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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
One place that I have been frequenting of late is the little café located at the Cairns Wharf so aptly named Wharf One. Opening in June this year with stunning uninterrupted views of Trinity Inlet, Wharf One has a position that most cafes could only dream of. What’s more is it’s a great spot for parents to grab a coffee as it’s right next to the fig tree playground that reminds me dearly of my favourite Enid Blyton book – The Magic Faraway Tree. For the non-parents it’s just enough out of ear shot for you to enjoy your morning or afternoon in peace.
I discovered Wharf One how I discover most new restaurants and cafe’s – through Facebook when I saw the Taste Paradise page’s picture of the Salmon Poke (one of the menu items on offer at Wharf One). I was there the very next day. With nothing on the breakfast or lunch menu over AU$14 Wharf One is a breath of fresh air in the current Cairns café climate. I don’t know about you but frankly I am getting a little over the over-priced breakfasts around Cairns. This is a rant I have been on before but some Cairns cafes are charging over $20 a dish, something I think is absolutely absurd. This is Cairns not bloody Surry Hills FFS!
Back to Wharf One – With an emphasis on local produce such as Mungalli Creek Yogurt, Madella Coffee from Mourilyan and local cane cured salmon the menu quickly caught my attention. Breakfast includes items such as Pomodoro Sardines on Toast (apparently sardines are making a comeback) for only $8, Quinoa and Brown Rice Chai Porridge with Mixed Berries ($8) and Smashed Local Avocado, Ricotta, Lime Oil on Ciabatta, also for $8. Lunch is even tastier with items such as the Wharf One Local Prawn Burger for $13 and Shredded Chicken, Avocado and Mango Baguette for $10 and my personal favourite Local Salmon Poke with Avocado and Woodfired Ciabatta – a Hawaiian Sashimi (not Sushimi) style salad for a mere $9.
Unfortunately the atmosphere and the tasty sounding menu are really the only positive things I could find about Wharf One. My fellow blogger friend Baking Myself Happy is one person’s opinion that I rely heavily upon, usually because she takes the words right out of my mouth. Her recent text regarding Wharf One reads as so… “I’ve been to Wharf One four times now and am so disappointed with their food and their presentation. The food had been average at best. Such a shame as it’s the prettiest spot.”
Sadly I tend to agree with everything she wrote. I, myself have been to Wharf One no less than five times prior to writing this post hoping that things would improve despite really enjoying my initial visit – the Salmon Poke was innovative, fresh and flavoursome. Alas since that first visit Wharf One seems to be on a steady decline. The service which was dubious on my initial visit has only gotten worse with meals arriving up to 15 minutes apart and although the owner seems lovely and always keen for a chat, the young staff (in between texting on their phones) appear to have absolutely no idea what’s going on nor do they care about providing even remotely reasonable service.
The coffee has often been terrible but considering they use what I assume are world-class beans from Madella Coffee in Mourilyan I can only assume that it’s the barista that provides the burnt and bitter aftertaste. The Kale and Quinoa salad I had as a side serve to my Salmon Poke was so bland and tasteless that even one mouthful was all I could stomach (a little seasoning wouldn’t go astray) and I just can’t omit the hair that my friend found in her baguette that was removed at the table by the waitress who expected her to continue eating said baguette.
Despite what some may think I am always loathe to write non-positive things about restaurants and cafe’s but as I said above, I went back five times in hopes of improvement because I want to like Wharf One so much. Most recently my sister went to Wharf One last Saturday morning. She ordered poached eggs with salmon which arrived on a broken plate with eggs that were almost raw and the salmon was forgotten completely. How many chances do you give a place? I started this blog because I tell it how it is and I think my readers deserve that. At Wharf One the menu is great (in theory), the location is second to none and the prices are probably some of the best I have seen in Cairns but the very thing they are setting out to do – provide good service and serve good food – is being overlooked. Like the old Queenslander on Martyn Street that MS and I looked at buying recently, Wharf One has plenty of potential but in the end there are tonnes other places that require far less work.
The Wharf, Wharf St, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4031 2840
I have been meaning to put up this post for quite some time now. As sappy as it may sound it holds a special place in my heart because it is such a big part of my childhood memories. The place I am referring to is the iconic Rusty’s Markets of course. With over 180 stalls featuring a delightful array of fresh fruit and vegetables, locally baked bread, flowers, art, crafts, seafood and so much more.
