19 January 2010

The Queens Hotel

In our view, the Queens is somewhere you tend to go when a somebody who is from Perth but living in London or over east is home for Christmas and has organised drinks. It’s big, it’s central, its well-known and out-of-towners generally don’t realise there are several better places to drink in the same area.

These organised drinks are sometimes difficult at the Queens, because on a Friday or Saturday night the place is packed and they have exactly 3 staff manning the bar and 2 of those are trainees. While the beer selection is fantastic, the wine list is pretty average and as far as we are aware, no one has ever had a satisfactory gin and tonic at the Queens (we cannot stand those tiny tiny tumblers the mixed drinks come in). This means it’s kind of difficult to get drunk, which can make for a very frustrating Friday night.

Our views changed somewhat after our meal at the Queens. It was a sweltering evening when we, along with our good friends Double Skulls and F, hit the Queens. We had made a reservation some time before to make sure we had a table on the decking, so we had a great position in which to enjoy the balmy night and Double Skulls’ hilarious conversation.

Our waitress was not exactly friendly and seemed to be constantly frantic - she did everything we needed but not always quickly because she seemed to have about 300 hundred other tables to run. As we have already mentioned, the Queens is consistently under-staffed resulting in pretty average, impersonal service.

We started with beers all round and a bottle of wine, and soon moved onto an entree of spiced Moroccan calamari on cous cous, quesadillas and cacciatore. We do not think we have been to a restaurant yet and not ordered some form of squid (other than Rembrandt, but that’s only because the Poles are generally not well known for their calamari dishes). This squid was pretty good – it was reasonably tender and dusted with a mild Moroccan spice served on a bed of spiced cous cous. The quesadillas weren’t bad, but in comparison to the quesadillas at the Brisbane which are beautiful and thin and crispy and come with shitloads of salsa, guacamole and sour cream, they’re not quite as delicious.

For the mains, the Deliberator ordered a 400g rib eye steak with mushroom sauce and chips. His critical and considered review of the steak was that, and we quote, it was ‘all good’. He also noted that he gnawed the bone till his fingers bleed AND that the BWS next door is open to midnight Mon to Sat. Thanks Deliberator. On a strange and what turned out to be a very ill-considered whim, The Brains ordered the vegetarian option, which was a haloumi and vegetable strudel with a broad bean salad. The strudel was quite a nasty puff pastry affair that contained over half a tin of olive oil in it which made it pretty much inedible. But, it was the broad bean salad that stunned Brains – it was basically a few baby spinach leaves topped with unshelled (yes! unshelled!) broad beans. Who eats the skin of the broad bean? There wasn’t even dressing. The whole thing seemed unfished, but still, the disappointment was entirely her fault for being so stupid as to order a vegetarian dish. She will never do it again.

BOOTO’s kangaroo on a tomato and roasted red onion salad with a beetroot relish and was absolutely fabulous. The kanga could have a been a bit thinner sliced and a bit more rare, but on the whole was delish. It is worth mentioning that when she ordered, the waitress pointed out that the kangaroo was currently not being served in its usual manner (ie crusted), which ended up to be a plus given that kangaroo is a tasty enough meat that crumbs it needed not. The only real negative was The Brains looking longingly at her meal.

Meanwhile the Sponge was consuming his dinner which consisted of 100 pints and some scotch. Oh, and weisswurst sausages and mash. The mushroom jus on the sausage was allegedly ‘simply to die for’. F’s ‘barramundi’ on the other hand was a bit muscular, F thought that it had either been working out or had been using steroids. Therefore, F’s highlight was watching the Deliberator and finish the night by smoking the bone of his giant steak. Double Skulls chose the linguini with prawns which she thought was pretty tasty.

So all up, an enjoyable night with some unexpected food highlights – in summary:

Service: Efficient enough, but impersonal and not overly friendly. A smile or 2 would never go astray.

Food: A slightly mixed bag, but more positives than negatives.

Ambience: The decking area was a lovely place to be on a super hot night.

Highlight: The mushroom jus.

Lowlight: Some long waits for drinks and unshelled broad beans.

Rating: 3.7 fat yaks out of 5.

Will we be back: While we won’t fall over ourselves to get back, there’s no doubt that some function or other will be held there that we will be attending. And that won’t be a bad thing.

Details: The Queens is at 520 Beaufort Street Perth – they have a helpful website at www.thequeens.com.au; and their number is 9328 7267. The bill for 3 shared entrees, 6 main meals, 2 bottles of wine, 100 pints and some scotch came to roughly $70 per head.

Queens Tavern on Urbanspoon


Style Seduction said...

Heh didnt you know vegetarians arent allowed nice food! That would be a travesty.

I had a meal there once, steak and half a crayfish which was actually pretty darn tasty, but everything else has been averageeee.

Prudence says said...

Any chance you'll back track 100m or so and try out Clarence's? My experience was a bit mixed - hit and miss food, great wine, but very, very expensive and very dim.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Your first two paragraphs are right on the money - it's always nice to know when someone shares a dim view of something (or someone for that matter) as it seems to justify said view.

Also, thanks for the heads up about the quesadillas at the Brisbane. I like my salsa and guacamole to come in shitload proportions.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Style Seduction - we actually didn't know vegetarians were all denied good food until now - it seems harsh, but ultimately fair.

Prudence - we will definitely be going to Clarence's, and soon too. We've been for a drink and we're looking forward to testing the food.

海綿寶寶 - fuck off.

Conor - don't forget to order the Brisbane's home made sausage rolls too - they rule.

Meghan said...

Yessssss! You're back! I was almost afraid to go out for dinner without your expert guidance on the Beaufort eateries in Highgate.

I cannot wait to read your review of Jackson's....

Style Seduction said...

My experience as a veggo was that only some restaurants get it. The best veggo I have ever eaten has to be curry, because the flavours dont need meat.

Restaurant + Vegetarian = fail so far (but I could be going to the wrong restaurants!)

David Cohen said...

Excellent work and a well-considered review...

...apart from the rant against non-meat eaters.

The defamation lawyer for the Vegetarian Union will be touch...

Bento said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one bewildered by the Queens staffing arrangements.

I once ordered a Bloody Mary there. The barman said "I'm no good at those", and gave me a glass with vodka and ice, a small bottle of tomato juice, a pepper shaker, and a tabasco bottle. Still charged full price, cheeky bastard.

mansi said...

OMG! U guys are back! Yayy! I almost lost all hopes when i thought we have lost one of the very best food blog in Perth! Dont scare us like that again! Haha. I hope u are all well and ready to brave the good and bad of our wonderful Beaufort st. Cant wait till u try Toba Oriental. Must order : Cambodian Ohn No beef curry! Ud be licking off your plates!! Tender meat and amazinggg gravy. -not beaufort st related but do u go to Ria restaurnt, Leedy? Im salivating, thinking of the chicken debal & achar fish! Yum. -Is Stinky getting on the right path to become a top foodie yet?! -mansi.

寶貝 said...

成功不是一個海港,而是一次埋伏許多危險的旅程。 ..................................................

The Beer Judges said...

Have you guys gone walk about again? I need to work out where to take someone on a date along Beaufort Street

Anonymous said...

So true!!! Love the intro paragraph!

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