Queenies is located on level 1 of the Forresters bar. Traipsing through part of the ground level, I was pretty worried that we wouldn't be able to get a table because the bar area was absolutely packed. I grew even more worried when we came upstairs and the bloke in front of us was asked to wait for half an hour. It turned out that his case was exceptional - he was expecting a large group and so enough space had to be cleared to accommodate them.
One of their smiling waitresses took the time to explain items off the menu to us (such as what plantain is), as well as naming the most popular dishes and her own personal favourites.
The drinks menu looked so tempting that I ordered a ginger beer-based cocktail that they dubbed a 'Sugar Mamma'. I sadly don't remember what they mixed the ginger beer with, but it was one of those cocktails that didn't taste too much of alcohol but wasn't too sweet either.
|Sugar Mamma Cocktail ($10.00)|
|Pulled pork & pineapple bammy ($7.00)|
|Prawn, mango and ginger bammy ($7.00)|
|Fried plantain ($8.00)|
One of the highlights of the meal was the ceviche, a plate of thinly sliced snapper sashimi, chilli, mango and avocado. On the side were a few hard tortilla chips that we used to collect the pieces of snapper. The ceviche was juicy, fresh, and the contrast of crunch from the tortilla against the softness of the fish and mango left me wanting more.
|Hellshire Ceviche ($16.00)|
Another plate (or basket) we shared was a soft shell crab dish with hotstepper sauce. The sauce tasted like tom yum soup - Asian and spicy. The soft shell crab was moist and well battered. Though it was a pretty big portion, it was so addictive that it was fairly easy to polish off.
|Soft shell crab ($16.00)|
|Smoked pork loin ($24.00)|
|Brixton Mess ($14.00)|
As I've made pretty clear, I don't presume to know anything about Jamaican food, so I can't comment on its authenticity - in any case, sometimes our Australian adaptations of food are more pleasurable to (at least our) taste buds than truly authentic flavours. Most of the dishes that I tried were mouthwatering. A couple of their dishes are a bit of a miss. The range of food we had became a bit samey due to the excess use of mango chutney all around, and the dessert we tried was a bit of a flop. Nevertheless, these aren't big issues (at least I know now what to avoid), Queenies impressed me with what they did do well, I was stuffed to the brim with food, and overall I had a really enjoyable night out.