WILD AT HEART

THE CLIEN­TELE MAY SEEM RATHER TAME, BUT THE MENU AT THIS EDGE HILL EATERY DOES TAKE A SAUNTER ON THE WILDER SIDE.

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

IT’S Tues­day lunch hour and Wild Bean is pos­i­tively laid back.

There’s ac­tion in the kitchen, which is fully vis­i­ble from our ta­ble, but out­side it’s all seren­ity, breeze, green­ery and sub­stan­tial lunch­ing.

If you want a respite from work, noise or other non­sense, you needn’t hike your way to the top of the nearby Red Ar­row na­ture walk for peace, you can just plonk down here in the shade and en­joy some sus­te­nance.

Lunch for two to­day con­sists of roast veg­gie salad with added chicken and a seafood trio.

We’re en­chanted by the name of a drink, Wild Il­lu­sion.

No il­lu­sions here though, a mix of ap­ple, melon, cel­ery and pas­sion­fruit juice with a hint of gin­ger for zing, it’s an ef­fec­tive mid­day pickme-up.

You could kick back and spend some time in these lush sur­rounds, but lunch lands fairly quickly.

The salad, served in a bowl, has leaves, cu­cum­ber, cap­sicum and red onion on the bot­tom, all fresh and crisp.

Piled atop is cubed roasted eggplant, zuc­chini, sweet potato, mushrooms with crum­bled feta and toasted pine nuts.

We have added op­tional chicken ten­der­loins mar­i­nated in gar­lic and thyme.

The three strips are a bit dry, but edi­ble and over­all it’s a fill­ing meal.

My guest’s seafood trio is pre­sented on a wooden chop­ping board.

A large fil­let of panko crumbed fish cut in half is suc­cu­lent (the menu has it down gener­i­cally as “fish”, we guess it’s prob­a­bly Span­ish mack­erel).

There are two good prawns, four bits of cala­mari, a sen­si­ble por­tion of chunky chips, on a bed of rocket with a side of house-made aioli.

All seat­ing is out­doors but un­der cover, there has been ad­di­tional shade added in the form of a wavy metal shel­ter that is in keep­ing with the unique de­sign of the mir­rored com­plex which houses the Botanic Gar­dens Vis­i­tors Cen­tre.

A few pot­ted plants strate­gi­cally placed and ferns in hang­ing bas­kets add to the al fresco feel. Cakes in the cab­i­net look tempt­ing and we’re lured to an or­ange and al­mond piece to share, which doesn’t dis­ap­point.

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