Mondo Cafe Bar and Grill, Cairns
It was a Friday night and HT and I decided to go out for dinner somewhere that wasn’t too expensive and had good atmosphere where we didn’t have to book. We ended up at Mondo Cafe Bar and Grill down near the waterfront and right next to the Hilton. I have been to Mondo many times over the 15 or so years it has been open and quite often I have been very disappointed with the food and service, however it had been a few years since I had been there last so I figured I might as well give it another go and see if anything had changed. One thing I must say about Mondo is that is has great atmosphere and it is one of the only restaurants in Cairns that is right on the waterfront.
I am pretty sure that nearly every Cairns local has been to Mondo at least once and I did a quick scour of the internet before writing this post to see if I could find any reviews. I found a mixture of reviews, some good, some bad, so I figured I would add mine to the mix. When we arrived we managed to get a table outside pretty easily since there was only two of us. There was quite a lot of people at the restaurant mostly sitting outside. We perused the menu’s and ordered our food at the counter. HT ordered the Beef and Chicken Fajita’s for $21 while cheese was an extra $2 on top of that. I have heard good reports about the Fajita’s from a lot of different people so I think that was a good choice on her behalf.
I was considering ordering the Caesar Salad with Squid but when I asked at the counter if the squid was imported the waitress didn’t know. She went off to ask the chef’s and she got two different responses from them, that is was and that it wasn’t so I decided to opt for something else. I ended up ordering off the specials board located above the counter. I ordered the Shaved Lamb Salad with Crispy Fried Polenta and SmokeyEggplant Dressing since it sounded pretty tasty. We got a glass of wine each and waited over half an hour for our dinner. I wonder if maybe the restaurant is too big to be able to fill orders in a sufficient time since there are so many mouths to feed. So we received our meals and HT’s fajitas looked pretty good and it was a pretty decent sized meal too. The totilla’s were soft and warm and there was salsa, sour cream, guacamole and cheese to go with the meat. I noticed that the cheese came out in a little dish that was hardly worth its while and I really don’t think it was worth an extra $2. Surely cheese should come standard with fajitas? And what ever happened to home made guacamole? Besides my obvious gripes HT said that the fajitas were really good and she was pretty well stuffed by the end of it and couldn’t finish it all.
My lamb salad however was very disappointing. The lamb was cold and the ‘Crispy Fried Polenta’ was also cold and had just been taken out of the fridge and put on my plate. I should have taken it back but since we waited over half an hour for our meal I was pretty hungry. The dressing was nice but there wasn’t enough and the salad was mostly really stalky endive leaves, I couldn’t finish it.
Well Mondo, you do have quite a large local following and you have got great atmosphere on your side but I won’t be back. Seriously, I mean it this time.
Mondo Cafe Bar and Grill
34 Esplanade Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 40 526780
Open Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 9.30am-10pm