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Wednesday, 12 December 2007

'Sleeper' of the Year Award goes to Jardines

Although I am writing this opinion in December, I actually had this experience back in April 2007. And of all the dining experiences I have enjoyed this year, Jardine's at Cairns Colonial Club was the outstanding favourite. My expectations were for a 3 star dining experience and Jardine's delivered a 5 star night out.

It was a humid Cairns night when we pulled up out the front. We climbed the stairs and entered another world. Sitting on the Queenslander style verandah over looking subtly lit tropical gardens and sipping bubbles was a good start.

Although we were outside the temperature was cool and atmosphere comfortable and relaxing. Tables were not set too close so conversation could be animated or intimate without being overheard. Starched white cloths set the scene and the formally set tables had all the necessary glassware and cutlery for a series of courses and choices.

We had chosen to visit Jardine's to experience their degustation menu. A chance to try the menu concentrating on textures, flavours, combinations, presentation and the different things the chef wants to explore. We were not disappointed.

The chef had combined two taste size entrees, mains and desserts into each course and chosen a wine suitable to accompany each. We chose to make it a decadent night out and added a bread selection and coffee to the evening.

Everything was perfect. The food itself was interesting, flavoursome and presented beautifully. The wines were well matched and served by the glass so we didn't feel the need to over indulge. The service was exemplary with just the right combination of attentiveness and invisibility.

And then little extras that cap off a night like this...coffee came with a handmade chocolate selection, complimentary port was offered and never once did we feel encouraged to leave, although we sat and enjoyed our night til very late.

Thank you Jardine's for reviving my faith that eating can be so much more than a piece food.

I checked the Mastercard statement for the bill for this excellence and it says I paid $158.90 ...breads, three courses, coffee, choccies, four glasses of wine and port...for two people...I thought it was good value at the time, but looking back I believe it was the best value for money.

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