Nautilus Port Douglas
We arrived with high expectations having received personal recommendations.
We were sorely disappointed, both by the food and the service.
The outdoor setting is very nice although you should try to make sure that your table will be under cover if it rains.
There were several tables near us that had to be relocated because the canopy (which is extended in case of rain) afforded them no protection at all.
Fortunately for them there were other tables free.
We both ordered the tasting/degustation menu ($110 each for 6 courses) and I had the wine pairings (another $50).
None of the courses was entirely satisfactory and the service was pretty shambolic.
My wine arrived either 3 minutes after the course, or 10 minutes before.
When we complained about a 25 minute wait (following on from varying intervals for other courses), the waiter claimed that this was an acceptable amount of time to wait for a "main course".
We had previously sent this course back as the pea puree that came with the beef was the most solid puree i have ever seen.
We were told this was because it had been baked and they hadn't really been able to come up with a good name for it.
I see the menu now shows this as a fritter, in which case it was very tepid.
Course reviews below:
Duck and ginger consomme, duck spring roll: consomme greasy, spring roll quite good
Prawn, avocado and pink grapefruit & vanilla dressing: ok, no sign of the grapefruit dressing, consequently the avocado and prawns were cloying
Seared and rolled wagyu: i liked the texture of this dish but the flavours were weak
Seared scallops with vanilla cauliflower puree: best course of the night, tried and tested combination, not outstanding
Smokey pepper eye fillet: looked and tasted like it had been sitting for some time, fondant potatoes completely overpowered by garlic
Vanilla creme brulee, white chocolate ice cream: no trace of white chocolate in the ice cream, my creme was warm, the other was not.
After spending around $370 the only thing I could honestly recommend about this place is the chili margarita.
Try Harrisons or On The Inlet instead.
I always remember arriving at Nautilus when it was nearly empty and being led to a table next to a party that had a number of very young children. As nearly every other table was empty I asked for an alternative. It was refused. We left. Looks like I had a lucky escape.
Just had dinner at "On the Inlet" - nothing fancy but good solid food with a GORGEOUS view! Had a reservation for Harrison's but had to cancel due to "excessive sun exposure" - sad but necessary. Loved Port Douglas but I can totally see how a spot like Nautilus could get over-hyped. May you have better meals in your future!