The Forresters in Surry Hills has given birth to a new Jamaican style restaurant called Queenie’s which throws together delicious combinations of fresh fruit and Rastafarian BBQ flavours. Nestled up on the first floor, the new eatery is peppered with beach themed pictures and ornaments, while the tartan covered booth seats will have you and your friends very comfortable while you indulge in the great menu.
Kick off things with a cocktail, each of which is unique to the restaurant, the Red Alert ($16) is a fresh mix of Havana Club Croelle, Shrub Orange, Red Hibiscus and Mint, and it’s a great started to the night with a nice mix of sweet and sour. I’d also recommend the Jamaican Sangria for $10 a glass, full of fresh fruit and a flavour.
There’s two things you need to know about Queenie’s before we get started:
1) Come with friends, lots of them, you want to try everything on the menu;
2) Jerk Sauce makes everything amazing. (It has a spiced vinegar flavour with hints of garlic and pepper.)
Dishes on the menu are categorised into snacks, salads, bigs, feast and sides – follow the advice of the staff because they have a great grasp on how much is too much, and what combinations work best.
The Bammies ($7), are tortilla like snacks with prawn, mango and ginger or pulled pork and pineapple atop, think Taco with a touch of fruit salad. Both were equally delicious. The Coconut Soft-shell Crab ($16) was as good as it sounds – light and crispy crab pieces with a coconut kick coupled with a Hotstepper sauce to add that Queenies kick.
On the salad side of the things the Teriyaki Caribbean Chicken Salad ($16) with Mangoes, Cashews and Lime dressing was a fresh and flavoursome compliment to the BBQ and spice heavy mains we ordered. BBQ Jerk Chicken ($18) is a signature Jamaican dish, and must be eaten with a liberal serving of extra Jerk Sauce. The generous servings will have you testing your limits while you negotiate what’s left on the menu to try.
As the post meal conversation comes to a halt due to a mild case of over eating you’ll be thrown a huge curve ball with the presentation of the dessert menu. Try the Kingston Kreme Donuts ($10), jerk custard-stuffed donuts with chocolate and coffee dipping sauce, and the Cooldown Colada ($14) served in stemless glassware, is full of Jamaican sweetness – rum poached pineapple, coconut sorbet and praline.
This new eatery has it all, a fun vibe, a great menu, a unique cocktail list and a cuisine that Sydney is yet to fully explore. As with all the Drink n Dine venues, it’s evidently well thought out, investigated and tested. The combination of BBQ style food and fresh fruit is fantastic, and as the summer fruits come further into season I wouldn’t be surprised to the see the menu develop even further. Grab some mates, don’t eat for a day, and check it out.
The Forresters upstairs, 336 Riley Street Surry Hills 2010
Tue – Sat 6 – 11pm & Fri lunch 12 – 3pm
02 9212 3035