New kid in town
Rasa Restaurant and Lounge
NIRAMAYA’S Rasa Restaurant and Lounge is one of those special venues where you feel as though you are stepping into something not quite real, almost a fantasy. The unique designs of the main foyer building inspires thoughts of great ships, modern craftsmanship and 21st century cutting edge architectural brilliance woven together, just so, as to inspire grand yet calming moods.
Descending the stairs one enters into an open courtyard / restaurant with a cosy bar tucked to the side of the entertaining area giving the feeling there are endless nooks and cranny’s to discover with secret gardens and private snugs where you could disappear with a special someone. The infinity pool offers a calming tranquillity that draws the eye toward the frangipani and forested edge of the well-kept lawns. Balinese sentiments are touched upon in the heavy wooden framed and curtained sun beds nestled in the picturesque gardens that whisper ‘go on, get a cocktail and lie down, silly’ as the sun gently sets beyond the green leafy fringes in pinks and purples.
The launch was like opening a present, no one was quite sure what we would find inside. Small groups of friends and acquaintances gave way to a picturesque banquet style layout where everyone began to feel more at home and chatted freely. Lovely, although non- intrusive live soloist sounds lingered in the background throughout the event.
The evening’s degustation was bold and quaint and unfolded with wonder as our imaginations anticipated the next and the next dish, although t he chefs always remained one step ahead of us, presenting each dish like a toy for us to play with; professionally known as ‘‘molecular gastronomy’’.
The flavours, the smells, textures and visual fun of it all – smoked watermelon and jasmine granita spring to mind – delighted our collective palettes.
The pre-dinner cocktails and canape´ s gave way to ‘‘ooh!’s’’ and ‘‘ aah’s’’ as a sevencourse performance of pint size dishes married carefully with an accompaniment of white wines, red wines and finally deSsert wines, leaving a person feeling satisfied in more ways than one.
The chefs, Jared and Andrew, pulled off an avant-garde food experience with a ‘‘no worries’’ attitude the Far North is known for even under straining circumstances. The new operators, Andrew Saville, Jared Jones and Louise St George, of Niramaya intend to introduce Sunday jazz, beautiful food, internationally worthy wines and stunning surrounds while making a point to keep Port Douglas locals very much in the Niramaya loop – home, after all, is where the heart is. Don’t be a stranger now . . .