Back in 2014, I took the plunge and had my sea-change from busy Perth to beautiful sunny Cairns. To celebrate the occasion, my (now) husband and I booked a table at a restaurant at what we were told was the best steak restaurant in Cairns. We had everything in place to enjoy a juicy steak and a glass (read: bottle) of cab shiraz over some good old-fashioned conversation.
We used to do a lot of dining out when we lived in Perth. Because of this, we never really expected anything spectacular.
The Best Steak Restaurant in Cairns | Waterbar and Grill
We turned up to what we also now consider to be the best steak restaurant in Cairns; The Waterbar and Grill.
The Waterbar and Grill is a South African themed restaurant, with some of the menu featuring typically South African cuisine, such as boerewors.
We were promptly greeted and seated by some friendly staff who were clearly used to being busy.
The entire restaurant was absolutely buzzing. Thankfully, we were lucky enough to have secured a table outside, overlooking the Cairns Pier and inlet.
The gentle tropical breeze and the moody lighting makes you feel instantly relaxed and ready to enjoy your night.
Browsing over the menu, and looking over our shoulder at some of the meals that were being served up to the tables beside us, I knew we were in good hands.
I ordered a ribeye steak with prawn toppers, mashed potato and steamed greens. My husband had the BBQ pork ribs – a dish that had been a favourite at other restaurants in Perth.
Our wine arrived, along with a small dish with half a dozen or so small tablets that looked like mints.
Spoiler Alert: They aren’t mints… They’re those little towelettes you pour water on… Don’t make that mistake!
Why Do We Love Waterbar and Grill?
Both the steak and the ribs left us 100% in agreeance that this was quite possibly the best steak house we’d EVER visited.
Everything was completely on point!
Even the mashed potato was mind blowing and I’m not even much of a mashed potato kind of gal.
We’ve been visiting the Waterbar and Grill regularly since 2014, and will NEVER get tired of their menu. We’ve also NEVER had a meal we didn’t love.
Even in our quieter seasons, if you don’t have a reservation to dine at Waterbar and Grill, you can expect to have to wait until 9pm to even get a table (if you’re lucky enough to get one at all) when surrounding restaurants are quiet.
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Friendly and Attentive Staff!
One thing we love about the Waterbar and Grill is that every time we’ve visited, we’ve been served by staff who are friendly, attentive and efficient.
Despite the restaurant being packed out every night, we’ve never had to wait long for our meal to arrive. And they were always there to help us tie our bibs on in preparation for the BBQ pork ribs.
While staff are quick to come and take your order, we’ve never felt rushed to give up our table when we’ve finished as if we were some sort of an inconvenience.
Recommended Dishes at The Best Steak Restaurant in Cairns
If you’re planning on visiting The Waterbar and Grill, here are my top recommendations for dishes.
- BBQ Pork Ribs (half rack or full rack). We normally share a full rack between two people, which the restaurant is happy to cater for.
2. Reef & Beef Rib Eye – served with garlic mash, broccolini, and local prawns
4. Rib Combo – Either lamb or pork ribs along with your choice of boerewors, Portugese chicken or 200g sirloin
5. Espatada – Skewered meat hanging over a bed of garlic mash (an impressive dish even just to look at!)
BONUS TIP: The Mashed Potato! – Seriously… It’s amazing!
We firmly believe that the best steak restaurant in Cairns goes to the Waterbar and Grill.
This is a result of 7 years of visiting the Waterbar and Grill for date nights, celebrations or when friends and family visit and never being disappointed.
If you’re visiting Cairns and wanting to dine at the Waterbar and Grill (which I highly recommend), make sure you give them a call and reserve a table at least a couple of days in advance. Also, remember to ask for an outside table if possible – the ambiance is beautiful!
Remember to save this pin to your Cairns Australia board on Pinterest so you don’t forget to include the Waterbar and Grill in your stay.