Browsing articles in "Restaurants"

New Menu at Oliver’s Restaurant

By kaj  //  Restaurants  //  No Comments
Oliver's Restaurant has a new menu — the 11th since they opened in 2006, apparently! One of the delicious-looking desserts on Oliver's Restaurant's new menuSome highlights include:
  • Chicken liver pâté with shiraz & Davidson plum jelly, garlic bean salad and mountain pepper crackers; entree, $15
  • Crocodile bruschetta and French toast with bush spices and fresh ricotta; entree, $16
  • Red snapper fillet baked in a crust of bone marrow, pistachio and basil, served with braised kipfler potatoes, semi dried tomatoes and kalamata olives; main, $34
  • House-made Peking duck leg, braised red cabbage and quinoa seeds,  served with pear, star anise and Asian dressing; main, $29
  • Davidson plum macaroon, mascarpone-lime cream and candied pistachio; dessert, $12
I could keep going, but why not just check out their full restaurant menu on their website?
Photo courtesy Oliver's Restaurant

Bastille Day Menu at Oliver’s Restaurant

By kaj  //  Restaurants  //  No Comments
Be sure to catch the Bastille Day specials at Oliver's Restaurant from Thu 14 to Sun 17 July. Doesn't the menu look divine? Foie gras and cinnamon crème brulée served with green pea, green apple and pistachio croquettes ($20) Grilled sea scallops, fresh shaved black truffles, caramelised cauliflower puree and crunchy Brussel sprout salad ($24) Pigeon in two ways: 1. roasted breast with parsnip gnocchi and grilled pepper, 2. braised legs in savoury dark chocolate sauce ($36) Assortment of sweets: light and bitter chocolate macaroons, raspberry floating island, vanilla mousse crepe cake (&20)   The total price for the 4 courses set menu is $75, each course is also available a la carte. Reservations: after 3pm on 07 4041 1221.

Linga Longa Opens in Edge Hill

Many local diners have fond memories of Naked Nut. After its recent sale, this restaurant has been reborn by a restaurateur from South Africa as Linga Longa... love at first bite. We were fortunate to attend their soft opening this week, and were treated to a veritable parade of delicious food with generous portions, but the highlight of the restaurant, was the spectacular service. The staff are well trained and naturally amiable, even in the stress and confusion of opening night. It was such a pleasure to be around people who generally love owning and running a restaurant! Some people always worry when they see a restaurant identify its cuisine as international, but after hearing the life story of the restaurant owner the eclectic menu is a logical choice. Here's what we had for dinner at Linga Longa Restaurant:

Moule Mariniere

Our entree is one of Belgium's most famous national dishes comprising mussels cooked with a white wine cream sauce. We've never been fortunate enough to savour this dish in Belgium, but the entree was delicious. The portion was generous, and the sauce was delicate, subtle and oh so French! I was impressed that every one of my mussels was debearded. I am often annoyed that restaurants do not pay enough attention this quick and easy but essential job. I was also impressed that for an entree serve, there were a lot of mussels!

Avocado & Prawns

Our 2nd entree was somewhat reminiscent of those cheeky prawn cocktails from the 80's! It was great to see the new season avocados make an appearance on the menu, and the dish was finished with a delicious mango sauce.

Duck a l'Orange

If you've never had duck a l'orange you must try this. It is very hard for both Kaj and I to resist any French duck dish, and this one is a winner! The sauce is decadent and hedonistic, a rich orgiastic assault on the taste buds. The duck is perched beautifully upon a well-cooked Swiss-style rösti. It was a lovely accompaniment, and gives this French classic some international flair.

Duck & Porcini Linguini

This main dish was on the specials options, and we chose it out of curiosity. Never before have I seen duck in a pasta dish, but since I love duck, this was an easy decision. The flavours were well matched, and the pasta was perfectly cooked. Perhaps my only criticism of this dish is that it was a tad short on the delectible sauce. I would have loved just a bit more, but then, I always do.

Chocolate Praline Tart

The dessert is something I can't wait to try to cook at home, as I think it will bring me untold popularity amongst my friends. It really is a stroke of genius actually, combining praline and rich dark chocolate mousse. My perfect happy ending. Linga Longa is open now. Licenced, and BYO. I can't wait to hear what you think.

