Visitors to the Port Douglas area looking for a unique experience take note; there’s a restaurant nearby that offers local delicacies in a setting quite unlike you’ve experienced before.
Ospreys Restaurant, located at Thala Beach Lodge, just outside Port Douglas, dishes up fare from its seasonal herb garden, tropical orchard, and the neighbouring sea.
However, unlike other restaurants, here you’ll enjoy views that stretch for 110 kilometres across the Coral Sea, while sunbirds, lorikeets and honeyeaters hover in and around the treetops of the adjacent forest.
Throughout the day you might even see whales, dugongs and turtles while you eat, and according to chef Catherine Pacy, “if you’re lucky enough you may get to watch the sea eagle dive for fish”. All this while guests are served starters like sand crab miang with shredded coconut, zesty pink pomello and lemongrass wrapped in betel leaf.
At Ospreys, the menu very much reflects the abundance of seasonal food in the local environment. As Catherine says, “we use local ingredients from the backyard and the sea, so a lot of fresh fish, poultry, vegetables, and fresh herbs”.
“A lot of our food comes from the Atherton Tablelands and directly from the reef on our doorstep”. Subsequently, you’ll find mains on the menu such as fresh barramundi and local mud crab, served with any number of seasonal accompaniments.
In order to keep the menu interesting, for local and international visitors alike, Catherine regularly takes a trip to Cairns based Rusty’s Market to source unique local foods to inspire new combinations.
The result is flavours like warm saganaki cheese with a drizzle of honey and fresh lime, or yellow fin tuna, tempura prawn and scallop sashimi with wakame salad and sake sorbet.
Lunch dishes to enjoy from Ospreys’ treetop terrace include succulent calamari with bok choy and snow peas, wok tossed with homegrown garlic, home grown chilli and lemon grass, served with pandanus rice. Or for something with a little more traditional heart, there’s twice-cooked pork spare ribs, with a house made hickory smoked glaze, served with red cabbage coleslaw and warm Turkish bread.
While the food at Ospreys Restaurant is enough to send the driest of palates into a salivating frenzy, it’s the views that really make it stand well and truly above the competition. Catherine’s advice to any aspiring chefs at home is to have, “Fire in your belly, passion in your heart and a thirst for knowledge.”
If you’re looking for a truly organic experience in Queensland’s Far North, Ospreys Restaurant ticks all the boxes.
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