Travel: Hamilton Island, Queensland – Places to Eat

by April@MyFoodTrail on June 6, 2009

in Dining Out, Hamilton Island, Hamilton Island, Travel

Read the Accommodation post here.
Read the Things to See & Do – Part 1 post here.
Read the Things to See & Do – Part 2 post here.

Places to eat

As expected, eating out on Hamilton Island was expensive. We had no choice as we didn’t have any kitchen facilities in our room. We did have Vita-wheat with spread for two lunches but every other meal was outside.

Breakfast at the Reef View Hotel

Buffet breakfast was included in our room rate so we tried to fill up on breakfast. As much as I love my bacon, eggs and hash browns, I was over it by the 5th day! There was a wide variety of choices: fruit, cold meats and cheeses, steamed rice, cereal, breads, pancakes, danishes and of course the hot buffet.

The hot buffet – eggs, bacon, hash browns, tomatoes, chipolatas, mushrooms,
pancakes, baked beans, spaghetti

We pretty much had the same thing every day and everything was nice except the scrambled eggs. There were always plenty of people at breakfast so turnover was high and food remained fresh.

Chipolata, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, fried egg, hash brown
and a croissant with tomato and cheese

We tried to balance the unhealthy food with some yogurt and fresh fruit. The rockmelon was really sweet. I don’t like fruit danishes but hubby said it was good.

Yogurt, pineapple, rockmelon, watermelon and an apricot danish

On the second day we realised they cooked omelettes to your liking. An omelette with the lot consists of bacon, onions, spinach, tomato, mushroom and cheese. The cheese was too much so the next day we left out the cheese. The omelette was really good.

Of course we had to also have a sweet breakfast. The pancakes were so light and fluffy but I think I overdid the maple syrup! The chocolate croissant and mini-muffins were nothing special.

Pancakes, chocolate mini muffin, walnut mini muffin, blueberry mini muffin and a chocolate croissant

Lunch from Bob’s Bakery

Our first meal upon arriving at Hamilton Island was lunch from the bakery, eaten at one of the tables around the marina. We got a sausage roll, a chicken pie and a beef, cheese and bacon pie. The pies were stamped with the Hamilton Island logo, but doesn’t appear very visible on the pies we bought.

Chicken pie on the left, beef pie on the right

The sausage roll tasted weird, almost like it had chicken stuffing in the filling, and it left an oily film in my mouth. Not good.

Sausage roll $4

The chicken pie had lots of gravy and tasted okay, but I found the pie crust too thick.

Chicken pie $4.50

I didn’t like the beef, bacon and cheese pie. There was too much gravy and it didn’t taste very nice.

Beef, bacon and cheese pie $4.50

Dinner at Mariners Seafood Restaurant

All restaurants have their menus listed outside so you can see if anything takes your fancy before you venture inside. During the day, we had a look at the Mariners menu and liked the look of the seafood platter so we decided to come here for our first dinner.

The only problem was, the seafood platter came with 12 oysters and I don’t eat oysters so that would mean hubby would have to eat a dozen oysters on his own. There was a seafood platter for one, which was half the price and roughly half the quantity so we were debating whether to get the platter for one and sharing another main.

The waiter came to take our order and I explained that we were thinking about the seafood platter but I don’t eat oysters and my hubby can’t eat 12 on his own. The waiter said no problem, we can substitute 6 oysters for more scallops and prawns. We were sold!

Seafood platter for 2 – scallops, calamari, king fish fillets, fried soft shell crab, prawns, oysters, whole crab and melon pieces $160

The platter came on two levels, the top being hot seafood and the bottom was cold. On the top level, we had 8 scallops, 4 battered calamari, 3 king fish fillets and 3 soft shell crabs. In the middle was a homemade soy dipping sauce. On the bottom level, there was 16 prawns, 6 natural oysters, 1 whole crab, some melon pieces and a homemade cocktail sauce.

