A recent timetabling kerfuffle gave us the opportunity to have a double date dinner at one of Berry’s nicest restaurants with my housemate and colleague DTC and our respective fiancees. The choice was between Queen St Eatery and neighbouring South on Albany, both recipients of quite positive reviews online, but only Queen St Eatery not confining the four of us to each eat exactly the same thing. Our $95 per person instead brought us a rather nice assortment of French fare.
The house made olive oil brioche with cultured butter was solid. Buttery. Soft. A hint of sweetness. Love a good bread. You just can’t go wrong with brioche.
The steak tartare with oyster mayonnaise & pomme gaufrettes was also quite good. Good flavouring and good good texture to the meat. The potato crisps were of course useless as a vessel for the meat, but I understand that’s not mandatory.
This chicken, pork & pistachio pate en croute was a nightly special entrée and the more interesting of the remaining entrée choices. A good mix of flavours and textures, though I’m not 100% sold on the texture of the shortcrust.
This snapper meuniére (baby snapper fillet with brown butter & caper sauce) was seriously amazing. So tender and full of flavour. Loved the brightness of the capers (and their abundance) and the richness of the brown butter sauce. One of the best pieces of fish I’ve had in the last two years. Really very good and shouldn’t be missed.
The steak frites (tenderloin steak with cafe de Paris butter and frites allumettes) was good, tender and flavourful, but surprisingly the lesser of the two standard menu item mains. Ideally if you have at least one friend you will get to have both.
But what about the duck frites with duck a l’orange sauce & watercress? Another seasonal special of the mains menu, we chose not to order this because our general duck a l’orange experience has been poor to date. Luckily DTC did order this, because we got to each have a bite and it was very good. Probably better than the steak, but it’s up to you if you want to fully forgo red meat in your sides, or if you’re someone who needs it to feel like a complete and satisfied human being and diner.
The banana tarte tatin with local vanilla gelato, was nice and warm and crispy yet buttery in the pastry with the melted on effect of vanilla gelato like a much-improved ice cream on waffles. Great. Not too sweet.
The blood orange crème caramel was of a similar style to the duck frites, but more forward with sweetness, with a dense and rich block of creme caramel. It was a bit sweeter, and probably the lesser of the two quite good desserts.
It’s rare that you have a meal where every dish is banger after banger. This was one of those times. It was lovely, and I’m glad we went. One of the best Shoalhaven has to offer.
Queen St Eatery
1/65 Queen St, Berry NSW 2535