Great view. Oh dear, we know what that means.
Madam Queenie falls in to a difficulty of restaurants we’ll call Wannabe Mama San. You can snippet a roots behind to Chin Chin, Longrain, Spice Temple and, indeed, Bali’s Mama San. It is nowhere as achieved as those restaurants but, occasionally, a dishes during this northern beaches mod-Asian uncover signs of Mama San greatness.
It’s apparent — to us during any rate — that this kitchen has a chops to go subsequent turn and spike a Mama San-Chin Chin-Longrain thing if it could be bothered. We know this since some of a dishes are indeed subsequent level: some-more on their strange steep plate soon.
There’s a standard collection of dumplings and curries and stir fries lucky by these pan-Asian modernists and Madam Queenie’s plates are a churned bag.
(By a way, what’s with a Mr Wong, Ms G’s, Mr Teriyaki, Madam Fang, Madame Brussels, Mama Wong’s, Mamma Lard, Mr Sushi, Mr Chow’s thing with these smart new Asian restaurants? No idea, though it’s a trend. Why? These are all genuine griddle names, by a way.).
The good news? A breathtaking perspective of a Indian Ocean seems not to be an snag to a food and service. There goes that theory.
Ikan bilis is, though doubt, a favourite splash break condense bar nibble. It comes in many forms though always with a tiny dusty Asian anchovies from that it takes a name, roasted peanuts and chilli. Some are wet and gummy and finished with a hard, boiled pulp of boiled shallots and chilli. Some are dry, like a Madam Queenie version, that is a elementary credentials of peanuts and dried, crunchy anchovy. It’s addictive. Like crack. Or craic, as a Irish competence say. Which is to say, fun and good times. And it’s a cheapest drug around during $6.
“A breathtaking perspective … seems not to be an impediment.”
A plate they call gai yang — Thai-style separate steep — is $32. Can’t protest about a price. The curry pulp with that a steep was cooking was zesty and citrussy and sharp though being hot. The chargrilled steep pieces were easily blackened and hazed from a grill. The strength was wet — substantially brined — and sweet. It came with a crowd of orange and a amiable papaya salad on a side. Top dish. Hello Mama San.
Green papaya salad, $14.50/$19.50, crushed a sour, astringent, honeyed and tainted flavours this famous Thai “bruised” salad is famous for. Regrettably, there was really tiny of a agitator feverishness it is also famous for, though it has to interest to all punters, so dialling down a feverishness creates sense. The finely julienned papaya was crunchy and sour. Nice one.
Chive, ginger and spinach pot plaque dumplings, $15.50 for 4 pieces, were grim: floury, flabby and flavourless. You can buy improved versions in a freezer aisle of your internal supermarket. Were they filled with crushed potato? Couldn’t be certain what a stodgy stuffing was, but, erk, it was bad. And a bean shoots ornament on top? Don’t get it.
Pork lemongrass and peppercorn curry, $29.50, was a neat dish. It was 0 out of a ordinary. It was tawny and beige and very, really bland. We pimped it a lot with a several chilli-based and black vinegar-based condiments that took a pig from 0 to hero. The pig was honeyed and ideally cooked. It wanted some-more fish salsa to supplement salt and depth, though that’s only me.
Madam Queenie is a vast canteen-style griddle with an interior approach from a mod-Oz-Asian-Street(ish)-Long-Chim playbook: buckets of cutlery and bottles of sriracha in a center of a table, paper napkins, dishes delivered unapologetically out of sequence — that is a approach these things are finished these days.
Often, in restaurants like Madam Queenie, building staff will tell we a food comes out in a sequence that best suits a kitchen. Which gets adult my nose, since (a) it’s only bloody lazy, and (b) infrequently we wish to eat scrupulously that means, for instance, we wish a dumplings before, say, a categorical march steep curry. The best approach around this, by a way, is to sequence in tiny clusters of dishes — snacks and starters initial — and afterwards sequence again when your starters have been eaten.
Madam Queenie heaves on late week and weekend evenings. The food is not noted — nonetheless a chargrilled steep is subsequent turn — though it’s excellent for this arrange of venue, where suburban girls impact down honeyed cocktails and their partners splash drink from a bottle. It’s fun, it’s noisy, it’s good labelled and it has those views.
130 West Coast Drive, Sorrento (above Voyage Kitchen) 9243 2700, madamqueenie.com.au
Seven days, 5.30pm-late; Friday-Sunday, from 11.30am.
Bar snacks/to start $6-$21.50
From a griddle $29.50-$33.50
Food shows mass in rags though altogether is only OK. It’s a heaving, fun, seen-it-all-before, cookie cutter, mod-Asian canteen with shining views of Sorrento Beach.