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“The best in Cairns”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Tamarind

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Ranked #9 of 596 Restaurants in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $73
Cuisines: Contemporary, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Located in the heart of downtown Cairns, Tamarind elegantly resides within The Reef Hotel Casino. Renowned in Cairns and throughout North Queensland, this award winning restaurant offers a contemporary menu of generously portioned, Asian fusion dishes that showcase the very best in regional produce. Uncompromising technique combines with seasonally selected ingredients to deliver the Tamarind vision of what great cuisine is. The awarded wine list presents over 100 old and new world varietals, carefully selected to complement menu flavours. The house cocktail list takes inspiration from mod-Asian ingredients to deliver bespoke creations, perfect for before or after. Thai artefacts highlight tasteful decor to establish an eclectic ambiance with understated character. Professional service with relaxed delivery completes the experience. Daily degustation menu with or without tailored wine pairings is a signature offering. Brisbane Times Good Food Guide - One Chefs Hat 2014 Australian Good Food Guide - One Chefs Hat 2014 Gourmet Wine Traveller, Wine List of the Year - One Goblet 2012 Restaurant and Catering Association - Awards for Excellence 2012
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
220 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“The best in Cairns”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

Cairns has many great restaurants, but lack the service in my opinion. However this little gem is tucked away in the Casino and the service is by far the best I have had in Cairns. I dont think the menu is overpriced especially in comparison to others, and for a fancy restaurant the meal sizes are quite large.
My recommendations: tasting plate (is a must) and the tenderloin and a great glass of red.
Make sure you book ahead and sit back and enjoy!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Travelgypsyisme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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711 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
123 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Degustation menu is a rip off - amateur hour”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

Hadn't been for a while and wanted to entertain out of town guests. Food has always been good and weren't disappointed on this occasion, but typical of a Cairns restaurant the service was amateur hour. We were all keen to try to the 7 course 'degustation menu' accompanied by the matching wines. This is something we normally do at lots of special occasion restaurants as it is so hard to choose when the menu is so yummy. I asked the waitress if the sommelier comes and explains the wine selections which accompany each course and was told that 'the supervisor called in sick tonight so we have no-one that can do that'. So for $150 per head it is a rip off. The enjoyment for us by choosing this way of dining is so that you can try wines that you wouldn't normally order and learn about why the wine was chosen to accompany each dish. Educational, fun and a bit different. We chose not to order from that menu as you weren't getting what you paid for. They don't have a sommelier.

We ordered a bottle of french bubbles to accompany the tasting platter - lovely. For the main we ordered a bottle of wine that was $140. When it was bought out to the table the waitress politely explained that they didn't have the vintage that was on the wine list but they had this one (which was 2 years younger). When we asked her the price of that particular bottle - being a bottle of wine that was 2 years younger, she looked at us in amazement and said it was the same as on the menu $140! We all smiled and resigned ourselves to the fact that yes, this is Cairns so we ordered it. The wine was tasted by 3 out of 4 guests on the table and it was agreed that the wine was corked. We requested the wine list to re-order. The waitress was outwardly furious to us and went back behind the bar in full view of the dining room and let her colleagues know. She didn't serve us for the rest of the evening.

I still can't fault the food. The bill for the four of us was $500+ which we don't mind paying and we wish more people came to Cairns and spent up in our restaurants but c'mon Tamarind, don't try and be something you aren't. You aren't in Crown, Mandarin, Star etc . You don't have a celebrity moniker above the door, just stick to doing great food and don't try and emulate the big boys. It's embarassing. We chose a suburban restaurant the next night, Linga Longa and our guests commented how much more they enjoyed that better.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank jane_oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vicki L, Manager at Tamarind, responded to this review, September 19, 2012
Dear Jane_oz,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent experience with us at Tamarind. While it is pleasing to read that our food exceeded your expectations, it is disappointing that the service did not on this occasion.

While we do not have a qualified sommelier on hand, we do empower our staff with the skills and knowledge to talk with guests about our wines. Your review has highlighted clearly that there are some staff in need of further training on our standards and procedures with respect to this, which I can assure you will be rectified in the very near future. I apologise for the unacceptable response you were given. We pride ourselves on the usually high level of service we deliver and ability to customise the experience to each individual guest and it is a shame you did not get the opportunity to experience this.

Regarding the wine, our list is currently under review and being updated to correct any vintage discrepancies. The inappropriate reaction you received from your waitress will be addressed with the individual.

Our apologies once again that the service your received fell well below the usual standards. I would be more than happy to discuss this with you further. Should you wish to do so, please contact me on 07 4030 8736.

Kind regards

Vicki Levin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Noosaville, Australia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Delicious Asian-style food, great service.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

A stylish restaurant with an elegant atmosphere. The food is Asian style "with a twist", very tasty, beautifully presented and served. Wine selections are excellent and a recommendation to try the "flight" of three wines to go with the food worked very well.
Booking is recommended as the restaurant is popular and fills rapidly.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank NeddyR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
75 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Great food & service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

A lovely restaurant that offers a very mouth watering menu. Great service in a good location. Very well looked after by the staff. A good space in between tables so that you are not on top of other diners. Good lighting so that you can see what you are eating but at the same time very intimate. Would recommend.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Zara58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“5stars isn't enough”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012 via mobile

If you go to cairns you MUST go to the Tamarind. Beautiful Thai cuisine. We had the tasting plate starter and were very excited for the rest of the meal. The balance of flavours was perfect. We shared mains with our good friends. The whole deep fried barra, duck curry, tiger prawns and beef cheeks were superb. We took our own wine and with $20 corkage we were happy. The service is really special. The wait staff are very professional but warm and friendly too. Nothing too much trouble and with a smile. Congratulations to all involved with this 6 star food service.

Thank Vanessaaussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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