Saturday, 29 August 2009

Ochre restaurant, Cairns.


Wattle seed damper loaf with peanut oil and native dukkah

AS part of my looksee tour of PNG, we were treated to a night in Cairns. An absolute must on my to-do list was eat of Ochre Restaurant.


Australian tasting platter, featuring Barramundi spring rolls with wild lime dipping sauce, Ochre house salad - mixed salad leaves, roast Roma tomato, crisp bacon, olives, Mungalli feta cheese, spiced macadamia nuts, emu fillets smoked in paperbark and quinoa with native herbs.


Formerly Red Ochre Grill, this restaurant is owned by Chef Craig Squire and specialises in fresh local seafood, game, bush foods, premium Australian produce and regional Australian cuisine.

Some of their most famous dishes include Salt and Pepper Prawn and Crocodile, Grilled Kangaroo with Quandong Chilli Glaze, Wattleseed Pavlova and their Australian Antipasto Plate. I had heard many things about their lemon myrtle panacotta, which the Lonely Planet Guide touts as "worth moving to Cairns for". I was also curious about their smoking of meats in paperbark.



Salt and pepper leaf crocodile, grilled kangaroo with Quandong chilli glaze
, sweet potato fritter and dipping sauces.

The restaurant is styled to reflect the colours of the outback, from the violet sunset banquette to the earth red walls and natural timber features. The menu changes seasonally and is unique in its use of Australian Native foods and regional produce such as Bunya nuts, lemon aspen and samphire.

The Ochre manages to showcase native ingredients whilst studiously avoiding the "bush tucker" hype. The restaurant itself reflects "Australia" without resorting to the larrikinism of The Ettamogah Pub or "Green and Gold Glory/our country was built on sporting prowess" bullshit. The service was attentive, friendly and professional. I hope that more local chefs who announce themselves as proponents of "local foods" tap into using some of these amazing local ingredients.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow the concept sounds great, the food looks amazing.... only, you haven't mentioned if it tasted amazing!!??
Jen

Jazz said...

Oh god!!! That looks amazing!

Bluenose said...

I'm packing my bags to move to Cairns! What a great looking spread of delectables...

Tan said...

Gosh PG - it looks so yummy & very inspiring. I'm working so hard to improve my cooking skills & range!

vincent said...
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Paula said...
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Anonymous said...
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Food Processor said...

looking delicious!!getting hungry to see your post.....
Thanks for sharing...