It was only a few months ago that Adelaide Food Central was invited to the Queens Head Hotel to sample their winter menu. As the seasons change, admittedly much slower that we would like, we were welcomed back to taste the seasonal spring additions to the menu. Happily we can report that we were just as impressed as last time! Consistency is being achieved at the Queens Head Hotel.
Barramundi wings, sambal sauce, Vietnamese salad – Six Barramundi Wings poked out from underneath a pile of fresh Vietnamese salad. The wings were coated in a Sambal Sauce that exuded more peanut that chilli. The flesh attached to the wing was sweet and easy to remove from the fin. Combined with the salad of shredded daikon, carrot, mint and coriander it was a delightful Asian inspired starter.
South Australian trawler squid, chorizo jerky, balsamic & lemon – Bite sized pieces of squid were served with small batons of chorizo jerky. The squid was perfectly cooked, tender and without a hint of elasticity and carried the flavours of balsamic, olive oil and lemon that were added to the plate. The chorizo flavour was deep, smoky and complementary to the delicate squid.
Papardelle, South Australian squid, vongole, chilli, confit cherry tomato & herb crumb – Pappardelle was dressed in a light tomato and herb sauce that just coated the pasta without drowning it. Squid and clams were tossed through the pasta adding a hint of the ocean but not overpowering the subtle flavours of the sauce. Rounding off the dish were some confit cherry tomatoes, a hint of chilli and a sprinkling of a herb and parmesan crumb. The ribbons of pasta were al dente and the dish was balanced and satisfying.
Market fish, panzella salad, white anchovies & avocado – Today the market fish was Red Snapper. The thick piece of snapper was seared to a golden crust while the inside flesh remained fluffy and moist. An avocado puree permeated with lemon acted as a sauce to the fish. A Panzella salad of roast capsicum strips, tomato, crusty chunks of bread, capers and fragrant basil leaves rounded off the dish giving a Mediterranean finish. A few anchovies were scattered in the salad adding a subtle saltiness. All components worked well together, but allowing the delicious fish to shine.
Slow roasted pork belly, potato soubise, French beans and salsa verde – The pork belly was generous, dense, rich and had very little fat. For those who don’t know (I admit to a quick google at the table) a soubise is a béchamel based onion sauce. The potato soubise was very much like a very creamy Paris mash and it was delicious. Crunchy French beans and a salsa verde finished off the dish. All components individually were wonderful, tasty and well seasoned, however when combined they became a tad too salty. A little restraint with the salt and this dish would be a winner.
Lemon curd, mascerated strawberries, honey bread, fresh raspberries & mascarpone ice cream – Rich and creamy mascarpone ice cream, slices of macerated strawberries and giant fresh raspberries sit on a bed of lemon curd. The curd was a little heavy on the egg in taste when eaten without the other elements but this became less noticeable when cut with the tartness of the fruit. The star of the dish was the wafer thin slices of sweet honey bread which produced an audible crunch when eaten. A pleasing dessert with varied textural and flavour components.
This is just a sample of The Queen’s Head’s impressive restaurant menu. They serve a selection of small plates, large plates and wood oven pizzas that are seasonal, high quality and value for money.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 117 Kermode St, North Adelaide