Bushfire Flame Grill restaurant is located along the Esplanade in Cairns, and is part of the Pacific Hotel complex. We were staying a night at the hotel (to read the review of our stay, click here) and added in a meal at the restaurant during our visit. Boasting front row views out over the Lagoon and towards Reef Fleet Terminal, it was the ideal spot to people watch out through the big, street fronted windows. We also managed to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Cairns Festival which was ongoing during our visit.
The restaurant serves ‘Australian style, Brasilian inspired Barbecue’. Bushfire has an all-you-can-eat churrasco menu as well as a la carte options. We went for the churrasco (naturally). Using a traffic light system, you indicate to the food servers whether to keep serving you, leave you to rest for a moment, or that you are all done.
We booked our table at Bushfire Flame Grill restaurant for 7pm, but decided to take advantage of the bar’s happy hour beforehand. This runs from 5.30pm-7pm, and includes $5 wines and beers, and a $10 ‘Cocktail of the Day’ from their extensive list. When we got there at 6pm, a coach tour who had checked into the hotel earlier that afternoon were already in the bar/restaurant area, and the two bar staff were super busy. They were very apologetic about the wait for us to get served, which was about ten minutes or so, but we weren’t in a hurry and just ended up buying two extra drinks to make up for it.
The staff all seemed to know what they were doing, and were very knowledgeable about the food and restaurant as a whole. We were looked after by a server named Soo, who was the NICEST person ever. She worked hard to make sure we had everything we needed, was quick to refill water jugs and order us some more food, and was so attentive in general. Everyone was well-presented and served to a high standard, despite the busy and noisy surroundings.
Once we were seated at our table, we were presented with pork crackling to whet our appetites. That vanished promptly, and Soo brought over a platter of side dishes included in the price of the churrasco menu. This included potato gratin, black beans, saffron rice, and the most AMAZING cheese breads EVER. We loved it so much, we ordered some more because it was gone in a matter of seconds. Kez got very territorial about the potato gratin, so poor Sam barely had any. However, she can confirm it was also delightful. Never come between a girl and her cheesy potatoes.
Almost immediately, we were offered our first meat skewer – pork. The servers basically just wander from table to table with different skewers of meat, and slice you some off as and when you fancy. It was Sam’s idea of heaven. The pork was heavenly, really well cooked and so full of flavour. We were informed that the meat goes from rare to well done as you slice down the skewer, so however you like your meat you will be catered for.
Other skewers include kangaroo, lamb, beef, and spicy sausage. Kez loved this, and ordered some more as she’s not a huge fan of beef, lamb, or kangaroo. Sam’s favourite was the pork, and he even tried chicken hearts which were brought around too. We were served a chicken dish and seafood mocqueca at the table, and offered skewered pineapple as a dessert. Everything was cooked to perfection, and the all-you-can-eat aspect was so good for us.
We ate at Bushfire on a Saturday, and the restaurant was very busy. Cairns Festival was in full swing, and a parade was taking place along the Esplanade out the front. The customers ranged from couples on a date night, to coach tours, families, and birthday celebrations. There was a nice vibrant buzz, without the volume levels being too out of control, and the servers handled everything brilliantly.
Although there were clearly bookings for later on in the night, we never once felt rushed to finish up and leave. We were offered more food right up until we finally flipped our traffic light over to red.
The churrasco experience costs $54.90 per person (£29.95), so incredibly reasonable when you consider how much food you are served. Being backpackers, we wouldn’t opt to eat out at a restaurant like this very often, but the all-you-can-eat part is a huge attraction. We both ate like we hadn’t eaten in days (which is only a partial exaggeration), and felt extremely satisfied by the end of the night.
The happy hour, which we hadn’t known about before, was a big bonus too. For $20 (£10) we had two beers and two glasses of prosecco, before switching to full price. This was $6.50 for a bottle of Bushfire’s Brazilian Brew beer and $7.50 for a glass of sparkling. This is pretty reasonable and inline with what we found bar prices to be elsewhere in Cairns.
We’d give Bushfire Flame Grill restaurant in Cairns a solid three out of four stars. We loved our meal and the whole experience was exactly what meals out should be like. We felt as though the staff paid attention to us as customers, the food was excellent, and the restaurant setting was highly enjoyable. If you’re looking for a taste of Brazil in Tropical North Queensland, head to Bushfire in Cairns.
What is the best meal you’ve had on your own travels?
We received a complimentary churrasco meal for two at the Bushfire Flame Grill Cairns in exchange for writing this review. All of these opinions are our own.