A complete guide to Cairns Restaurants

Mondo on the Waterfront

Locals know where to find the best bites, and that’s why you’ll find the locals here. The award-winning Mondo on the Waterfront is a unique al fresco dining experience that encapsulates everything great about North Queensland, with stunning views of Trinity Inlet. Whether it’s a casual coffee, a family gathering, business lunch or cocktail, indulge in flavours from around the world, with signature dishes like Mondo barbeque and sizzling fajitas!


Continental, Asian, Mediterranean, Seafood, Contemporary


Visa, Al fresco, EFTPOS, A la carte, Licensed, Mastercard, Smoking Area, JCB, Diners Club, Disabled Access

Price Guide



12pm-9pm (wet weather closing 8pm)




(07) 4052 6780
34 Esplanade,, Cairns, Queensland, 4870

What people are saying...

Maureen Sweeney
6 Nov 2013

Beautiful setting, food was great

Shelby Symons
12 Apr 2013

I have been to Mondo's a few times and love it!
Food is always fantastic and the staff are friendly and the view is amazing. One of my fav places to go for dinner!

17 Nov 2012

Booked a table ... arrived and ordered the meals and they said we would have to wait 1 hour... not good enough a lot of bored people not having a great time.

? need less tables, more chefs cant seem to handle the 7-7.30 rush .
The setting is perfect but a restaurant/cafe can not rely on it.

Vic Northcott
12 Sep 2012

i can only say what a great place to eat the food is fantastic the staff are friendly and very helpful.

We had booked a show and dinner package but some how we were a day late. The casino honoured the tickets and Mondos had no problems serving us the dinner.
The view is fantastic the food just amazing
thanks for a great night

Michelle Mann
1 Jul 2011

I had lunch at Mondo Cafe recently and would like to share some feedback with you. The staff were amazing, polite, lovely and attentive. The setting was perfect as always! The Wagyu Beef burger was tiny!! For the price that I paid for the burger $27 I expected to see more beef. There was more bacon than beef and the bacon was folded up so didn’t cover my burger (it was in one tiny spot in the middle). The bun was huge compared to the amount of beef. I loved the BBQ/ tomato sauce but found the horseradish mayonnaise lacking in horseradish. The menu says pickles and I did not see one! I have eaten this dish before and the last time I had it there was a bounty of chips and beef. All in all I give my whole experience 3/5 (and that 3 had nothing to do with the food, the staff and location did that for them).

4 Aug 2009

Mondo's is not affiliated with the Hilton - jesus have a look at it. I'm a local and I live over the road from the Hilton and I can honestly say (been there 5 times) that the atmosphere is great under the trees etc - but the food is at best average.

26 Jun 2009

snowball example: "Several hours earlier a General Manager receives a phone call from head office with more service bad news, several minutes later he blasts is restaurant manager, in turn the restaurant manager grunts at the waiter, and the waiter, once again bites the hand that feeds him!"

Are you getting the picture???

What happened to "Service Is Selling" and many more of the "glorified" training deliveries that Hilton Hotels adhere to, promoted, and comunicated to their service staff.

Why is so difficult for your restaurant staff including manager/supervisor to understand a guests simple request to join three available tables together to accommodate a party of 8 in the outside area (with no visible reserved sign on them), in a restaurant that was 3/4 empty.

Why does it take your staff more than five minutes of pondering, with resulting comments like "I must have single tables available!

Should I give priority to some imaginary customers that your staff may be expecting, rather than the already present and repeat customers?

Why do you allow staff to be rhetoric to paying customers in a "I win You Loose" situation?

Further more when is it appropriate in an HILTON environment for waiting staff while clearing glassware from customers tables to place their fingers inside soiled glassware "repeatedly", and then proceed to deliver food to other tables?

By the way these local patrons left your premises, in fear of further inconveniences, leaving the waiter physically kicking the chairs!!! Nice, he wins, we loose.

Next time, to better assert your seating requests, you should ask the engaging staff member at the "wait to be seated" sign, the following: I would like a table for 2, but there are six more joining us!!

"Its Chaos at Mondo's" last visit 20/06/09 18:00 hours
Food - Good
Setting - Excellent
Customer Service - Needs urgent overhauling
Service Hygiene - Appalling for a Hilton standard Hotel

20 Oct 2008

As a local to Cairns for many years we have dined at many local resturants, but we are hard pressed to find a resturant that compares to Mondo's. We have celebrated many occasions there, birthdays, family celebrations and also our pre wedding dinner. We have recieved nothing but the most professional service from all the staff including the chef's who are more than happy to dicuss the menu and find the right dish to suit our tastes. The view is to die for and if you time it right and get a calm night with a full moon you may not want to ever leave. As the moon rise's above the mountians across the inlet, it's a very romantic place to spend a night with a loved one. We must say that our most favorite night at Mondo's is family night. With a great band and face painting to keep the kids entertained you can sit back, relax and watch the kids have fun. For any occasion Mondo's is the place for us.

14 Sep 2008

My partner and I recently visited Mondo, on a recomendation from one of the local tour infomation places. Wow, what a view! It definately has one of the best views in cairns, and an atmostphere to match! The staff are friendly, helpful and I couldn't help noticing that there were many locals who the staff treated as though they were a part of the family. Another stand out is the fact they are children friendly! Our chilren were presented with colouring in pages, crayons and childrens menus within seconds of arriving, they were thrilled! The resturuant has plently of room for them to run around, within view from parents, they even met some play mates that day as well. When it came time to order, the staff were excellent. My wife has a gluten alergy and the head chef came up to me to dicuss my wife's needs, can't ask for more than that! When the food came out we couldn't believe the size of them, and a taste sensation to match (try thier signiture fajita slizzers!). such great value for money. My family had a fantastic day, if you are ever in Cairns this is the place to be!