Up and running since 1975 Rusty’s Markets is quintessentially Cairns – kind of like what Qantas is to Australia.
I remember going there way back when I was a little ‘un. Every single Saturday morning my mum would drag my younger sister and I around the markets with her little black trolley filling it high with the fruits, veggies and other treats on offer at Rusty’s Markets.
My sister and I thought it was the most boring thing ever back then but mum bribed us with Cheese Twists from the Swiss Bakery and fresh pinepple juice from the Pineapple Man to keep us quiet. My mum and dad also owned a fresh seafood stall there for nearly 10 years in the 1980’s.
I remember Rusty with his bright red shirt walking around and greeting the stall owners and market goers. I remember Kaotica on the corner – the vintage/second hand type clothing store than has now moved to Oceana Walk. Mum used to marvel at all the clothes in there while my sister and I complained how hungry we were. I remember the bustling juice bar way back before the staff at Boost Juice were calling out peoples names. I remember hippies. Lots of hippies. I remember the humble beginnings Hashams Dips way back when there was only about 5 or 6 dips and pestos to choose from and way before you could buy them at IGA. Possibly even before IGA was around.
I remember the Unisex Hairdressing place that resembled a cave inside. I used to think how rude it was because there was ‘sex’ in the name. Little did I know that unisex actually meant men’s and women’s. I remember a nice old Italian lady making fresh pasta sauce for $15 a pop – a little overpriced if you asked me. It’s no yolk (haha) that Yamagishi Eggs, or ‘Happy Eggs’ as they are more fondly referred, are the still the best damn eggs you can buy… not to mention another icon of the Far North.
And last but not least I remember the man that used to sell all the phone cards. He’s still there to this day although he mostly sticks to selling fruit and veg.
Nowadays, Rusty’s Markets has changed quite a bit but it’s still the bustling marketplace that I remember it to be except now there is a nightclub in the midst of it all. Rusty himself is no longer there having passed away over 15 years ago according to my mum and dad. Sadly the tree that my sister and I used to climb, along with all the other kids whose parents were dragging them around the markets, is now part of the Gilligan’s beer garden. Somehow I don’t think the Gilligan’s security would appreciate me reliving my tree climbing days.
Let’s not forget the multiplying number of food trucks up the northern end on Sheridan Street. Off the top of my head theres Japanese, Vietnamese, Tongan, Thai, Burgers, pastries and plenty more.
Many Cairns locals also swear by Billy’s Coffee located inside the markets (on the Gilligan’s side). It’s the best coffee in Cairns some would say.
Truth be told, these days I don’t get to Rusty’s Markets quite as often as I should. For me it’s one of those places that I think about going to a day too late and end up at Coles or Woolies spending 4x the amount I would have at Rusty’s.
A couple of weeks ago whilst taking photos at the market I overheard a backpacker with a bag full of fruit and veggies exclaiming to his friends that what he paid $20 for at Rusty’s would have cost him nearly $100 at Woolworth’s. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration but who hasn’t had similar thoughts?
If you’re like me you have a particular place for different food items. I go to one stall for my avocados, another for my bush ripened Mareeba tomatoes, this one for my mangoes, that one for herbs and everything else is usually wherever takes my fancy. I almost always end up leaving with double the amount of food I planned to buy.
It’s an absolute must see for anyone that is visiting Cairns. Whether you’re going to buy some of the fresh, local produce on offer or just stroll through and take in the sights and sounds there really is something for everyone at Rusty’s Markets.
Rusty’s Market is open every week from Friday through to Sunday.
Friday – 5am to 6pm
Saturday – 5am to 6pm
Sunday – 5am – 3pm
I’d say out of all the restaurants and cafe’s that I dine at I only actually end up blogging about a quarter of them. I always have the best of intentions to do all these posts and then time gets the better of me. One thing I do find that in order to write these posts I need to be in the ‘zone’ so to speak. There must be no noise (especially not wind chimes) or other distractions in the nearby vicinity when I decide to get my laptop out and do something other than stalk people on Facebook or make a vain attempt to log into my work email.
I’m not one of those people that could ever study with headphones on or the TV in the background. When I was studying at uni the only time I was actually able to get any study done at all was when I took my pen, paper and bag of textbooks to the Cairns City Library and basked in the silence of like-minded people. Even then I found myself staring out the window all too often.
