If you’re looking for an amazing Mexican feast, Queen of the South is a new restaurant on High street that will have your tastebuds throwing a fiesta. The flavours are deeply Mexican with a modern spin but none of that tex mex stuff. You will find yourself putting together a taco, drinking quality tequila and wondering why you haven’t eaten cactus before.
Like any great dinner, we started with a cocktail. The Cereza Sling was a good one with tromba blanco tequila, Campari, cherry liquor, raspberry, pineapple and lime. Good for those who find straight up tequila a little harsh.
Our first starter was street corn. It was served in a paper cup as it would be on the streets of Mexico. The flavours surprise you and transport you there. The charred corn, the heat from the chipotle mayo and queso fresco cheese on top. If you love corn, this is a must.
Cactus is not something I think of eating. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen L.A Beast eat a cactus, I can tell you it did not look enjoyable. This was completely different. The cactus was pickled and had a similar texture as a capsicum. It had the crispy base of the tostadita and the sour and creeping chilli sensation of the topping, which was a combination of pickled cactus, peanut de arbol salsa, pequin (capsicum) and queso fresco.
The ocean trout was cured in tequila and ancho (chilli). Of course it was. Even the curing technique was Mexified. It was served on a bed of soused (pickled) fenneland spots of corn puree and avocado cream.
The next dish was the queen of the night for me. Lamb cutlets. They were long, and had a pasilla (black chilli) glaze, very cavemanesque. They were placed on top of a sweet corn puree that had that street corn flavour and topped with a fresh and crisp spring onion and radish salsa. My fave of the night.
It’s always fun to make your own tacos. We had a pouch of warm soft handmade tortillas, a bowl of slowly braised lamb shoulder, cucumber pomegranate salad and salsa macha (thick chilli) sauce. You grab a tortilla and load it up. The meat was tender, the sauce intensified the flavour and the diced cucumber and pops of pomegranate gave it life.
There was a chicken version also, which was equally as delicious. The flavours of the chicken were sweet, zesty and spicy almost like a peri-peri. It came with a beautiful pineapple and lime salsa that livened the taco and a micro slaw for a bit of crunch.
The pumpkin was cooked with yellow mole, which is a classic Mexican sauce. It was served with lentils and lovely textured coconut and almond salsa
The upside down pineapple pudding was sweet and soft with a tart ruby grapefruit curd, a couple of clove meringues and a scoop of pineapple sorbet. I really loved that pineapple sorbet.
And then the peaches, oh the peaches. They were poached in troba blanco tequila of course. They were grilled, had that blackened char flavour and were perfectly tender. They were covered with a golden, buttery hazelnut and pepita crumble and served with a guava sorbet. It was really a lovely dessert to end the night on.
The restaurant has a bit of space so you can go there with a group of mates, order some share plates and settle in for a good night. Arriba!
I heart Queen of the South!
Queen of the South
Address: 201 – 209 High St, Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: (03) 9005 2308
Trading Hours: Wed-Sun: 5pm til late