Perotta’s At The Gallery, Cairns
I’ve been to Perotta’s At The Gallery a million and one times for breakfast and lunch but I’ve only been there once for dinner way back in about 2004. After a long day in transit on my way home from the NT capital, MS picked me up at the airport and after deciding that neither of us wanted to cook – who am I kidding MS doesn’t cook! – we headed to Perotta’s for dinner. With my Entertainment Book Gold Card offering me ‘buy one get one free’ main meals I figured now was a good a time as any to try out the dinner menu.
The place was about ½ full when we arrived so we chose a seat near the entrance closest to the lagoon. We ordered wine to celebrate the first time seeing each other in 4 weeks and had a squiz at the menus. The menu at Perotta’s has something to suit most people with plenty of variety and not just your standard run of the mill boring dishes. My go to dish when I go there for lunch is the Chilli Salt Squid Salad and although that is featured on the dinner menu I figured it might be time to branch out.
To start with we ordered the Garlic Bruschetta with Fresh Ricotta, Mint and Calabrian Chilli (AU$9) and the Burrata Caprese with Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon, Rocket Pesto and Raspberry Vinegar (AU$21). MS asked me what Burrata was and thinking I was all sophisticated and smart I told him that it was a type of Cured Italian Meat. Boy did we get a surprise when it the Burrata arrived at our table a short while later – a good surprise though! Turns out Bresaola is the Italian Cured Meat that I’d gotten confused with and Burrata is actually an Italian Cheese. Pfft I totally knew that.
In all honesty the Garlic Bruschetta wasn’t really anything to write home about but it was actually perfect for mopping up the last bits of Burrata and Rocket Pesto. I’m normally hesitant to eat watermelon since I was a little kid and my dad told me a watermelon vine was going to grow in my stomach after I swallowed a seed. Thanks dad, way to scar me for life and now I absolutely refuse to eat any type of grape (unless in wine) or watermelon (even the ‘seedless’ variety). The Burrata with juicy Heirloom Tomatoes was a beautiful and tasty dish that we both enjoyed. It was a great start to the night – I highly recommend this one.
Next up for our mains MS had ordered the Pork Spare Ribs with Fennel, Apple Cider Vinegar and Pickled Pineapple (AU$37) which came with a big bowl of chips and I had the 8 Hour Lamb Shoulder, 3 Wheat Salad, Almond, Mint, Pomegranate and Spicy Cumin Yogurt (AU$36).
MS’ Pork Spare Ribs were literally falling off the bone – the way ribs should be IMO – and were covered in a delicious tangy glaze. The Pickled Pineapple was nice but needed to be pickled just that little bit longer. We both thought the serving size was a little bit small for $37 but MS was pretty full by the time he polished them off.
My 8 Hour Lamb Shoulder was super tasty albeit a little on the small side for the price ($36). The added crunchy strips of bacon/pancetta/prosciutto whatever the hell it was really added to the dish. Despite the size of the dish I actually struggled to finish it. I find rich cuts of meat like Lamb Shoulder, Lamb Shanks and Beef Cheeks fill me up really quick and I can’t eat a whole lot although I want to. Give me Garlic Bread however and I can eat that carby goodness till the cows come home! We wanted to stick around for dessert especially after I spotted the Eton Mess on the Dessert Menu (the only one I know of in town) but we just couldn’t fit it in.
It’s got to be the number one place in Cairns for people watching – with wine of course! The wait staff are very friendly and professional, in fact it’s consistently one of the better places in Cairns in terms of service (something Cairns is usually lacking in). I do find that the food, particularly the mains, are a little expensive for what you get and this is something that seems to be reiterated in other online reviews I’ve read. Nearly 20 years of good food and service is certainly a mean feat in this small town. According to their website Perotta’s (as the locals like to call it) has been around since 1997 would you believe? Yes I was a little surprised by that too so I guess you could also call this place a bit of a Cairns institution – seems I’m using that word a lot these days.
Perotta’s At The Gallery
38 Abbott St, Cairns QLD 4870. Ph: (07) 40315899
Opening Hours: 7 days a week 6.30am – 10pm
Posted on October 31, 2015, in Cairns and tagged Breakfast, Burrata, Cairns, Cairns Esplanade, Cairns Restaurant Review, Dinner, far north queensland, fnq, Food, Food blog, foodvixen, Institution, Italian, Lamb Shoulder, Lunch, Perotta's, Perotta's At The Gallery, review, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo, Trip Advisor, wine, Woolworths. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.
That looks and sounds great, Vixen. Will have to revisit Perotta’s. So many places in Cairns disappoint lately but I don’t remember Perotta’s being awful. The last two weekends running we’ve taken friends from down south to Nunu at Palm Cove. We hadn’t been since they moved to the new location and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Fantastic food, great wine, friendly, informed staff and a brilliant position. It was nice to take tourists somewhere and not be embarrassed. I’m looking at you, Red Ochre… to name one.
Tell me about it Wotsit! I get so many people asking me where my favourite places to dine are and most of the time I’m just left blank. I have plenty of brekkie and lunch places that I love but dinner is certainly lacking and the Waterbar has been done to death 😬 That’s great to hear that NuNu is on the money. One of the best meals I have ever had was their degustation for an anniversary dinner. The staff really are very knowledge and the food is lovely. It’s easy to see why they get the accolades. As for Ochre they catered for the Amateurs tent that I attended and it was very mediocre but everyone just raves about it. I don’t get it 😳
I know right? I don’t know how Ochre has survived as long as it has. Maybe unsuspecting tourists who they know won’t be returning but who want to try the novelty dishes. Croc, roo, etc. Our friends had the croc and it was as dry as the proverbial. The next weekend, to prove a point, I cooked it myself at home. I am no chef but, if I may say so, mine was way better. Friends will be taken to Nunu from here on… until I check out Perotta’s again, that is. 😉
I’ve had the Tempura Bugs there before and they were yummy but so they bloody should be. They’re bugs haha. Yeah I’m not really into game, mind you I don’t mind a good bit of roo. Let me know what you think of Perotta’s 🙂
Will do! 🙂
Have you tried the Restaurant at Kewarra Beach resort? Great food and exceptional service.
Hi Julie 🙂 funny you mention but I actually have plans to head there next week if all goes well. I have been wanting to go for far too long and have only heard great things about it!