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“Food, service & atmosphere don't match HIGH price”

Tamarind Restaurant
Ranked #34 of 766 Restaurants in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: AU$30 - AU$200
Cuisines: Australian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, 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 3 January 2024

Ate there 3 times in 2018 and 2020 with good experiences. This review is for Christmas night 2023. 2 people had degustation menu and 1 had matching wines.

Lost 1 star for saltless and tasteless food. Dessert was too rich and too large.

Lost 1 star for being overpriced ($170 per person, $60 for matching wines per person).

Lost 1 star for lack of Christmas atmosphere and overly loud music.

Lost 1 star for unresponsive staff.

For a bill of ~$400 AUD for 2 people, we would not repeat or recommend the experience.

Date of visit: December 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank E4t3r
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 5 January 2024

Dear Eater,

Thank you for sharing your detailed feedback about your recent Christmas night experience at Tamarind. We genuinely appreciate your past visits and are grateful for your continued patronage.

We're disheartened to learn that your recent visit did not meet the high standards we aim to provide. We apologize for any disappointment caused by the taste and seasoning of the dishes, as well as the size and richness of the dessert. Your feedback regarding the pricing, Christmas atmosphere, and music volume is also valuable, and we are sorry to hear that these aspects did not contribute positively to your overall experience.

We understand your concerns about the cost, and we want to assure you that we regularly review our pricing to ensure it reflects the quality and value we strive to provide. We will also address the issues you raised about the atmosphere and staff responsiveness to improve future experiences.

We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your feedback further and learn more about your specific concerns. If you are open to it, please reach out to me ( miki.cugini@reefcasino.com.au). We value your honest input and would like the chance to make amends.

Once again, we apologize for falling short of your expectations, and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to Tamarind for a much-improved experience in the future.

Warm 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
Reviews (1,122)
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9 - 13 of 1,122 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2024

Amazing set menu package delivered excellent value and full flavour - great service too, we will definitely be back soon

Date of visit: January 2024
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Dave P
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 5 January 2024

Dear Modavep,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your positive experience with us! We're thrilled to hear that you enjoyed our set menu package, found it to be excellent value, and appreciated the full flavors. It's fantastic to know that the service met your expectations as well.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon and providing you with another delightful dining experience.

Sincerely,
Miki Cugini
Food and Beverage Manager
PULLMAN REEF HOTEL CASINO

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Reviewed 2 January 2024

Sensational service and amazing food. Highly recommend you tantalise your taste buds here. All 3 courses were just amazing

Date of visit: December 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Trish C
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 5 January 2024

Dear Trish,
Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful feedback with us! We're thrilled to hear that you had a sensational experience with our service and found the food to be amazing. It's always our goal to tantalize our guests' taste buds, and we're delighted to know that all three courses left a lasting impression.
We appreciate your kind words and look forward to serving you again soon!

Sincerely,

Miki Cugini
Food and Beverage Manager
PULLMAN REEF HOTEL CASINO

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Reviewed 28 December 2023 via mobile

I've broken up with Tamarind and am a little heartbroken. We have not eaten at Tamarind in around three years so were really excited to dine here again. We once called Tamarind ‘our restaurant’ as we just loved it so much. Unfortunately, after dining here last week, we won't be back in a hurry. The service was great but the food just let the whole experience down. Whilst nothing was terrible, all of our four dishes just lacked love. From the entrees to our mains, it was like the detail, time, flavour and care that once set Tamarind high above the rest of establishments in Cairns is now gone. My husband ordered the coral trout (has eaten this many times) and it was just meh whilst I ordered the pork hoping it would be similar to the pork dish that used to be on the menu. Unfortunately, it was as though it was thrown on the plate after being reheated in the microwave. It was really disappointing when you are paying top dollar. Bye for now Tamarind. You were once so special.

Date of visit: December 2023
Thank jilljill20
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 5 January 2024

Dear Jill,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about your recent visit to Tamarind. We genuinely appreciate your candid feedback, and we're truly sorry to hear that your experience did not meet the high standards you once associated with our restaurant.

It's disheartening to learn that the food fell short of your expectations, and we apologize for not delivering the same level of detail, time, flavor, and care that you had come to love. Your feedback is invaluable to us as it helps us identify areas for improvement.

We understand how disappointing it can be when a once-beloved place doesn't live up to cherished memories. We want to assure you that we take your comments seriously and will be reviewing our culinary processes to ensure that each dish reflects the quality and passion that Tamarind is known for.

We would appreciate the opportunity to connect with you further and discuss your experience in more detail. If you are open to it, please feel free to reach out to me ( miki.cugini@reefcasino.com.au). We value your patronage and hope to have the chance to regain your trust in the future.

Once again, we apologize for the letdown and appreciate your past support.

Warm regards,

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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
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    • 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

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

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