The Central Cafe reviews have inspired me to reveal a hidden gem for those who like hearty meals, friendly service and don’t need to find it in modern trendy eateries.
Allow me to present Nibblez on the Green, the charming little eatery at the Queanbo Bowling Club.
Queanbeyan Bowling Club is on the main drag, fringing that giant park in the middle of town, a few doors west of the Cops. No, it’s not the RSL Bowlo on Yass Rd (near Red Rooster), it’s at the other end, opposite the Showground.
http://www.qbnbowlingclub.com.au (the food bit is in “facilities”, and there’s a Map).
It’s best approached from the rear as there is heaps of parking, around the greens (browns at the moment), and you enter through a creaky little metal gate and wander up through careful beds of Pansies. The club is very small, the ceiling lofty and the walls are glass. The giant bar dominates the place, and there’s a membership book on the corner of the bar which you fill in. The eatery is a little room made with dividers. It’s recently done up with modern red walls. You grab your menu from the servery, send someone off to the bar to scrounge for drinks, and order and pay at the servery. They bring the food to you.
If you look at the menu, it’s an interesting mix of modern stuff, traditional favourites, and pub grub. And it’s spot-on: well cooked, fresh and tasty, and you’d better come hungry because otherwise you’ll be battling to finish it. This is Queanbeyan.
The service in Nibblez and out in the bar is super-friendly (this is Queanbeyan). When we were there recently, a relative went to buy the beers and a carafe of white. He came back carrying the beers, accompanied by the bar lady who carried a bottle of white in an ice bucket, and the glasses. Apparently, she’d clued him up that a bottle of white was cheaper than a carafe and you got more plonk!
They use good ingredients, there’s modern touches even with the old-fashioned stuff (at lunch, the chicken schnitzel roll is served on turkish bread, for instance). Fussy fish-munchers of my acquaintance reckoned the salmon (huon salmon?) and other fish things were excellent. I reckon their chicken schnitzels are beyond par. The salads are mesclun mixes and accents drizzled with a balsamic-style dressing. And the friendly service makes it a really pleasant experience. And it’s at club prices. They have an espresso machine and know how to use it.
So next time you’re Hungry in Queanbeyan, give it a try. You’ll be sharing space with blokes in fluro vests, oldies and the guys who look after the massive park, and it’s an affable, good-humoured place.