I have just returned from a four day trip to Airlie Beach on the Whitsunday Coast in Queensland. It was absolutely marvellous, and I wasn't keen on coming back. I have posted some of the lovely scenic shots here on my travel blog.
Here, I will share with you some of the great places that Tim and I ate at while at Airlie Beach.
The first establishment of note is the Whitsunday Sailing Club, where you eat out on a wide shaded wooden verandah with the view at the top of this post, overlooking the water and the boats. This place was so good, we went back twice. Both times, I accompanied my meal with a glass of Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Grenache Rose:
It was cold, pink and fruity - what more could a girl want?
You order here by choosing from the menu and going up to the bar to order.
My favourite meal of the trip was this calamari salad ($17.50) at the Sailing Club:
The calamari is lightly spiced and seared, and rests on a bed of salad with a tangy dressing. On the side comes a pot of spicy, chilli flavoured sauce.
Tim went the beer battered fish and chips option:
It apparently tasted as delicious as it looks, and was very generous in size.
On my second trip to the Whitsunday Sailing Club, I ordered the minute steak with salad and chips ($11.50):
The steak was cooked to perfection and was also delicious, although it did not beat the calamari. (Tim went for the calamari on our second visit.)
On our second night at Airlie Beach, we dined at Airlie Thai, again overlooking the water at Airlie Beach.
For starters, we ordered the coconut prawns:
These were crisp and crunchy, and were served with a side of sweet chilli sauce.
For main course, I ordered the ginger and shallot stir fry with chicken:
and Tim ordered the Thai green curry:
Both meals were quite good. The Canadian waitress wins extra points for being so friendly and attentive. (This was in stark contrast to the Chinese establishment across the way, where I had to approach the girl behind the counter to get her to look up from her texting to ask for a table, and who gave us such a lacklustre and disinterested response that we left without ordering.)
A great place to eat at Airlie Beach is Mangrove Jacks Cafe and Bar, attached to the Airlie Beach Hotel. The food here was also good enough for us to eat here twice. There are no water views at Mangrove Jacks (it overlooks the road), but it had the advantage that we were there during Queensland Schoolies Week; unlike southern schoolies, Queensland schoolies are mostly under age, so we were not competing for space and atmosphere with the schoolies, as Mangrove Jacks is a licensed establishment where the schoolies could not enter unaccompanied.
Mangrove Jacks is proud of its wood fired pizzas. Although we did not order pizza, we ordered a close cousin, the tomato, basil and cheese bread (~$8.00):
This was a great starter, as it was tasty but light, leaving room for the very generous mains.
On my first visit to Mangrove Jacks, I had the pasta puttanesca ($19.90) - I didn't take a photo of it, but it had a lovely rich tomato sauce and was generously studded with olives.
On our second visit, Tim ordered the barramundi, served with potato mash, tartare sauce and salad (~$27):
All I can say is wow! This serve was enormous. Tim managed to get through it, but we had been on a half day hike that day, so had worked up an appetite.
I ordered the Thai beef salad (~$19.00):
I loved the sesame beef with crunchy noodles, salad and tangy lime-based dressing.
If you still have room, Mangrove Jacks serves coffee and cake for $7.50. They had a very nice looking cheesecake that I eyed up wistfully.
The service was prompt and attentive, although this is another establishment where, after being shown to your table, you order at the bar.
For breakfast each day, Tim and I ate cereal and fruit on the balcony of our apartment overlooking the marina at Port of Airlie:
Not bad, eh?
You don't go to Airlie Beach for the food, but there are certainly some great places to eat there - just watch out for the schoolies at this time of year!
Whitsunday Sailing Club
Club House - Airlie Point
Airlie Beach Qld 4802
Ph: +61 7 4946 6138
Airlie Beach Qld 4802
Ph: +61 7 4946 4683
Mangrove Jacks Cafe and Bar
16 The Esplanade
Airlie Beach Qld 4802
Ph: +61 7 4964 1999