Cairns 5 Best Cups of Coffee

By nicky  //  Restaurants  //  20 Comments
What is it about the charm of an amazing cup of coffee? Be it espresso, cappucino or latte, whatever your preference, people travel great distances to savour their favourite brew. Since the Cairns Post is currently running a 'best coffee in town' competition, we thought you might like to hear our opinion. We have surveyed, sipped and sampled all over Cairns to bring you what we believe are the 5 best cups of coffee.

#1. Caffiend

Caffiend is owned by a hard case coffee crazy, Ollie, who is passionate about every cup of coffee he serves. If you too adore espressos, ristrettos, single origin and macchiatos then this should be your local.

#2. Silk Caffe

A fresh (and welcome!) newcomer to the Cairns coffee scene, this seasoned cafe owner has found a niche location. Reminiscent of a stand-up Italian espresso bar, everything is right here; the beans, the barista, the machine, and of course, the coffee.

#3. Tosca Trattoria

The discovery of Tosca's as a top notch coffee stopover was an accident after recently meeting the owner, Paul, when he was the winner of a latte art competition. His specialty is the piccolo latte, but honestly all the coffee here is awesome. Tosca's is head-and-shoulders above all other cups of coffee at Cairns Central.

#4. Bang Espresso

In our (humble) opinion Bang Espresso was the pioneer of the developing coffee culture of Cairns. Their Melbournesque styling and no nonsence cafe really brought the Cairns coffee connossoirs out of the woodwork. Bang would be #2 if you were always lucky enough to get a coffee by baristas Erol or Ian.

#5. Industry One

One of Cairns' few specialty coffee roasters, the aroma as you enter Industry One is intoxicatingly good. Their coffee is pretty good too! A real industry player, Industry One actively engages the wider coffee community by holding regular events like latte art competitions, and cupping nights.

So... how did we work it out?

Recently one of the CairnsDining team judged the Cairns Barista Championships which is an official competition under AustraAsian Specialty Coffee Association (AASCA) regulation. We used the same competition judging technique and scoring system. At each cafe we sampled an espresso and a cappucino. And probably cake too, but they didn't make it onto the judging criteria. Do you agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts of the memorable cups of coffee in Cairns. Or alternatively go vote for your favourite at the Cairns Post.

Cairns Top 5 — Andrew Johnston

By nicky  //  Restaurants  //  2 Comments
Andrew Johnston of moved to Cairns a few years back from the bustling metropolis of Sydney. He's a mad keen diner, and once roamed the culinary delights of the big city with glee. Now having established himself firmly in Cairns with his wife and young children, Andrew's lifestyle is a bit more laid back, and his dining preferences certainly reflect that.

Andrew Johnston's Top 5

  1. Blue Moon Grill, Trinity Beach
  2. Golden Boat, Cairns CBD
  3. Coolums, Holloways Beach
  4. Bayleaf Balinese Restaurant, Cairns
  5. Oliver’s Australian Fine Cuisine, Cairns CBD
He concedes Oliver's is a restaurant for special events like his wife's birthday and their wedding anniversary, but all the other restaurants are child friendly. We are pleased to see Oliver's on Andrew's list, as that is our own favourite restaurant. This proves to us he does indeed have good taste. Do you agree with AJ's selections? Let us know by commenting below.

Gourmet Traveller Likes Cairns Breakfasts

Gourmet Traveller magazine has published a 2 part list outlining their best breakfast choices around Australia and a couple of FNQ regions are lucky enough to be on the list. Here's the best Cairns breakfast dishes, according to Gourmet Traveller:

#3 Mud crab omelette, Nu Nu

Steamed North Queensland mud crab meat juiced up with a slick of ginger caramel and softly enveloped in a fluffy omelette, served with a tangle of watercress that’s been dressed with an ajad redolent of kaffir lime leaf, mandarin peel and coriander root. Could it get any better? But of course. At the table, they pour on a warming broth of chicken stock, white pepper and fresh ginger. Ocean views are strictly optional.

