Positioned on the corner of Sandgate Road and Station Street is the newly revamped Nundah pub, The Royal. Built in 1888, it was once painted a bright sunflower yellow with a black trim, needless to say, its overall look was a little drab. Recently, it has received a major makeover that would give fashion guru Gok a run for his money. The Royal's exterior is now crisp white and the large outdoor dining area is modern and inviting. Its overall vibe is charming with a cosy feel and its interior gives a nod to classic English style pubs due to its homely fireplace, exposed brick and warm atmosphere.
Our waiter, Caeser, welcomed us on arrival and was more than happy to answer any questions. While The Royal is an old English pub, its menu is solely Italian. It has a large variety of choices and is filled with classics such as pizza, pasta and gelato.
For starters, the crispy fried squid, aioli and lemon ($9.90) and antipasto platter ($16.90) were selected. They went down a treat with a glass of white and both would be suitable as a light meal to accompany afternoon drinks. Fans of seafood will be pleased by the selection on the menu.
The Pesco Fresco — fresh fish, blistered cherry tomatoes, roasted capsicum, red onions, white wine, EVOO and gnocchi ($26.90) was a good choice. The fish was indeed fresh and packed full of flavour thanks to the white wine sauce. The combination of a fish fillet and gnocchi is a little unusual, but overall it worked well. Another seafood option is the sand crab lasagne, abalone cream sauce and salad ($25.90). It was a little heavier yet also tasty. The salad provided balance to the creamy, flavourful sauce.
The dessert menu boasts classic Italian sweets such as tiramisu and pizza lovers can please their sweet tooth with a warm chocolate pizza. But we couldn't go past the tart, as a tart featuring Lindt chocolate and salted caramel gelato is a clear winner in our books ($11.90). The inside of the tart was filled with deliciously warm molten chocolate, proving to be a perfect way to top off a winter lunch.
The Royal has been causing quite a stir in the rapidly changing Nundah precinct, and most nights the inside and outdoor areas are buzzing with activity. Not only does the menu include filling mains, it caters for coffee and cake, a shared pizza lunch or evening drinks and nibbles with ease. The staff were pleasant and are clearly excited about the transformation of this elegant establishment.
Images: Grace Smith.