny, subtle pieces of chilli that give a small unexpected kick. Perfect for the hot, sunny day I was experiencing.

The shepherds pie smells wonderful as it is being prepared. This dish can be ready in an instant (5 minute wait not obligatory) if needed and is a popular choice when overcast and stormy as it is a good, hearty meal. Although the consistency is a little like baby food, the flavours are good and the mash potato is smooth and rich. The fresh green peas are a wonderful addition and the tomato sauce accompaniment provided is the perfect way to really bring out the flavour of the beef.

I am also encouraged to sample some of the breakfast menu dishes including the ‘All day breakfast’ and the ‘Hot cereal start’. With baked beans, sausage, bacon and omelette, the ‘All day’ really is a great way to begin the day. It can be enjoyed either hot or cold and requires absolutely no preparation time whatsoever.

The ‘hot cereal start’ can actually be eaten either hot or cold too depending on your preference and despite the name it has been given! This is a wonderful, thick and substantial breakfast treat filled with wholemeal wheat flakes, soya protein, skimmed milk and sultanas. As it is eaten, there are hints of cinnamon and vanilla that can be tasted permeating the overall bran flavour of the dish. It’s not dissimilar to soggy wheatabix for those that have tried that breakfast dish before!

For desert I am offered a choice of chocolate pudding, apple and custard or chocolate chip desert. I go for the choc chip. It was another amazingly speedy preparation as it only needed cold water to be added. Delicious! A subtle chocolate flavour, not too overpowering or rich and a good consistency. There could possibly have been slightly more chocolate chips for my liking, but that would be my only suggestion.

Emsy offers me post dinner drinks of tea, coffee, hot chocolate or a herbal mint tea and I settle back amongst the pillows, straighten out my legs and enjoy the sounds of 2 rowers pulling their oars through the water. The sounds of the ocean, the gentle swaying movement and a full belly could easily induce a post lunch nap…

Chez Doris is full of character. It feels family run as a very close knit team are involved in ensuring its success. It’s never full and while one person is preparing the food for another, there are always 2 people ensuring that Chez Doris reaches its next destination.

With excellent service and amazing location, my only concern with this otherwise perfect little gem of a restaurant is that the bathroom facilities leave something to be desired and its access can prove slightly challenging.
All in all I give Chez Doris a well deserved 4 stars.



  1. That sounds great, can I book a table for the day after tomorrow please? Say 7.30 for 8ish and sounds like we’ll be done by about 8.15:-)

  2. Great post Natalia – you will obviously have a second career choice when you return to dry land – restaurant critic !

  3. Ray Penhaul says:

    Here’s a new interpretation of the word SPIRIT mentioned in a previous blog:

    S Soup of the day
    P Powdered bolognese
    I Ice cream and chocolate flake (melted of course)
    R Roast beef and yorkshire pud
    I Iced coffee
    T Tiramisu

    This would definitely attract the more refined foodies, where else can you be served by 4 bikini clad, bandana wearing, totally motivated,inspirational girls.

  4. JG says:

    It’s amazing how the mind will focus, in any given situation, on those things that give physical comfort. Cue the dry and warm sleeping bay of a wartime trench when the fire trench is 12″ deep in freezing sloppy mud, it’s snowing and blowing a gale. Never mind your 5 star hotels and served cocktails – that sleeping bay is heaven. Your meal times are heaven and a huge part of the life on Doris in a similar vein to the trench. They give comfort. Can’t be too long now when you breach the Equator and finally get into that Southern Equatorial current that will whisk you along to Samoa. You have done so well keeping the show on the road as you have. Keep safe – with you all the way.

  5. Helen j says:

    Was just wondering how far you are away from the equator now as it doesn’t show this on where is Doris map.
    I took my 13 year old son on a rowing machine and he did 5 minutes. I then said how about doing it for 2 hours then resting for 2hrs and then doing it again constantly for about six to nine months. His face said it all really.
    My hat goes off to you all.

  6. Hilarious blog post!!!
    I have been following practically every day since you left San Francisco and am in complete awe. You are all so inspiring! I’m from Sydney, but have lived in New York for years and and I can not tell you how insanely LONG the San Fran- Oz flight (about 15 hours) has felt to me. I look out the window

  7. Hilarious blog post!!!
    I have been following practically every day since you left San Francisco and am in complete awe. You are all so inspiring! I’m from Sydney, but have lived in New York for years and and I can not tell you how insanely LONG the San Fran- Oz flight (about 15 hours) has felt to me. I look out the window at the Pacific impatiently every trip!
    From now on I will be remembering your incredible patience.
    Also, 2 questions:
    1- you are heading right for Fanning Island- are you going to stop by?
    2- now that you are closer to these islands, are you seeing a lot more birds and other fun wildlife??
    Keep up the incredibly inspiring work,
    CookieCutterShark xx

  8. Hello you wild and crazy girls,

    I really enjoyed that blog, it gave me that loving feeling,
    not sure why.
    I cannot imagine how you can write a blog like this after so many days. Totally proud to know you all.
    The trip could go so many different ways but you’re still making moments special. I’m rooting for you.

  9. Simon TY says:

    Guess all tables are booked for another month or so ? Seems to be hogged by the same four bookings. You seem to be making progress again. Hope u having a good day.


  10. Jim Andrews says:

    Excellent. Bon Apetite. I am sure you all yearn for normallity in your diet but thank you for that humourous insight into your galley. I really am in awe of your wonderfull spirit and strength of character. You obviously have a few “Not so good days” but your sense of humour and focus appear to be unwavering. You are all fantastic, well done and stay safe. XX

  11. kim says:

    super post nat……i’m glad you’ve got fine dining pacific style

    i’d come any day but i don;t think the tube goes there easily. am i right?

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