Rattle ‘n’ Rice

Rattle n’ Hum
38 Macrossan Street Port Douglas

Rattle ‘n’ Hum ended up being our second dinner option on our first night in Port Douglas.

We had arrived in upper, upper North Queensland. Tired. Hungry. Hot! The humidity was insane. We had already walked up and down part of Macrossan street, the street that was to be the place we practically lived on for the following nights we were there, and despite walking by the restaurant, and the large board out front advising of specials and kids meals, we still went back to the flashy Bel Cibo to see if we could be squeezed in.

Nope, they were booked out, and we weren’t in a waiting mood. We would have to come back to that one another night.

So off we went, to the pub-style, open-spaced Hum-mer. Fans pulsating above us, pool table in front of a bar on the left of the venue, pizza-making on the right at the front of the restaurant, with a ‘pick-up’ bench behind it and tables all in between. There was wood everywhere. It was like a big barn, a family bar.

We had been seated, but in amongst the hoo-ha of people arriving and you know, that thing called humidity bringing beads of sweat onto even the coolest of foreheads, we were forgotten and had to ask for menus. Dum da dum dum. The guy was great though, and explained what it was we had to do, which was order and pay for our meals at the ‘pick-up’ bench, and we would receive a buzzer alerting us when the food was ready for ‘pick-up.’

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We kind of groaned inwardly. Great. One of those places. We just wanted to be waited on hand and foot, having just travelled 3 hours by plane and then 1 hour of winding road followed by sudden tropical rain onslaught.

But we were hungry, so on we went.

The drinks were paid for at the bar, and brought back to the table by the payer – which was Hubbie in this case.

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I had a white wine, since I couldn’t fathom drinking my old fave red in this heat. With the ordering of baby girl’s meal, we also received a free drink, so Hubbie opted for an OJ that we all sipped on after our meals.

She had also received a little kids colouring set that included some crayons, and some pages of activity paper in a little paper box. That, along with her Santa water-drinking cup, all ended up on the floor at several times. She was still getting used to the change of atmosphere and was finding it ‘challenging,’ diplomatically speaking. However at other times, she did scribble on the paper, so I was fortunate for those minor blissful moments of peace.

Soon after we all received our meals. Mine was the Prawn Hot Pot

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Hubbie’s was the Flame Grilled Rib Fillet, atop mashed potato and a side of veg

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While baby girl’s was the Spaghetti Napoletana.

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My meal was very nice. I loved the combination of the prawns with the oil, capers, chilli and garlic, and it was so flavoursome that after I was finished I was still scooping the very hot dish to get out more delicious remnants of oily goodness… but there was one problem with that. You see, I had very, very, little rice.

Surprisingly, there were a lot of prawns. I was actually surprised how many prawns I received. I just kept fishing one out after another from the dish, and was constantly surprised when I discovered “more!” Which is why I was even more baffled as to why I wouldn’t have enough rice to accompany it. It’s usually the other way around, you get like 3 prawns, and a whole plate of carbs to compensate. If provided with the options I would much rather have it this way, more prawns over rice… but honestly, I would love heaps, of both. Especially in soaking up all those chilli/garlic bits at the end, extra rice would have come in such handy. Due to the extremely cheap nature of this grain, my only conclusion is to assume they came across a rice shortage that night. That cannot possibly be the normal serving for that dish.

I also received a side of ‘salad,’ which was more garnish, or visual accessory to pretty the plate, as it had no dressing, it was just thin pieces of carrot and cabbage.

Hubbie said he enjoyed his steak, but said the mash tasted like packet mashed potatoes. What?! Having not had the misfortune of having to endure such food torture, I can’t say I know from experience what that tastes like, but when I tried it did taste different… I’ll take his word.

And after baby girl’s experience, I now know never to order spaghetti for her again.

First things first, Hubbie had ordered napoletana for her. Yet her pasta, had meat in it. We had received spaghetti bolognaise, not the meat-free version. This wasn’t such a problem, we are fortunate that she is not vegetarian, and I hope for the sake of this food-lover she never will be. But at the end of the day, it was wrong.

Also, it was a bit bland. Just a standard sauce, not even much flavour to it. And as for the spaghetti, well it’s not their fault… but independent, toddler and spaghetti are words that should not be in a sentence together. Allowing a stubborn toddler to eat spaghetti on their own is just… hell. It’s just so wrong, so difficult and absurd on so many levels. Throw in an OCD Mum who rips out wet wipes faster than you can say ‘catch that dribble!’ and you have a high-intensity, stressed-out group of diners.

Hers was also accompanied with a big piece of toasted bread on the side, adding to the carb-fest even more.

Despite all this we ate what we had, and left as soon as we could. It had been a long day.

