Words by Sharon Timms
Port Douglas is not shy of places to eat. From beachside cafes and casual diners all the way through to smart and sophisticated hot spots and iconic fine diners, there is no danger of anyone ever going hungry in this town. Although excellent places to nosh are found all over the place, it’s the affectionately-named ‘Eat Street’ where diners flock to feast.
In the middle of Wharf Street, flanked by good food, drink and reputation in every direction, is the new hot spot Melaleuca. Those familiar with this area will recognise the fairy lights in the mango tree and the welcoming wrap-around veranda where it’s so easy to sit and ponder over menus and life. The spot once occupied by the well-loved Harrisons and the Living Room (and Catalina, for those of us going way back in time) holds a multitude of memories of good times.
Owner and chef Adam Ion’s reputation for fine dining in North Queensland was cemented during his tenure as head chef at the award winning 2Fish restaurant. Earning his stripes in the kitchen and on the pans, it’s clear this passion has been reflected in his own entrepreneurial venture - Melaleuca has recently won the Best New Restaurant category for Queensland at the Savour Australia excellence awards just four months after opening.
“It’s such an honour, and great to be part of an exciting time with Melaleuca. We want to acknowledge our amazing management team and all staff, without them it would not be possible,” Adam says.
Adam’s partner in life and business, Nahmee, also has a background rich in hospitality, and brings her own brand of energy to the space.
“Together we have always had a passion for dining experiences and have dreamt of going it alone for a long time,” Adam said. “We’ve always loved this venue and now we have the opportunity to create something both we and the locals can be proud of.”
Open all day for lunch through to light snacks in the afternoon followed then dinner, hungry diners will be able to browse through an array of classic brunch dishes that include locally sourced eggs and bacon, house baked sourdough, small plate snacks that encourage long-day lazing, and a
smart dinner menu where Adam’s cheffing chops are well represented alongside his British heritage and classically trained skills.
Overall, Melaleuca is a space where tropical produce is highlighted, and through the skills of a talented and newly minted award-winning chef, this is a restaurant that has the chance to represent itself through its main events: carefully curated food and good times.
Melaleuca 22 Wharf Street, Port Douglas