St Crispins Cafe Port Douglas
With the announcement that Taste Port Douglas will be filling the calendar in August I was reminded of a very recent visit up north along the scenic highway culminating in lunch at St Crispins Cafe in Port Douglas. Billed as Port’s best kept secret, this delightful outdoor venue occupies what was once a station on the delightfully named Bally Hooley rail line, a legacy of former sugar cane trade. Sadly the train is no longer, but St Crispins remains an unmissable visit for those in search of fine fayre and fantastic location. The cafe is well organised, order at the counter and meals find their way from the kitchen to your table via a team of well mannered and well kempt wait staff. The venue is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 7.30am to 2.00pm and the menu covers off this period with a number of breakfast, brunch and lunch options. Presentation is sharp and well planned and of particular mention would be the Creamy Saffron and Prawn Risotto, a current special with a recommended pairing for a natty medium-dry French Rosé which bolsters the short but effective wine list. Also, and my personal choice, the homemade rosti, which comes stashed on wilted spinach with avocado, pesto, poached egg, tomato salsa and hollandaise. This dish is proof positive of how things can be produced with simple elegance and taste in mind, and show up the lack of imagination that can be found elsewhere. It was perhaps the angle of the sun, glinting of the water below the deck, or gentle breeze from the landscaped gardens opposite, or the well presented and delivered food, wine and very good coffee, but this place is a cut above and, perhaps controversially, I would like to personally out them from their secret status!