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“Cairns' best restaurant”
Review of Tamarind

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Ranked #9 of 591 Restaurants in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 12 - USD 73
Cuisines: Contemporary, Fusion
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Located in the heart of downtown Cairns, Tamarind elegantly resides within The Reef Hotel Casino. Renowned in Cairns and throughout North Queensland, this award winning restaurant offers a contemporary menu of generously portioned, Asian fusion dishes that showcase the very best in regional produce. Uncompromising technique combines with seasonally selected ingredients to deliver the Tamarind vision of what great cuisine is. The awarded wine list presents over 100 old and new world varietals, carefully selected to complement menu flavours. The house cocktail list takes inspiration from mod-Asian ingredients to deliver bespoke creations, perfect for before or after. Thai artefacts highlight tasteful decor to establish an eclectic ambiance with understated character. Professional service with relaxed delivery completes the experience. Daily degustation menu with or without tailored wine pairings is a signature offering. Brisbane Times Good Food Guide - One Chefs Hat 2014 Australian Good Food Guide - One Chefs Hat 2014 Gourmet Wine Traveller, Wine List of the Year - One Goblet 2012 Restaurant and Catering Association - Awards for Excellence 2012
Level Contributor
66 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Cairns' best restaurant”
Reviewed 2 February 2012

I've eaten in nearly every restaurant in Cairns and Tamarind is by far the best around, as long as you enjoy asian cuisine. Unlike other places in Cairns it is run by the Casino and so it is not subject to the same business vagaries as other places. It has a mainly local clientele and that means repeat business, rather than a stream of tourists who won't be seen again and so the quality of the meal is not uppermost in management's mind.

The service is consistently efficient and polite. The restaurant is well-designed so that, even when full, you can have a conversation at a normal level. The fittings are asian and the ambience is laid-back so you feel comfortable.

Tamarind's signature dish is the Penang duck, which is rich and flavoursome. The other dishes tend to be pan-asian, combining different cuisines rather than being "indian" or "thai'. The menu will not please people who don't really like asian food. The wine list is broad enough to cater to most tastes.

What I have always liked here is the professional attitude which means that you feel as if you are being treated as a respected customer and not with an over-familiar "buddiness". I still enjoy being treated with a little formality.

Visited January 2012
Thank ChrisandGardner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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724 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A fantastic restaurant. Not to be missed!”
Reviewed 1 February 2012

We were only in Cairns for 2 nights but went to Tamarind both nights as it was exceptional.The food was fresh, innovative and delicious. The yellow Penang Duck Curry was outstanding. (I am a guru of duck dishes!!!) My husband had the tofu dish (which may not sound apealing to many) but it was fabulous! There is a 2 or 3 couse menu offered at times (as well as the normal menu) which is very good value for money and gives a choice of a few dishes along with a complimentary glass of wine. The food, wine and service is fantastic! An excellent selection of wined available by the glass. Very friendly, knowledgable and obliging staff. Don't miss this place!!!

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 255060Karen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didim, Turkey
Level Contributor
87 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2012

We have been dining at Tamarind since it opened many years ago.
The food and service is always of a high standard and we have never been disappointed.
The food is a mix of asian and western cuisines. Tamarind has won many awards over the years, the latest being in 2011 for excellence. Relaxed ambience.
Highly recommend this restaurant. You won't be disappointed.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JM1609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torres Strait
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Great food”
Reviewed 20 January 2012

Breakfast was included in our stay with Pullman. Food was beautiful. And even better it was cooked fresh. Croissans were my faves!!!!! MMMMM............

Visited January 2012
Thank TorresStraitResident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“True fine dining experience - one of few restaurants in Cairns that actually exceeded expectations”
Reviewed 14 January 2012

With so many restaurants in Cairns providing below par service and offering over-priced dishes it was refreshing to go to a restaurant for the first time and for everything to be perfect from beginning to end (especially surprising since it is contained within a complex that caters mostly to tourists).

Friendly wait staff, efficient service, delicious food (chilli praline crusted quail for entree and penang curry of duck) and comfortable and tastefully decorated setting. This is now my joint favourite restaurant in Cairns (with Wink 2) and would recommend it to my family and friends when they visit. I will most certainly be returning to sample more of the menu, particularly the 5 course tasting menu and the flourless almond, orange and star anise cake (which I wasn't quite hungry enough for at the time).

Visited January 2012
1 Thank sweetpants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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