The Rising Sun, Palm Cove


A couple of weekends ago I put up a post on my Facebook page not long ago asking for suggestions for a birthday breakfast out at the beaches – my birthday breakfast in fact. I received numerous suggestions from my followers and despite what the majority said I ended up booking a table at The Rising Sun at Palm Cove. I figured I had an Entertainment Book voucher and I enjoyed dinner there (mostly) a couple of years ago so it was worth a try right? I made a booking for 6 people and we met out at Palm Cove early one Sunday morning. When we turned up we were the only people in the restaurant bar one other occupied table – a couple of what looked like tourists. I found this a little strange considering everywhere else I passed on the way in seemed to be quite busy, especially the Chill Cafe which was almost spilling over it was that full.  Couple that with the stunning weather that day and by all my calculations The Rising Sun should have had far more people dining there.  I briefly considered going to the Chill Café or Vivo down the road but I figured we were here now and I’d already made a booking.


Half of my family were already there when I arrived however two were running about 10-15 minutes late. The waitress handed out some menus and walked away with absolutely no mention of ordering coffees in the meantime. She returned about 5 minutes later asking if we were ready to order yet. Umm well no because two people still hadn’t arrived. She returned on two more occasions asking if we were ready to order yet each time sounding a little more annoyed than the last.  She came back again no more than a minute after the last person turned up and asked one last time.  Lets for a moment consider that maybe this person hasn’t even had a chance to look at the menu yet? Alas common sense did not prevail that day.

Anyway so we ordered our breakfasts finally (heaven forbid should the waitress have to wait on others) whilst I sipped on my horrendously bad coffee which took far longer than it should have to arrive. About 15 minutes later our breakfasts arrived in dribs and drabs. First of all my mum’s breakfast, the Baked Mexican Eggs, arrived. Mum, who has recently decided she wants to be a vegetarian (although I support her in her endeavours I give her till Christmas Day), asked if there was any meat in the Mexican Eggs when she ordered. Apparently there was so she asked if there was a vegetarian alternative. The waitress got the confirmation that was ok from the chef however mum had a sneaking suspicion that they simply scooped the bits of meat out of her dish and then served it to her. Considering how our breakfast was paning out, I actually wouldn’t be at all surprised. Mum said that it lacked flavour and didn’t enjoy it very much.


Baked Mexican Eggs with Chilli Beans, Salsa and Toasted Tortilla for $19

Next up my brothers girlfriend GH had ordered the Rainforest Honey Granola with Poached Fruit and Mungalli Yogurt for AU$10. Now despite the fact that the near incompetent waitress had given her a fork to eat the damn thing it was literally a bowl of nuts with yogurt on it. Just to be sure I did a quick Google search to check that the rest of the world agrees on what I think granola is – yep just as I suspected… it’s muesli although I didn’t spy any form of grain in this so-called granola.  GH said that the yogurt was very sour and had to ask the waiter for some honey to put on top to sweeten it up. Wasn’t it supposed to be Rainforest Honey Granola, I’m confused…


Rainforest Honey Granola with Poached Fruit and Mungalli Yogurt for $10

To my left my dad ordered the Benny Royale – poached eggs, smoked salmon, muffin and lime hollandaise for AU$19. He said it was pretty good although he said he didn’t like the plain old ‘straight out of a packet’ English Muffin that was underneath. I personally think the portion size was far too small for $19 – a rort if you ask me.

Benny Royale with Poached Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Muffin and Lime Hollandaise for $19

Benny Royale with Poached Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Muffin and Lime Hollandaise for $19

And then sitting towards the end of the table was myself, my sister and my brothers girlfriends mother KH. We all ordered various versions of the Stockman’s Free Range eggs – poached eggs on toast for AU$9 with a few sides to ‘jazz it up’. My house made beans were forgotten and then when they arrived they were still cold in the middle, the roast cherry tomatoes were also forgotten and we got two dishes of minted labne when we only ordered one. It really was the most visually lacking breakfast I think I have ever laid eyes on. I will however say that the Zucchini Pickles that I ordered on the side were quite delicious but this didn’t make up for the sheer lack of organisation that should go hand in hand with eating out.


