Professor Bainbridge on dining in Cairns

Professor Bainbridge on Wine:

“Dining in Cairns differed but little from dining in any USA seaside resort town – lots of places, but not a lot to write home about. The highlight of our stay was dinner at the Red Ochre Grill, which was the first place we’ve gone in Australia that put native ingredients to extensive use. The Australian antipasto, for example, offered up a fried crocodile wonton, grilled kangaroo, emu pate, and swordfish sashimi. The cuisine style is to use local ingredients in a modern fusion idiom. Indeed, it would not be out of place in LA, where fusion is the norm. A wine list of reasonable length and fair prices adds value to the experience. All in all, highly recommended.”

Of course, no one goes to Cairns for the dining – or the wine – they go for easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and to enjoy amazing rainforest wilderness like Daintree Gorge. Apart from the novelty value native ingredients offer little in the way of taste sensation. Grilled kangaroo can be okay, is certainly very lean, but usually requires a sauce like, for example, redcurrant, to pick up the flavour. Emu pate? I think they’ve spotted a tourist!

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