30 Aug 2008

I booked a table for 16 people 2 months ago at Mondo as an interstate visitor organising a hens night dinner. Whilst I requested an outdoor table on account of the stunning views I had heard about, I was given the impression that in the event of bad weather the tables could be moved under cover. having not seen the layout of the restaurant before one trusts that their booking is secure come rain hail or shine. Upon arrival we were treated rudely and placed outside in the rain. When moved under cover at our request we were then provided with too few seats for our arriving guests and attempts to mend this situation politely were greeted with more rudeness from the staff who felt their inability to cater for us was my fault for having booked an outdoor table in the first place. I have never been to a restaurant where a booking is cancelled due to bad weather so i expected we would be accommodated for. On top of this, I would have greatly appreciated being told of this risk at either one of the 2 occasions I phoned Mondos to confirm our booking, or at least been given a phonecall when it was obvious bad weather was rolling in (we arrived AFTER the rain had started). My group of ladies were in the age group 25-60 and all were sober and polite. I even walked in on the floor manager bitching about our table to her staff which I thought was highly unprofessional. Thanks for nothing Mondo. You might want to review your policies on catering for large groups and informing your patrons of any limitations/cancellations before they actually arrive.

1 May 2007

Ahh Mondo's... a definite favorite!
I'd like to tell you how good the menu is, but truth is neither myself or The Chop have tried anything but the signature dish, the "Mondo BBQ" - which is a mini butchershop of meat and seafood skewers served with condiments and tortilla bread. This meal alone if enough reason to visit Mondo's, but once there you'll stay for the relaxed atmosphere and of course the great views!
Food - Great value. Service - Above Average. Drinks - A little on the expensive side.

Dwi Ulfa Nuryana
11 May 2006

i love ..love .....mondo at the hilton. The food was great and tasty and the most of all...varieties.....I always enjoy dine in there, the view made even better. The food was quick. the location is perfect I can't ask better place to have lunch or dinner or just enjoy a cup of coffee under the palm tree and see breese......it just magnificent. The best of all the price is great.

21 Mar 2003

The food is good, but look over here
Reviewed on: 2003-03-21
Reviewer's rating: 3

Ask anyone who works in Cairns city where the best place to have lunch is, and they are likely to tell you that Mondo at the Cairns Hilton is the ultimate. Apparently Mondo Café has the best location in the far north, the most relaxed atmosphere, highly original and delicious food, and friendly service. Not having been there before, your reviewer was intent on looking beyond the obvious to find another feature of Mondo worth a mention. What could I add to the glorifying praise Mondo Café has received by other reviewers like Terence Trencherman from The Cairns Post?

<img src="images/mondoview.jpg" align="right" border="1" height="188" width="250" hspace="5" vspace="3"> Your reviewer is pleased to inform the reader that he has found the golden morsel of originality in the most unlikely place. The toilet.
This is one of the best restaurant bathrooms I have ever been privileged to use. I even considered bringing my meal into the bathroom with me and hanging out in a cubical for the rest of lunch. The standout feature of this bathroom was not the expensive plumbing or the shiny taps - it was the bottle of sunscreen mounted on the wall for patrons to use. The gifted thinker that decided to offer diners sunscreen at an outdoor restaurant gains the reviewer's full admiration and respect. Mondo is obviously a restaurant that has its patrons in mind.

So what about the food? Well, I had trouble getting my mind off the toilet to give much thought to the food. But knowing I was there to critique the rations I had to force myself to think about the other end of my body. There is no doubt, and it is almost needless for me to say that Mondo has one of the best settings of any restaurant in Far North Queensland. Nowhere else in Cairns can diners soak up the tropical atmosphere in such a relaxed location.

Oh wait, the food. As an entr&eacute;e I couldn't resist trying the Mondo's Barbecue. As my friendly waiter placed it in front of me I pondered whether the restaurant was too lazy to remove the animal carcass from the hanging stakes in the abattoir whence it came. The barbecued prawns, chicken and pork dangled from a medieval looking iron contraption that distracted me from the arthritic old man rowing his boat against the running tide in front of the restaurant. Beneath the meat were bowls of yoghurt, dips and pickles with tortilla wraps. It turns out the meat must have been removed from the abattoir because it was seasoned beautifully and melted in my mouth. It was the kind of meat-eating experience you can only find in a great restaurant.

Your reviewer had the Cajun calamari as a main, accompanied by pickles and tortillas. An odd combination I thought - calamari and pickles - but refreshingly different and surprisingly appetising. I wrapped the calamari and pickles in the tortillas to create a juicy squid log, and believe it or not, it was great. The calamari, a test for any chef, was cooked delicately and could have used just a few more seconds on the hotplate to firm. But down my trap it went without any hesitation at all. I highly recommend it.

Mondo Caf&eacute; lives up to the praise that has been used to describe it over the past few years. It is fast becoming a Cairns dining institution, similar to the late Tawny's Restaurant, but hopefully for all of us Mondo can survive into the future. Mondo Caf&eacute; is able to combine the ingredients of setting, food and service to create a high-class dining experience that is everything you could ask for, and within a reasonable budget too. But you already know that.

The toilets are the clincher for me. Check them out.

- Diner Diller

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