Broome is one of Australia’s most isolated cities. A 24-hour drive from Perth and 19 hours’ drive from Darwin, that hard data might inspire the uninitiated to imagine a town bereft of choice when it comes to dining and drinking options. Far from it.
As walkable as it is close to the azure blue sea, Broome is more accessible than you might think – be that physically or by palate. What’s more, Australia Post is adding another aspect to the mix with a new competition.
The Australia Post Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAS) ask readers to vote for their favourite online retailer by June 7, 2021. Five winners of the comp will receive 250,000 Qantas points, which you can then use to help get yourself north and gorge on some of the best food this side of the Indian Ocean*.
Here’s where to head.
Perched in a prime location in Chinatown, The Aarli offers a one-stop taste of the region’s modern-Australian and pan-Asian influences. That includes hearty curries, roti, dumplings, and bountiful BBQ duck bao buns that you assemble yourself and desserts like lemongrass and kaffir lime brulee with black sesame ice cream. It extends to the cocktail list – see the Vietnamese Martini, with Khalua, vodka, espresso and sweetened condensed milk. If you can’t choose, go for share plates to pass around or dive into the three-course chef’s choice menu to share under the stars in the dining area out front.
Named after the Thai word meaning “clean plate,” Ginreab (pronounced gin-ree-arb) celebrates the cuisine of central and northern Thailand, where owner/manager Jitsopin “Air” Long grew up. She brings dishes like jungle curry, crispy pork belly, and spicy seafood stir fries like the prawn-heroing Goong Tod Kratiem Prik Thai to the Carnavon Street location. Wash it down with traditional Thai-style cool herb teas.
Little Indian Restaurant
Also in Chinatown, Little Indian Restaurant is a Broome favourite for Indian dishes. Using homemade masalas and homegrown herbs, the menu spans meat, seafood and veggies, and a range of naan including Kashmiri, Keema and a chocolate-stuffed dessert naan paired with ice cream. There’s also a generous wine list that straddles WA favourites and interstate gems. Locals come here for generous portions of rich curries and one-pot wonders like the popular lamb biryani, as well as shareable sides like the tandoori-style tiger prawns.
Located just off Streeter’s Jetty, Mr Saigon offers reliable Vietnamese eats, from beef or chicken pho to crisp spring rolls and lunch-perfect banh mi. Thin rice pancakes like banh xeo or banh knot and Bún bò Hue are welcome, along with a spicy noodle soup combining beer brisket and pork shoulder with vermicelli. There’s a selection of vegetarian-friendly tofu dishes too, while meat lovers should aim for the brightly seasoned crispy chicken and pork belly. For a local spin, order the Hanoi-style wild barramundi marinated in turmeric and dill.
Situated in the bright red earth of the seaside northern suburb of Bilingurr, Moontide is Broome’s first distillery. Founded in 2020 by couple Andrew and Trish Davidson, this intimate craft operation stores monsoonal rainfall for its distilling process and similarly looks to the immediate surrounds for its savvy array of botanicals. That includes Kakadu plum and white berry bush, amongst many others. Beyond its core trio of gins – dubbed White Pearl, Pride Tide and Black Pearl Aniseed – Moontide produces locally sourced bitters with a distinctive saltbush edge. Swing by the cellar door to graze.
The immediate selling point here is the stunning, sweeping view of Roebuck Bay, whose native mangroves give the expansive hotel its name. With that palm-lined location, Mangrove Hotel is rightly adored for accommodation and special events. But on-site restaurant and bar The Bay Club gives you that same setting in a more casual way.
Day beds and cabanas on the veranda are ideal for small groups seeking sea air and sun, while the menu’s inventive pizza selections are well complemented by tropics-friendly cocktails, wines and craft beer.
One of Broome’s success stories is undeniably Matso’s brewery. The family-owned brewery has made its name around Australia thanks to its refreshing ginger beer and mango beer. Having now expanded into chili ginger beer and assorted hard soft drinks, Matso’s is a firm local favourite for family-friendly dining (whether at the regular restaurant or the dry season’s courtyard Curry Hut) and live music on the weekends. Certain beers are exclusive to the physical brewery, including the lager, dark lager, session pale ale and mango IPA. There are tours on offer too, showcasing the rich and storied history of the building and surrounding region.
To win the chance to head to Broome using Qantas points, vote for your favourite Australian online retailer at the ORIAS.*
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Australia Post.
* AU residents 18+ only. Between 9am 11/5/21 & 11.59pm 7/6/21 AEST, visit https://pages.email.auspost.com.au/oriasvoting/ (Website) to submit entry form (including by providing all information requested by the Promoter) & vote for your favourite online retailer. Max 1 entry per person. Draw: 1pm AEST 26/7/21 at 22/567 Collins St VIC 3000. Prizes: 5 x 250,000 Qantas Points, up to $2,500 value each. Total prize pool: up to $12,500 (inc GST). Must claim prize by 1pm AEDT 26/10/21. Winners must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to redeem Qantas Points. Free membership provided to winners that are not members. Prize is subject to availability & Qantas’ Frequent Flyer terms & conditions. Winners published on Website and notified via phone & email within 14 days of draw. See Website for full Ts&Cs. Promoter: Australian Postal Corporation (ABN 28 864 970 579), 111 Bourke St VIC 3000. Authorised under NSW Authority Number: TP/00939, ACT Permit No. TP21/00519.1 and SA Licence No. T21/482. If a Qantas Point Prize is redeemed for reward travel, the winners should be aware that the number of reward flight seats available is limited and availability depends on the flight, date, season and destination and some flights may not have any reward seats available. The winners will be responsible for all applicable taxes, fees and carrier charges of reward travel or accommodation booked by redeeming their prize. Taxes, fees and carrier charges vary depending on departure points, routes, exchange rates and dates of travel, are subject to change without notice and are quoted at the time of booking. Reward flights must be booked at least 24 hours before scheduled departure (and other advance booking requirements may apply). Reward travel is subject to the fare rules and the Conditions of Carriage of the relevant carrier. Compliance with immigration, health or other government requirements is the responsibility of the winner