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A proper restaurant from Brockley Market regulars Mike & Ollie.
Please note, Queen's has now closed. Time Out Food editors, July 2017.
Mike & Ollie have been doing their street food thing at Brockley Market since 2011, drawing admirers aplenty with their stuffed Lebanese-style flatbreads. Now, they’ve put down roots just up the road, in a slick new restaurant on Camberwell Church Street. It’s a bright, attractive space with whitewashed walls, one of which features a huge, line-drawn rendition of a piece by Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, depicting a bearded man holding a yacht above his head. His isn’t the only furry face present – between the simple, functional plywood furniture and the short menu of mightily spiced sharing plates, this is every bit the archetypal hipster hangout, so do as the locals do and start with a hazy-bodied organic wine or a local beer.
Just about every dish shone in one way or another. Pumpkin with cumin-heavy lentils and silky yoghurt; sweet, earthy beetroot manti (Turkish dumplings); lamb chops with well-charred aubergine; perfectly pink deer loin with kale and walnuts – I considered a second helping of each. Frustratingly, though, it was the simpler things that Queen’s struggled with. Fried potatoes arrived disappointingly un-crispy; a house gin and tonic served a touch warm. It’s not cheap, either. Stray from the vegetarian options and dinner for two can easily hit triple figures. A £16 helping of Cornish crab with sweet and sour relish equates to around £8 per mouthful, while the sole dessert option of chocolate tart with marmalade is equally premium, at £7 per sliver.
But then again, just because Mike & Ollie made their name flogging takeaway wraps from a trestle table, doesn’t mean they’re not entitled to have a crack at a more upmarket operation. Their experience has served them well, and, for the most part, Queen’s is a royally good restaurant.