$16.90 Lunch Specials @ Barnacle Bill’s, Cairns

I’m loving the amount of lunch specials that are available in Cairns at the moment. There really are so many to choose from thats it’s hard to keep track of them all (check out my ‘Lunch’ page). Having dined at both Splash and The Raw Prawn I decided that after walking past many, many times I would finally give Barnacle Bill’s a go. Last Friday I dined there with a group of friends and knew that some of the people that I was dining with had well, simple tastes. I guess this is why I chose Barnacle Bill’s in the first place for our Friday lunch catch-up. Still, there is something on the menu for everyone so I think this is why Barnacle Bill’s is always so busy at lunch time. Another reason is because they split the bill, which is perfect for group and business lunches and hard to find at Cairns restaurants.

I perused the menu and went with the Barramundi and Salad (Estuary Fish in Tempura Batter Served with Salad) but I’ll be honest there wasn’t really anything on the menu that excited me. Nothing on the menu stood out to me and made me think ‘That’s what I’m ordering!’ Our meals arrived in ample time. FW and TT also ordered the same dish as I did while across from me HT ordered the Pasta of the Day, which was a Creamy Salmon number. It was quite a large serve of pasta especially considering it was only $16.90 but HT claimed it was very bland. I tasted it and it was very bland. Half a bottle of Tabasco Sauce would have made it a little more worthwhile but then again everything tastes good with Tabasco Sauce.

Pasta of the Day – Creamy Salmon Pasta with Artichokes

My meal, as the menu explained it, was just two pieces of fish on a plate with a bit of salad and a very light soy type sauce that pretty much dissolved into nothing when I poured it over the fish. A bit of an odd sauce to have with tempura fish I think. Aioli or the old favourite Tartare Sauce would have been more memorable. The barramundi was cooked well and tasted nice and fresh. The batter encasing the fish was crisp and golden. I just wasn’t feeling it I guess. It must be said that FW and TT enjoyed their Barramundi and Salad lunch more than I did.

Barramundi and Salad – Estuary Fish in Tempura Batter Served with Salad

The menu at Barnacle Bill’s is varied but boring. There is 14 different dishes to choose from for $16.90 each and with menu items like Lasagna, Beef Curry, and Tandoori Chicken Pizza it certainly caters for the non-seafood eaters. Another possible reason why Barnacle Bill’s is such a popular lunch spot. The service was very good and the waiters were very jovial and chatty which is always nice when dining out since I have encountered some super miserable retaurant staff in recent times around Cairns. I guess my beef with the place is that I don’t think it’s anything special. I don’t understand why it’s so damn busy. I know that Barnacle Bill’s has been around nearly longer than I have so they must be doing something right but in my view the two restaurants on either side that I mentioned at the beginning of this post serve better food. It’s as simple as that. Barnacle Bill’s doesn’t need my endorsement. They seem to be doing pretty well already.


Barnacle Bill’s

103 The Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870

Ph: (07) 4051 2241

Website: www.barnaclebills.com.au

Opening Hours: Lunch from 11.30 am daily and Dinner from 5 pm till late

Posted on February 22, 2012, in Cairns and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Dead jealous of all the great food you’re getting in Cairns! We want to go back for a visit soon!

  2. I agree with your review, but think your final analysis was too kind. Barnacle Bill’s hasn’t been any good since they moved away from the Shield’s street end of the ‘Nard. It’s now like factory food – looks fancy to the tourists, but bland and lifeless. Fortunately NOT like Tony Basha, who’s bitter and angry.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself Dane. Bland and lifeless are the perfect words to convey my dining experience at Barnacle Bills. I have run into the owner at the front next to the menu board a couple of times and he is certainly not a pleasant man.

  3. I agree with Dane, went there last night and by god, was it pricey, we were greeted by the owner who was quite sullen.
    As you said Miss Vixen, NOTHING on the menu jumped out at me, I paid and exorbitant price for baked fillet fish with a nanna keen’s curry sauce and soggy roast potatoes. Harsh I know, but its the truth! lol
    Even thought the menu was expensive for what was described, I was lulled into a false sense of security thinking that for the price it must be good if they are charging that much for it. Not terrible, just VERY average as it sounded ion the menu and too much $$$ to get at it!
    Anyways as always, love your blog, and I consult your ‘manual’ on dining in Cairns before Tripadvisor these days!
    Thanks for your honest reviews, love it!.

  4. I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it.
    I have you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

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