“The menu is refreshingly different. Many dishes have a native and/or uniquely Australian twist,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.
A NEW queen is reigning over Kingston. Queenies, which opened a couple of weeks ago, has made a grand entrance and locals are loving it.
Located where Charlie’s Corner used to be, Queenies has overhauled the look and feel of the venue.
It features an eclectic range of furniture (including carefully restored train carriage seats from 1907 and a major piece of artwork celebrating Liliuokalani, Australian’s first queen of the belly dancers).
You’ll also find fab art deco-inspired pieces, antique mahogany pieces, and loads of warm colours about the place.
Décor aside, Queenies promises a ‘true local’ approach, starting with its food and drink menu. The wine list is impressive and features Canberra region and Australian wines and craft beers from independently owned breweries.
The menu is refreshingly different. Many dishes have a native and/or uniquely Australian twist, incorporating ingredients like myrtle butter, finger limes, Kakadu plum, Davidson plum, Dorrigo pepper and wattle seed. The menu includes sandwiches, small dishes (some great to share, some a bit awkward to share), mains, charcuterie and cheese platters, and sweets. Several cocktails are also created with intriguing elements like wattle flower wine and wattle seed bourbon.
It was lunch and we grabbed a table in the large, outdoor dining area (covered to protect from the sun). We indulged so much so that it’s impossible to squeeze all the dishes we ordered in this review.
The saganaki ($16.50) was salty and squeaky and dished up with bright redcurrants and citrusy yuzu. A total contrast in flavour was the blood sausage ($18.50), served with camel milk feta and slow-cooked apple with a crunchy texture.
One impressive dish was the charcoal lemon myrtle half chicken ($38). It was tangy and super succulent. The Kurrajong braided green leaves that arrived with the chicken were gorgeous.
We adored the smoked lamb belly with fascinating (and tasty) Dorrigo pepper noodles, with chilli and honey ($36). Dorrigo pepper is such a wonderful native Australian flavour and it lifted the noodles to a new height.
We shared charred cos lettuce with shallots, Davidson plum vinegar and splashes of olive oil ($12). Calories aside, the hand-cut chips are worth ordering ($12).
For wines, we began with a Jade and Jasper Fiano from Riverland, South Australia ($55, but more than $70 at another restaurant in the area, so great value), and topped off with 2019 Bloodwood – Big Men in Tights, a gorgeous rosé from Orange, NSW ($59).
It’s fantastic to see this prime core of real estate brought back to life, having been closed since Charlie’s shut up shop during the bushfires. When visiting, check out the hand-painted fresco at the bar, by local artist and gallery owner Kacy Grainger. It’s stunning.