Shop 34/ 9 Grant St
Port Douglas QLD 4877
+61 7 4099 5295
We had been looking forward to the Port Douglas portion of our trip, not so much for its supposedly amazing beaches or its ridiculously good-looking pool of geriatric residents but for the food. Award-winning restaurants such as Salsa’s Bar and Grill, Sassi Cantina and Watermark were on our list, as was Nautilus, where diners could enjoy their lemon myrtle spanner crab potsticker dumplings in a rainforest setting. Unfortunately, a number of circumstances prevented us from enjoying the very best of Port Dougie cuisine. For one thing, half the restaurants on our list were CLOSED for the rest of summer. Secondly, we didn’t spend too long in FNQ (though given how I am seemingly dragging my FNQ posts along, it may appear to be the case) so we couldn’t even afford to spend more than half a day in Port Dougie. Finally, we arrived in Port Dougie, after spending the morning and afternoon hiking in the Daintree area, at an awkward time in the afternoon, 3:00pm, when most of the restaurants had shut down after lunch and would not open again until dinner.
Given that everyone else in Port Douglas seemed to be having a siesta at around the same time (or maybe they, too, were taking holidays elsewhere), most of the shops, bars and other attractions were closed. And it was too hot for the beach. Not wanting to bum around for three hours, we decided to see if we could find at least one café that was open before we drove back to Cairns city for dinner.
Alas, on the same street as Sassi Cantina, there was a pie bakery, Mocka’s Pie, with multiple stickers and awards on its window indicating that they were the real deal. We both love our pies and furthermore, Martin’s curiosity was piqued when he saw that they served ‘kangaroo pies.’ Despite the fact that we didn’t come to Port Dougie for pies AT ALL, we nevertheless decided to give this place a go. I mean, we both had to eat!
To Marty’s disappointment, they had run out of kangaroo pies so he settled for a steak and bacon pie instead (approximately $4). He declared the pie to be okay, but nothing worth shouting down the Captain Cook Highway over.
I’m a fan of chicken pies so I decided to grab the chicken and vegetable pie (also approximately $4). Like Marty, I wasn’t overly delighted with what I got. Sure, it was alright but I’ve certainly had better pies, even at various coffee chains around Melbourne. Given that these coffee chains serve ready-to-heat pies from a particular wholesaler, you know that I’m saying something when I say that Mocka’s supposedly homemade pies don’t taste any better. The filling was not only tasteless, there was a questionable amount of chicken in it and the pastry was not at all crispy.
We also decided to split a mini-sized crocodile pie ($2.50). None of us are particularly fond of crocodile but hey, this is FNQ and we had to eat crocodile at some point. Now, the only other time I’ve had croc was at some Chinese restaurant when my then-boyfriend at the time, Adam, decided to order crocodile in XO sauce ‘just to be different.’ I remembered the texture being a cross between fish and chicken and while it was certainly an interesting experience, that dish did not make me love crocodile meat. Eating this pie reaffirmed my stance towards crocodile – it was like eating chicken, but it smelt like fish. And the filling they used was tasteless beyond belief. Marty didn’t particularly like it either. Thank goodness we only ordered a mini-sized pie.
We left Mocka’s feeling disappointed because we thought the pies were not any better than the ready-to-heat pies they sell at various coffee shops in Melbourne, and certainly not worthy of winning any awards. To be fair though, I think our disappointment somewhat heightened because we didn’t really get to appreciate Port Douglas as others have in the past so we were already in not-so-good moods when we entered the store. I guess if I had to thank Mocka’s for anything, though, it would be to thank them for reinforcing my belief in how yucky crocodile meat is!