Ok, so yes, you’re right, I am sposed to focus on all things and everything Melbs but when holidays call to me, that means eat, sleep, eat, repeat. My recent trip to Port Douglas with a gaggle of mates was no exception.
So for those of you reading this in Victoria and sitting there freezing yo’ butts off in this early cold snap, this is a kind reminder that it is warm somewhere in this country.
We were to spend a week in good old PD and unfortunately the weather didn’t exactly come to the party, with a bit of cloud and rain each day, but hey, with a water temperature of 27 degrees, you can’t complain! And of course the whole ‘not being at work’ thing was pretty schweet too.
AT & I stayed at Shantara resort which was perfecto for what we needed. Great rooms overlooking the pool, lovely staff, and the resort is within walking distance of the beautiful 4 mile beach and the ‘town’. The biggest plus about this place – kid freeee. Ooo yeh. So I only had to worry about my red headed companion bombing into the pool and wanting to ‘race’ on the noodle floaties….so it really wasn’t much different to having kids there now I think about it.
Being a ridiculous food obsessed individual, months before venturing to the far north, I was checking out the different food options and (occasionally overpriced) options that Port Douglas has on offer. My father dearest highly recommended the acclaimed Nautilus so this was booked in for Easter Sunday. And it did not disappoint.
Even from my initial emails re the reservation and changing numbers from 2…to 4…to 8, were greeted with an (electronic) smile and from there onwards, the service was impeccable.
Awesome throne chairs. Don’t need no Iron Throne when you have these.
Nautilus is set in canopy behind the main strip in Port Douglas and so you are completely immersed in the palm trees, plants and creature noises when you sip on cocktails in their Canopy Bar. The Pimms cocktail seemed to be the drink of choice, however I went with a Limoncello Martini (oo yes recreation will definitely be happening soon) and then a lychee cocktail which were both delish.
Pimms & Limoncello
Our group was then moved to the main area of the restaurant, and as it wasn’t raining (woo!) the large sail over the seating had been pulled back and you are completely immersed in the rainforest once more. An incredible experience, so if you are in Port Douglas, please oh please go there.
As I had studied the menu on numerous occasions prior to our visit I had locked in my choices until I heard the special was Barra with Mussels and a broth that’s description escapes me now but yes I chose that.
For entrée I went with the Tuna & Crab Nicoise….which wasn’t very Nicoise-y but ermagherd, twas one of the best dishes I’ve had since moving to Melbs. Raw Tuna, perfectly cooked crab, tempura’d whitebait, soft boiled eggie….ah I’m salivating just thinking about it. Although there was no real food envy as everyone’s dishes looked fantastic.
Amaaaaze. Tuna Nicoise all cray cray. Ha get it? Coz there was crab…crayfish…cray cray
Entrée’s were demolished, in a very civilised manner, and the vinos were ordered and the night was turning into a cracker. The fact the weather had remained calm was an added bonus. Oh yes and everyone sits on a throne. It’s all a very regal affair….aside from the fact all the male companions in our group were wearing Hawaiian shirts….doubt you’d see Prince Will or Harry rocking one of those.
Pork belly…yep it’s under Mr Yabby….looked fantastic
Steamed daffy dumplings
Bread lookin’ good
Mr Miyagi would be so impressed. Sashimi galore
Steak tartare….personal fave
Mains arrived and they all looked incredible once again, with a special mention to CN’s massive Coral Trout. The big fella looked amazing and she took him on, and won. So props to her.
THE Coral Trout. Spec-freakin’-tacular
Top view of the trout to make you drool a little more
Ridiculously tender lamby lamb
Fancy smancy surf n’ turf.
AT’s Amazing seafood platter. He hated sitting next to me…nibble nibble
My sexy main – barramundi done right.
It was soon time for the 2nd stomach to once again kick into gear. Due to the fact I was going to have to wear a cozzie/swimmers/bathers/togs in coming days I thought I’d just get an Affogato….that was until I saw Chocolate XX and well….I’m female….so that was ordered in ADDITION to the Affogato. Sooo rich and probably only needed a 3rd of it, but gah it was goooood.
Always a winner. My Affogato w Frangelico.
Droool. Chocolate Molten cake. My 2nd dessert…
AT’s Creme Brûlée. Oooyeh I cracked it before he got there.
The lovely staff were so attentive throughout the night without being too fussy and were available whenever we needed assistance with anything. An amazing experience, and one I will not forget. Brilliant company, food, bevvies and the venue itself is really stunning.
Even though you aren’t situated in the best city in Aus, Nautilus I give you a double high five.
10/10. Plus 1. How is this not above 90% on Urbanspoon!?
We of course had to embrace our inner tourists and head out to the Outer reef for some snorkelling action. To save you a bit of energy, and not force you to pick up 1104 brochures advertising various tours, I def recommend Poseidon. A relatively small boat (takes about 60-70) passengers, great crew and a good feed of prawns, meat and salad for lunch. 3 different reef stops as well which is always nice. I am not a fan of the boats that look like they’re herding people like cattle on and off, so if you’re looking for a bit more of a relaxed, smaller approach, definitely check out Poseidon. And no, you don’t receive any form of sea trident when booking unfortunately.
Other touristy things I’d def recommend doing would be driving up to the Daintree, Cape Tribulation and Mossman gorge for a dip in the rather cold water. Ps. Hung around in the Daintree for a couple of hours looking for a cassowary and ended up seeing a couple cross the road in front of the car. So stop looking, and then you’ll find it. Ha, other people use that line about true love, and I just used it about a bird that looks like it has a rock on its head….