Fine dining at open air restaurants as you enjoy the best tropical
food that the region can offer is an integral part of the experience of
visiting Tropical Australia.
I read somewhere the other day that Port Douglas has more than sixty restaurants. So you could stay here for a month and have a different food experience twice a day!
Imagine the culinary delights if one includes the hundreds of eating establishments scattered throughout Far North Queensland - from Innisfail south of Cairns, to Cairns city and the northern beaches, Kuranda and the Tablelands...to the jewel of them all, Port Douglas.
Interestingly, the region attracts many world-renowned chefs, whose reputation further enhances "their" restaurants and attracts diners to enjoy Australian food or that originating in Asia or Europe, prepared with their special 'signature'.
As you would expect, all of the restaurants in the region base their fine dining menus on the abundant fresh produce available, as do the more casual cafes and take-aways. There is even the choice of trying 'bush tucker' made from indigenous plants or animals.
The fertile, volcanic soils of the Atherton Tablelands are only an hour's drive away and grow just about everything from several varieties of mangoes, citrus fruit, potatoes, all the greens and herbs that you can think of, to peanuts, macadamias, honey, coffee, tea and strawberries.
Down on the coast is where you will find the more exotic offerings of weird and wonderful tropical fruit and staples such as many types of bananas, pineapples, lychees, passion-fruit and pawpaws (papayas).
this tempting array produce from the Coral Sea, right on our doorstep.
Prawns of various sizes and types, mackerel, barramundi, swordfish,
bluebone, coral trout, nannagai, mangrove jack and juicy mud crabs are
just the beginning.
But then, the fine art of fine cuisine and fine dining begins! No doubt, food preparation, cooking and presentation in a pleasant atmosphere are an art - food for the soul as well as for the body.
The artists who help create your memorable dining experiences may also be the baker who bakes that delicious turkish bread in a process developed over the centuries in another country or the chef who whips up a delectable Thai take-away just as her grandmother used to do.
Australia is multi-cultural, many residents having been born in another country. They have adopted Australia with enthusiasm, bringing skills and other cultural values to mix with the "Aussie" way of doing things.
Restaurant fare in Australia, if not obviously Indian, Thai, Japanese, Mongolian, Chinese etc in style is sometimes described as being "Asian/Mediterranean" or "Modern Australian". In general it has a lightness which comes from subtle flavours, fresh produce and a deft hand, born of many years of experience.
In that way, the art of fine dining and fine cuisine is similar to
visual and three dimensional fine art - the result of years of training
and experience and a feast for all the senses.
Of course, no fine dining experience would be complete without the accompaniment of fine wines - and here the huge range of Australian wines holds a well earned place amongst the best in the world (some will say "the" best!)
Would you like to write your own review of some of the outstanding restaurants in Port Douglas?
We are very keen to hear about all the fabulous meals that you have enjoyed in Far North Queensland - even if it was a pie or fish'n chips in the park as the sun set behind the mountains.
As well as photos of the "artwork", what about one of you and your friends in "paradise"?
Restaurant or cafe owners in the region: you are also very welcome to upload information and mouth-watering pics of what makes your eatery so special and different.