The African Queen is situated in Hounslow, if you are out for a day in Twickenham this is a mere 15 minute drive away. If you are off to Heathrow airport then this is also just a 20 minute drive away.
Appearance & Entry:
We have parking ladies and gentleman, very rare for many pubs down these ends, but yes we have parking, and we manage to get a space, it is a bit tight, but we are already pleased.
From the outside the African Queen looks nothing amazing, it is clean, the car park is well maintained and the pub feels welcoming. The people who recommended the African Queen to us did state it was more of a restaurant than a bar, but it looks like a pub to us, no getting away from that.
As we walk in, we are surprised by how busy it is, as the noise outside was minimal, the place feels more like a restaurant now that we have walked in, the way in which it is set up, it is weird, it still wants to be a pub yet it feels like it is being forced into becoming a restaurant. The place seems friendly and one of the tables as we walk in seems to be a group booking and they are all out for a good time it seems. The decor is very modern, but it does feel like a desi pub with the big chairs and the large tables.
The drinks on offer are impressive, plenty of variation on the pulls, so we will not go thirsty, a great collection of spirits also, flavoured vodkas and gins with plenty of shot options. Mentally I’m now convinced this is pub fighting off becoming a restaurant.
The draught lager was impressive, crisp and clean, we grab our drinks and take a seat and order our food.
Food and Ordering
Plenty of variety on offer, we have options from the clay oven for mains and also a full main course menu, you will not be stuck for choice all tastes seem to be catered for.
We order our food, and we are seated comfortably, we are informed we will have our food in 25-30 mins , we ask if we can have the sizzler first and then the curries, which they agree to and all is well.
35 minutes later our food arrives all at the same time, we inform them that we ordered our curries to come after the main, in a huff the member of staff says then can take them away and bring them back later, but they may be cold! We decide to just have them now. Guys, we are not being awkward, it was not our error.
The sizzler is hissing; let’s give this baby a go!
We ordered a large Mixed Grill, the size of the grill is not what we could large, but hey ho, least we have our curries to top up with!
We start with the Chicken tikka, this is not the best start, the tikka seems very rubbery, it just does not feel fresh, we won’t be judging the flavours as we cannot really taste them, we actually left these.
The Wings, these are spicy, we like that, maybe too spicy for some but a real good kick, and some great flavours running through the wings to, the amount of meat on them is impressive too.
Again, the Shish Kebabs like the wings have a lot going for them the spice is good and lots of flavour, things certainly are picking up from a bad start.
The minted lamb chops, these are slightly over done however the amount of meat on them is quite impressive, we manage to finish these, and trust me our jaws can feel that these were slightly over done.
Chilli Chicken: Some good chunks of meat in this curry, and the sauce looks impressive too, issues though, this chicken like the chicken we had on the grill does not feel right, not sure if it is pre made then reheated, but this again just fails to really hit the mark, and just like the chicken from earlier, we leave it, the sauce no issues with that, but the meat we had to leave.
Chilli Lamb : In contrast to the Chilli chicken, this is very well cooked, the lamb is tender, and this really is something we are enjoying, good quality of meat, great flavours and possibly the best dish we have had all night.
Love that we have parking, the place is clean and well maintained, the staff ensured the tables were clean and we had no qualms regarding hygiene. All the staff bar the one who served us seemed to be happy and easy to communicate with, the one served us our food, really did not take a liking to us, he seemed happy talking with others but I guess he does not with people who are not locals. He needs the same training as the other staff.
The wings on the sizzler really did impress us and we loved how they were spiced, the shish kebabs again were brilliant and full of flavours, lots of spice too just as we like it, the Lamb chops though slightly overdone still impressed, and we finished them off, the chicken tikka, it could not have just been us, but it felt rubbery and we just had to leave it, maybe the guys could look into this.
The mains, the chicken dish again was let down by the Chicken, not a good thing is it that. The lamb dish was the star of the night, and really was impressive, we could have done with more to be honest, it took center stage tonight.
The African Queen is trying hard to become a restaurant and lose that pub feel, we get that, why though we have no idea as it good be a cracking little pub, and it does seem to be popular, the chicken needs to be looked into though as it could really impact returning customers, all staff were polite bar 1, would we return? Daily Ent Xpress most likely will, let’s just hope next time the chicken is done right.
Check out how the The African Queen ranks in the League of Grills