Crystalbrook Bailey’s CC’s Bar and Grill has taken out the Restaurant of the Year and Chriso The Personal Chef has been crowned Events Caterer of the Year in Restaurant and Catering’s 2021 Northern Australia awards.

Cairns venues stole the limelight during the awards’ gala presentation at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino last night, beating out entrants across the rest of North Queensland and the Northern Territory.

CC’s Bar and Grill also scored the highest points in the hotel and resort restaurant category.

General Manager of Crystalbrook Bailey, Lisa Brown, told Tropic Now the accolades are particularly rewarding during what has been another tough year of COVID-19 lockouts.


“The team has continued to make the CC’s Bar and Grill experience one to remember and it says thank you and well done to many brilliant minds who have come together to create a world-class restaurant here in Cairns,” she said.


“We dry-age our own beef from Crystalbrook Station, a paddock to plate story that is truly unique in the region.

“All elements of the dining experience are considered, from the architectural design, the menu, the wine list, the Crystalbrook Beef branding on the table to Chillagoe marble walls and benches.”

The Chambers in Spence Street won three awards for staff members, including best chef for Chris Jarvis, Sophie-Marie Berger for apprentice chef and Taiya Steineck for front of house/food and beverage employee of the year.

Wild Thyme came away with two accolades, including best family dining and best restaurant manager for Catherine Pacey.

Best breakfast restaurant of the year went to Guyala Café in Cairns North.

Owner Oliver James dedicated the award to the hard work of his team.

“It feels lovely, it feels great,” he told Tropic Now.

“It can be quite dangerous winning awards because then people have expectations.

“I feel like I’ve got the confidence with our team and our venue that we can maintain a high standard going forward.”

Other Cairns winners included Tha Fish for best seafood restaurant, Pullman Palm Cove’s Temple of Tastes for best Asian and Il Chiosco at Trinity Beach for best Italian.

Port Douglas venues also did well, with Seabean Tapas Bar taking out the speciality restaurant award and Salsa Bar and Grill winning the gong for best contemporary restaurant in an informal setting.

Rhys Bawden, owner and director of Salsa, was also presented with a lifetime achievement award.

For the full list of winners, click here.


Main points

  • The start of the 2021/22 NBL season has been pushed back to December
  • The Cairns Taipans will play at home for the first three rounds
  • First road games for the Snakes include trips to Brisbane and Adelaide
It’s a culinary journey with a sustainable story.
Lisa Brown
Crystalbrook Bailey General Manager