The Nautilus dining experience
The 60 year old NAUTILUS RESTAURANT is nestled into Island Point Hill in picturesque Port Douglas amid a beautiful lush tropical garden setting with palms overhead.Guests enter along a hidden pathway from the main street of the Port Douglas village, to discover an awesome restaurant that is like stepping into another world.
NAUTILUS RESTAURANT, Port Douglas is truly unique - It combines the elements of a tropical paradise with elegant dining to create a wonderful outdoor dining experience.
We have established a relaxed dining atmosphere, a special ‘NAUTILUS’ FEELING' that is totally in harmony with our diners' ‘tropical holiday mode’. We feel that we are not a fine dining restaurant – we never have been. We are not bistro dining. We classify ourselves as “elegant dining” offering fine food in our unique setting. We do not pretend to tick all the boxes of a truly fine dining establishment. Our classification has not changed in the past 25 years.
To help guide your expectations of Nautilus Restaurant Port Douglas, we offer the following information on the restaurant. These are the many things that cannot possibly be conveyed in social media reviews.
The Setting: Nautilus is an iconic restaurant in Far North Queensland and the alfresco tropical dining that it offers is unique and wonderful. Nautilus is now approaching 60 years of operation from it’s original site in Port Douglas and we have endeavoured to maintain a maximum of the old atmosphere for this site that was established back in the fifties.Nautilus is the only truly outdoor dining restaurant in Port Douglas.
The atmosphere: is WOW and the beauty unique – you need to have the experience to fully understand the magnitude of our claim and our iconic status. We share our dining with nature – in good and bad conditions. We are subject to the effects of the weather and let’s face it the tropics can hit some extremes in terms of weather. Over time our innovation has allowed us to handle all weather situations and maintain an outdoor feel even when it rains and there is nothing better than dining in this restaurant as the rain comes down and refreshes the gardens.We do not have an air conditioned dining area. We are totally outdoors. Please don’t let the tropical weather lessen your experience, embrace it, after all this is why you have come to Port Douglas.
There are 3 separate dining areas: Each has its own character and natural beauty. All diners have ample individual space and our unique ‘Nautilus chairs’ offer an added feeling of privacy and opulence. To establish a duplication of this restaurant to-day would not be a commercial reality. The private rain forest setting in which the restaurant stands, occupies 3 large building blocks with frontage and entrances from both Murphy and Macrossan streets. This private tropical oasis is amazingly less than 100 meters from the Coles complex in the centre of the Port Douglas village.
Cuisine : We feel that we are not a fine dining restaurant – we never have been. We are not bistro dining. We classify ourselves as “elegant dining” offering fine food in our unique setting. We do not pretend to tick all the boxes of a truly fine dining establishment. Our classification has not changed in the past 25 years Our cuisine is ‘Modern Australian’ and we maximize the use of local FNQ produce and appropriate European & Asian cooking influences as introduced to the restaurant (and Australia) by Mogens Bay Espensen in the early 80’s. Our Chefs pay attention to the fine details and innovation as our experience over time brings us back to a style that our customers are familiar with and enjoy.
Service We maintain service levels appropriate for our standard of dining. Our aim is allow our patrons leisurely dining in a beautiful setting . Service is purposely slow compared to some other restaurants who may be anxious to hurry you through and turn tables. We are not a food stop. Our level of wait staff for customers is around 30% greater than other similar restaurants. The multiple dining areas and the special ambiance they add, also have a downside. The location from kitchen and bar to dining areas, apply unusually high demands on our wait staff with the vast distances they have to travel over several levels. At any time during the evening if you have a concern or anything is not to your liking, please ask any waiter for assistance by requesting for your section waiter or the restaurant manager to come to your table. We do encourage this action and will respond immediately
Beverages & Pre-dinner Lounge: Our wine list is extensive and possibly the largest in Port. Wine is available by the glass or bottle. Our canopy lounge is situated amongst the tree tops and provides a pre dinner cocktails option. A wonderful start to your Nautilus evening. his lounge is also available to non dining patrons who may wish to sample the Nautilus ambiance. Priority is always given to guests who are utilizing the lounge as part of the full dining experience so please understand if we are un-able to accommodate ‘walk-ins’ in the lounge during busier times. An early evening cocktail or dessert & coffee later in the night may be an idea.
Our Prices : Our prices to day are very similar to what they were 5 years ago. Our research clearly demonstrates they are in line with what one would expect from similar restaurants offering that something extra. If price is your concern – we suggest you check our web site for details on menu & other prices.