Matt Wenden

Whet Restaurant

Whet your appetite!

For most of us, the distance between a dream and the reality is so vast we are content to enjoy the fantasy and leave the actualisation to someone else!  Not so for Matt and Michelle Wenden, who together in 2007, set about making their dream of creating a restaurant in the rainforest come true.

Built entirely by the Wendens over almost two years, Whet Restaurant at Cape Tribulation took shape with imagination, determination and a whole lot of love.  A love of food, sweet juicy tropical food and a love of place, somewhere so stunning and remote that once-upon-a-pre-pandemic-time visitors travelled from all over the globe for a chance to experience the exceptional natural beauty of this superlative destination, the meeting place of two UNESCO World Heritage listed locations.

A fully self-sustained, off-grid operation, Whet Restaurant is the epitome of unique dining with an emphasis on local produce and fresh flavours.  Their seafood is hauled just offshore and on the property you’ll find mangoes, jaboticabas, sapodillas, lychees and mangosteens growing in their tropical fruit orchard.  These seasonal fruits feature throughout the menu, particularly in their desserts, and they make for the most tantalising cocktails to enjoy on the outdoor deck.

“Most of our seafood is from right here. The yellowfin tuna comes from here and the barramundi is from the bay just along,” Matt says.

“And then our vegetables, we generally source them from the Atherton Tablelands.”

The journey into the restaurant has seen Matt leave behind his career as a landscape gardener to follow his passion and along the way he has worked alongside, and learned from, some of the best in the business as he discovered his own flair with food.

Matt’s food style leans toward modoz, and the showcasing of the abundance of local ingredients. Plates are a delight to behold, presented with a panache that would be at home on the high street and do nothing that would indicate anything of the logistical challenges of comparative jungle remoteness.

“Michelle brings back supplies from Cairns, along with our usual deliveries, and on the whole, there isn't anything we can’t get, it just requires planning ahead!” says Matt.

Serving lunch and dinner, the menu at Whet has an eclectic Asian influence while also boasting specialty dishes such as pork belly and scallop duet, the pork belly with a delicious orange glaze and the scallops with a cumin coconut dressing to complement.  Choose also from scrumptious salads, or spice things up with an exotic curry or buddha bowl.

As a destination restaurant, Whet is a perfect choice for celebration events, catering for up to 100 guests and providing a unique and unforgettable experience of the Daintree.

Whet Restaurant
3867 Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation
4098 0007

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