Eating Our Way Around Cairns

To my delight, Cairns ended up being a food lover’s paradise.  As we would later find out, even Sydney could not compete with the amazing food we had in Cairns.  In no particular order, here are some of my favourites:

Kani’s Restaurant (59 Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia)

I had a lovely entrée of oysters; for the main I had the carbonara, which reminded me a lot of the carbonara I used to have in Japan. Yum!  My hubby had calamari fritti and fish and chips, which would be the first of many to come.

*****

*****

Ochre Restaurant (43 Shields Street, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia)

In a word, fabulous!  We shared the following:

Game Platter, which included salt and pepper leaf crocodile, grilled kangaroo, roast wallaby fillet, and sweet potato fritter with dipping sauces.  [I know, I know, how could I even bring myself to sink my teeth into such cute, cuddly creatures? But in case you’re wondering, crocodile tastes a bit like chicken (don’t all reptiles?), kangaroo is a bit gamey, and wallaby is actually quite lovely, a bit like beef and very tender.]

Tempura Bay Bugs on lemongrass, green papaya salad, and sweet chilli lemon myrtle dipping sauce.

Ochre house salad, which contained mixed salad leaves, roast Roma tomato, crisp bacon, olives, Mungalli feta cheese, and spiced macadamia nuts with garlic mayonnaise.

*****

*****

Finz (Macrossan Street, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia)

I had the garlic bugs (Morton Bay Bugs – smaller than lobsters, bigger than shrimp, texture in between the two?) simmered in a light garlic butter & white wine cream sauce, finished with dressed spinach and crusty bread.  All very tasty but I was still hungry afterward…

Hubby had salt and pepper calamari and linguini with fresh bugs, prawns, calamari and reef fish, pan seared with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli, butter, and white wine.  Simple and delicious.

*****

*****

Beach Almond (145 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove QLD 4879, Australia)

We shared the seafood platter, having been assured that it would be enough for two, and at the end left very hungry!  The mudcrab was so tasty, however, as was the banana leaf barramundi, that we didn’t really mind.  I have no idea what was in the sauce for the crab, perhaps lemongrass and chilli and other Asian spices, but it was just lovely!

*****

*****

Barnacle Bill’s (103 Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia)

We shared Bill’s Seafood Platter, the Bug Endeavour (Morton Bay Bugs galore!), and Barramundi Kilpatrick.  I wasn’t a fan of the Kilpatrick sauce, but the food in general was tasty.  We had dessert next door at Mövenpick, which was a nice change from all the gelato we’d been having.

*****

*****

Ganbaranba Noodle Colosseum (12-20 Spence St, Cairns, QLD 4870, Australia)

I was so excited to find an authentic Japanese ramen shop in Cairns.  A total hole-in-the-wall establishment, everything about the restaurant oozed Japan and made me so nostalgic.  I loved the bottomless pitchers of iced barley tea (mugi-cha), as well. Their homemade gyoza comes in squares and the tonkotsu broth was just perfect–not too thick and not too oily.  A real find, as well as one of the cheaper places to eat around town.  We enjoyed the ramen and gyoza so much that we ate here THREE times during our stay!

  *****

*****

La Pizza Trattoria (93 Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia)

Seating is outdoors only and although we were absolutely melting outside, we still managed to enjoy our last meal in Cairns.  We shared a light seafood pasta, margherita pizza, and a nice large glass of carrot and beetroot juice.  Perhaps the juice was a bit random, but totally refreshing as my body was craving vegetables!

*****

*****

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