The foodie’s guide to Port Douglas
When you think about foodie destinations, Port Douglas isn’t the first to come to mind.
But I recently found that Far North Queensland is actually the perfect spot for enjoying a kid-free week of fine food and wine in a variety of relaxed tropical locations.
Breakfast at Niramaya Villas and Spa
Niramaya’s onsite restaurant overlooks lush tropical gardens and an infinity edge pool. It currently serves breakfast from 7am until 10am, and their poolside food and drink menu is available until 5pm.
Niramaya’s restaurant has recently come under management of the local and award-winning Roux Blond Collective. We enjoy a limited a la carte menu that includes coffee and juice as part of our stay (bonus points for including flat white and cappuccino coffees). The menu features a range of beautifully presented dishes, each offering a unique take on a classic cafe breakfast.
7-course degustation at Nautilus
Nautilus Restaurant is perched on the hill above Macrossan Street and can be accessed via a path that’s almost hidden by the property’s dense, jungle-like gardens. After you’ve reached the entrance, you’ll get to fully appreciate the lush foliage as you dine surrounded by native rainforest. You might even spot some of the local wildlife in the trees above.
Nautilus Restaurant offers a tropical outdoor dining experience that showcases the best of FNQ’s local seafood. I would describe it as fine dining, but with a casual approach to service and dress code. My husband is a little too excited about enjoying a 7-course degustation while wearing shorts and thongs.
Each course offers a delicious fusion of fine local produce presented in a modern style that wouldn’t be out of place in Sydney or Melbourne.
Seafood platter at On the Inlet
For lunch on our last day, we opt for another local favourite – On the Inlet. This casual bar and eatery is known for its resident groper, George, who makes a daily visit to impress the tourists.
On the Inlet has a fun, friendly atmosphere, and is perfect for a casual lunch with a great view of the harbour. We’re looking for one last seafood hit before returning to life in Sydney, and On the Inlet deliver with their fresh seafood platter for two. I can safely assure you that it is the bee’s knees of platters, featuring a full dozen oysters, mussels, sashimi, bugs, prawns, and yabbies.
On the Inlet’s menu lists the platter at market price due to the inclusion of whole wok-tossed mud crab. The crab can be cooked in lemon butter or Singapore chilli – we opt for chilli.
Bonus Tip: NOA Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Cairns
Fresh off the plane from Sydney, we’re keen to sit outside and savour the tropical climate with our first holiday cocktail and beer.
NOA Tapas Bar and Restaurant is a casual eatery located in the swanky Cairns suburb of Edge Hill, and offers Mexican and Spanish-inspired meals made for sharing.
I have my eye on the prawn roll and chicken wings, but we end up settling on the Mojo chicken tacos and the grilled prawn and avocado salad to share. The tacos are made using blue corn, and the house sriracha is liberally applied. But the salad is my favourite, with fat charcoaled prawns, creamy chunks of avocado, and fresh citrus dressing.