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Monday, August 20, 2018

La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas, Newtown

Shredded beef pabellon bowl, chicken arepa and pork arepa at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown

The arepa is everything to Venezuelans, a gluten-free cornmeal patty eaten plain or split open and stuffed with meat or beans. They’re about as ubiquitous as a burger or kebab in Venezuela, eaten any time of day but always a hit late at night. Sydneysiders might have seen La Reina’s bright orange stall at weekend markets or food festivals but their digs in Newtown finally offer a permanent address for arepa fans to get their fix.

Shredded pork pabellon at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown
Shredded pork pabellon $13.50
with black beans, feta and plantains

This small but cheerful eatery is already hugely popular with homesick South Americans. The menu is short and sweet, with photos providing a handy reference guide for newbies. Order and pay at the register before pulling up a stool at one of the communal tables. Staff will bring you your order.

Chicken and avocado arepa at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown
Chicken breast and avocado Reina Pepiada $13.50
with a lime and pepper aioli and slaw salad

The standard stuffed arepa comes jammed with shredded chicken, beef or pork with slaw. Our favourite would have to be the reina pepiada, a juicy chicken breast and avocado combo that’s zingy with lime aioli. Vegans can revel in slow cooked creamy black beans with grilled and caramelised plantain bananas with slaw. If you’re the kind of person who suffers from FOMO, get the sampler pack of four mixed arepitas (mini arepas) with your choice of fillings. Those cute little snack pockets even come tinted pink, orange and green by using beetroot, carrot and kale juice.

Fried plantain bananas in the shredded pork arepa at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown
Fried plantain bananas

Whatever you choose, prepare to get messy. Nobody’s complaining though. It’s all about that warm and toasted crunch of the grilled arepa that tastes like the lovechild of a corn tortilla and an English muffin.

Shredded beef pabellon bowl at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown
Shredded beef pabellon bowl $13.50
with rice, black beans, feta and plantains

Arepa bowls are easier to eat but not half as fun. The pabellon bowl lets you choose one meat with rice, black beans, feta, plantains and two mini plain arepas on the side. But before you eat, don’t forget the self-serve condiment station. Load up on the mild red pepper sauce and add squiggles of guasacaca, a gauacamole sauce made from avocadoes and vinegar.

Shredded pork pabellon with red pepper sauce and guasacaca avocado sauce at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown
Shredded pork pabellon with red pepper sauce and guasacaca avocado sauce

Shredded chicken arepa with red pepper sauce and guasacaca avocado sauce at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown
Shredded chicken arepa with red pepper sauce and guasacaca avocado sauce

Shredded beef pabellon bowl, chicken arepa and pork arepa at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown
Shredded beef pabellon bowl with chicken and beef stuffed arepas

Arepas for vegans and meatlovers at La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas in Newtown


La Reina - The Queen of Venezuelan Arepas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Reina Queen of Venezuelan Arepas
77 King Street, Newtown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9550 9347

Opening hours
Wednesday to Sunday 11am-3pm and 5.30pm-9pm

This article first appeared in Time Out Sydney. Read this article online or read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews.
1 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/20/2018 12:01:00 am


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