There really is no better opportunity to sample exotic tropical fruits in Australia than when you’re immersed in the world’s oldest rainforest.
Drawing on the rainforest and reef as muse and nature’s supermarket – as the Kuku Yalanji people have done for over 60,000 years – the menu at Julaymba Restaurant & Bar at Daintree Ecolodge showcases popular tropical fruits and other local native foods alongside fresh sustainable seafood.
Tropical Fruits You Need To Try in the Daintree Rainforest
From the native jam slathered on house made bread at breakfast, through to the mangoes, dragon fruit, lychees, rambutan, and mangosteen that are in abundance in the warmer months, there are many inventive and unique ways to use tropical fruits.
“Mangoes are literally falling off on the side of the road, they’re everywhere,” says General Manager and Head Chef, James Egan. “We’ve been using them in a mango tart with coconut, and macadamia which is also local.”
Davidson Plum – a native tropical fruit grown on site – is utilised more in savoury items on the menu. “It pairs really well with gamey meats or anything you want to add a sour element to, to cut through the richness,” says James.
Lychees and betel leaves are also grown on site, while a local organic co-op supplies the restaurant with a wide variety of exotic tropical fruits each week.
What doesn’t get served up on a plate is utilised in the cocktail list. Starting with locally distilled gin and vodkas – spiked with the likes of davidson plum and pepper berry – mixologists here incorporate pepper berry salt and syrup into a classic Tommy’s margarita, and also have another signature cocktail built on a native tea.
Beyond tropical fruits, you’ll see native bush foods used like strawberry gum, lemon myrtle, and cinnamon myrtle, which James says are readily available in the area. “We also use native sea greens, like sea purslane which we go forage for, and different types of succulents like pig face,” he says.
In winter, local citrus is the star of the show. Try the Sunset Aperitivo built on vodka infused with local Daintree mandarin, or a Davidson Plum negroni for your tropical fruit hit year-round.