The top level – scallops, calamari, king fish fillets and soft shell crabs

The scallops were one of the best scallops we have ever had. They were cooked to perfection – so tender and flavoursome. The dipping sauce was a perfect match for the scallops and enhanced the flavour of the scallops. We loved the sauce so much we asked the waiter what was in it. I will have to try and make it at home.

The kingfish fillets were seasoned well and also matched with the dipping sauce. One portion was a larger belly piece that was still raw in the middle, but we enjoy sashimi and didn’t mind.

The calamari was on the chewy side but were coated with a batter that came extremely close to tasting just like KFC!

I don’t normally like soft shell crab because I think it is weird to eat the shell of a crab, but I gave it a go and surprisingly thought it was okay! The flesh of the crab was so sweet and it wasn’t too oily. I tried not to think about the shell.

The bottom level – oysters (hubby already took them off), prawns and crab

According to hubby, the oysters were so-so and there was not much meat.

I don’t eat normal crab without it being accompanied by some sort of sauce (think Singapore chilli crab or crab with ginger and spring onion). I find that the plain crab taste does nothing for me. Hubby was happy because he got to eat it all and he really enjoyed it. The crab was bigger than a blue swimmer, fairly full of meat and it had a nice sweet and salty flavour.

The majority of the prawns were quite small and while the flesh was firm, it was lacking in flavour and the cocktail sauce didn’t do much to improve it.

This was our best dinner on Hamilton Island by far and we were left very satisfied! I was going to skip dessert, but I saw they had a warm chocolate fudge pudding and couldn’t resist! The pudding was nice but didn’t quite hit the spot.

Warm sticky chocolate fudge pudding, vanilla bean icecream drizzled
with hot chocolate sauce $12.40

View of the Marina at night from our table

Dinner from Manta Ray Cafe

We had our buggy today so we decided to get takeaway pizza for dinner from Manta Ray Cafe and eat it back at the hotel. You can also eat inside the Cafe for the same price. They also do delivery for an extra $5.

You can get a half and half pizza for no extra charge which was good for us to try two different things. We got half a BBQ Chicken and half The Brunch. Please excuse the photo as we both took a mouthful before I realised I didn’t take a photo! (We were hungry.)

Left side The Brunch, right side BBQ Chicken $28

The Brunch pizza was delicious and we loved the white sauce. True to its name, The Brunch had ham, mushrooms, onion, crisp bacon and egg finished with a Caesar dressing and fresh parsley. I will have to try making this at home.

The BBQ Chicken pizza had Korean BBQ style chicken, crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes and brie topped with a honey garlic BBQ sauce. I’m not sure what Korean BBQ style is supposed to taste like, but the pizza was nice. Not as good as the Brunch though.

Dinner at Toucan Tango Cafe

Toucan Tango is located at the Information Centre not far from our hotel. We only got there at about 8.30pm so the place was pretty empty. I think it does most of its business during the day because it is right near the pools and beach. It has a typical cafe menu.

A girl at a table beside us had a prawn and chicken laksa which looked good, but I know better than to order laksa at a Western restaurant and for the ridiculous price of $27.50. Instead I got the fish and chips because I was drawn to the battered barramundi. I have only had barramundi cooked as a whole fish, Chinese style with soya sauce, ginger and spring onions.

Beer battered barramundi with chips and garden salad $24.50

The fish had a bit of a mushy texture and the batter was so extremely oily. Even though I tried to squeeze the fish into my serviette to get rid of as much oil as possible, it still made me feel ill. I liked the tartare sauce though and the chips were heavenly. The chips had such a tasty crispy outer, unlike anything I have had before.

Hubby had steak sandwich which was quite nice. I think the addition of caramelised onions and aioli really makes the sandwich, even though the steak itself was on the chewy side.

Steak sandwich on a baguette with caramelised onion, tomato and basil aioli $19.50

Dinner at Marina Tavern

Marina Tavern houses the island TAB and the local pub. There are only a limited number of dishes that they offer on their menu – typical pub grub.

