Category Archives: Darwin

Il lido: Darwin

illido 6Il Lido
Wharf One F3, 19 Kitchener Drive, Darwin NT 0800
Tel: (08) 8941 0900

I have been to Il Lido a few times now.

It is a restaurant by the waterfront. It is quite relaxing, peaceful, has both inside and outside seating and you can see the water and lights of the convention centre from your dining table.


There is both a bar Il Lido and restaurant Il Lido side by side.

The one dish I keep coming back for is the little piggy pizza! ($24) It has roast pork, apple sauce, bacon… and THE most important topping – pork crackling. The pork crackling is absolutely done to perfection. Love it every time. It’s light, crispy and crunchy. Mmm. The roast pork is succulent and not dry at all. The bacon is flavourful and the apple sauce is just the right amount of sweet to balance the dish.

il lido 5

I have had it three times now. However last night, for some strange reason.. they forgot the pork crackling.. so we pointed it out to the waitress, and we immediately got a plate of crackling pieces to pour over the pizza. il lido 6

The other, now favourite of mine, is the butter chicken pizza ($24). This is to die for.  Creamy, beautiful blended spices which are not over powering, succulent chicken, yogurt and coriander. I had forgotten that the Hanuman owner, also owns half of Il Lido. So apparently the Hanuman provides Il Lido with butter chicken to use as a pizza topping. il lido 4Every mouthful is just heaven.

We were told by the waitress we were lucky that they had it in stock. Apparently it either sells out quickly or some nights of the week they simply don’t have it in stock. So my one tip is probably go on a Friday or Saturday and tell them that you want to order this when you make the reservation, so they keep it in stock for you. It is really not to be missed!

A glass of red or white makes this the perfect end to a hard week’s work.

Food: 9/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Overall Score: 32.5/40

* May 2015 – Note: I went back here a couple of months after I posted this, and disappointingly Il Lido had changed their set up. No longer are pizzas available at main restaurant, they were only available at the bar area. Their pizzas I felt had much less care, the pork crackling was a bit soggy and the tandoori chicken was not as good as the first time, not as creamy and generous. So hopefully this was just a one off poor encounter…

Il Lido on Urbanspoon

Darwin: Deckchair cinemas

Jervois Rd, Darwin Waterfrontmap - cinema
FREE car parking is available at the cinema on Jervois Rd or…
FREE car parking is available at the Cenotaph (War Memorial) car park, Bicentennial Park on the Esplanade (and walk down the Damoe Ra Park stairs).

Deckchair Cinema is only a short walk from city hotels and offices; take the scenic Damoe Ra Park walkway downstairs from the Cenotaph (War Memorial) car park on the Esplanade.

I went to the deckchair cinemas on a Sunday night. Tickets were $15 per person. We drove down and parked at the cinema on Jervois Road. There was plenty of parking. No need to worry about this.
Lined up for a few seconds and then walked through the entrance. You are greeted on your left, with chests full of colourful cushions to pick from to put on your deckchair. Then you’ll see to the right of you the side of the snack bar, and bottles full of aeroguard to protect you from those pesky bugs and mosquitoes!

WUY6061367231129As you walk further you’ll see the front of the snack bar (which sells ice-cream, chocolates, rock-deli chips, beer, ciders and non-alcoholic drinks) there is a free water dispenser, and on your left is a hot food bain maire from one chosen restaurant provider to sell hot take-away dinner options. $13 for a plate of food. Just a perfect set up.

Really enjoyed the whole experience and would thoroughly recommend going when you want a relaxing, chilled out night.

experience: 10/10

Darwin: Nightcliff markets (Sunday morning/afternoon)

Pavonia Place
Nightcliff NT 0810, Australia
0414 368 773
6am to 2pm every Sunday

This is a much smaller collection of market stalls than Mindil or Parap, but it is a great roll-out-of bed, pick-up some brunch place. Relaxed, easy, fast.

It now has quite a few tables I noticed, to sit at, if you want to eat there.
There are a handful of arts and craft stalls and a masseur by the side G90fCh1367230898near the entrance of the markets. I would probably head there more for the food than the arts and craft.

I would say the stalls in the center are all fairly decent. I would recommend Ken’s crepes, which is also at Mindil. Particularly the sweet crepes. Laksa, chicken satays, spring rolls with chilli sauce, fresh Vietnamese rice paper rolls and fresh fruit juice – I the would recommend all these. BnYwCE1367231526Really liked the prawn and pork and bbq rice paper rolls and also the pineapple, lime and honey juice – very refreshing and light in the humid weather.

The other thing I quite liked was the stall near the entrance selling packs of pretty, vibrant and colourful dried fruit. Really loved the dried pineapple.

value for money: 8/10
food: 7.5/10
ambiance: 7.5/10
overall score: 23/30

Other Sunday market:
6:30am to 1:30pm

Darwin: Java Spice

javis bar Darwin CBD
22 Mitchell Street
Darwin, NT 0800
04 0837 2273

Java Spice Bar, is a very cute, colourful, floral visual on the eyes. I thought the waitress just decided to dress outlandishly to resemble an escaped leopard from the local zoo, until I realised it was the cafe’s staff uniform. At least they match the decor.

The carrot cake is suppose to be very good. However, because we arrived at 7:30am after the Anzac day dawn service, we were after their selection of savoury breakfast items and coffee.

javis bar2

Inside decor:

We ordered, two naughty boy pork rolls (approx $12 each) , a toasted sandwich ($7.50) which supposedly is ‘the best toasted sandwich you’ve ever tasted or your money back’, chai latte and two coffees.

A friend mentioned the naughty boy pork rolls are normally really good. Crusty, soft, super fresh bread, lightly toasted and pretty much typical Vietnamese pork roll ingredients inside.javis bar 3 It wasn’t as good as it usually is because we were there SO incredibly early, we suspect it was there from the day before. Also the toasted sandwich was not bad, but by no means even close to the best toasted sandwich I’ve ever eaten. I would probably rate it as a 6.5/10. Given that Darwin is so small though, and most people know each other by a matter of 1 to 2 degrees, I, like other Darwin residents would probably never dream of complaining. You don’t want to be known in a small town as a serial complainer.

Even though I normally enjoy illy coffee, I have to say the coffee was drinkable, but not great.

On the plus side, the ambiance is uplifting and fresh and the service is very friendly and attentive. I can see why people come here to pass time.

value for money: 6/10
food: 6.5/10
service: 6.5/10
ambiance: 7.5/10
overall score: 26.5/40

Java Spice on Urbanspoon