Food: 6/10. Think pub food.

Coffee: N/A on our visit, we didn’t need caffeine, we needed sleep…

Ambience: Bustling, busy, noisy. Like I said, think pub, and combine that with your casual family diner.

People: A mix of all, we were in a holiday spot after all. There were young families, mid-range established families, fathers with their on-the-verge-of-teenhood sons playing billiards, a mother and daughter having a quiet meal and watching baby girl run away from us and stand up in her high-chair, and your typical Aussie blokes cruising in to pick up pizza for takeaway.

Staff: They were busy, but were still nice. The door guy who had initially forgotten us was attentive when he realised we had nothing, the guy handing out meals was apparently “really relaxed” about the whole spectacle of it being Saturday night, and the others that tended to us were friendly.

Price: It was about $80 for the lot, the two drinks, and the three meals. I think, a tad much for the quality of what we received, but I get that when you’re in a holiday spot, the same rules don’t apply anymore Toto.

Advice: Saturday nights, peak holiday times, and post 7pm are times that are difficult to be seated no matter where you are in Port Douglas, unless you have booked. So if you don’t book, be prepared to get there earlier and avoid the rush time. They did appear to have ample seating though, so it may just be a case there of ‘be seated, but just wait a while for your food in the queue.’

In a nutshell: It was a very average bar, to be honest the kind that we tend to avoid, only because the food quality is never quite up to scratch. Despite this, had my rice been in more abundance, I would have walked away very content and surprised with the establishment. Instead, it leaves me in confidence of why we don’t go to these types of restaurants, as there is always something lacking, even though we still dish out a bit of coin.

I liked the surroundings, and I perhaps would even try a pizza there for lunch… the restaurant is not bad, it’s simply that we have eaten at so many great restaurants, that anything average is not worth giving a second shot. 10 years ago, we would have gone back without question. Times change. So solely based on our tastes, I don’t think we would have dinner there on our return to Port Douglas. No more humming for us.

Rattle 'n Hum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Extra Day

That’s what the Leap Year brings us.

The Leap Year makes up for the fact that the year is not precisely 365 days long. It’s 365 and a quarter, to be (almost) precise. For those playing at home, 365.2422 days to be minutely exact.

We go by the Gregorian calendar, which uses 365 days in a calendar year. Back in the day, Pope Gregory XIIIs astronomers worked out this system to adjust to the fact, which will need to be re-evaluated in about 10,000 years when we are long gone. But for now, it works. Every four years, February 29 appears.

And why February? February used to have 30 days, while August had only 29. When Caesar Augustus became Emperor, he wanted to add 2 days to ‘his’ month, therefore stripping Feb of its two, and adding them to August.

Interesting stuff.

But this all became super-interesting to me back in the year 2000. I was in high school, and a school friend told me that on the extra day of a leap year, you were meant to do something different. Not many customs relating to this day actually mention this, it’s always the usual ‘women can propose to men’ thing you hear more often than anything else.

I don’t know if he was telling the truth; if he was twisting things to make his actions that day seem much more plausible; or whether he was having me on – either way, what he said made an impact.

I still think of Feb 29 as a day to do something different. Leading up to today, I didn’t know what though – what would I do with these extra 24 hours? I mean, not a whole lot, seeing as I’m sitting here typing at work. But still. It gives you hope, possibility, excitement… an extra day? When you think of it like that, in this time-poor, fast-paced, go go go world, it means a whole lot.

And then I think: well why can’t we think of every day, as a day to do something different? Worthwhile? Exciting? Daring? Inspiring?

I’m drumming my fingers at my desk here, anxious to get inspired and make things happen…

And then I remember: aren’t I doing that already?

Before you look at what you can do, look at what you have done already. Grow on that. – SmikG.

Food for thought. What have you been doing?


Sightings of People as Passionate about (Addicted to) Coffee as I am (SOPAPACAIA) #5 & #6

It has been a while, but do not believe it’s because my coffee radar has been turned off.

Life. Baby girl. Hubbie. Writing. Reviews. And always, ALWAYS coffee.

Two noms to two work colleagues:


SOPAPACAIA Sighting #5

Docklands cafe

Sighted: Work dude from an adjoining department

Not so much a when-and-where, but the frequency of his coffee-at-work outings. Known to have coffee at the onset of café opening at 7am, then to return again to the same café hours later for ANOTHER caffeine hit.

Wow. My idol.

SOPAPACAIA Sighting #6

My workplace

Sighted: My fellow work colleague, who after (not so aggressive – actually, none at all) persuasion, decided to come and get a coffee with me on my morning walk only 7 days into his month-long coffee hiatus.

He couldn’t be without coffee anymore. And guess what? He drinks mochas.