***Queen’s of Cue is now closed***
Last night, I went to check out the Queens of ‘Cue supper club/underground restaurant/whatever you want to call it, in Peckham. At 6.30pm, we found ourselves wandering around what seemed like a derelict yard off the Old Kent Road, BYO booze in hands, lost and slightly confused. The signs, they are small.
Eventually though we came across a precarious metal staircase and ascended to a vast, bright studio (one of the hosts is an artist), stopped briefly to wallow in envy and then followed our noses outside to find 3 BBQ’s on the go, one stuffed with beef ribs, the other grilling steak, various pots and pans bubbling on top. An excellent (spiky and tart) caipirinha was thrust into our hands and we munched on ‘giobada and queijo toasts’, which were in fact little chewy, cheesy buns, kind of like savoury scones, with home-made cheese and a guava paste exactly like membrillo, but obviously made with guava. The theme of the evening was Brazilian you see, and they’d gone to town on making things ‘authentic’.
The steak had come from a Brazilian butcher in Brixton; they’d intended to buy it from the East London Steak Co. but felt a pang of local loyalty post-riots and decided to support a local business instead. Good on them I say. We helped ourselves to salad from the table and demolished slices of perfectly cooked, butter-tender steak. The flavour of the meat was excellent (I’d been a bit dubious for some reason) with a moreish, properly seasoned crust.
The ribs had come from the East London Steak Co. after all and were huge; a peek under the BBQ hood on arrival had got me very excited. In the end they could have done with a bit more cooking to be honest; I’m not against a chewy rib believe me but they were very large and a bit hard to eat. That said, great flavour, great rub and fantastic sides of feijoada (a rich stew of beans with beef and chorizo), rice with sweetcorn and peas and a healthy serving of kale. Oh how I love the iron intensity of kale.
An unexpected watermelon granita filled a gap and preceded a creme caramel made with condensed milk because, “almost everything in Brazil is made with condensed milk.” There was coffee to finish, served with obscenely good chocolate truffles which we wolfed before staggering out into the night to our taxi.
So, I would recommend Queens of ‘Cue to locals and non-locals alike. One guy said he “hated South London” after he’d had a hard time travelling from Dalston. Did he go via the moon? “You’re talking to the wrong woman mate” I hissed through gritted teeth.
The evenings each have a different theme; ours was a ‘cow feast’ and the next is ‘fish’ (3rd September) followed by ‘game and venison’ (17th September). It’s £25 and BYO booze. There’s a lot of food for your money (seconds were offered too), the hosts are charming and interesting, the studio space is great and you get to wander around a ramshackle yard in the dark, pissed, looking for a questionably plumbed toilet in an outhouse. That last bit doesn’t sound appealing? Oh come on, where’s your sense of adventure…
Queens of ‘Cue, Peckham
£25 pp, BYO booze
Address available after booking, see blog for details