The other night the family and I headed out to The Lionleigh for dinner, along with about 10 other people. I hadn’t been for a really long time. Actually, I think the last time I went my parents had to pry me away from my Commodore 64, and I may have worn an ALF t-shirt.
Upon entering we passed through the Ultraviolet Light zone near the pokies and I wondered for a moment if we were being decontaminated, depolarised, or perhaps just being put in the mood for nite-clubbing. I noticed this wasn’t the only entrance so I’m not sure if we came in the wrong way or if every visitor needs checking to see if they’re radioactive.
We found our table, perused the menus and managed to order drinks from the bar and return without any dramas. The kids found the ping pong table and unfortunately I had to advise them that I was the 1987 champion of the universe in ping pong, as awarded to me at the Bajool State School in the 6th grade. Unfortunately I lost the title in the following year due to a technicality (thanks a lot BARRY). However, I was happy enough to come out of retirement and bounce a few balls around. Fortunately the ping pong table had a built in handicapping feature where one end is in almost complete darkness. Being in the top 90% of dads – of course I made the kids play on that end.
Returning to the table and tired of chasing ping pong balls around it was quickly decided that my wife and I would share the seafood platter. At fifty bucks it seemed like pretty good value.
There was some upset as the restaurant seemed devoid of chicken wings, and almost out of ribs. Of course, the dish most in demand was chicken wings and ribs which meant that some of our party had to draw straws and pick a different pub meal.
I noticed the menu had a 1kg steak challenge, although it apparently required 24 hour notice. Bit disappointing, but understandable. My wife did not seem upset, and if I’m to be honest I don’t exactly need my picture on any more walls around town for eating enormous amounts of steak.
After some amount of time equivalent to three quarters of a beer, our platter arrived at nearly the same time as the same platter for somebody else. It actually looked quite loaded, and I was fairly impressed at the volume of fried things on it. There was quite a generous service of salmon, battered fish, calamari, prawns and some crumbed scallops. A large serving of chips and coleslaw was on the platter too, and plenty of tartare sauce.
The salmon was covered in (what I think was) a honey soy sauce that I judged to be “not too bad” but I felt it was an odd combination for the salmon. Three other people agreed, and my wife immediately declared that I had to eat it. The sauce had drifted into contact with a lot of the chips and I was told that it was my job to eat those ones. The couple of fresh prawns were apparently tasteless and disappointing. The calamari, battered fish and the chips were all pretty good. The OTHER platter ordered by the folks next to us had really good looking tartare sauce. Ours looked much yellower, runnier, and maybe a week older. Or perhaps it came out of a different bottle. The couple of scallops were GREAT, although they were covered in a seemingly over-generous amount of crumbs – most people were just eating the insides.
Overall, outstanding value for $50, we were both well fed with quite an amount left over. I asked for scores and received: 5 out of 10, 2 out of 5, and 4.5 out of 17 (I know right?) I give it a solid 5 stars for value and 3 stars in overall quality. I’d go back.
The kids both had no complaints, and I noticed that a nearby kids meal was “chicken nuggets” that looked like pretty decent in-house crumbed chicken pieces. Kudos Lionleigh for not dishing out processed chicken.
The pub restaurant atmosphere was fair, the air conditioning worked great, and the beer was cold. A proper amount of Farnsey and Barnsey was played.
Sadly, I cannot report on the house desserts as we brought our own birthday cake.
This was originally posted over at the Rockhampton Food Rater Facebook page on 3 March 2017.