Melaleuca Restaurant Signature Dish – Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche

Best Accompanied by: Corte Giara Pinot Grigio


The brainchild of award-winning head chef Adam Ion and his wife Namhee, Melaleuca opened its doors in April last year and this ambient restaurant has quickly established itself as the go-to for foodies, holidaymakers and locals alike.

Adam’s food passion started at an early age. “I will never forget my first job. Aged 13 years old on the West Coast of Scotland, shucking oysters and chasing langoustines around the kitchen!  It only ignited my love of food, thriving on the energy of a busy kitchen and it instilled in me complete respect for fresh seafood that was well prepared.” Adam said. He knew one day he would run his own kitchen and hopefully own it, too!

The food appetite well and truly whet, Adam packed his bags.  He met his wife Namhee in Scotland before they headed off together. He smiles shyly: “I not only found my lifelong partner but also the appreciation of her Korean heritage.  I was determined to try and test everything on my travels and to this day experimenting with Korean spices in my dishes is still one of my favourites things to explore.”

The couple finally settled in Australia in 2010 and Adam quickly established himself on the food scene in Port Douglas.  Adding numerous North Queensland Awards to his resume including national honours in 2016 as Best Seafood Restaurant in Australia, he still had his sights set on working with Nahmee and his team in his own creative space.

In early 2019, a magical spot caught their eye. “We fell in love immediately.  The mango trees were simply magnificent, complemented by a light sea breeze. We knew this was our opportunity to take the leap, to create our own a restaurant where our guests could come, truly relax and enjoy modern Australian food,” Adam said.

After lots of hard work from the team, Melaleuca opened its doors and they have never looked back.  In their first year, they were awarded Best New Restaurant in Queensland and their second, and perhaps their most coveted award, an Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat award.

“To this day we design our menus using fresh, local produce, paired with delicious wines to tantalise the tastebuds, offering popular dishes such as local Barramundi and Tiger Prawns from our amazing ocean on our doorstep and much more,” he said.  One of his personal favourites is the Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche.  The Kingfish is cured in green chilli and lime and accompanied with Russian purple kale, coconut espuma, Thai basil and crispy shallots.  This is proving to be one of the most popular items on the menu!

We think It is safe to say, this culinary team certainly are the ones to watch!


*A Chef Hat is awarded to exceptional chefs serving a high calibre of food and is determined by anonymous Australian Good Food Guide inspectors who dine at restaurants around the country.