What an enviable spot this café is in - plonked right in the middle of a park where dozens of kids were playing football, parents were sitting in the sunshine letting them get on with it - location gives you an instant head start on the competition but in this case, there is none. I expect the rent reflects this, as the prices were distinctly 'uncafe' like.
We ordered the sea bass with a mango salsa,( £10.95) the fish cakes (£8.50) and as I was driving, just one glass of rose. The staff seemed a little unfocused and I found it rather strange that in such an affluent area the wine was served in a plastic cup.
Still, that was just a minor point. Whilst waiting for our food to arrive I couldn't help overhearing that the customer next to us had to have her food delivered three times before they got it right.
So, as usual, the good stuff first, though I hasten to add it won't be an epic in length.
The bass was nicely cooked, very moist and fresh. The fish cakes had a very generous filling of salmon with a hint of potato to bind them together. And that, I'm afraid to say, is where the good news ends. Whilst the fish was fine, I'm surprised that no veg accompanied it so I paid extra for some anaemic chips that were chewy, overcooked and plain nasty. As for the salsa, it looked pretty but lacked any flavour whatsoever. A squeeze of lime, a tick of chili, something for God's sake. As for the fishcakes, flavour had taken not so much as a holiday but a permanent leave of absence. Dill, parsley, lemon zest, the list is endless.
It was one of those all too familiar feelings where you heart slightly sinks and you trudge home, wishing you'd spent the best part of thirty quid on a bottle of The Taste the Difference Langeudoc white 2013 and half a kilo of fat, raw, Madagascan king prawns.
Queen’s Park Café
Harvist Road | 02089699569
This article was written by Maria Kuehn and it was previously published in her site http://mindingbellieswell.blogspot.co.uk