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Published July 20th 2011
It's not often that I'll go to the same restaurant two weekends in a row but I made an exception with Java Queen Restaurant, an eclectic fusion of Asian, Spanish and Italian cuisine by Chef Dimitri Reid.
As a rule, I stay away from cafe-style Asian restaurants finding their food overpriced without any additional qualities over the 'quick, dirty and cheap' Asian food I would expect from Chinatown or Sunnybank.
With this pre-conception in mind, my choice of the beef rendang may seem like I was setting myself up for disappointment. It did disappoint but a quick glance at my friend's plate – a succulent pork belly with crispy golden skin and a side of grilled scallops convinced me that I was merely unlucky in my choice. This was confirmed by the arrival of dessert – a coconut sago pudding topped with a fashionable quenelle of ice-cream and scattered with mango pieces.
As we were paying our very reasonably priced bill, my friend struck up conversation with the chef Dimitri. As I half-listened to the inspiration behind his interesting menu choices, it dawned on me that Brisbanites have a revived interest in good food and fine dining. What should surely follow are more little gems like Java Queen in Highgate Hill. It seemed a small price to pay for the rise of the ignominious celebrity chefs.
I was so impressed with the dining experience that I promptly made a second booking, this time with my husband for a Friday night wine and dine session serenaded by a flamenco guitarist. On this occasion, my choice of fettucine with scallops and bacon tossed in a creamy sauce was perfect.
Despite my raving recommendations, my husband refused to try the sago pudding, describing it as lumpy and diluted. It is possible that I do have an Asian predilection towards soupy desserts. Perhaps any food recommendations I make should be taken with a grain of salt as I also enjoy chowing down on chicken feet, pigs blood, giblets and tripe.
With that warning in mind, Java Queen gets a five out of five from me for its food quality and value although the service on the Friday night was on the slow side.
Marianna, you are right. This is a fantastic restuarant, with a great menu at reasonable prices. I have only been there once and i was unaware of the Flamenco musician, i think this would ad well to the ambiance of this restuarant. I feel now the urge to make my booking for this Friday night. Thanks for the great review and reminder that we do have a great variety of cuisines within this great city of ours. Cheeres and Bon Apitite.
By Dan Berryman - senior reviewer Tuesday, 27th of September @ 11:35 pm