Stockman’s Free Range Eggs – Poached, Scrambled or Fried with Toast for $9


Zucchini Pickle for $3

So there you have it – despite the awesome company my birthday breakfast turned out to be quite a disaster. It seems quite ironic that the person (me) that lives, eats and breathes dining out chose one of the worst places to go for her own birthday breakfast. I must also give a small mention to the presence of ants in the dining area. All three people sitting across from me complained on ants crawling over them while they ate (and yes although we were technically at the beach, we were sitting inside). And whilst the food left a lot to be desired, it was the service that was most lacking. Both the wait staff on hand appeared to be lacking certain ‘people skills’ that I think are mandatory when serving in a restaurant.

You may think I am being a little harsh but frankly my dear I don’t give a damn. This sort of thing sh*t’s me to tears. It’s because of restaurants like this that I started this blog in the first place – I like to call them tourist traps. These tourist traps are located in well frequented areas of Cairns with clientele that are mostly tourists who most likely won’t return.  These restaurants seem to have missed the point of serving decent food or providing half decent service because it doesn’t really matter to them either way. Any Cairns local reading this knows there are plenty of restaurants that fit this description in the Cairns area and you know what?  It’s not ok.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or a local, if you pay the money to dine out you should reap the damn benefits! Such a shame because the last time I dined at The Rising Sun (for dinner) it was actually pretty good. It turns out I learnt a valuable lesson that day… When you ask your readers for advice on where to go for a birthday breakfast out at the beaches, majority rules and I’m still kicking myself for not listening.


P.S: For those of you wondering what the majority ruled on… It was the Lime Tree out at Trinity Beach.

Posted on December 19, 2014, in Cairns and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Hi FV! First, a belated happy birthday! But oh crap! It sounds like the brekkie from hell. Everything that Cairns tourist trap restaurants are known for, you copped! It’s been a while since I looked at those vouchers, but I thought they seemed to be full of places I had no intention of going to. Plus the inescapable feeling I was going to get a second rate deal for my half price meal. It may be better now, but out of curiosity, how many readers’ choices were in your book of vouchers? Cheers and Merry Christmas! 3 nights out on the reef coming up! Geoff xx

    • Thank you Geoff 🙂 i think the vouchers are good value. Although there is definitely a few tourist trap ones in there, there’s also quite a few good ones and you make your money back almost straight away. I never present the voucher before paying the bill so i assume i get the same experience as full paying diners. Wow 3 nights on the reef sounds great! Did you end up finding somewhere nice for dinner or have that picnic?

  2. I have had lunch at the rising sun, yes I had an entertainment book voucher, and have to agree their service is lacking, and the food should be better, especially since it is the same owners as Nunu’s.

  3. Any chance you could do a post with your opinion on which places around Cairns are ‘tourist traps’? Would be helpful for future dining! CHeers

    • Hmmm that one could leave open to quite a bit of scrutiny but it is something i have thought about. Let me have a think on how to approach this one and I’ll get back to you John. Great idea though 🙂

  4. I agree, there is nothing worse than paying good money for poor, or mediocre food. There seems to be far too many restaurants like this in Cairns, we won’t go to a restaurant if it’s not recommended, it’s just too hot and miss.

    FYI we used to love Chill Cafe in Palm Cove, great location and service, but very mediocre (at best) and pricey food. It’s really disappointing the food has slid as it used to be our regular haunt.

    If you find somewhere with a nice ocean view, reasonable service and a good value for money breakfast let me know, this appears to be the elusive ‘holy grail’ in Cairns!

    • It seems to be all too common in Cairns sadly. I am sick to death of paying good money and constantly being disappointed. I havent yet found that elusive ‘holy grail’ that ticks all the boxes yet.

      TBH I thought the Chill Cafe was also extremely overpriced. I know you pay for the view and the location but the prices you pay there are on par with pricey breakfast restaurants in Surry Hills and for quite small serves as well.