#18 French toast, baked pear and raspberry coulis, Perrotta’s at the Gallery

Sweet but not too sweet, Perotta’s crisp-edged French toast made with brioche is served with a baked half pear, a generous splodge of King Island vanilla bean yoghurt and a caramel-rich raspberry coulis. It’s a good-looking breakfast that warrants artistic praise from its Cairns Regional Gallery neighbours.
  • Have you been to Perotta's at the Gallery? We would have chosen their Carazzo Toasted Sandwich. Tell us what you have had there.

#20 Steak and potatoes, Reef House

Sometimes you just need a steak. And sometimes that time is in the morning. Chow down here on a Morganbury sirloin from the Atherton Tablelands, a grilled tomato, and buttery sautéed kipfler potatoes and garlic.
  • Have you been to Reef House Restaurant? Let us know your favourite dish on their menu.
...and if you'd like the read the whole list of best breakfast dishes from all over Australia you read part 1, and part 2. This list was originally published in the October 2010 edition of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Ochre Restaurant Wins Signature Dish

Taste Paradise ran a signature dish competition during the frivolous Cairns Festival celebrations, and after a lengthy voting period the top chefs in the public vote battled it our at Farmgate Markets to decide the Signature Dish of Far North Queensland. Chef Craig Squire of Ochre Restaurant took won the contest for his spectacular tempura bugs, papaya salad, with sweet chilli lemon myrtle dipping sauce dish. According to Taste Paradise, this dish was chosen for its innovative use of local ingredients that is the essence of Tropical North Queensland.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 pieces of green bug meat
  • 8 fresh lemongrass skewers
  • Red Ochre sweet chilli lemon myrtle dipping sauce (buy at Ochre Restaurant)
  • Tempura batter
  • oil for deep fryingSalad
  • 1 small green papaya, peeled, cut into long matchsticks
  • 50g green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 40g unsalted roasted macadamias
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10g mint, chopped
  • 10g coriander, choppedDressing
  • 2 fresh small whole green chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 60ml fresh lime juice
  • 60g palm sugar- grated
  • 60ml fish sauce
  • 30 ml Rainforest Bounty ‘Jeowbong’
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Recipe Method

  1. Cut lemongrass sticks on an angle at the point where the stem starts to branch.
  2. Skewer two pieces of bug meat onto each stick of lemongrass.
  3. Prepare batter according to instructions.
  4. Heat oil to 180C.
  5. Dip bug skewers in batter and fry to golden and cooked through.
  6. Mix salad with dressing.
  7. Assemble papaya salad on plate, place skewers across, and serve with dipping sauce.

Nunu Chef Appetite for Excellence Finalist

We are delighted that chef Nick Holloway of Nu Nu Restaurant in Palm Cove has been named a finalist in the 2010 Young Restaurateur National Finalists list of the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence. Luke is a co-owner of Nu Nu Restaurant with business partner, Jason Rowbottom. According to their website, the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence is a national restaurant awards program judged by some of Australia’s most successful chefs, restaurateurs, and industry leaders. Their  mission is to inspire, educate and nurture the emerging talent who are the future of our industry by providing money can’t buy education, opportunities, and experiences. These young people will ultimately be responsible for sustaining and hopefully improving upon Australia’s reputation as one of the world’s leading food and wine destinations. Nick Holloway & co-owner Jason Rowbottom opened Nu Nu Restaurant 6 years ago on the gorgeous esplanade strip in Palm Cove. It has received numerous accolades, most notably the 2008 Gourmet Traveller Regional Restaurant of the Year. The team love Nu Nu for its consistently high-quality fine-dining fare and for being dedicated to using local, seasonal produce. Unlike the similarly quality restaurants across Australia Nu Nu remains true to its tropical home; relaxed, understated and deliciously tropical. Have you been to Nu Nu Restaurant? Please leave a comment about your dining experience. Good luck Nick! We hope you win.

Mado Turkish Restaurant

By kaj  //  Restaurants  //  9 Comments
A new Turkish restaurant, Mado, has opened on the Cairns Esplanade adjacent to Michaelangelo's. Phone (07) 4041 1441. It appears to be related to a restaurant of the same name in Brisbane. Has anybody dined here and would care to share their comments?