Harrisons by Spencer Patrick

Level 1, Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas Road, Port Douglas

When the head chef of the only hatted restaurant in Port Douglas has a working background that includes illustrious chef Marco Pierre White, you know it’s going to be good.

That’s exactly what Harrisons has going for it. Head Chef, Spencer Patrick, cut his teeth at three different Marco Pierre White venues, including The Restaurant by Marco Pierre White, where he was part of the brigade that saw it earn three Michelin stars.

He later earned a Michelin star of his own whilst heading the kitchen at The Café Royal Grill Room in Piccadilly, becoming the youngest head chef in the UK at the time to hold this award. He continued his run of stars at the Mirabelle, followed by Quo Vadis. It was here he welcomed a young Curtis Stone into the kitchen, who worked under Spencer for four years before taking over as head chef.

Eventually, the lure of Australian shores was too much and Spencer moved down under to head Gary Mehigan and Raymond Capaldi’s restaurant, The Fenix. A well-earned hiatus followed his stint at the Melbourne institution and it was during a two-week holiday to Port Douglas that he knew he had found his new home.

Along with his wife, Reina, Spencer opened Harrisons Restaurant and Bar in 2007, named in honour of his first-born son. Receiving accolades ever since, it is constantly pushed to maintain a high standard and remain a part of the national food conversation.

One element of their success is their insistence on using fruit and vegetables grown by and purchased directly from local farmers. Drawing from Spencer’s training in classic French cuisine and love for all things English, he produces a seasonal menu that depends on what is available, placing an emphasis on unique and small batch local ingredients.

A visit to Harrisons colonial style house and colourful gardens will lead you on a culinary campaign, starting with Crisp Pig’s Ears with spiced apple and prawn and sugarcane pops. Move onto Malt Roasted Scallops with sweetbreads, gingerbread, raisins and sweet and sour radish or the Pressed Ham Hock with foie gras before sampling one of the delicious mains or perhaps something larger to share with the whole table.

You can also choose the four or six-course tasting menu, allowing you to sample a little of everything, with the option of matched wines. You’ll have every excuse to bring a big group with the Hunter’s Feasting, a dinner for eight or more that includes a range of pickings, beasts and puddings.

The wine list showcases their fondness for everything unique and boutique, by providing a perfect balance of iconic local names and international greats.

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