A complete guide to Cairns Restaurants

Kani's On The Esplanade

Head down to the Cairns Esplanade almost any night of the week, and you'll see a lineup of people waiting to get into Kani's Restaurant. It overlooks the lagoon, and has magnificent views of people from all around the world wandering alone the cairns waterfront. The seafood served in this funky restaurant is renowned for its freshness and excellence, and ostrich, kangaroo and crocodile is also a supurb treat. While you're there, try the mud crab - absolutely delicious.




Visa, A la carte, Licensed, Mastercard, Diners Club, Cairns Esplanade

Price Guide







(07) 40511550
59 The Esplanade, Cairns

What people are saying...

17 Jan 2012

An absolutely fabulous meal!!!
$35 2 course +wine. Entree chicken & goats cheese on rocket - world class delight of dozens of amazing flavours exploding beneath morrocan chicken with artichoke, capsicum, semi-dried tomatoes, herbs and a beautiful sauce. Coral Trout on "seasonal vegetables" included a secret delivery of pureed sweet potato & peas, hidden beneath bok choy with mediterranean vegetables + more.

James & Anne
18 May 2011

Kani's hosted a small wedding reception for us about two weeks back. Paul, the manager, made everything so easy which was no mean feat considering we came in from overseas with a bunch of Koreans on the back of organising two weddings - one in Australia, one in Korea -, a honeymoon, my parents coming to Korea for the first time, and Anne's parents going to Australia for the first time. Paul pretty much saved the day.

The food was divine, and the service impeccable. There was even a Korean waiter on hand to make things easier for my non English speaking second family. They even organised a vintage limo and a photographer for us! Everything was far beyond our expectations and most gratefully received.

My steak was served just right and my wife highly recommends the oysters (especially the one's with bacon).

Loved it!

Alan & Marcia
12 May 2011

Dined at Kani`s last night , was a pleasurable experience . Seated up on the balcony over-looking all the footpath activity and entertainment . We started with a doz fresh oysters followed by our entree`s , the calamari and the salmon dishes . Our mains were the , fish of the day and the seafood mornay . All beautifully cooked and as a added treat , the chef made a special garlic sauce with a hint of chilli that was not on the menu . the flavour / taste of this sauce was devine . Also our waiter " Stu " was most attentive to all our needs .

2 Mar 2011

Went to Kani's last night and it was lovely. The service was nice not pushy, We had seafood dish for 2 and we both loved it, the lobster was a little too moist.

Price wise it is what we expected at a resturant. (resonable) everything on our platter was yummy, and waiting time was only about 10 min from ordering. Hubby wants to try the steak there next time.

PS: dont go by other peoples opinion try it for yourself. We did and loved it.

3 Jan 2011

This was disgusting!! I wish i had read the comments on this site have before going. Would have certainly known better! we ordered the calamari to start off with and all we could taste was flour as we chewed on the rubber that was the calamari itself.

Then our main meal came, the Seafood Mornay au gratin, which looked ok, but we really hoped it tasted better than it looked. But big surprise, it didn't. It was horrible. Our rice was cold as ice and hardly cooked, the bug was quite gross, and we hoped as we dug to the bottom of the tasteless gloopy pile, that the fish would save the meal. Could we be so lucky? Not so, the fish was raw and cold.

Needless to say, we left our food basically untouched and left the restaurant to dine at La Cucina in the food court. The Fisherman's basket ran rings around the dish served at Kani's. In short, take everyone advice and don't got there.

MIchelle & Russell
29 Dec 2010

Very dissappointed in what should have been a simple meal! We were working in the CBD for a few months and have tried most of the lunch specials that the esplanade restaurants have on offer. We tried Kani's 2 course $15 meal and it was eally not worth $15 all together, let only $15 a person.

We ordered soup (lobster bisque) and Lemon Pepper Calamari as our first courses, the soup was barely warm and greasy and we had to send the Calamari back (even though on second occasion it was no better- Chewy and rubbery, not fresh at all!). The mains were interesting. The 'chicken caesar' salad was chicken, cucumber and lettuce......I am not sure what part was supposed to be the 'ceasar' element. We also ordered the fresh fish and chips/salad. The fish was so oily it was inedible and the salad may have been fresh the week before. Cold chips- No surprises there......
We were in a hurry so didn't get a chance to explain to the staff as they didn't seem concerned when we raised some of these issues on the day. All I can say is that we won't be back, nor recommend

2 Aug 2010

Disappointed and very upset after our terrible dining experience at Kani's on the Esplanade.. After extensive research all afternoon to weed out the best Seafood and Steak Restaurant on the Esplanade, Kani's seemed like the best choice..

We arrived to find our table reserved and waiting for us, we were hurriedly sat down and left alone with the menu for 15 minutes until I made hand signals to the matre de (no eye contact was made with any waiter to us) to order a round or drinks. We then decided on what we wanted for dinner, the Seafood Platter for 2 with the fish grilled. $70 cost. The dish on the menu listed the wonderous seafood that we would be served, however upon arrival to our table, we noticed there were no prawn & scallop skewers or chilli black mussells or fries or the second dipping sauce. We ate on what we had been delivered and then asked the Canadian waiter where the rest of the food was, he was apologetic and went to the kitchen to ask for the rest of our meal. We were told when the skewers came out that they were sorry and that we were lucky to get two skewers and there is normally only one. The fries came out shortly after, we ate on these and then ate the fresh fruit from the platter. We then asked again where the chilli black mussells were, the same waiter said he was terribly sorry and would get on to it directly. When the mussells arrived, nearly all of them were still closed, and only a couple were opened, these when I ate them were totally inferior in quality and taste, and they didn't fill the half shell at all.. These were sent back to the kitchen with our distain.. What I am wondering is, how does a fully qualified chef who is cooking this wonderous meal all the time forget half of the ingredients that are to go on the platter, and why is it so that the Waiter who delivers the food often, also not remember what is the platter.. Very very dissapointed and NEVER NEVER ever will I be attending this restaurant again.. I am a local and my money is hard earned. I do not take lightly spending money on a meal that is not worth it and with service that is less than poor..

John & Louise Green
2 Jul 2009

Well, where do we start, we have been there at least 20 times and can honestly say that we’ve never had a bad meal.
Our favourite is the seafood platter and the rib eye on the bone, melts in your mouth.
For some reason some of our friends perceive it to be a tourist restaurant but this couldn’t be further from the truth, the prices are most reasonable [possible the cheapest on The Esplanade] and the service is great [Yes they do keep the same staff for long periods]
Go in and ask for Paul or Ria the owners who will look after you a treat.
Enjoy 

Ric Mac
29 Dec 2003

Of all the places I dined when in Cairns, Kani's was far and away superior. Try any of the seafood dishes. They are massive, just the thing for a weary traveller after a big day diving or trekking. The service was exceptional and friendly and there was never any pressure on me to complete my meal, unlike some of the other establishments. Some of the restaurants in Cairns have special deals for customers who get there before a set time, but beware, for a 20% discount, you end up getting a $20 reduction in serving and quality. You get only what you pay for! Kani's did not, at least when I was there, have this discount, and yet I found it the best quality meal in town.

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