Palace Platinum takes movie-going to another level
Palace Cinemas has taken its lead from Gold Class, calling its first-class movie-watching experience (using extraordinary imagination) Platinum.
Perhaps Dendy can do Rhodium …
Anyway, it has upped the stakes a little, with a solid drinks list and a menu pieced together from neighbouring restaurants and its own kitchen, super-duper service, and the expected big, comfy chairs, complete with call lights and reclining buttons.
It's like sitting in the swanky section of the plane to watch Green Book - excellent flick, by the way.
The James St cinema makes use of Chow House and Ribs & Burgers - both within a few seconds' walk of its front door.
The trick is to get there a little early, grab a cold beer or a glass of fizz, and order the food before lights-out.
The in-house food arrives first - perhaps 10 minutes or so after ordering.
Chow House and Ribs & Burgers take longer - half an hour or more - which is perfect; it spaces our dining out over much of the movie.
It's not easy to eat in the dark, and a couple of our dishes are really tricky.
We emerge into the light of day and my shirt is littered with lunch debris; the seat must be far worse. Sorry, Palace folk.
But it's pretty good tucker, well worth sticky fingers and grubby clothes, particularly if there's something decent on the screen.
Palace Cinemas offers dips, cheese and charcuterie, sweet things from Jocelyn's (nice touch!) and a handful of toasties.
We try a dill and chicken toastie ($14) that is both big (way more than I can manage) and delicious. It's the most sensible of everything we eat for dining blind.
Chow House sends us chicken and shallot pot-stickers ($15 for four) with a soy and sesame dipping sauce.
There's a nice bit of pan-fried crunch, and they taste pretty good, but I reckon dipping into the sauce and getting it safely to your mouth is a perilous business when there are no visual clues.
We get duck and shallot pancakes ($19 for two), loaded with meat and hoisin. Tasty.
And pork bao ($15 for two) with bits of pickled vegetable, and a rather delicious coconut, tamarind and peanut sauce hiding at the bottom.
They are pretty dry going until the puddle of sauce is hit.
From Ribs & Burgers you can't buy ribs but you can get burgers, some grilled meats, chips and salads.
We get chicken tenders ($15.90) with a blue-cheese mayo.
For a cinema, there is a pretty solid drinks offering - Piper-Heidsieck ($18.50 a glass), prosecco, Oatley wines, Shaw and Smith, a couple of decent pinots, and a mix of craft beer and mainstream.
If you need another drink mid-show, you write down (in the dark) what you need, press the call button, and hey presto!
If I'm home alone, there's nothing I like better than a good curry on the couch in front of a movie.
Palace Platinum takes it to a whole new level - big sound, big screen, fat chairs, and someone at my beck and call.
Perhaps the meal would be better enjoyed at a table, under lights, but spilling decent food in the dark with a good film is quite a treat.
SCORES OUT OF 10
Palace Cinemas, 39 James St, Fortitude Valley
ph: 3852 4488
palacecinemas.com.au for session times