Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough
Fresh seafood over the seabed
This one is for seafood lovers, and no-one else.
If you fancy feasting on jumbo tiger prawns or a platter of sashimi all to yourself, Prawn Star is for you.
Situated at Cairns Marlin Marina, it is a must-visit floating restaurant across three old wooden fishing boats, serving fresh, locally caught seafood.
Don’t expect a side of fries – it’s all about fresh sashimi, prawns, crayfish, bugs, oysters and nothing else.
Not a single vegetable in sight, let alone other meat, and definitely nothing deep-fried.
Prawn Star (be sure to enunciate when telling people where you are going for dinner) is easily one of the best places to feast on fresh seafood in Cairns.
While other restaurants will showcase fancy ways to prepare fruits of the sea – Dundee’s Waterfront Dining is glorious – Prawn Star keeps it real and keeps it simple. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in.
You can choose to feast on a giant plate of sashimi for A$35 (NZ$38), a plate of tiger prawns for A$45, or order a mix of everything with a large platter for two for A$80. I had a platter for one and my eyes nearly popped out of my head when it was presented to me.
It came with oysters, bugs, a large pile of sashimi, and at least a dozen prawns ready to be shelled, sauces, wasabi, lime wedges, and a big metal bowl for the leftover shells. As the sky darkened, the lights of the marina started to twinkle on the calm water, and with it came a steady flow of solo diners, couples and small groups keen to enjoy some prawns.
The first boat doubles as the kitchen and till, where you can see the chefs preparing your platters and shucking oysters.
The other boats have the tables.
One boat is also home to the bar, where every hour is happy hour, every day; quench your thirst with $7 beers, wines or ciders, with any seafood ordered.
The shared tables were perfect for solo diners like me, making it easy to befriend others stopping in for a bite.
I started chatting to a retired Australian couple seated across from me who had travelled all over the world (the poor husband was tasked with peeling all the prawns for him and his wife), and we had a good giggle over our meals.
They eyed up my extraordinarily large platter, wondering how on earth I was going to get through it all.
In case you are wondering, I ate every tasty morsel.
It is not often I get to indulge on a giant plate of fresh seafood and not have to share it with anyone else, and I was not going to let any go to waste.
❚ The writer was hosted by Tourism and Events Queensland.