Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sicilian mafia pizza?

Noted in the Compost business section that the tentacles of Capital Globe, associated with ex-mayor Kevin Byrne, are soon to extend into our stomach! The previous site of The Big Apple Cafe on the corner of Abbott and Shields will soon be the 'Avenue 8' with New York style Pizza. Just what we need to join the growing throng of franchised mediocrities in the vicinity?

The plan is apparently to cater to a local clientele although KS is aware of many locals who will be disappointed that the adjacent Jesters Cafe will go to make way for KB's pizza shop. Kitchenslut still hasn't recovered from the demise of the excellent little Java Joes some years ago now to make way for another Hedley edifice of architectural blandness.

The 'Avenue 8' franchise name reported is curious as the Capital Globe franchise pizza parlours in the US and Asia go under the 'Avenue A' name. Capital Globes slender slice of the global pizza market is held through a strategic interest in the Sun Valley Group domiciled in The Bahamas.

A browse through the Avenue A menu doesn't reveal anyting which would pull the Kitchenslut through the door however his interest was piqued by the new Sicilian Mafia pizza offering. Maybe they could do an opening special of a Sicilian Mafia with a Big Kev pork fat pizza topping? Should be an apt combination!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Well Salted

You beat me to it Dutchie, but yes the post was intended as a commentary on Salt House as well as the reopening last week of the old Salted Vue as Salt Temple. Lots of salt being sprinkled around out there!

Salt House is an interesting and innovative venue. Kitchenslut has heard similar negative feedback on the food to Dutchie's experience (see comments). I have only had lunch there once and while I couldn't complain about the standard of the food I could about the value. $34 for a boullabaise lunch main seems high in the current climate and I can't say it's value for money. It was actually quite tasty but the seafood content at that price for lunch just wouldn't bring me back compared to some of the nearby lunch deals at The Pier.

They have been fortunate to have opened into the peak season and fine weather however i'm not sure they will get away with those food prices when the seasons turn and the novelty has worn off. The high food prices don't seem to extend to the bar area where wine by the glass is quite reasonable and comes in a decent serving with the Salt House logo as a measuring guide.

However i'm not sure how well this outside area will work on a steamy hot wet season day. The trees in the rear section are still immature and protection against wind and rain may not be all it should be?! I can also see it being rather hot there in summer. The rear bar area with it's layout for live entertainment is a welcome innovation.

Just some quick notes on the run because Dutchie beat me to it and will enhance later. I havent been to the newly reopened Salt Temple yet but will try and get there soon and be interested in any feedback. As I understand the format and pricing seems to be pretty much the same as the old Salted Vue?

Monday, 10 August 2009

Regional Food and Tourism Strategy

Coming soon ....

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Hanuman is in the Cairns Hilton and is independently operated. Jimmy Shu has brought Hanuman to Cairns following the success and reputation of his Hanuman's in Darwin and Alice Springs. Hanuman defines its cuisine as Thai, Indian, Nonya.

Kitchenslut headed down there with a lovely lady formerly resident in Darwin who was salivating at the prospect of being reaquainted with the signature hanuman oysters. A relaxing vino at Salt House was an ideal palate primer before wandering along the boardwalk for our oyster fix. Mmmmm yum ..... is that enough info?

We took the waiter up on his recommendation of the crispy whole fish ($25.90) and shared this along with a red curry of duck ($23,50). My accomplice reliably selecting duck from a menu whenever available. The fish was exceptional; served upright the waiter then skillfuly filleted the fish at the table, perfect for those intimidated by a whole fish or with a phobia for bones. We couldn't help but explore the remaining skeleton with our forks to ensure none of the succulent flesh remained (note: sucking fish heads in an establishment such as the hilton is not a good look).

We didn't try the dessert menu as the portions were quite adequate. Service was excellent and din't let the experience down as it does so often in Cairns.

Definitely a top ten and also good value for the quality! The Hanuman website provides comprehensive info on menu and prices and also includes some recipes including the oysters!

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