The Chameleon. Lurking in the urban jungle, undetected, unknown, blending into the ever changing landscape, sampling everything from fine dining to reviewing take away joints, this lizard loves food possibly a little bit too much.


Overall score: 43/100

Country pubs are wonderfully diverse places, some full of character and characters, while others are plain and drab with little on offer to draw back potential customers. The Pioneer Arms Hotel is somewhere in between; a country pub that has the character, but unfortunately not the food to match.  

Situated not far from Toowoomba, the Chameleon recently stopped over at this picturesque hotel to have a bite for lunch. The long, inviting verendah which spans the entire length of the hotel was the first indication that this should be the stereotypical country pub with that dated decor which the Chameleon has come to expect from a lot of sub-par pubs. What greets a visitor inside though is positively different; the dinning benches are solid timber tables and the bistro eating area is surrounded by antiques and relics, taking the dinner back to a bygone era not too long ago. 

As it was lunchtime, the Chameleon would have thought there'd be a few patrons, but on this occasion there was one gentleman in the bar, sipping his XXXX Gold, letting the world drift by. The publican was friendly and took the order, making the experience of a lunch all the better.

It's very difficult to comment on 'pub grub', especially during a lunch. Typically the main chef isn't on until dinner; the Chameleon had to wonder as to the mastery of the person behind the grillers. 

The food was bought out quite quickly which was a pleasant surprise. The Chameleon was very hungry indeed on this day and to see the dish appear so quickly was a welcome experience. Some pubs take excessively long to serve up dishes, perhaps to do with the defrosting first, but at the Pioneer Arms, the waiting time was very reasonable. 

The Chameleon had steak. He ordered it medium-rare and of course, it came out inconsistently medium to well-done.  This is a common issue with pubs and one that was replicated here. Although the steak was passable in terms of taste, it was simply overdone and some of the textures that the Chameleon expects with a piece of meat was unfortunately found wanting. The meal overall was passable, but definitely nothing spectacular. The sauce was of a nice consistency (are you reading Federal Hotel/Motel?)  but too salty and was not a good example of the particular sauce ordered. 

The Pioneer Arms Hotel in Goombungee delivers what many country pubs do; reasonably prices meals that you would return in a real restaurant, but is acceptable in this setting. Overall, a typical pub gastronomy experience where nothing went really wrong, but also nothing really went right. 43/100


  1. Totally agree with you here - the food is below average - but when I put my review on womo the publican and his cook girlfriend tokk us to F**K OFF when we went there as we do most friday nights....hmnnn...very ferrell indeed.

    1. I would highly recommend that you go back now and try this place again - change of management and this place is now excellent - I wrote the comment above and would like it removed due to this change if possible - I can only highly recommend this place now...