Restaurant Review: 15 Queen Street, Maidenhead in Berkshire
It was off to the Royal Borough of Windsor for the day last weekend, visiting family. But where to dine my other half asked? Obviously, the Michelin-stars of Bray were off the cards – it being an impromptu, and somewhat low-key visit, so a little local research was done.
Following a few calls to friends in the area, we decided to book one of the new eateries of Maidenhead – the upmarket town on the River Thames and home to many of the ‘haves and have yachts’.
As steak-lovers, we opted for the newly revamped 15 Queen Street – a brand-new bar and Steakhouse, setting its sights as the new go-to place for drinks, business lunches, and romantic meals. After a spot of confusion to its whereabouts (nestled down a rather quiet street off the high), we entered a warm and friendly Victorian-style inn, replete with vintage features, low lighting and dark leather.
Our group of four of ordered aperitifs standing up at the long wood-panelled bar – drinking in the early evening atmosphere, before choosing a snug table in the cosy back restaurant.
After five years living their dream at The White Horse in Kings Sutton, owners Hendrik and Julie Dutson-Steinfield drove their passion for food and drink to Maidenhead, re-opening 15 Queen Street in July 2018 following a major refurbishment.
Steak is top of the agenda for Head Chef Dan Roth, who showcases the brilliance of local suppliers Brackley Butchers and Newbottle Farm – from cheek to tail and everything in between. Dan relies on key ingredient butter and no fancy cooking equipment.
Superb food is a priority here, but Julie and Hendrik have also ensured that it is savoured in great surroundings. The eclectic interiors they have created for this Georgian pub’s ground floor bar and dining spaces have a sophisticated contemporary vibe yet are in keeping with the historic setting and original features, which include the old wood-panelled bar and open fireplace alongside an alluring and intimate dining space, seating 30.
During the day, large sash windows overlooking Queen Street flood the dining space with light, while at night, it transforms into a rich, inviting interior imbued with the glow of copper, brass and candlelight. Dark striped floorboards and wood panelling, distressed copper-clad table tops and wingback dining chairs or dark leather button back banquettes, huge brass mirrors and copper pendant create an intimate, moody place in which to drink and dine with excellent jazz and soul beats on the sound system.
Behind the wood-panelled bar, sumptuous, carefully-crafted cocktails served in classy cut crystal glasses, including 15’s signature mix, Old Paper Plane, created by management duo, Kat Turgoose and Ellen Romeo. The pub also features a well-kept selection of Cask beers and an array of Gins. There’s also a focused wine list with an emphasis on big, punchy reds to compliment beef dishes, as well as sparkling, white and rose.
Main courses use the best of beef from Newbottle Farm’s Angus herd, which is matured for 28 days, as well as dishes including chicken, fish, and veggie options. As much attention has been given to the side orders with classics like, roasted mushrooms, creamed spinach and, of course, steak cut chips.
Various cuts and weights are available alongside other main dishes such as Rack of Lamb, Cotswold chicken, Ham Hock and Leek pie, Roasted Cauliflower or Glazed Butternut Squash. There’s also a splendid choice of traditional British desserts and local cheeses. Dan Roth also produces his own bread rolls, Brown Sauce, ice creams, chutneys, house beans and triple cooked chips fried in beef dripping.
A regularly-changing fixed price menu offers two courses for £19 and three for £24 and the pre-order Sunday roast offers two courses for £20 and three courses for £24, including treacle cured roast rump of Oxfordshire Angus beef served with beef dripping potatoes add bone marrow gravy.
To start, my mackerel scotch egg with dill mayo was moreish, as was the classical pairing of the others; pear and blue cheese chicory salads. Our steaks were as expected, cooked to perfection. Sides were plentiful too – truffled mac and cheese was a stand-out favourite.
And only one out of the four of us could manage a pud – served in the liquid persuasion. A Curly Wurly was a chocolatey heaven of booze, with the vintage bar sticking out of the glass – designed I imagine, to make you snooze post-meal. The rest of us didn’t need any extra help to drift off however that night, after dining so delectably. 15 Queen Street is as its name suggests, fit for a queen.
Address: 15 Queen Street, Maidenhead SL6 1NB
Phone: 01628 623800