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“Unexpectedly great Thai food”

iyara by Sakare Thai cuisine
Ranked #49 of 766 Restaurants in Cairns
Cuisines: Thai
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 13 April 2012

We loved the food so much we ate here twice in three evenings in Cairns. This part of the Esplanade has mainly fast food or cheap and cheerful options, but the food here was delicious and we had the place almost to ourselves. It only has a relatively small staircase opening onto the esplanade so it's quite easy to miss.

It was still cash only – we thought their credit card machine might have broken but from other reviews it seems that cash is the policy. It’s not particularly cheap, but the food is cooked to order and it is an oasis of calm, and a very pleasant space, in the centre of Cairns.

Date of visit: February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank NigelTurner
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviews (429)
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405 - 409 of 429 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2012

This otherwise nicely located, prettily decked out upstairs dining venue on busy Cairns’ Esplanade, has a problematic attitude to paying: It’s cash only! No EFTPOS machine or any other paying devices are available at Iyara (or should I say: Iraya?). Fortunately we were with friends who had dined here previously and were well aware of the cash only policy. We wonder though, how many people would actually be turned off and turned away due to this oddity. The name on the business card is a different spelling to the actual restaurant, in itself not a big deal, but it does add up to a slightly odd experience.

The food was quite good (we ordered various meat, chicken and fish dishes, all with beautiful sauces) and superbly presented by professional waitresses. The wines were nice too and the service throughout the evening was simply excellent.

Would we go here again? Urr…we will when we are cashed up!

Date of visit: March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Atlanticmermaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 27 March 2012

Yes, the name is defiantly Iyara, I am reading their card. Also, check the email address. I tried to report it to trip advisor but the system only allows a change of address, not name.
The food is very good, not sure about authentic though, as another reviewer suggested, more Thai fusion.
We went on a rainy Saturday night so the place wasn't full and the service was fine. The owner, Sakare, spent some time with us at the end of the meal doing a PR jobbie and she was totally charming, as you would expect.

Date of visit: March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GandC1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 9 March 2012

I believe the restaurant is called Iyara not Iraya. Anyway we have dined there several times and on each occassion have found the food to be delightful. On our initial visits the service was woeful but the food brought us back. On our last visit the service had improved. It is a cash only establishment and on each of our visits we have seen potential customers turn away after being told it was cash only. This may be why the resaurant is never crowded. If it did become busy they would have to lift their game in terms of service.
However if you are patient and are cashed up it is a very worthwhile dining experience.

Date of visit: February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kenfifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 19 February 2012

We have been three times now and have found the food and atmosphere to be excellent on each occasion. First time we went with friends who had been before, and commented that the service can be a bit off at times. Service on the first two occasions was slow but passable. The lack of an EFTPOS machine we initially thought to be just an outage but it now seems to be a standard feature and I agree with the other reviewer who is wondering if it is just a ploy to get customers to pay cash. It certainly will figure in our future resturant choice decisions.
Two weeks ago, poor service took the cake. There was initial confusion over where we were to sit, with several waiters running in various directions. We finally settled on an inside table in the air conditioning where we witnessed a lot of runing to and fro with very little appearing to be done. In the midst of this we witnessed what were obviously our entrees being delivered to the large table next to us, and, observig the obvious bewliderment of the patrons, tried to call the waiter over to check if they were ours ... to no avail. Ten minutes later the head waiter cam to th etable to apologise because our entrees had been delivered to the worng table .. and we would ahve to wait another ten minuites.

Entrees finally arrived, then the main course farce began. The barman was helping out as waiter (the same guy who took the entrees to the worng table) and he deliverd two dishes which he announced as chicken and tofu. As we had ordered duck and pork we rejected them an dthe dishes dissappeared, Five minutes later the head waiter appeared with same dishes and informed us they were duck and pork ... hmm. After a considerable time the other dishes appeared .. but all were cold. They had obviously been sitting in the kitchen timed for arrival after our first entree - which was then delayed.

Guys you have a great chef and great food but you are being let down by your front of house.

Date of visit: January 2012
Thank Alegro43
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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