Cairns is Officially Home to Australia’s Favourite Mushrooms on Toast
Photo courtesy of Jo Whitton
Tucked away at the north end of Cairns Esplanade, you’ll find Guyala Cafe— owned by Cairns local and the face behind Caffiend and Tattooed Sailor Coffee Roasters, Oliver James.
Opened back at the start of 2020, Guyala has not only kept its doors open throughout a global pandemic— it has grown from strength to strength. The Cairns North cafe has won several accolades in less than three years— including being named North Queensland’s ‘Best Breakfast’ in 2021 and winning a ‘Consumer Vote’ award earlier this year, along with recent recognition for its Tropical Avocado Toast.
But the real cherry (or fungi) on top of its success came in November, when it was revealed that Cairns is home to Australia’s ‘Best Mushroom Toast’.
Launched as a special in 2022, Guyala’s ‘Truffle Mushrooms’ became a cult favourite among the cafe’s regulars— vegans and meat-eaters alike. So much so, that the team was convinced to grant the dish a permanent spot on the menu.
Fast forward a couple of months and they are certainly glad to have kept it around— winning the top spot in Australian Mushrooms’ #MyMushroomToast competition
and earning the $10,000 prize.
The campaign— which was launched to encourage consumers to eat more Australian grown mushrooms— shone a spotlight on creative recipes across regional and metro areas, but Guyala ultimately beat 16 finalists to the punch.
So what makes Guyala’s Truffle Mushrooms the best of the best?
“The key ingredient to the Truffle Mushrooms dish is the cashew-based mushroom truffle pâté we make,” Oliver said.
“We layer sourdough with our mushroom truffle pâté, the cooked Australian Mushrooms— plus goat’s chèvre and pickled red onion, finishing with dried rose petals, flaked salt and pepper and olive oil direct from the Grampians Olive Co. farm.”
When asked what he will do with the winnings, Oliver said: “We intend to direct a portion towards kickstarting our own sourdough production in Cairns.
“I’m also planning to give the team a bonus to say thank you for their efforts over the past couple of years. The rest will be donated to OzHarvest’s FEAST program, which educates young students on sustainability, food waste and nutrition.
“The work OzHarvest does in reducing food waste while simultaneously supporting those in need is so important for the community as well as the environment.”
Guyala [pronounced goo-ya-la] is named after the local Yirrganydji word for the White Breasted Sea Eagle, also the name of the mountain range embracing the Southern side of Trinity Inlet. Guyala Cafe is located at 2 Smith Street and is open seven days a week.