MORE of our Taste Of Time series talking to some of the longest established cafés and restaurants in the region - Words by Sharon Timms
Feed the man meat, so they say. Steak – the stuff of legend, the food of kings. Is there anything more primal than slapping a juicy hunk of steak, sirloin,
T-bone, fillet or tomahawk onto the pan or BBQ, charring its outside, leaving it delicately rosy in the middle, then rested to perfection swimming ina pool of its own delicious juices?
We thought as much.
When it comes to a good steak, choice is a big decision, simply because there are many ways to enjoy such a fine meal. A proper choice will consider at the very least the cut, the cooking style, the degree of cooking and the sauce – all very important factors in managing gustatory perfection. Waterbar and Grill is a visceral affair – so much meat served in a range of options including ribs, chicken and traditional South African sausages (amongst others). And it’s the South African part that gives the venue it’s true point of difference. Opened by South African owners, the kitchen run by South African chef Dumi Dlamini, Waterbar and Grill showcases a menu that highlights the South African and Portuguese flavours that have become synonymous with this dining institution. Waterbar and Grill is easily one of the best places in Cairns to enjoy prime beef in a prime location.
Pork rib racks basted in Waterbar’s unique Lekker sauce or Prawns Mozambique-style with chef Dumi’s special peri peri sauce. Grain-fed, aged beef is selected locally from the Atherton Tableland’s Morganbury Meat Company and is enhanced with a secret special baste developed in-house and flame-grilled to order to ensure the tender meat’s excellent texture and flavour are the highlight of the dish. The baste is painted onto the meat to add flavour and retain moisture, while caramelising as the meat cooks. Portuguese chicken and Boerewors, traditional South African sausages are a sensory overload, but the standout dish might be the Espatada: a chunky 350g rump on a hanging skewer that’s dripping with a traditional South African red wine and chilli sauce.
Okay, okay. Here at FNQ Food HQ, we’re geeks. We love numbers. So, when it was shared that Waterbar and Grill, hit the big ONE MILLION diners after just shy of 12 years of service in 2018, that got the ol’ grey matter ticking. Since opening in 2006, that’s consistently over 220 diners per day – that’s a lot of sirloins, fillets and rib-eyes. And that’s not including the chicken, seafood and vegetarian dishes also available. Although it might seem at odds for a vegetarian section on a steak house menu, it’s this flexibility that has kept Waterbar and Grill at the forefront of Cairns dining for so many years. Whilst food trends and fashion are consistent in their change, it is the venue’s commitment to consistency that has kept them busy. In the words of long-standing manager Peter Crotty, “Waterbar and Grill remains true to the core values that we started with - honest food.”
Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse
The Pier, 1 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City
Open 7 days for lunch and dinner