Salsa Bar & Grill
26 Wharf Street, Port Douglas QLD
07 4099 5390
Think about the word ‘salsa’ for a moment. “A collection of ingredients or music coming together to create a livelier whole” is a perfect definition, and the definition which inspired the name of Salsa Bar & Grill, which aims to do just that.
And so it has, for the last 20 years! Owners, Rhys Bawden and Bill Conway, opened Salsa Bar and Grill as their first hospitality venture, having both worked all over the world, from Australia and New Zealand to America and Switzerland. But it’s in Far North Queensland that they’re truly at home, where the rain forest meets the reef.
Salsa Bar & Grill is located directly across from the Dickson inlet, with views across the Rex Smeal Park and the Coral Sea. It’s the perfect location for a long Sunday lunch, a romantic dinner, or a wedding celebration. Salsa Bar & Grill has always prided itself on consistency, whether that’s with the food, service or cocktails.
Head Chef, Goran Zonai, began his training in Germany, where he developed an enthusiasm for cheese making. “It is a 2,000 year old process that has not been altered,” he explained. His passion for cheeses has inspired his team to create a range of decadent gourmet cheeses in-house, such as camembert with truffles, lavender infused fresh cheese, blue cheese and vine-leaf ash coasted goat’s cheese. Goran believes that if you can’t find the quality of product you want, you should know how to produce it from scratch. Goran’s 22 years experience is essential to the mentoring of his team and apprentices. “It is important that when the apprentices go elsewhere, they can say, ‘I learned that at Salsa’,” he explained with pride.
Salsa Bar & Grill sources local produce from as close as right across the river; the Daintree Chocolate they use in their desserts has an extremely short journey from producer to table! They source Red Claw Yabbies from the tablelands, barramundi from Wonga Barramundi farm, their vast selection of tropical fruit and vegetables from the tablelands and surrounding areas, local herbs from Piggy’s Herbs and shoots and sprouts from OMC microgreens.
To start, there’s the Eye Fillet Tartare with Korean chilli emulsion, panko crusted egg and apple kimchi. For the main course, try the Creole Jambalaya, made with ice, prawns, squid, yabbie, smoked chicken and crocodile sausage, or the Szechuan Salted Chicken Supreme with pumpkin pilaf, palm heart and peanut sambal. Of course, for dessert you’ll need to try the housemade cheeses, made using biodynamic farmed milk from Mugalli Creek. The cheese platter is served with walnut bread, crisp lavosh and fig conserve, and is a must for anyone dining at Salsa Bar & Grill! Or try that Daintree Estates chocolate in the chocolate and Cointreau soufflé. Or try both!