  5. Happy belated Ms FV…. Sucks to hear you had such a “cairns-typical” brunch experience! I truly though cairns was finally lifting it’s ante then I read this.
    Hope you still had a fab day & was spoilt by all. I find that a nice glass of Grant Burge late afternoon can solve a lot of the days dramas.
    Have a great Chrissy… I’m off to Tassie & am very excited about the foodie options down there. Any tips or musts tries for Hobart or Launceston?
    Nic x

    • Thank you Nic 🙂 the rest of my day that day turned out a lot nicer thankfully. I am off to Tassie in a couple of weeks myself. I was hoping that you might be able to give me a few tips. I haven’t done too much research yet but in Hobart I am thinking Providore, Ethos and Mona. You might be able to give me some more inspiration when you return from you travels 😉

  6. Love to hear your opinion what gets me is apart from crap food overpriced bad service is so called wait staff (backpackers) in sand shoes who don’t give a toss they must think we are mugs you would be lucky to recommend 5good places in cairns seasons greetings to all your readers

    • Thanks Bob glad to hear my opinion is valid apparently the owner didn’t think so :/ i totally agree with you! There is nothing is worse than shabby looking looking staff. It’s a struggle to recommend decent places in Cairns sometimes that’s for sure. Seasons greetings to you too! 🙂

  7. You forgot to tell us how the poached eggs were cooked? All we heard was how bad this or that was, how expensive it was and the service but really its all about the eggs. Where they cooked well? I have read all your reviews and there is not one place that you were happy with… have you ever cooked in a resturant? Worked anywhere in a resturant? Will you not show us your face so we can see who you are? If you want a place to eat at maybe you could open your own place and then we can come in and rate your cooking, service and skills…

    • Hi Kate thanks for your inquisitive comments 🙂 Clearly you haven’t read all my reviews because there are plenty of good ones. Each review is based on my anonymous dining experience at the time and as an anonymous diner I want to be treated as such. Maybe one day I will open my own place and you can certainly come and tell me all about what you think of my cooking, service and skills but until then I will continue eating out and writing about it whilst on days off from my already successful career. Have a great evening x

  8. The rising sun is such a wonderful place you are right on the beach with the best view in cairns $19 for a eggs Benny is no where near over priced I would be happy to pay that knowing that Iv got a beautiful view to look at. The service is friendly and welcoming as you said in your last review about the rising sun. The rising sun is a “bistro” you find me a bistro in cairns that makes there own bread crumbs, pickles, Napoli sauce and all other types of things. You say in your review that you had orded poached eggs on toast and you said it didn’t look very visually nice but what do you expect when you order just toast and eggs? Here you are bagging out a beautiful, successful and elegant restaurant yet Im reading your reviews and not yet see you describe what the food is like how it’s tastes eg salty, sour perfect balance how the eggs were cooked ect if you aren’t prepared to pay money for good food cook it yourself at home

    • Hi Jeffery 🙂 thanks for your personal review of the The Rising Sun in response to my own personal review. How many more staff from The Rising Sun and Nunu am I going to get commenting on this post I wonder? 😉 It sure drives my stats up so that’s ok with me. As for how I write my review – sometimes I comment on how the food tastes and sometimes I don’t. Frankly I think everyone knows what eggs taste like so I don’t think it’s really necessary to describe the taste. I’m happy to pay good money for good food but as you read in my review on this day the food wasn’t great and nor was the service. Next time I will happily pay $19 for an Egg’s Benedict… down the road at Chill or Vivo. Have a great day 🙂

  9. Despite it being quite a frustrating issue, leading to frustrating dining experiences, I am actually really pleased to read this review and the acknowledgment of this common dining experience in particular along the Palm Cove beach front. I have experienced disappointing and overpriced food at this same venue. So many of the cafes offering breakfast along this strip fall into exactly the same category. These prices just can’t be justified for sub-par, unexciting food; and places can’t trade on their location or view alone. I can sit across the road for free. Possibly with a sausage roll from a bakery which would represent a more satisfying – value for money wise – dining experience.

    • Couldn’t agree more with you Betty! Restaurants and cafés need to stop relying on their positions to bring in the customers and focus more on actually giving customers what they want!

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