Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Cairns for a week-long getaway. One of my brother’s stipulations upon his visiting Australia (and myself) was that he had to see the Great Barrier Reef. Since this adventure had also been on my list for a long time, I obliged and off to Cairns we went.
During our stay, we went snorkeling on the Reef, white water rafting on the Tully, and took a cable car ride to explore the rain forest. It was great to spend time with my brother after so many months apart and to share in these experiences with him. If interest is shown, I would be more than happy to write a post on our adventures in Cairns. But I’ll leave that up to you, the readers. Let me know in the comments whether you’d like me to regale you with my stories and photos.
For now, let me introduce you to one of the best breakfast spots my brother and I found during our vacation: Candy Café. We were so impressed the first time, we returned twice!
Located in the heart of downtown Cairns, Candy has all the locals – and quite a few visitors – abuzz with their fantastical décor, delicious food, and excellent service. As you enter the venue, you walk past a quaint coffee bar, open to the public for takeaway coffees and teas. Honestly, the interior design is what sold me on the first day. I felt as if I had stepped into a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The walls and roof are painted black aside from the left wall, which dons beautiful murals of classic children’s story characters. Velvet-cushioned seating is divided by fake shrubbery lit with faint blue fairy lights and chandeliers dangle from the ceiling. The whole experience felt like a cross between a magical forest and a castle ballroom. It was spectacularly unique.
The service was attentive and friendly. Everyone did their best to make sure each patron was happy, well-watered, and fed. A few of the staff have great memories as well; they remembered my brother and I on our second and third visits.
True to form, the first things we ordered were caffeinated beverages. My brother’s iced coffee made its debut first. From my taste of it I can firmly say that Candy’s iced coffees are divine. By using only vanilla ice cream instead of ice, they keep the creaminess of the chilled drink intact without completely overpowering the espresso. Also, whatever ice cream they use (I’m unsure if it’s made in-house or bought) is superb.
My cappuccino was a bit of a letdown after tasting the iced coffee. I felt it was okay, but it was a bit too milky and could have done with a second espresso shot. For regular coffee, I give them a 4/10; however, their iced coffee deserves an 8/10.
Where Candy shines is not only through their superior service and their heavenly iced coffee, but also through their innovative dishes and plating. I chose to partake in the Caramelised Brioche French Toast ($15), which I’m sure won’t surprise many of those who have read my previous reviews. It was simply one of the best French toast combinations I have ever had the pleasure to consume. And it looked beautiful! Gorgeous edible flowers and herbs topped the dish, and the vibrant colours of poached pears, the berry reduction, and pistachios all worked cohesively to render a plate fit for a fairy tale. Perfectly fitting for their themed décor. The brioche was fluffy and amazingly crisp – almost candied – from its caramelisation, and the batter used to fry the toast was light yet creamy. Additionally, the mascarpone was great and worked well with the flavour and softness of the poached pear. I will admit that I ordered this twice during our trip.
The Big Breakfast ($19) that my brother chose would have been more aptly named “Massive Breakfast” and was definitely a steal. His breakfast came with bacon, kransky sausage, two eggs, three or four grilled tomatoes, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, crispy kipfler potatoes, and a touch of labna all served over two large slices of toasted ciabatta. It was one of the largest breakfasts I’ve ever witnessed outside of the United States. As for taste, my brother claimed the grilled kransky was the standout part of the dish but that it was all delicious and flavourful.
While my brother and I will always remember the adventures we had in Australia’s tropical region, I also believe that Candy Café will be in our memories as well. Out of the many places we ate during our trip to Cairns, Candy was definitely the favourite. If you find yourself in downtown Cairns during breakfast or lunch, make sure you give this place a try. You will not be disappointed.