Oct 182010

[singlepic id=144 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left] I was lucky enough to have a week long holiday in Cairns and surrounds with J and a few friends.  It was a lovely break, if a little short, and we managed to have some fantastic meals whilst away.

After we flew in on our first day, we borrowed PJ’s car (a friend who is currently living in Cairns) and took a road trip up to Port Douglas.  We hit a bit of traffic on the way up, and spent about half an hour stop-start on the highway.  Fortunately, we had JJJ and PJ’s mints to amuse us and stave off the hunger pains.  Port Douglas struck me as a lovely coastal town.  It is clearly targeted to tourists, and I felt it had a similar vibe to Noosa (which I also enjoy).  Being the foodies that we are, our main priority was to find a venue for lunch.  A quick stop at the tourist office and we had several recommendations – including Salsa Bar and Grill, Bistro 3 and Billy’s by the Sea.  However, after a perusal of the menus we weren’t quite sold, and then Harrisons caught our eye.

It had a cool vibe, a beautiful restaurant and best of all a menu du jour! 2 courses for $29.50, or 3 for $34.50?  Sold!

The boys both ordered the harissa spiced calamari with a salad of daikon and corinder with minted labna.  I acquired a few pieces, for quality control purposes of course.  The calamari was beautifully tender, and the salad was light and refreshing.

[singlepic id=148 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left] I skipped straight to the main course, and I was glad I did because the serving was enormous!  I loved my risotto primavera, with spring vegetables (asparagus, fennel and peas) and truffle oil.  The fennel added a subtle depth of flavour to the dish, and the stock used was obviously lovingly prepared.  The boys were suitably impressed with their orders of crispy duck leg confit and fish of the day (salmon).

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Finally, dessert.  By this time I was feeling a little bit uncomfortable, but I pushed through the pain and managed to make room for Harrisons’ home made icecreams with glass biscuit and creme chantilly.  The flavour du jour was limoncello and delightfully tart.  It was very refreshing on a humid day, and paired nicely with a raspberry reduction.  One of my dining companions enjoyed the tarte du jour, which was lemon meringue, and again the lemon packed a real punch.

[singlepic id=146 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left] Harrisons is doing traditional French/Italian style dishes with panache.  They are taking advantage of the region’s fabulous produce and creating food that sticks to your ribs and makes you want to come back for more.  The service is consistent, without being overbearing and the restaurant itself is beautiful.  If you’re in tropical North Queensland it is well worth setting aside a few hours for a long lunch.

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Harrisons Restaurant
22 Wharf St
Port Douglas, Queensland
P: 07 4099 4011
Web: http://www.harrisonsrestaurant.com.au/home.html

  2 Responses to “Restaurant review – Harrisons”

  1. Harissa spiced calamari sounds like a nice change from salt and pepper calamari! I like places that focus on regional produce! :)

  2. Of course it was for quality control purposes! Limoncello tart sounds like something I would like to (try) baking.


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