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Queenies, Surry Hills

Queenie’s is located above the renowned Forresters Hotel which can be found on the corner of Riley and Foveaux Street in Surry Hills. They serve Jamaican food and the menu is designed by executive chef Jamie Thomas, who is also responsible for The Carrington, The Norfolk, Santa Barbara Kings Cross (part of the Drink and Dine Group).

I was catching up with the lovely S and suggested this place. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful. We started with bammies (similar to a taco) – one of each – pulled pork and pineapple and prawn, mango and ginger. No guessing which one I had, the pork deliciously tender and the pineapple complemented the pork well – it was delightful.

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The prawn, mango and ginger were also delicious but I definitely preferred the pork.

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S couldn’t go past the Hellshire ceviche ($16) with snapper, avocado, mango and chili which were served with corn chips. I didn’t have any of this but S said that it was fantastic – lots of flavours and refreshing.  It looked absolutely fantastic!

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I couldn’t go past the bbq jerk chicken with jungle slaw ($18) – oh my what a generous serving! I love the dark, sweet and sticky flavour of the chicken – it was tender and succulent and the jungle slaw a wonderful complement.

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We also ordered a serve of the jungle slaw ($7) – cabbage, coriander, lime and jerk mayo.

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Unfortunately we were too full for dessert, however the table next to us had the donuts and they looked tremendous! A lot better than those from Gowings! Next time!

Service was a tad slow at times but overall ok. They had some interesting items on the menu that I wouldn’t mind trying, like the smoked pork loin with crumbed mussels and mango salsa and the chicken wings looked good also. Will definitely come back on my next visit to Sydney!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Queenies

Corner Foveaux and Riley St

Surry Hills, 2010

PH: +61 2 9212  3035

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Breakfast Feast at Kazbah, Balmain

I remember coming to Kazbah many many years ago and enjoyed it. I was certainly due for a revisit. I was catching up with two awesome photographers, one whom I have gotten to know reasonably well and the other, his brother. There were six of us, their respectively wives and another friend of theirs, G. D1 made a reservation and we all ordered the breakfast feast. I haven’t had the breakfast feast but have read and seen many photos and it looked wonderful!

We were all looking forward to the feast. We sat outside, as it was a rather warm-ish day and were all ravenous, well I certainly was!

We all ordered our drinks – I, skim flat white, it was smooth but a little too watery for my liking. The juices, Ruby Grapefruit and Mango and Mandarin were a little sour but refreshing.

Three large bowls were placed in front of us. Started with warm rice pudding with saffron poached pear and hazelnuts – soft cooked rice with saffron poached pear, dusted with sugar, cinnamon and crushed toasted hazelnuts. I am not a huge fan of rice pudding nor cinnamon but surprisingly this was ok, in small dozes of course. I couldn’t eat a whole serving of this, but a couple of spoonfuls were ok.

Next the banana porridge with date compote served with brown sugar and warm milk. It was creamy and thick and a little tasteless I thought. The date compote was sweet but not nearly as sweet enough.

Sweet couscous, mixed nuts and dried fruits served with stewed rhubarb and cardamom milk was not a favourite of mine. It was a little dry and rough, but with the stewed rhubarb it was slightly tastier.

I did enjoy the stewed rhubarb though – LOVE rhubarb!

The breakfast tangines are Kazbah’s signature dish. I recall having one of their tangines here before and enjoyed it. A large tangine was placed before us, a combination of roast pumpkin and lamb mince breakfast tangines. The roast pumpkin tangine consists of roast pumpkin, spinach, roast capsicum, roast tomato caramelised onion, feta and eggs and the lamb mince breakfast tangine consists of lamb mince, sucuk, roast capsicum, roast tomato, caramelised onion, feta and eggs both served with turkish toast and lebanese bread.

I wasn’t a fan of the lamb mince, but only cause I am not a fan of lamb, however, the pumpkin tangine was delightful. Tender succulent roast pumpkin with caramelised onions and several eggs over the top and baked.

We were all getting rather full by now but wait… there’s more food!

Eggs three ways, scrambled, poached and fried served on turkish bread and the hot breakfast plate – bacon, roasted tomato, haloumi, potato hash and lamb merguez sausages. Unfortunately, the meal was lukewarm, getting on the cold side actually. I didn’t enjoy the lamb sausages, the haloumi were over cooked. I don’t think D1 enjoyed this either.

With the hot breakfast plate, we were presented with baby spinach, mushrooms and baked beans. I enjoyed the mushrooms and baked beans more than the not so hot breakfast plate.

We were stuffed but there were more of course! Dessert. Unfortunately, we waited a good 1hr and 20 mins for dessert to come. We had to chase them several times, and each waiter gave us a different answer. ‘Its on the way’, ‘It’s been called away’, ‘I’ll come back’ except they never came back and some ‘even shunned eye contact knowing that we’d ask them about our dessert’. Dessert was pancakes with ice cream – D1 claims that ‘my blind grand mother can whip them up in 5 minutes – not that hard’ and I have to agree.

I have to say, it was a surprisingly HUGE pancake – strawberry pancake with double cream and maple syrup topped with chocolate ice cream. The pancake was thick and I love the crusty exterior, however, I do prefer normal thin pancakes. The chocolate ice cream was creamy and absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, the wait was not worth it.

The service was ordinary that day, I know it was a busy day but still. We asked for ice and we all couldn’t believe that they all ran out of ice, considering it was the weekend of 40+ deg day in Sydney. You would think that they would have unlimited ice?

Lastly, when D1 walked up to the counter to pay, with money in the bill-fold, one of the waiters not in uniform, stood there, putting money in the till took one look at him with his outstretched hand and continues to count money, and ignored him. No wonder it took forever to pay – we were all wondering what was going on.

The breakfast feast was $25 per person, however, food was ok and service awful. I enjoyed the tangines but that was pretty much it. It was a little disappointing as we have all heard raving reviews and were looking forward to a wonderful feast.

I asked D1 if he would go back, his response: ‘are you kidding? Of course not! What a let down.’

Definitely a shame though. The company however was fantastic! IT definitely made up for the crappy service and ordinary food.

GA’s rating: 5 / 10

D1’s rating: 5 / 10

Kazbah

379 Darling Street

Sydney 2041

Ph: +61 2 9555 7067

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