Turtle Rock Cafe, Cape Tribulation 06-2022

On our final morning, before the drive to Palm Cove, we had effectively run out of home breakfast options. Given we were flying to Lizard Island the next morning, it wasn't necessary to get more muesli and milk. A quick local search found the Turtle Rock Cafe, with its outdoor/covered seating areas, and even a pool table and table tennis table that would have been a nice way to waste a few evening hours had we discovered it earlier.

- Vegetarian Brekky Roll (hash brown, avo, haloumi, tomato chutney, aioili sauce) $13.5
- Pie

Mason's Cafe, Cape Tribulation 06-2022

On a warm day (which is probably most days) up at Cape Tribulation in the Daintree, there's a few options. Obviously there's the ocean, but inland there are the swimming holes at Emmagen Creek and Mason's Swimming Hole.

Emmagen Creek is well rated, and we tried to get there with our very small hired Suzuki Swift. Although the start was promising, it turns into an offload. A short partway through, we were passed in the opposite direction by a huge number of utes. One of them stopped and told us our plans to continue on that road weren't reasonable (or stupid even). Given the slow speed we were going and the huge holes ahead, we smartly turned around.

Surprisingly (or maybe not to some people), we went to nearby Mason's instead. After an actually delicious lunch, the swimming hole was very pleasant too. Not busy, warm enough, reasonable entry spots into the water, and some fish swimming around too. Very nice.

- Emu burger - a low fat, distinctly drier type of beef mince, with a slight game flavour;
- Crocodile burger (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, seafood sauce) $24 - like a moist, chunky chicken mince;
- Black sapote smoothie - texture like creamy avocado, with a chocolate taste. Unique and delicious.

Lots of crunchy fries accompanied in typical Queensland fashion. Overall I thought this was a delicious meal and would happily go back for food, being one of the fewer places that serves game meat, and also a nice pleasant swim.

Daintree Ice Cream Company 06-2022

The tropics of Queensland mean you can sample the fruit that I normally associate with South-East Asia but in Australia. Although having said that, finding tropical fruit itself to buy and eat fresh was very challenging and few places sold it, which was a shame.

At least this place has some nice options for local gelato flavours.

The signature cup is a bargain at 4 scoops/flavours for $7.5.

Wattleseed tasted similar to almond/hazelnut. Jackfruit had an overripe sweetness to it. Coconut was only mild but with a more distinct aftertaste. Passionfruit was ok and a bit tangy. Overall creamy gelato.

Soursop lemonade sorbet more watery.

Would go back for the generally good quality and interesting flavours.

The Court House Hotel, Port Douglas 06-2022

After a night of eating pretty tasty Indian food, the 2nd night at Port Douglas was a toss up for seafood. We tried Seabean Tapas but they were full and their paella is expensive. Melaleuca looked more upmarket but no particularly unusual seafood items and also expensive. The rest of the places seemed much of a muchness, and we settled on The Court House as it was large enough to not be full, the promise of live music, and also the menu looked alright.

- Courty Seafood Plate (grilled barramundi, green lip mussels, QLD scallops, coconut prawns, lemon pepper calamari, chilled smoked salmon, oysters, whole prawns, chips & dipping sauces) $55.

I have to admit it was quite an underwhelming meal. Tiger prawns were good and oysters sweet. Scallops were overcooked, shriveled, tiny and tasteless. Fish was a slim cut and well overcooked. Coconut prawns fried until too dark. Great chips as everywhere in Queensland. Slaw standard.

Wouldn't come back. Or at least wouldn't order it again.

Lucky Fish, Palm Cove 06-2022

After arriving in Cairns airport and picking up our rental vehicle, the first stop was a drive to Palm Cove. It was a very windy afternoon and the lovely beach was offset somewhat by blustery winds and sand. But like all good beach areas, there has to be a fish and chippery.

They have a simple menu but one that allows fish (battered, grilled or crumbed) and a small selection of fresh local fish to pick from.

The first time was a classic battered barramundi $20. The fish had good flavour and did not have a strong fishy sense. The chips were really excellent - something I soon discovered to be a constant in Queensland. Super salad (kale, broccolini, mint, avocado, quinoa, pepitas, sunflower seeds, Spanish onion, tahini dressing) $14 was nice and balanced. Kaffir lime aioli $2.5 wasn't that necessary but a bit of balance.

The second time a week later, I decided to try the meal deal Lucky Box (battered fish, lime pepper calamari, crumbed prawn cutlets, chips) $33. I wanted to try crumbed fish as something different to battered and they were happy to accommodate. There was a huge amount of coral trout (4 pieces) although I think they were fried a bit long given the colour. It didn't taste burnt at least though. In hindsight it was too much crumb fried in one box, and so battered would have been better to stick to. And given the first visit, battered is better there overall.

Good Luck Dim Sum, San Francisco 08-2021

Given the large Asian population in SF, we thought dim sum would be nice but didn't want to spend too long our last day in a restaurant. And by the time we went for lunch at 2.15pm, there wasn't a whole lot left of the day. We walked our catch to Immigrant Point Lookout, enjoyed a breezy outdoor lunch, then caught some final glimpses of the GGB before catching the bus back.

Foodwise, obviously quality was harder to assess given takeaway and 30mins later, but adequate. And the price couldn't be beaten really.

Halal Dastarkhan, San Francisco 08-2021

San Francisco has changed a lot since my last visit in 2011. Or maybe I have. Or both.

2011 was staying near the Ferry building, going to Fisherman's Wharf and riding bikes along to the Golden Gate Bridge. 2021 was staying near Union Square, surrounded by homelessness, drug addicts, and people peeing/pooing in plain sight on the street. How it has all turned.

Anyway, from a food point of view I was delighted to find an Uzbek place on Google mapsnear the hostel. And visiting Russia turned on my palate to Uzbek food (https://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/depo-moscow-and-batman-and-uzbeks-moscow-06-2019https://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/uchkuduk-st-petersburg-06-2019).

There were so many items I wanted to try; lamb, rice and noodles in all their forms. But alas there is only limited stomach space and nowhere to store leftovers.

- Beef somsa (crunchy bun stuffed with lamb, onion, spices) USD6
- Manti (central Asia style dumpling, ground beef, flour, onions, spices) USD18
- Sofi osh (lamb, carrots, onion, rice, raisins, chickpeas, garlic, cumin, black pepper) USD15

Not better than what I had in Russia, but very good nonetheless.