When I was in Grade 6 I played soccer in an all girls team. We were terrible and only got one goal all year – unfortunately against another team from the same school. We screamed like a bunch of girls none the less. My dad would claim that our pathetic goal scoring abilities were not aided by the fact that during our games I was more concerned with who was playing on the field next to us than my own game. So the point of my story is that my attention span is about that of a gold fish. It’s not my fault that I need to hear the deafening sound of tinnitus in my ears before I can actually concentrate on writing a post and unfortunately for me lately that’s been few and far between. Lucky for me I’m currently on the other side of Australia with nothing but time on my hands (in the evening anyway) and having run out of episodes of Ray Donovan I guess I have no other choice but to concentrate on writing a post about what has recently become one of my favourite cafes to visit in Cairns…
After a late Sunday coffee and homemade lemonade at one of Edge Hill’s newest (ok newish) cafe’s, Ten One Twenty, I vowed to return the next day for lunch since the menu sounded ridiculously enticing. Sadly for me though the next day was Monday and Ten One Twenty isn’t open on Monday’s. Tuesday it was! Named after it’s address on Collins Avenue Ten One Twenty is the newest brainchild of the good folks at Caffiend. On Ten One Twenty’s Facebook page it’s touted as a gelati and espresso bar but after visiting for lunch last week I found the food was also worth a mention.
MS had promised to take his elderly father out for lunch before he left for work later that afternoon. It’s something we both like to do about once a month since his dad isn’t very mobile and doesn’t get the chance to get out much so he gets a bit lonely. A little after midday the three of us shuffled into Ten One Twenty and took a seat at one of the tables near the window. We had a look over the menu whilst not so secretly trying to figure out what meals the two ladies next to us were eating – in the end they overheard us talking about their food and kindly divulged what they had ordered, followed by how delicious it was. Finally we all made a decision and I moseyed on up to the counter, next to the large cabinet of baked sweets, to order lunch and coffee for the three of us.
Like clockwork the coffees came out first of all and with a smile from the guy that took my order. A friendly guy with good calves to boot. Another 10 or so minutes later our meals arrived. MS had ordered the Poached Free Range Chicken, Chilli Mayo, Tarragon and Rocket Gourmet Toastie for AU$11.90. $11.90 is a little on the steep side for a toastie in my humble opinion but I guess you are also paying for their prime location in Edge Hill. I’ll admit I did have a taste of MS’ toastie and it was jam packed with flavour – plenty of sweetness from the Chilli Mayo to go with the bitterness of the rocket. MS gobbled his toastie up that fast that I’m not sure if it even touched the sides going down. It was probably only a light meal for a man his size but more than enough for the average eater.
Over on my side of the table I had ordered the dish that I spied on the menu two days prior that prompted my stealthy return – the Healthy Green Salad with Raw Kale, Broccoli, Corn, Herbs, Preserved Lemon (AU$14.50), plus I added some Poached Chicken for an extra $4.50. When it arrived I did think it was a little bit smaller than what I had pictured in my head. This salad was the best salad I have had in a long time. The flavours were subtle but it was lovely and fresh with a beautiful mix of crunchy veggies, cherry tomatoes and herbs with small pieces of poached chicken flaked amongst it. I have to admit that this is only the second time I have ever eaten kale. The first was a shitty attempt at making kale chips in my oven at home. They ended up tasting like a big bowl of salty ash. This time my kale experience was much more enjoyable and I am keen to get back and try Ten One Twenty’s breakfast version with a poached egg on top in place of the chicken.
MS’ dad, who shall go by the alias of Papa S, had chosen the Japanese Style Smashed Chilli Egg on Sourdough with Ponzu Cucumber and Zucchini Salad (AU$15.90). I’m not quite sure why he chose a dish with chilli in it because he can’t really handle chilli that well. He then proceeded to add extra chilli from the small bottle of chilli sauce that was placed on our table – before tasting his lunch mind you. He’s a little forgetful in his old age bless him but he did get a nice little surprise with his first mouthful, and second, and third. etc, etc. Not quite sure why this dish was called Japanese Style Smashed Chilli Eggs because I thought they somewhat resembled what I would call ‘Scrambled Eggs’ but hey they still looked great. His dish was also lightly scattered with Goji Berries – at least that’s what MS and I thought they were. Funnily enough Papa S swore they were kidney beans. I can assure you they definitely weren’t but MS and I weren’t about to correct with him and were just happy to leave him enjoy his lunch – kidney beans and all. After we had all finished our lunch Papa S raved about this Chilli Eggs. You know the ones sprinkled with ‘Kidney Beans’? It’s easy to tell when he likes something because he raves about how ‘lovely’ it was time and time again.
