A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to travel to Far North Queensland. Over four days, I travelled as far south as Mission Beach and north as Port Douglas. Not only was I blessed with the most incredible warm weather, but the food was absolutely delicious!
Before I venture off to somewhere new, I always try to plan where I’ll eat, so I’m not rushing around at the last minute grabbing any old meal for convenience.
I arrived in Cairns on Monday just before lunch, and before my first appointment, so I had time for a quick bite. After reading great reviews on Trip Advisor, and craving Asian flavours, I went to Pho N Thai. I’ll tell you now, Pad Thai is one of my favourite Thai dishes and this one rated quite high! I really liked the deconstructed presentation; it was almost as if I was putting my own Pad Thai together in Thailand.
That night I was staying very close to The Esplanade so I was spoilt for choice. After checking in, I asked the receptionist where she would recommend eating for dinner; a foodie herself, we got into quite a detailed chat about all the options.
I decided on the Courthouse Hotel, as their seafood offering was excellent. I went all out and had the seafood grill with salmon steak, grilled calamari and prawn skewers. I was so impressed that the chef cooked the prawns on a BBQ plate so hot and so quick that I could eat the shell as well; I’ve only done this once before at a Teppanyaki restaurant so I was thrilled to try it again!
Important note, if prawn shells are boiled you cannot eat the shell, but if they are cooked on the BBQ or deep-fried then it’s completely safe – and delicious! If you ever get a chance to eat the whole prawn, I recommend it!
For breakfast the next day, before my drive to Mission Beach, I checked out the second best café in Australia – Blackbird Espresso by Coffee NQ. I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t have a breakfast menu (I mean, what kinda top café doesn’t serve breakfast?!). However, they definitely did wow me with their coffee and unapologetically simple house made muesli with natural yoghurt and local honey. Perfect.
Fortunately, during my stay at Mission Beach I had a wonderful meal at the Castaways Resort Restaurant, which had the most perfect view of the beach. I hope you can understand that when it gets this good why bother venturing elsewhere? I ordered the ‘Aussie Surf n Turf’ – seared kangaroo fillet with Moreton Bay bugs, broccollini and Israeli couscous. It was elegant, and tasty. They didn’t disappoint for breakfast either; I had a perfectly cooked omelette with ciabatta and my standard latte.
On my last night, I felt once again blessed in the absolutely stunning Port Douglas. I last visited as a kid and it was better than I remember. It was by absolute chance that I was able to catch up with my Aunty and Uncle from regional NSW for dinner, while they were on holiday. Knowing I am a foodie, my Aunty spotted a great Italian restaurant – Bucci Ristorante Italiano – earlier that day and decided to dine there. And it was fantastic! The service and atmosphere complimented the relaxed Port Douglas vibe. My Uncle and I both ordered the Spanish mackerel with zucchini and truffled potato salad and it was extremely tasty. My Aunty ordered a deconstructed Lasagne, she had chunks of braised beef hugging the homemade lasagne sheets and it looked divine. Don’t you hate food envy (not that I’d swap, I’d just want both)!
Before my lunchtime flight, I got up extra early to squeeze in one last breakfast on the popular Macrossan Street precinct. After my standard search (more on that another time…), I chose to eat at the very trendy Betty’s Bohemian Beach Café. It was visually stunning; the tables were decorated so intricately and welcoming. I chose the chia and quinoa bircher museli, and although it was a little dry for my liking, it had lots of flavour. The coffee was divine too, this lover of coffee was very happy. They used the same blend as Blackbird Espresso by Coffee NQ – so how could I be disappointed!
That wraps up my wonderful trip to Far North Queensland, I would go back in a heartbeat as there are so many more places I would love to explore and restaurants and cafes I would love to eat in.
Where have you been in Far North Queensland? Where did you eat?