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February 3, 2003
The menu is traditional seafood. We shared a dozen oysters. I ordered blackened coral trout -- heavenly -- and he ordered a freshly caught mud crab in chilli and ginger sauce -- what a feast!! Fully licenced with a small but well- selected winelist, a bottle of Petaluma Chardonnay was a perfect accompaniment. On the bottom of the menu, is written "Dining without a glass of wine is like rising on a day a day where the sun does not rise." For dessert we shared a typical Aussie Pavlova, expresso with Tia Maria and Cream.
Tony and his staff are very good and attentive. There was a slight slowness in service which we felt could have been resolved with additional staff. There was a queue of at least 6-8 people waiting for a table, constantly changing for the 3 hours we dined there. Patrons were from all countries of the world, especailly Asian, English and American.
From journal Four days in Tropical Queensland
July 17, 2002
The dining room has a fun casual look, with a bar near the back. Diners can select from a wide range of fresh seafood (and one or two non-seafood) dishes. This is a good place for couples, families, groups, and even a celebrity or two, as my friend spotted one of the young stars of "American Pie 2" dining here.
My friend splurged and ordered the crayfish entree, and he found it to be delectable and well worth the rather expensive tab. Not being a seafood connoisseur, I ordered the grilled kangaroo on a skewer, served with rich mushroom gravy and white rice. The kangaroo meat had good flavor, but was a bit chewy. The waiter then presented a huge mockup showing each colorful dessert in three-dimensional splendor. We both ordered "pavlova" for dessert, one of the posher Australian desserts found on the menu. Supposedly named after a ballerina, the fancy and pleasingly sweet slice of pavlova was very light due to its thick layer of meringue.
I have a feeling that your rating of Barnacle Bill's would be higher if you like fresh seafood. Still, if you have to pick a nice "touristy" restaurant, this is a good one to choose.
From journal Bill in Australia - CAIRNS and QUEENSLAND