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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Cafe Lumiere

Kitchenslut finally threw off his reclusive torpor and recovering from a lingering swinely flu wandered down to the inaugural Cairns event for Chevaliers du cep at the excellent little French Cafe Lumiere on the boardwalk in front of Harbour Blights. This is somewhere I have been meaning to try for dinner for a while with it's very Parisian black and white seating evoking memories of last years French sojourn.

Cairns is now well served for French food with the long established C'est Bon still going strong down in Lake St. This is a welcome revival as the influence of French cuisine in Australia seemed to have faded from its eminent position a few decades ago to be replaced by 'modern' cuisine or Italian Trattoria with a rather boring sameness to their offereings. It's also interesting that Alliance Francais is now quite active in Cairns promoting French language and culture.

Cafe Lumiere can be strongly recommended with great food and service so get down there and give it a try!

Update March 2010: Cafe Lumiere has ceased trading for dinner and we can only hope this is not permanent and that it will return later in the year .......

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Goings and Comings

The Compost featured the closure of Verdi's on the front page this week. It may be an icon for many with long memories of it's early days but has never been a favorite of mine. Perhaps i'm biased by experiences and perceptions of it as a haunt of some of the sleazier elements of the Cairns business boys club who splashed some grand sums of money there in their heyday.

Compost suggested there had been three high profile closures however my list of goings would now be Verdi’s, Del Sapore, Ti Adora, Salted Vue/Chocolat and Mangostin’s . The Courthouse and Lake Eacham Hotels also have closed. For at least some of these it must be suspected that issues beyond simply the slowdown in tourism have been critical.

There have however been some comings. The disappointing aspect is how many of the newer places opening are franchise chains near the Esplanade block as the place moves downmarket to shopping centre foodhall status. Subway, Nandos, Outback Jack’s, Gloria Jeans and Jamaica Joes. At Jamaica Joes I was served the most awful lamb shank ever experineced, presented in a kitch style on a bed of mashed potato with wet 'boarding school' veges.

It now looks like a Chinese franchise opening in Aplin St where the Swordfish seafood place used to be, and was Boydy’s before that, a site with a record of failure that has spent most of its time closed over recent years.

I should also note that Michelangelo's Italian did open to replace the short lived Del Sapore. Also noted this week was that there work progressing to finally open the Chocolat cafe site on Grafton under the name Cocoa Amour. Interesting as well that Kani's has an application for a 3am licence and entertainment on the outdoor balcony.

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