Watch House Restaurant, Cairns Courthouse Hotel
A couple of weeks ago I went out for dinner with my good friends and brothers LL and AL. Taking a step aside I asked LL to choose a place to go for dinner on this fine Monday night. Much to my dismay he chose the Watch House Restaurant at the Cairns Courthouse Hotel because he has ‘always wanted to try it’. Apparently. I have been to the Courthouse for lunch maybe about a year ago and found it to be very ordinary and overpriced but since LL agreed to pay (ok I did have my Table 52 card) I agreed to give it another go. We grabbed a drink at the bar and took a seat in the restaurant where the friendly waitress brought us some menus to look at. For a Monday night I was surprised at how busy the restaurant was being about half full and with a couple of large groups too. It certainly seemed pretty popular. Maybe a little more popular than I had expected. The menus are huge and that was before I realised that they were double sided. They do have AU$9.99 specials on from Monday to Friday, this particular night being Pasta but neither of us were keen on that option so we all chose something from the menu. Sticking with a relatively light and healthy option for myself I chose the Crispy Skin Atlantic Salmon served with a not too sharp Balsamic Glaze for AU$27.90, which also comes with chips. I swore to myself that I would not eat the chips and leave them on the side of the plate. Yeah, sure keep telling yourself that…
Seems LL and AL both had a penchant for meat (haha) so they ordered the Rack of Pork Ribs served with Fries and Salad for AU$28.90. You have to order your meals at the counter which I think is a little steep considering they are nearly AU$30 each. Apparently I wasn’t the only one that thought this because an American girl that sat down at a table next to us had a similar opinion. So off we went to the counter to order our meals, or should I say LL and AL went to the counter to order the meals while I closely guarded our table and drinks.
We waited about 20 minutes for our meals to arrive which was pretty good considering how many people were in the restaurant. As with poached eggs at a cafe, I like to see how well or more importantly not well my salmon is cooked. On this occasion it was certainly well done and even though LL had stressed for the kitchen to cook it medium rare I had expected as much. I’m not quite sure what happened to my Balsamic Glaze but there was hardly any on the fillet of Salmon. The meal was ok but I was pretty disappointed with my overcooked Salmon. Still I did manage to eat every single one of the chips on my plate. I’m just a total sucker for chips and BBQ sauce (the BBQ sauce that I had to go and fetch from the kitchen to go with the chips that I wasn’t going to eat mind you).
The Racks of Ribs were big decent serves as you would expect with Racks of Ribs however neither of the boys were particularly impressed with them and after tasting them myself I would have to agree. The ribs tasted like they had been cooked the previous day and just reheated because they were pretty dry and the BBQ type marinade that they had been basted in was very bland and tasteless. AL gave his ribs a 7 out of 10 while LL decided on a 6. (Sorry about the super crap photo below – I was trying to be sneaky.)
Seems that the food at the Watch House Restaurant at the Cairns Courthouse hasn’t really changed since I went there over a year ago. It’s still very ordinary food and if you are expecting to go there for a cheap meal think again (unless you are going there for one of their AU$9.99 meals of course). I believe that their prices are a little high considering their lack of table service and for what they serve since they are pub meals after all but it seems that a half full restaurant on a Monday night proves differing opinions.
Cairns Courthouse Hotel
38 Abbott St, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4081 7777
Opening Hours: 7 days 12pm till late