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“Good but not Great”

Tamarind Restaurant
Ranked #35 of 766 Restaurants in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: AU$30 - AU$200
Cuisines: Australian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Description: The pinnacle of dining at The Reef Hotel Casino is the world renowned Tamarind Restaurant. With a coveted Chef Hat award and a recipient of the World Luxury Restaurant Awards continent winner for Fusion Cuisine in Australia and Oceania, Tamarind is celebrated as Cairns’ most awarded restaurant. Treasured by locals for special occasions, Tamarind is elegant and exceptional with its exquisite dishes handcrafted from the freshest local produce. The setting, a low-lit dining room with crisp white linen tablecloths, the gentle glow of light reflecting on the timber walls, creates a sophisticated, enchanting ambience for any evening celebration. Tamarind offer a delectable menu of ‘Australian Freestyle’ cuisine. The chefs embrace cooking styles and techniques from an array of cultures. This brigade de cuisine, with their passion for food, creates a culinary experience to savour. Changing seasonally to align with the season’s harvest, the menu at Tamarind boasts only the finest in local
Reviewed 26 November 2023

Tamarind was my choice for a special birthday dinner (you only turn 70 once!). This was our 4 visit over many years, but ... I don't know that it was the right choice. The food was expertly prepared and beautifully presented (but for one choice). The prawn entree was a delicious and generous serve, as was my husband's choice of the lamb. One day I will move past the Penang Duck Curry, but I love it, and it was as good as my expectation. The Kingfish was perfectly cooked. The Macadamia & Coffee dessert was a balanced indulgence. But the cheese, ironically called "Australia's Finest Cheese Platter" was a major fail. Delivered to the table with no information : no provenance (what? where?) was given for the "local and southern sourced cheeses"; the crackers were 3 retro pieces of commercial melba toast and 5 wafers; the dried fruit was ??? a strawberry and a couple of raisins (?) and the nuts were mainly peanuts. It was the cheese platter you put together when someone unexpectedly calls by.

The service was slick and professionally polished but lacking in friendly attentiveness ... rather AI Robotic. And given that the 70th had been mentioned when making the booking, maybe I expected a little more welcome than the perfunctory, arms length service we were given. Too slick for it to be a warm experience. Also re service, I have to say, I super appreciated being asked as we were being shown to our table by the personable front-of-house if the seating was appropriate for my mobility impaired husband ... thank you, that was excellent consideration!!!

Yes, we will no doubt return when/if we are in Cairns but with lowered expectations of a fine dining experience

Date of visit: September 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank julnol
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.
Wayne Reynolds, General Manager at Tamarind Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2023

Dear Julnol,

Thank you for taking the time to write, we appreciate greatly the information provided in order to better our offerings. You are absolutely right, an explanation on the cheeses provenience and flavor profile should have been provided.

Please rest assured we will take your suggestions on board to better our service, and we are looking forward to your next visit.

Sincerely
Miki Cugini
Food and Beverage Manager
PULLMAN REEF HOTEL CASINO

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (1,123)
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14 - 18 of 1,123 reviews

Reviewed 4 November 2023 via mobile

One of the few fine dining choices in Cairns. The service and the decor is in keeping with a fine dining restaurant. So it is a pleasant experience.
The menu is interesting, however the food itself is good but not great… I felt the menu and the food was confused and seemed to be trying to be interesting and different but didn’t really hit the mark. There are other restaurants in Cairns who have simpler menus but they stay in their lane and hit the mark everytime, I just didn’t feel Tamarind did this (was my second visit as I thought maybe the first time was a one off).
Great wine list is a plus.
Overpriced in my mind based on the eating experience, however in terms of a fine dining experience and the service it is ticking some boxes there. I won’t be going back as their is much tastier and nicer food available for less money.

Date of visit: November 2023
Thank jasonmitchell108
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.
Wayne Reynolds, General Manager at Tamarind Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2023

Dear Jason,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, at Tamarind we pride ourselves with good food, service and atmosphere and I apologize for having missed the mark on the occasion.

I would love to learn more about your experience if you would like to share more, in order to review and improve on our offerings.

Sincerely
Miki Cugini
Food and Beverage Manager
miki.cugini@reefcasino.com.au
PULLMAN REEF HOTEL CASINO

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Reviewed 22 October 2023

We went to Tamarind as it was recommended by a friend. Great food, service, location and value. I would definitely go back.

Date of visit: September 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Z3777XJdonnac
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.
Wayne Reynolds, General Manager at Tamarind Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2023

Dear Jdonnac,

Thank you for taking the time to review Tamarind, we are thankful you choose to spend your occasion with us, and proud that it was a memorable one and that the team took such good care of you.
I will pass your comments to the team, they will be glad to hear. Looking forward serving you again soon.

Kind Regards,

Miki Cugini
Food and Beverage Manager
PULLMAN REEF HOTEL & CASINO

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Reviewed 15 October 2023

Delicious food served by friendly staff that went out their way to make sure everything was perfect. The decor was tasteful and the restaurant was comfortable and immaculate. The menu had lots of options and everything we tried was great including the extensive wine list.

Date of visit: September 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Roz1965
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.
Wayne Reynolds, General Manager at Tamarind Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2023

Dear Roz,

Thank you for taking the time to review Tamarind, we are thankful you choose to spend your occasion with us, and proud that it was a memorable one and that the team took such good care of you.
I will pass your comments to the team, they will be glad to hear. Looking forward serving you again soon.

Kind Regards,

Miki Cugini
Food and Beverage Manager
PULLMAN REEF HOTEL & CASINO

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2023 via mobile

This restaurant is worthy of the hype. Service is A+. Menu delightful incredible value for money with a 2 course or 3 course option. We opted for a 2 course and wow the pork belly was spectacular and the duck fat potatoes soooo good. We had the signature dessert and cheese platter again flavour plus. Thanks for a wonderful experience.

Date of visit: October 2023
Thank Julia M
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.
Wayne Reynolds, General Manager at Tamarind Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2023

Dear Julia,

Thank you for taking the time to review Tamarind, we are thankful you choose to spend your occasion with us, and proud that it was a memorable one and that the team took such good care of you.
I will pass your comments to the kitchen in regards to the food, as we have only recently launched our new menu, they will be glad to hear.

Kind Regards,

Miki Cugini
Food and Beverage Manager
PULLMAN REEF HOTEL & CASINO

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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