Bait to Plate

Kev Collins

Well known Restauranter and co-owner of Fish D'vine & The Rum Bar in Airlie Beach. When Kev's not working he's out fishing in the amazing food bowl of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or in his tinnie in the estuaries crabbing! His blog imparts wisdom, tales and info on all things fishing and food.

Wilderness in the heart of Airlie Beach

So close to Airlie but almost a journey back in time are some of the mangrove creeks and forests which start literally just a few hundred meters from the glitz and glamour of the main tourist strip. I have a little creek which runs into the bay our restaurant looks over and it is complete with a resident crocodile and all the life, sights sounds and smells of a mangrove creek in the wilderness. Typical of a well-managed ecosystem and the general resilience of our environment it is still an easy place to drop a crab pot, catch a barramundi or Mangrove Jack and always makes me feel like I am miles from anywhere, when in fact I am less than a kilometre from the very centre of Airlie Beach. It is one of the great advantages of our village. Diversity, unspoilt wilderness on the very doorstep of commerce, industry and jobs. Half an hour, a few pots and Black Pepper crab for dinner. I love this place. I didn’t think to take a picture of the cooked item. I was in too big a hurry to eat it. So you will have to take my word for it. Delicious. Clean and crack the crab, into a wok with a half a cup of chicken stock, a “lot” of fresh ground black pepper, a teaspoon of ground white pepper, good pinch of salt and a large knob of butter (100 grams per crab). Cook with lid on for about 12 minutes and then remove the lid and allow the liquid to almost evaporate away, tossing and coating the crab  till you have a thick sticky coating with little or no “sauce” to speak of. An amazing taste and smell and for the lovers of a bit of spicy kick. A true Singapore sensation using our best seaffod.