It doesn’t take a foodie like me to know there is more than a handful of places of go in Edge Hill for breakfast, lunch and a caffeine fix but Ten One Twenty is my pick of places to go. Best part is it’s not overwhelmingly busy unlike a couple of other popular places in Edge Hill – they shall remain nameless. Although this was only the first time I had been to Ten One Twenty for food I have been there multiple times for coffee and always found the service friendly and efficient. The atmosphere is relaxed with a rustic but eclectic vibe and an interesting mix of people coming and going including plenty of families stopping by for a scoop or two of gelato. The food at Ten One Twenty is simple, fresh, innovative and a little bit fancy all at the same time. Another thing to look forward to other than gelati sandwiches and ‘sketti jaffles’ (with two different types of cheese) is their gelati parties including live DJ’s on Saturday afternoons. Get amongst it!
Ten One Twenty Café
10/120 Collins Ave, Edge Hill QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4032 1010
Opening Hours: Tues – Sat 7am – 4.30pm, Sun 8am – 4.30pm
A friend of mine recommended Betty Blue and The Lemon Tart for breakfast while in Townsville over the weekend and I have to say ‘holy crap what an awesome place!’ The table surfaces were blackboards and each table had a selection of coloured chalk to keep you amused while you waited for your breakfast.
The menu was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I really wanted to order the Waffles with Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Lollies but I restrained myself and had the Corn, Cheddar and Spring Onion Fritters with Soy Soaked Bacon, Avocado, Capsicum Jam and Sour Cream for AU$21. The prices are a little steep (maybe that’s normal for Townsville) but it was totally worth it. I wish we had somewhere like this in Cairns – now I just have to justify the 350 odd km drive back to Townsville for those bloody waffles!
Betty Blue and The Lemon Tart
Unit 8 No.95 Denham St, Townsville Qld 4810
Ph: (07) 4724 2554
The Paleo Cafe opened on Grafton Street in October last year after much anticipation from many Cairns locals and crossfit enthusiasts. Since it opened I have dined there a few times for both breakfast and lunch. I also regularly drop in for a Cocoa, Honey, Banana, Almond Milk and Coconut Milk smoothie for AU$7 because I think it’s bloody delicious (on the other hand MS thinks it’s revolting). Most recently myself, MS and a couple of my girlfriends went to the Paleo Cafe for a catch up and a healthy breakfast after I had a look over the weekly menu that arrived in my inbox and spotted something that I simply had to try. I’m not an avid follower of the Paleo Diet, nor do I particularly care if what I am eating contains gluten, dairy or all of the above but regardless of what your intentions are there is something on the menu at the Paleo Cafe for everyone. Although it’s technically a cafe half of the shop is made up of a retail section where you can purchase a variety of paleo style goodies including pre-made meals, coconut ice cream, sauces, supplements, cookbooks and even skin care products. If you haven’t heard about the Paleo Diet yet then you must be living under a rock (or in a cave). I’m not going to go into a spiel about what the Paleo Diet is because those that care already know and those that don’t care, well they just don’t care. I’m just here to talk about the food…
MS and I arrived first and proceeded to umm and ahh over whether or not it was best to sit inside or outside. In the end inside won because it was a little cold and windy outside (for Cairns anyway). We moved a couple of tables together to accommodate our group of five (it ended up being four), collected a couple more menus from the counter and took a seat. Soon our breakfast buddies arrived and after a bit of a catch up and an explanation why the fifth person didn’t come (apparently ST’s boyfriend is a little shy and chose to stay at home) we each had a look over the menu.
Since it was MS’ turn to shout breakfast he headed up to the counter to order breakfast and coffee’s for the two of us closely followed by ST and MD. After some confusion at our table as to who was collecting the cutlery we all sat back down and waited for our coffee’s and meals to arrive. Call me a nit picker but if there are items on the breakfast menu upwards of AU$20 (that’s an expensive breakfast) then I don’t think it’s too much to expect cutlery and napkins to be brought to the table by the waitstaff rather than patrons having to collect it from the counter. A good 15 minutes later, mine and MS’ coffees arrived and then another 5 minutes later MD’s arrived and another 5 minutes after that ST’s arrived. The coffee procession was a little disjointed and certainly could have happened sooner but the coffees were good none the less.
