Sunday, March 5, 2017
Salsa Bar & Grill, Port Douglas
All right this one is about Salsa Bar and Grill. Now when you hear the name, you’d probably be thinking if this is a Mexican joint. One of the top rated restaurant in Port Douglas, this one specializes into sea food and modern Australian cuisine. Now on our first night at Port Douglas, we walked and walked and confuse what to have. There are probably the highest density of high end restaurants and that too into Italian, Seafood and Modern Australian cuisine- more than any other tourist place in Australia.
Eventually, with all the confusion and the walking, we decided to check out the popular one Salsa. Now, initially there were no seats available as we didn’t have a reservation- so a must for tourists- please do make reservations as this place can get really busy. Décor wise, very good. Light colored and open front makes it a very nice comfortable relaxing place. The staff is great. Very cordial friendly and informative. We looked through the menu and started with direct mains. Now mind you, this is a pricy restaurant, about $$$ out of $$$$. Most of the entrees are about $20. Now while we had to wait and come back again for getting a table, we had ended up at the nearby pub for a few pints and cheesy garlic bread. So we opted directly into the mains. We ordered two dishes- one which was a fish- a local catch. I opted for the chicken dish. For sides we ordered the Szechwan peppered chat potatoes.
Now to begin with the chicken dish- it was called the Ballotine of chicken – with ricoota gnudi, speck, Brussel sprounts bonne femme. It had crispy skinned chicken breast, finely cut into two pieces, layered with diced chat potatoes, brussel sprouts, and a branch of green peppercorn. Well to begin with, the presentation was fantastic and what you’d expect from top end restaurant.Next, the chicken was cooked immaculately, not too much to make it too dry and not too little to make it raw. It was juicy. The skin was crisp and great at well. There was a bit of a sauce on the plate- which was slightly sweet. Now to be honest, while it was cooked perfectly, I wondered if it could have been more flavorsome. You know what I mean- it checks all the boxes of quality, presentation etc. but it make you wish for something more. And that was when I had a few of the green peppercorns and realized, this completed the dish. The green peppercorn spring, as you plucked off a few, they were moderate hot and it balanced the chicken, potatoes and slightly sweet sauce that came with it. So all in all a good dish. Would I have it again? May be, or may be try something new.
The fish which was on the specials was also pretty good. Served on a white plate with snow peas and asparagus steamed on the base. The two pieces of fresh local fish, pan fried and placed on top of the asparagus, topped with a sort of red tomato sauce. Again, presentation was amazing. The fish was fresh and my friend loved it. There were a few baby tomatoes, some tomato relish on the top and a few snow peas. Overall, the dish looked great, fresh local fish which tasted awesome as well.
For sides, we ordered the Szechuan peppered chat potatoes. Now this was a bit of a disappointment. Purely because of what I expected vs what I got. For me I thought it would be spicy, more with a Szechaun sauce or something. This turned out to be okayish types. Didn’t really impress me.
Along side we had a Mango Nut Cockatail. Malibu, Frangelico and Mango, belnded with coconut cream. Looked wow. My Take, I wish it was a bit sweeter and a bit stronger.
Overall, it’s a good place to be in Port Douglas. The food is fresh. Sea food is the speciality, really fresh. The presentation of dishes is spectacular. Service is great. All in all, it’s a good bar and grill, if you are after some classy fare of grilled modern Australian cuisine.
Personally, I am a more of a person who loves more pronounced flavors in my eating, and this place for me was about an average. Sometimes even with the best presentation and fine dine you still wish for a little bit more, and that was me. I liked the food, I’d definitely recommend this place to try out once.
Salsa Bar & Grill
26 Wharf Street,
Port Douglas QLD 4877
+61 7 4099 4922