A full time traveller Kate and her partner have called a Toyota Coaster home since December 2016. They are currently touring Australia making memories and lapping up everything this amazing country has to offer. Visit www.theroadhousecoasters.com
Published June 23rd 2018
Tasty food in a vibrant, creative space in Cairns
Food, jewellery, art and wine. Four of my favourite things and when combined with great company, you have the recipe for a perfect evening.
That's Fusion Art Bar & Tapas for you. Located in central Cairns, the venue invites you in with its warm lighting and cool furniture spilling into the street. From the pavement, you can tell that there's a lot more to look at than just the menu and the easy, relaxing vibe pulls you in for a look.
We headed there for dinner on Wednesday and by 7, the restaurant was already pretty busy with more than three-quarters of the tables full of couples, groups and families. There are indoor and outdoor seating options. We went for inside as there was a bit of a breeze and I didn't want to be chasing my well-positioned hat down the street.
Of course, we'd already looked at the menu. That's why we were there. But wanting to look more casual and like I hadn't memorised the options, we perused it again for the sake of appearances. It was great to see so many Australian wines on the menu and there was one we vaguely remembered tasting on a wine tour in Clare Valley, South Australia. Happily, it was as good as we 'almost' remembered.
The menu is a tapas style menu but not necessarily what you'd expect as it wasn't all Mediterranean. Sure there was paella and meatballs but also fried chicken, scallops on mash, fritters and gravlax salmon. We went for the halloumi, which came with dried fruit and a fig balsamic, the rosemary scented scallops, fried chicken and crispy fried potatoes. Conveniently for our library of food porn photos, it all came quickly and at the same time. The food didn't just look good, it all tasted brilliant. For most of the meal, we tried to work out what our favourite dish was and think we'd made a decision until another bite opened the debate back up. I was settled on the thickly sliced halloumi as I loved the sticky balsamic but then dessert happened…
After a heated debate between the three options and asking the opinion of the host, we went for the baklava. Best decision we'd made all day. The sweety goodness was complemented perfectly by the chefs homemade coffee ice cream. Soon the plate was so clean, it could have bypassed the dishwasher and gone straight out for service again (but I'm sure it didn't).
A high five on a great meal and we relaxed and took the time to appreciate the space. High ceilings and exposed bricks gave it an immediate cool factor but then the place was also full of art. Some that jumped out at you, but some more subtle as it was part of the furniture or even the cutlery. I loved the large light bulbs hanging down over the counter. The owner, iefje Boissevain, told us about the time she had taken to make sure every aspect of the space, menu and staff met the high standards of her vision when she'd started the project.
The restaurant space is attached to Under Art Gallery, which we wandered around after the aforementioned plate cleaning session. Paintings on the walls and sculptures and jewellery scattered around the gallery meant we spent 20 happy minutes trying on rings and in my case, reminding Jot that my birthday was just around the corner. I wasn't particularly subtle so I trust she was taking notes.