OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Sailors Cafe Zilzie owners Tam and Luke Tickner have opened a restaurant at Seaspray Resort, Zilzie.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Sailors Cafe Zilzie owners Tam and Luke Tickner have opened a restaurant at Seaspray Resort, Zilzie. Allan Reinikka ROK280619atickner

Wordly experience travelling high seas shared in new cafe

FROM sailing the high seas, tasting some of the best coffee all over the world and working in his family restaurant in Italy, Luke Tickner has returned home to Emu Park.

He brings all of this knowledge and experience into his newest business venture, Sailors Cafe at Zilzie.

Luke and his wife, Tam, have opened a restaurant in the old space at Seaspray Resort.

He grew up in Emu Park and left in the 1980s after he finished school when he was 18 years old.

After moving to Western Australia, he then headed overseas and worked in lucrative jobs including the luxury charter industry, catering to the high end of the marine industry for some high-profile clients including the owners of car brand Mercedes.

This saw him travel all over in the eastern Mediterranean, Greek Islands, Turkey, the Red Sea and the south of France.

READ HERE: Lone Star reveals opening, it's sooner than you think His maritime journeys finished in Vietnam, where he met his wife of 10 years.

Tam comes from a long line of chefs and cooks and they came to Australia looking for a new adventure.

"We came across the empty café in Seaspray and it was too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Luke said.

They started the cafe two weeks ago with a soft opening while the couple and the new staff found their feet.

Luke has put on nine casual staff throughout the business, with room for more.

The plan is to offer Vietnamese and Mediterranean food, however, they have started with just the Vietnamese side for now.

"We've had an enormous response from the local community, they have been absolutely thrilled,” Luke said.

"We have had incredible feedback, no criticism... people are going out of their way to compliment our food.”

READ HERE: New food shop to open at empty shopping complex

The menu features traditional cuisine with a strong country influences and rural dishes.

The dishes includes spring rolls, bamboo soup, pho, ragout, noodles and more.

"All of our stewed beef and slow-cooked pork are done with a full marination process, high quality meats mixed with the simplicity of Vietnamese ingredients,” Luke said.

Returning to the Capricorn Coast after decades away, Luke is more than impressed at how far the community has come.

"Zilzie itself was old... Zilzie was a bunch of an old original houses and now you have several estates and golf courses that have come and gone... it's turned sand dunes into a beautiful residential area,” he said.

"We expect the area to fully develop and especially now Seaspray has been repurchased by a local developer.”

READ HERE: Transformation planned for iconic old hotel

He is particularly looking forward to catching up with old friends and school mates.

"I have have been to some magical places around the world and lived in the south of France to Greece... but to come back now and to follow through with my passion and bring travels and what I have learnt is a real honour and a real blessing,” Luke said.


  • Seaspray Resort, Zilzie
  • Mon-Tues: 8.30am-2pm cafe and cake
  • Wed: 8.30am-2pm cafe and cake; 5-8pm dinner
  • Thurs-Fri: 8.30am-2pm cafe, cake; 5-10pm dinner
  • Sat: 8.30am-11pm breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Sun: 8.30am-2pm breakfast and lunch
  • Extended hours for school holidays
  • Phone 0456174938
  • Full liquor licence, indoor and outdoor seating
  • Bookings for functions
  • Grand opening on July 13-14, duo Friday's Child performing from 2pm on both days
  • Find them on Facebook