The Queen’s Head Bar & Eatery might be one of Auckland’s oldest and most iconic licensed pubs, but it has shown it still has what it takes by picking up a 2019 Beef & Lamb Excellence Award.

The sought-after gold plate was accepted by Executive Chef, Glen Rockhouse and his team. A fourth-generation chef with almost thirty years’ experience, Glen is passionate about working with regional suppliers to produce simple seasonal dishes that showcase New Zealand ingredients.

The beef dish assessed was 55-day aged grass fed 250g beef scotch fillet served with fresh green salad, thick cut seasoned chips and a port wine jus. The anonymous assessors reported that this was a refined dish with excellent quality ingredients executed to a high standard. The beef was the hero and was showcased and supported by the light, fresh salad and crunchy golden chips.

The lamb dish assessed was Te Mana lamb rump with pulled aromatic shoulder, beetroot fondant, parsnip silk, sprout leaves, white raisins and jus. Comments included that this was an eye-appealing dish with both cuts of lamb perfectly cooked. The beetroots and the parsnip were well cooked and harmonised well with the lamb.

“To be recognised as one of the best restaurants in New Zealand, when the Queen’s Head only reopened its doors a few months ago, is an incredible achievement,” said Glen. “I’m proud of the whole team. They work tirelessly to produce dishes of the highest quality and are continually innovating and experimenting with different ingredients and techniques. I’m very lucky to be working with such a talented crew.”

The Queen’s Head Bar & Eatery is well-known in Auckland with a history stretching back to the 1800s. It has been brought back to life by Four Points by Sheraton Auckland, the first Marriott International hotel to open in New Zealand. In a short time, it has become popular with locals and international visitors alike. It has even attracted celebrity diners, such as dual Olympic gold medallist and World Canoe Paddling Champion, Lisa Carrington, who enjoyed a bespoke four course beef and lamb tasting menu last week.

Glen explained that their ethos was to keep things simple and let the ingredients shine.

“We use the best New Zealand produce that we can find, such as Te Mana Lamb, Pure South “Handpicked” 55 Day Aged Beef and Bostock’s Organic Chicken, as well as vegetables grown by local suppliers. A lot of our dishes are reimagined New Zealand classics – comfort food with a twist – which is proving really popular with visitors from overseas, as well as with locals.”

The Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards are New Zealand’s longest running culinary awards. For 23 years they have been acknowledging the skills, expertise and talent of the country’s greatest chefs. Whenever customers see the prestigious gold plate hanging on a restaurant wall, they can expect tasty, skilfully composed and superbly presented beef and lamb dishes.

The Queen’s Head Bar & Eatery is located at 396 Queen Street (Main Entrance: 110 Mayoral Drive) Auckland.