The Queen’s Head Hotel is the oldest licenced venue in an original building in South Australia. First opened in 1838, it was associated with the first part of North Adelaide’s settlement and was an important venue for public meetings. Located down Kermode Street, the hotel is located in a state heritage listed building, but throughout the years, the internal decor has been continually updated to keep up with the times. Quite similarly, so has the menu. Talented Head Chef, Ben Smith, runs the kitchen and his team offer patrons a selection of shared plates, wood fired pizzas, burgers, mains and desserts. Adelaide Food Central was invited today to sample some of their menu. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
The first entree was the Wood Oven Pulled Lamb Croquettes with jalapeno aioli. The croquettes were crumbed and cooked to a dark golden brown. The filling was a combination of soft delicate mashed potato and tender, succulent, well marinated pulled lamb. The proportions of potato and meat were just right, and the jalapeno aioli added that extra bit of excitement to this dish.
The Crispy Brisket with Vietnamese salad and chilli was the next entree. Beneath the crispy coating of the brisket was a tender and juicy cut of beef that simply fell apart. The Vietnamese salad was herby and refreshing, and the dipping sauce added more depth to the dish.
If you’re ever at the Queen’s Head Hotel, you really need to check out their pizzas. Voted the best pizzas in South Australia, it was something I had to taste for myself. The first one was the South Australian Prawn Pizza. The prawns were juicy and cooked to perfection. The chilli provided good heat while the lemon added a subtle hint of tartness. The rocket was fresh and crisp, and the truffle oil brought all the elements together. Cooked in the wood fire on a thin and crunchy base, this pizza was incredibly addictive.
The other pizza was the Spiced Lamb Pizza. Filled with generous amounts of well marinated morsels of lamb, it reminded me of a lamb yiros on a pizza. The caramelised onion provided a lovely natural sweetness while the thick garlic yoghurt complimented the lamb.
The first dessert we had was the Home-made Snickers Ice Cream Sandwich. Two scoops of delicate, creamy, house made ice cream were wedged between two crunchy biscuits. Delicious and decadent were two words that would best describe this dish.
Next was the Flourless Chocolate Tart with mandarin gel and citrus meringue. Not only did this dessert look amazing, it my favourite dessert of the lot. The tart was soft and delicate, and the subtle sweetness was balanced by the smooth mandarin gel and the crisp citrus meringue. A contrast in flavours and textures that was done perfectly.
The dessert special at the moment is the Vanilla Panna Cotta with pistachio, fennel crumb and house made blood orange sorbet. The panna cotta was light and creamy with a softer than normal consistency. Once again, the contrast in flavours and textures was at play. The subtle sweetness of the panna cotta was balanced by the bitterness of the refreshing sorbet. The pistachio and crumb added an element of crunchiness to this refreshing dessert.
The Queen’s Head Hotel is a hidden gem in the side streets of North Adelaide. Deceptively large, this venue can hold up to 300 people. With great service, high quality food and a casual, relaxed atmosphere, this hotel is ideal for any occasion.
Adelaide Food Central would like to thank Liam from Social Media AOK, Chef Ben Smith and all the staff at The Queen’s Head Hotel for the long relaxing lazy lunch we had today. The whole experience was top notch and I can’t wait for my next visit.
WHERE: 117 Kermode St, North Adelaide