We flew to Cairns from Melbourne Tullarmarine on the 30th of September, it was my 28th birthday. The flight was delayed 2 hours, we picked up the hire car in Cairns and hit road works, that slowed us down even more, but as we got further from Cairns (and I lost reception on my mobile), I breathed a sigh of relief.
The week leading up to this trip hadn’t been so great and I just really needed a week away. I was also excited because my mum and dad had been to Cape Tribulation just the week before and had discovered a fantastic restaurant, for which I had made us a birthday reservation.
Whet Restaurant and Cafe has been open since 2007 and claims to be the epicentre of fine dining in the tourist village of Cape Tribulation, and I agree with those claims. We walked up elegantly lit path and were welcomed by two girls with accents. As like most restaurants in the area Whet is staff by backpackers.
I’d already perused the menu online, on our slow drive north, and had made some selections. J and I chatted about which entrée we would share, the difference in fashion this far north and the amazing warmth (which was so vastly different to what we’d left behind in Melbourne). The twice cooked pork belly and seared scallop entrée ($15.50) was delicious. Usually served as a three, we were offered an extra by the waitress as we’d mentioned that we were sharing. Each spoonful contained more than a mouth full, so we tipped the spoons onto the plate and used knives and forks. The pork was crispy on the outside and moist inside, the scallops perfectly cooked through, and the addition of the coconut and cumin sauce melded all the flavours like a dream. For the main I choose seared barramundi with a papaya salsa, white polenta, rocket and crocodile tail ($28). The fish was cooked beautifully, and the polenta baked until a crisp patty gave the dish wonderful texture, but I found the fruit in the salsa to be too crunchy and over abundant, and the crocodile tail to be unnecessary. J raved about his dish, the great sized serve, the tenderness and the flavours. Kangaroo, still pink in the middle, the way it should be, over asparagus spears, a mash of some sort and roasted cherry tomatoes ($28). He was very impressed by this course, and I even tried a small bite of well cooked meat from the end of the sirloin. Finally, no birthday dinner is complete without dessert, we were chockers, so I picked the chocolate fondant ($14.50) for us to share. This one takes about 20 minutes for them to cook, but the wait was absolutely worth it. Each mouthful of hot fondant and cold ice cream was once of decadence. We polished it off pretty quickly and I could have eaten a second!
It was the perfect birthday celebration, the heat of Far North Queensland, a laid-back dinner, enjoying great food.
How do you like to celebrate your birthday?