Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Normanby Hotel

When I started this blog last week I was very excited. I had a Friday/Saturday night combo planed with a chicken parm to be eaten and blogged about after each. Friday night there were no problems getting a chicken but Saturday was a bit different. We had organised to catch up with some work friends that we hadn't seen in a while at The Normanby Brisbane but it didn't quite go to plan. When we got there at 6:00pm we were advised that we had to eat and be out by 7:00pm, and the menu had only three items we could choose from. The chicken parm wasn't on the list so I had a steak and we quickly moved on to a nice cafe on Park Road in Milton.

Now, while the one hour limit wasn't the best, the steak was awesome. One of the best steaks I've had this year. Couple that with The Normanby doing a deal where everything on their menu is half price for July, we had to go back and I had to get a chicken parm, so that's where we went for lunch today.

Below is a picture of The Normanby's chicken parm.

We got there very early, about an hour before the kitchen opened but the waitress let us sit at our table and wait. When the kitchen opened they were quick to take our order and about twenty minutes later I had my chicken parm. Lets break down the different elements of the dish.

Size: On the large size, the picture doesn't do justice to the size of the plate. I ate all the chicken and half the chips and I was completely full. This is the only meal that I am going to eat today and my stomach is not complaining.

Chicken: Well cooked, nice and moist inside and a consistent thickness. The outside coating was a little overcooked but it tasted delicious and didn't detract from the meal in any way.

Sauce: Nice, but not enough. No noticeable chunks of tomato, was a good tangy sauce, just needed more of it.

Ham: This is the only part of the dish I didn't like (aside form the salad). It was one piece of ham and was in between the sauce and the cheese, so anytime I went to cut through the ham would slide around on the chicken. It wasn't that hard to do and it tasted great but it would have been more enjoyable had the ham been cut up.

Cheese: Good cheese, cooked very well. Just the right amount of it too.

Chips: Very crispy, seemed like I got the bottom of the bag chips, not many of them were of any real size. The ones in the picture cover all the tiny little chips at the bottom. They had a nice batter on them however and were a good addition to the meal.

Salad: Too much cucumber. Couldn't see any sauce that looked appetizing. Didn't eat any.

In contrast to our visit last weekend, we had a really good time this week. The food was nice and the staff were prompt and helpful. The chicken parm was good and I had no problems eating it all. Outside of half-price July it would be an expensive chicken parm. Unsure if I would order it again or go with a better priced steak. The Normanby is also tricky to get to with its tiny carpark but we all had a good time though and left with full belly's.

-Dave the Mega-Parm

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Easts Leagues Club

First chicken parm off the block is Easts Leagues Club. We had only signed up as members of Easts Leagues a couple of weeks ago to watch the league on a Saturday afternoon and I had the parm that night. So the plan was to visit the club again on Friday night, get some dinner and then watch the footy. My meal of course, was a chicken parm. Photo is below.

I was a little disappointed with the meal when I picked it up from the counter and even more so when halfway through the meal I got to an under cooked part of chicken. Most of it was cooked pretty well but it mustn't have fully thawed before they started cooking and I had to eat around it. I took it back at the end and they offered to make another meal for me which I declined (was already full) but I did get another jug of beer, so I am not too upset.

Size: Mid. not a huge parm, definitely nowhere near covering the whole plate, but was filling enough. Was quite thick in parts.

Chicken: Nice crumbing but under-cooked and inedible in the middle.

Sauce: Very nice, highlight of the meal. And lots of it too.

Cheese: Nice cheese, I'd prefer it cooked a little more but complimented the sauce.

Chips: Middle sized helping, but not as crunchy as I would like.

Salad: Didn't eat much of it but a good sized helping. Nice dressing and good that they put it in a separate bowl. No salad dressing cross contamination.

A few others at the table also ordered the chicken parm and they were all different. Wemade our orders separately so maybe they had different chefs preparing each one. I said last night and again this morning that I probably wouldn't eat there again but to be honest I think I will, and I'll order the parm, just going to cut it up first before eating.

Easts Leagues is a great place, I love being able to watch the footy, with the sound on out in the back room.

-Dave the Mega-Parm

ps. got some better photo's on the proper camera, will post those as soon as I can.

Monday, 16 July 2012

An Introduction

Hi Everyone, I'm Dave and I love chicken parm. There is something about the combination of chicken, cheese, tomato sauce and ham combined with chips (and maybe salad) that just sings out to me. And that's what this blog is going to be, a celebration of the great pub/club meal from my vantage point in sunny Brisbane. I'm going to sample them all and post the results here.

Before we start though, what makes a good chicken parm? First of all, the chicken, it has to be cooked well. Slightly crispy on the outside but not too much, and inside needs to be just right, not too moist and definitely not dry. Then there is the cheese, I prefer it well cooked and browned, and covering the whole parm. The tomato sauce has to be tangy without sizable chunks of tomato and let them add to that whatever they want, ham, onions and anything else to give the parm a some zing.

As far as sides go. Chips, the more the merrier. And served under the parm, letting them absorb the heat and juices from the chicken. Salad, I won't eat much of it but I'll never ask them to take it off.

Size. A chicken parm is a mans meal. It's not supposed to be dainty or hoity toity. I want a enormous plate, with a huge piece of chicken and a mountain of chips.

This is going to be great!