Port Macquarie Getaway: Rainforest Café & Ricardoes

Port Macquarie is dotted with nature reserves and walks. Sea Acres National Park contains an elevated rainforest boardwalk which provides a flat walking surface and makes it wheelchair and pram friendly. There is a small entry fee for the rainforest walk so the alternative for lazy, food-focussed folk like me, Sea Acres also houses the Rainforest Café which sits nestled amongst the trees. The café has a focus on using organic and local produce where possible, and even makes their own ice-cream – with flavours such as Carambar caramel (the chef-owner is French) and sweet basil spotted on our visit.

The ‘Croque Madame’ has ham off-the-bone, mustard and a thin smear of Béchamel sandwiched between two slices of malty wholemeal bread. Topped with two fried eggs, it is more satisfying than it first appears. The ‘Brioche with poached eggs, lemon ricotta & dukkah’ features feather-light brioche with a cakey crumb contrasted with creamy ricotta and the crunch of dukkah. Hidden somewhere in there are also baby spinach leaves. The food here is simple and filling, yet very reasonably priced.

A short drive northwards sees us at Ricardoes, home of some of the best strawberry jam as sampled when Mistress returned with some from her own Port Macquarie trip – it’s thick and jelly-like and does not mould easily. Luckily, the jam is also sold through their online store as well as gourmet stockists in Sydney, should you not be in the vicinity of Port Macquarie. But one of the big attractions of Ricardoes is being able to pick your own strawberries and lettuces from their greenhouse!

Walking up and down aisles upon aisles of strawberry-fragranced vines is a novelty, as is being able to snip off whichever ones take your fancy. Returning to their café/store, your pickings are weighed and the cost calculated. The reward is some of the tastiest strawberries I’ve had the joy of eating in years. Jars of Ricardoes jam, tomato relish, tapenade and other condiments can be purchased in-store, or you can sit down and enjoy a strawberry smoothie – packed with berry flavour and not needing the swirl of pink topping, really – whilst looking out over the tomato vines. Tomatoes are not available for visitor picking unfortunately, but plenty of fun is to be had with the strawberries.

Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, Pacific Drive, Port Macquarie NSW
Tel: (02) 6582 4444

Opening Hours:  7 days  9am-4pm

221 Blackmans Point Rd, Port Macquarie NSW
Tel: (02) 6585 0663

Opening Hours:  7 days  7am-6pm (café open from 9am-3pm)

Cuisinart Ice-cream maker giveaway winner
Thank you to those who took the time to enter this competition courtesy of Kitchenware Direct. Monsieur Poisson had the pleasure of reading all of your lovely ice-cream/frozen dessert memories and has chosen the following one as the lucky winner:

catty said...
Red totally rocks in the kitchen! Hmm childhood ice cream flavour? For me, we waited patiently every week as the Home Ice Cream truck drove around the neighbourhood.. I can remember its chime to this day and it still gets me all excited! My dad would buy a box of the mango and vanilla ice cream and god, it would just be the best thing ever. So yes for me, MANGO. But hey now I'm all grown up I just wanna make matcha ice cream with lots and lots of bitter matcha :D

Catty, I have sent you an email notifying you as the winner and someone from Kitchenware Direct will be contacting you soon regarding how to claim your chosen prize and to arrange for delivery. Congratulations, and I hope to see you making lots of ice-cream soon!

Thank you once again Kitchenware Direct for their generous giveaway offer.

happy eating!


  1. oh man ive always wanted to go strawberry picking!

  2. Those strawberries look beautiful! I was meant to go strawberry picking earlier this year, but never ended up going :( *sigh* I love the sprinkle of dukkah on the brioche- it makes it look so interesting!

  3. Simple and satisfying I think is going to be a motto of mine next year, well in regard to food. I really do like the look of the food at the Rainforest Cafe, the brioche especially looks delicious.

  4. The brioche with poached eggs, lemon ricotta & dukkah looks and sounds really good!

  5. I love the look of that dish. Great looking eggs. And I used to go strawberry picking when I was growing up. So much fun and sun-warmed strawberries eaten straight after being picked never tasted better.

  6. wow a strawberry farm! i would love to go to one!

  7. Look at that perfect poached egg! Makes my heart skip a beat. That dukkah looks very fresh :)

  8. Ahhhh simple pleasures of picking fresh strawberries from the vine (and "test-tasting" them as you go); a fond childhood memory for me.

    I love the look and sound of that brioche, it's kinda like having a savoury dessert :)

  9. I've never been to port macquarie but would love to when I get the chance :) the food looks so healthy and fresh!

  10. This looks very cool - I want to go strawberry picking! My mum went cherry picking the other day and left with a haul of big juicy cherries, I was so jealous!

  11. Hey chocolatesuze, and now you have, heheh!

    Hey Von, you should try to go strawberry picking while the weather's still warm. The dukkah definitely gave the sweet brioche a spicy, nutty edge!

    Hey Sara, either I'm getting less adventurous in the kitchen or just plain lazy - these days cooking at home is all about simple and easy for me!

    Hey John, was kind of sweet and savoury at the same time - definitely not something I've tried before.

    Hey Hotly Spiced, I know, the strawberries were still lukewarm when I bit into them!

    Hey sugarpuffi, just a moderate drive up the coast!

    Hey Cass, wonderfully fresh and perfect for vegetarians *wink*

    Hey Phuoc, teehee, had to taste-test very covertly haha!

    Hey Daisy, and it was so nice to enjoy it in the tranquil surrounds of the rainforest.

    Hey missklicious, so much fun! Just gotta remember that strawberries don't keep long so you don't go overboard =p


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