I ordered the chicken parmagiana with chips and salad. The parma was made from real chicken breast and the Napoli sauce had herbs added but it was swimming in cheese. It was a good sized serve and tasted good despite the extra cheese.

Chicken Parmagiana with chips and salad $19.50

Hubby ordered a quarter pounder burger which had cheese, bacon, a fried egg, beetroot, pineapple slice, tomato and lettuce. The burger bun looked a bit worse for wear but was surprisingly soft. The burger patty was really tasty, not just salty. Hubby liked it.

Quarter Pounder Burger with chips $19.50

While I was waiting for hubby to finish his beer, I was looking through the coasters and realised they connected.


Dinner at Steakhouse

For dinner on our last night, we were debating between trying the Steakhouse or going back for another Brunch pizza. Seeing that there were buffalo wings on the menu swung it Steakhouse’s way!

They have other items on the menu besides steak, but we went there for the steak. There are 6 cuts, porterhouse, t-bone, rump, rib eye bone in, eye fillet and scotch fillet. There is a display of all the different steaks near the entrance. You choose your cut of steak, how you want it cooked, your accompanying sauce and they serve it with a jacket potato.

We ordered the buffalo wings as a shared entree. They came out different from what I was expecting. I have only had buffalo wings at TGIF and they are yum! And let’s not forget Jessica Simpson’s unforgettable line on Newlyweds when she said she “doesn’t eat buffalo”!!

These (small) chicken wings were marinated, but they had a tomato-ey sauce dumped on top of them and didn’t taste of anything in particular. The blue cheese mayonnaise tasted like normal mayo so it was pretty uneventful.

Buffalo Wings – Chicken wings marinated in Louisiana hot sauce served with blue cheese mayonnaise $16

I ordered the eye fillet with mushroom sauce done medium rare. The inside was cooked to medium rare, but the outside was burnt to a charcoal which I guess is common place in places using an open grill. The mushroom sauce had no mushrooms, just a mushroom taste, but we liked it.

Eye fillet (250g) with mushroom sauce and jacket potato $38

Hubby ordered the rib eye rare with béarnaise sauce. His steak was cooked rare but with the same burnt outer, but he doesn’t mind it. The béarnaise sauce was really good.

Rib eye bone in (400g) with béarnaise sauce and jacket potato $39.50

We also had lunch at Marina Deli one day but I didn’t bring along my camera because we were going to the pool straight from lunch. The lunch was reasonably priced but pretty average tasting.

We had a great time in Hamilton Island and I think 5 nights is the perfect amount of time to spend there. We have come back rejuvenated and relaxed, with a bit of a tan, though I’m sure it won’t last long with the lack of sun in Melbourne!

If you have any questions about Hamilton Island, please either comment below or send me an email and I will try and answer as best I can!

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge June 8, 2009 at 11:05 am

wow, so much food! Looks like you and hubby ate like kings for the week. I'm glad to see that the seafood platter was good. I love soft shell crab, the texture is like nothing else. To bad the dessert was a disappointment.

I think all the gorgeous scenery sold it for me. Need to get myself on a plane and get myself a tan too!


Iron Chef Shellie June 9, 2009 at 10:09 am

Oh this post brings back so many memories of my trip to Hamilton Island a few years ago!
I remember it rained pretty much every day and the food wasn't too bad. It's nice to see what they served for breakfast cos my friend and I just bought a pack of cereal to eat in our room (we also had to buy a bowl to eat it in!)

I would agree though, 5 nights is a good amount to spend on the island before you go insane 😛


Rilsta June 13, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Hi Maria: I know, there was so much food when I put it all in one post! Luckily all the walking and swimming meant I didn't come back too much heavier! 🙂 You should really go visit Hamilton Island if you've never been – it's really beautiful and you can escape the crappy Melbourne winter!

Hi Iron Chef Shellie: Thanks for visiting my blog! I think the breakfast is only good if it is included in your room rate. If it wasn't, I would have done the same thing as you!


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