43 Shields Street, Cairns QLD
07 4051 0100
Some chefs pride themselves on one signature dish. It’s what they’re best known for and it’s a great way to show off their particular interests and talents. Craig Squire, on the other hand, has created his signature cuisine. A pioneer in the ‘green food’ movement, Craig, (who has been added to the North Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame for his contributions to the local food scene) works tirelessly to provide his guests with a legendary dining experience featuring local produce, and Australian native foods and knowledge.
As well as running Cairns’ most awarded restaurant, Craig has dedicated his time to help establish Australian Tropical Foods, a Government-sponsored industry group dedicated to promoting the regional food industry. This has culminated in the launch of Taste Paradise, tropical north Queensland’s own regional food brand, which showcases the best of the region’s abundant bounty. The Taste Paradise logo next to the dishes on Ochre’s menu lets you know that the ingredients that make up that dish have been sourced locally.
Craig takes sustainability and being environmentally friendly very seriously. To him, this means looking at what Australia has to offer diners; looking beyond just beef and chicken to crocodile, emu, and kangaroo, whose soft paws don’t damage the earth like cow’s hooves do, and who use up very little natural resources (and who don’t add back toxic methane to the atmosphere!) These sustainable meats are paired with traditional bush tucker such as fresh finger limes, lemon aspen, lemon myrtle and bush tomatoes to give visitors and locals a true taste of Australia.
The extensive menu features such favourites as chargilled kangaroo sirloin, served with quandong chilli glaze, sweet potato fritter and pak choi in Hoi Sin sauce, and the salt and native pepper leaf crocodile and prawns with Vietnamese pickles and lemon aspen sambal. Or try the wallaby topside, saltbush slow roasted, with cauliflower couscous, baby vegetables, carrot purée, bush tomato and balsamic glaze.
Ochre also offers platters for those wanting a taste of everything – choose from the Australian game platter, the seafood platter, the vegetarian tasting plate, or the Taste of Australia 4 course set menu.
The extensive wine list features exclusively Australian wines, from the old favourites to some classic varieties that have had limited attention in Australia, such as Tempranillo or Barbera. There are the established institutions of the Australian wine industry next to emerging and boutique wines that aren’t easy to find elsewhere.
It’s imperative that you leave room for dessert; these desserts have the critics raving. Try the wattle seed pavlova, blood orange sorbet and macadamia biscotti, or the tropical trifle – mango jelly, lemon myrtle mousse, seasonal fruits, biscuit and galangal sorbet.
Dining at Ochre Restaurant is an educational experience as well as a world-class meal out. It’s a chance to really get to know the bush foods and native produce that grow in our backyard. The spices and fruits used perfectly flavour the native meats, freshest seafood, premium beef, pork and poultry that are sourced locally – this is the authentic Australian dining experience.