An ambiguous, middle-of-the-road bistro can hardly compete with the likes of modern Spanish tapas, authentic Mexican or fun-filled Jamaican - the latter of which is found at Queenies; the transformed upstairs floor of the renewed The Forresters pub and restaurant.
|Coconut daiquiri at Queenies, Corner of Foveaux and Riley Streets, Surry Hills|
Invited to sample Queenies' Jamaican food offerings, it was a feast littered with jerk hot spice mix and all manner of new ingredients and flavour combinations that gave unique insight into Caribbean cuisine.
The cocktail menu features various tropics-inspired drinks, such as the quite sweet coconut daiquri of white rum and probably Malibu liqueur, served in a margarita glass with a chilli salt rim.
|Prawn, mango and ginger bammy|
The grilled, thick bammy isn't heavy or stodgy as it may look, and is a filling platform for some whole, grilled prawns, sweet sauce, mango and coconut shreds.
|Pulled pork and pineapple bammy|
|Coconut soft shell crab|
The crunchy batter isn't particularly strong in coconut flavour but is sure to satisfy Sydney's soft shell crab obsession.
|Curried oxtail patties|
These hot, golden packets were my favourites from the snacks portion of the Queenies menu, filled with juicy, yielding oxtail meat and vegetables, and with not too much of a noticeable curry aroma.
|Calypso coffee ribs|
|Bbq jerk corn with coconut|
|Hellshire ceviche - snapper, avocado, mango and chilli|
The sliced, lime juice-marinated snapper was fresh and tinged with not hot chillies, coriander and avocado, eaten Mexican tostada style on tortilla chips, where every crunchy mouthful was a party of sweetness, zing, spice and creaminess.
|Pushcart chicken wings|
|Sweet potato fries with spiced mayonnaise|
|Goat curry with okra, sweet potato, toasted coconut and dirty rice|
The goat curry, a very traditional Jamaican dish, was aromatic and creamy with coconut and hints of spice, while the tender, well-flavoured lamb-like goat meat came off the bone incredibly easily.
|Dirty rice with coriander, spring onions, mint and allspice|
Cooked to a firm softness, almost Indian style, these individual grains of rice were tossed through with a healthy helping of coriander, chopped spring onion and mint leaves: an ideally herbaceous side to soak up the rich goat curry sauce.
|Jungle slaw - cabbage, radish, coriander, lime, jerk mayo|
|Bbq jerk chicken with jungle slaw|
Comprising various parts of a whole chicken, the flesh is impressively tender and moist for a grilled bird, while the sweet, spiced coating gave all new, hot perspective to finger-licking good chicken.
|Jerk pork neck served with sweet potato fries, jungle slaw, salsa and bread rolls|
It's served with bread rolls for a DIY bun session: shred some pork (which seemed to be spicier than the chicken's jerk seasoning), add some slaw and cucumber salsa, with sweet potato fries on the side and you've got a full-blown Jamaican slider fest.
|Kingston Kreme doughnuts|
The doughnuts themselves had a bit of spice to them, while the jerk custard was certainly an unusual dessert offering alongside chocolate sauce.
|Piña colada dessert|
|Some of the decor at Queenies|
So, be prepared for an absolute tropical feast fit for a king, or indeed, Queenies, when you walk upstairs at The Forresters. Many thanks to Jamie Thomas for the hospitality - even just looking at the photos now, Jamaican me hungry.
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of Jamie Thomas and Queenies.