About five minutes later three of our four breakfasts arrived at the table. A good five minutes after that ST’s breakfast arrived. She had ordered at pretty much the same time as the rest of us so I saw no reason why hers took that little bit longer, plus she had ordered the exact same thing as MD. Both MD and ST chose the Paleo Free Range Eggs Benedict served on Savoury Bread and Spinach with Smoked Salmon for AU$18. I ordered the Breakfast Special of Pulled Pork with Wilted Spinach, Poached Eggs and Paleo Bread for AU$16 while MS whom I had pinned for the Caveman’s Big Breakfast from the moment we walked in ordered the Bacon and Free Range Eggs served with Spinach and a Sweet Potato Rosti with two extra eggs and avocado for AU$16 + $4 for the extra eggs + $3 for the avocado. It seems there was a little bit of confusion with the extra eggs and they were included with my Pulled Pork breakfast instead of MS’ which we pointed out to the waitress when she placed our plates down in front of us. She said that she could take them back to the kitchen and switch them but we declined and just transferred them ourselves – easy done but a mix up none the less.
ST and MD both enjoyed their Eggs Benedict with the sauce zesty and creamy but not overpowering and sickly like some Hollandaise Sauces tend to be. ST said she wasn’t too sure about the paleo bread (aka she didn’t like it) but MD said that she really liked it although she tried not to think of it as bread. Baker’s Delight sourdough it certainly is not but I tended to agree with MD and really like the taste and crumbly consistency of it. You still can’t beat a couple of freshly toasted slices of ciabatta bread though that’s for sure!
The half an avocado that MS ordered as extra was a lovely and fresh, as you would expect since the Paleo Cafe is situated right across the road from Rusty’s Market. The sweet potato rosti was a little bit dry and undercooked while the four poached eggs were well overcooked. The wilted spinach however, was a nice addition. He was pretty happy with it, eating the lot and then eying my breakfast.
The serving sizes were decent – the smoked salmon with the Eggs Benedict was generous and my plate had a huge pile of pulled pork which was delicious and tender with just the right amount of sweetness to it. Unfortunately the eggs were closer to hard-boiled than poached – no runny eggs makes me a sad panda.
In the end I couldn’t quite finish the pulled pork so much to MS’ delight he finished it off for me. It was delicious, just too much for little old me. It’s actually a shame that this dish isn’t included on the regular menu because I think it’s a winner.
We all had a very enjoyable breakfast with the food being both fresh and tasty. The service and the food was however quite disjointed we were always served with a smile. There are a couple of lunch items that definitely caught my eye like the Thai Green Papaya and Cashew Salad and the Slow Cooked Pork Belly but for the most part the lunch menu doesn’t really appeal to me – it’s just all a little too plain. I caught a glimpse of the Spinach, Pumpkin and Pine Nut Salad for AU$15 and there didn’t appear to be a whole lot to it other than spinach (barely any pumpkin or pine nuts). When I went there for lunch a few months ago I had the Curry of the Day which was a Thai Green Curry Served with Cauliflower Rice and Flat Bread for AU$16 and it was pretty ordinary, particularly the Cauliflower Rice. I’m not usually one to pay upwards of AU$15 for something that not is boring but tastes boring. Why someone would want to eat Cauliflower ‘Rice’ or Zucchini ‘Pasta’ by choice is beyond me but I guess it’s each to their own. But… then again that is what the whole concept of eating paleo is – getting back to healthy basics.
Another thing I’m not a fan of with the Paleo Cafe is the atmosphere, or lack thereof. The retail section over to one side of the shop as well as the stark polished concrete and the white plastic tables make the whole place seem a little sterile. It just doesn’t have the nice, cozy cafe feel to it that most people seek when dining out. Still, if the amount of people who were dining in there today when I walked past is anything to go by then maybe it’s just me that feels this way. There is also a number of franchises in the works around Australia and even inquiries for places as far-reaching as Canada. As I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not going to go into the details of exactly what the paleo diet entails and although it may not appeal to everyone many people consider it to be more of ‘lifestyle’ than a diet. If the current trend towards the paleo diet continues as does the global obesity epidemic then maybe a rise in restaurants that serve basic, healthy food such as the Paleo Cafe isn’t such a bad thing after all?
Shop 15, 62 Grafton St, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4041 3885
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 7am – 3pm