Wrasse & Roe

by Kirsty Nancarrow

If anyone knows the secret to restaurant success in Port Douglas, its Andy Gray, owner and head chef of Wrasse & Roe.

The restaurateur has called the tropical tourist mecca home for the past 20 years, lured by its fabulous weather, relaxed lifestyle and proximity to the World Heritage listed reef and rainforest.

Chef Andy’s ridden the boom of international tourism and survived the bust of the global financial crisis and pandemic, leading the kitchen at the award winning Two Fish before opening the highly regarded bel cibo & operating that successfully for 12 years until it was closed by flooding from the apartment above in January 2020.

“The opportunity came up to lease the premises that we’re in now at Coconut Grove, it was the perfect space to renovate and launch Wrasse & Roe in 2021 to showcase the region’s amazing local produce,” Chef Andy said.

Wrasse & Roe is at the end of cosmopolitan Macrossan Street, close enough to Four Mile Beach to catch the sea breeze in the afternoon, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a local gin or a cold beer and contemplate doing nothing for the rest of the day.

Its turquoise furnishings and splashes of colour are a nod to the Great Barrier Reef and add to the relaxed dining experience.

“We limit the amount of guests, we’re not trying to push through as many covers as we can, we’ve got large tables with plenty of space and we’re focused on a great dining experience,” Chef Andy said.

If you’ve spent the morning at the beach and missed lunch, or arrived in Port Douglas around check-in time and can’t wait for dinner, Wrasse & Roe has you covered.

The restaurant is open between 2-10pm seven days a week, offering an ‘afternoon selections’ menu.

“It can be difficult to get something to eat between 2-4pm in Port Douglas, with most restaurants closing between lunch and dinner service, so you can come and enjoy a few lighter selections at Wrasse & Roe in the afternoon that won’t ruin your appetite for dinner,” Chef Andy said.

With a cold glass of Australian or New Zealand wine in hand, settle in with some seared scallops, cauliflower and truffle oil puree, crisp pancetta and burnt butter sauce, a confit duck salad with peppered currant and macadamia crumble, soft shell crab bao buns, a chilled bucket of prawns or classic fish and chips.

Dinner selections are a perfect marriage of flavours, allowing the exceptional freshness and quality of the produce to shine.

Popular choices include baked Gulf of Carpentaria bugs with a fragrant coconut laksa, tamarind and sticky soy glazed beef cheeks and the bountiful seafood marinara linguine.

Interstate guests can’t get enough of the premium quality fresh reef fish landed not far offshore, and delectable Far North Queensland mud crabs, tossed through chilli or presented Singapore-style with a black pepper.

“At the heart of every dish served at Wrasse & Roe is a passion to make our sustainably harvested seafood the hero on your plate,” Andy said.

He carefully considers the finest seasonal ingredients to complement the day’s catch and guests regularly say it’s the best seafood they’ve had in years.

If you have a sweet tooth and want to keep the party going, try one of Wrasse and Roe’s delicious Dessert Cocktails.

Among them you will find the Apple Pie – a delicious concoction featuring hartshorn vanilla whey liqueur and vodka shaken with apple juice, and the Wrasse & Roe Ice, a refreshing blend of lemoncello and vodka over vanilla ice cream.

The combination of premium seafood cooked by a true expert, a relaxed dining experience and exceptional, knowledgeable staff has earned Wrasse & Roe a coveted Chef’s Hat in the 2023 Australian Good Food Guide, following a Reader’s Choice Award in 2022.

Look out for the new menu and put Wrasse & Roe on your bucket list for your next visit to paradise.


Leave a reply