Sunday, 28 October 2012

Cafe East

My partner and I had a pretty large event happen this week, the purchase of our first home settled. We're now home owners! To celebrate the occasion we decided to go out for dinner to Cafe East on Queens St Mall in Brisbane City. Why Cafe East you ask? Because my partner had a craving for seafood and this is where she wanted to go :)

Cafe East doesn't have a Chicken Parm on their menu, but they do have something called a "Chicken Parmo Schnitzel". And if they're calling it a Parmo then I think it can go on my Blog. So what was it like? Picture below.

Before I start on the Parmo I just want to say I like Cafe East because the beers come out in pints. As a strong, red blooded male I need beers in large vessels.

Ok, so about the meal. The Parmo came in at $25.90 and service was pretty quick. But how was it?

Size: Very thin piece of chicken. Came out on a larger than usual plate though, and the salad was enormous.

Chicken: As mentioned above, it was quite thin, and it was a bit over cooked. You can see on the edges of the chicken breast that it slightly burnt. If it wasn't for the cheese and bechamel it would have been very dry.

Sauce: The Parmo is a tomato free chicken parm. Not too much bechamel either.

Ham: No ham.

Cheese: Cheese was probably the best part of the meal, there was a solid amount of it on there and it really saved the chicken. I would like it to have been cooked a bit more and to go to the edges. There herbs on top were a nice touch too.

Chips: The chips were cooked, but were standard pub chips. Nothing special but at least they were hot.

Salad: Unexciting for the most part. Also prefer the salad to be in a bowl to not taint the chips/chicken with the dressing (which was a balsamic dressing of some sort).

I had to use a fair amount of salt on the chicken and chips to bring the flavour out, and this isn't your standard chicken parm so can't hold it to all the same rules. I really feel this could have been an awesome meal but in the end I was just a little disappointed. Would I go there again? Yes. Would I get the Parmo again? I think I would, but if it's not better I wouldn't get it again.

-Dave the Mega-Parm

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Guest Review: Charles Dickens Tavern - Collins St, Melbourne

Isn't life in the parm lane exciting? A guest review? Opened my mail this morning and was greeted with this.

Dear Mega-Parm...

I would like to submit the following review to be considered for your awesome blog...

Charles Dickens Tavern - Collins St, Melbourne

To keep with the standard review format...

Size: Medium... that is 2 pieces of chicken, palm sized (pardon the pun), a fairly small serve of chips, but for me it was just the right proportion to chicken and salad. The salad was fairly small, which I guess would be agreeable to most Parm lovers.

Chicken: Tender, nicely cooked, not dry at all... can I say juicy? Flavour was on the money.

Sauce: Just the right amount of sauce. It tasted very authentic, almost homemade. There were even chunks of tomato through it. Very tasty, but have a sneaky feeling it may have been a tin of crushed tomatoes with a little salt and sugar added.

Ham: There was ham! This took me by surprise on my fourth bite. At first I thought it was a hamless parm but happy to discover a thin, very tasty slice of good quality ham hiding beneath the cheese. Bad thing about this - the ham should have come right to the edge of the chicken...

Cheese: Very good quantity of cheese. Gorgeous brown colouring. Perfect time under the grill. Was extremely excited to find a super crunchy chip hiding beneath the schnitzel that had soaked up all the juices and had a mass of overcooked cheese all over it.... heaven.

Chips: Only a few chips, may not be enough for some. But they were good, well cooked, crunchy, no soggy disappointments.

Salad: Small, rather limp, salad on the same plate as the rest of the meal. Quite unimpressive. Iceberg lettuce, Spanish onion, 2 pieces of cucumber and some grated carrot... The thousand island dressing really helped. And parsley; I don't care if it looks nice, does anyone actually eat it??? Replace it with something people eat please.

At $20 it was a good price. This included a house wine or pot of beer (only Cascade or Carlton though, a bit disappointing). I would definitely go back again though. Overall, a good parm.


Dave the Mega-Parm says great review, looks like a pretty tasty parm. That cheese looks amazing, and I agree, the ham (and all toppings) should get pretty close to the edge of the chicken.

If I ever get to sunny-Melbourne I'll make sure to check it out. Oh, I am unsure if the reviewer wants their name on here so I'll check and update if they do :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Groove Train - King George Square

Last night the better half and I went into the city to see a few bands play. We decided to get dinner in the city and after some umming and ahhing picked the Groove Train in King George Square. It was a stinking hot day in Brisbane and where the Groove Train is situated is just perfect, a beautiful breeze blew through the restaurant  Cooling us down nicely.

There is a lot to choose from on their menu and of course, there was a chicken parm. So how did it look? Picture below.

At $23.90 it wasn't the cheapest chicken parm I've ever had, but the meal came out very quickly so one can't complain too much there. Having said that though, the chips were on the cold side and while the chicken was cooked, it wasn't that hot. Also, the meal came out well before the drinks did. I like to have a beer in the background of all my pictures but it wasn't possible this time.

Size: On the large side, the chicken was very thick. The layer of mozzarella cheese (which you can't see in the picture) was also substantial and there was a ton of sauce. I did eat all the chicken, but only just. It was a lot.

Chicken: Cooked well but as mentioned above, not overly hot. The crumbing was also rather plain and didn't have anything going for it to make it memorable.

Sauce: A huge amount of sauce, and it was very sweet. I had to put a fair amount of salt on it to suit my tastes. Not bad, just very sweet.

Ham: No ham on this parm. I think it would have made a bit of a difference too.

Cheese: Probably the best part of the meal, the Parmesan cheese on top worked well with the mozzarella cheese under the sauce. No complaints about the sauce at all.

Chips: Unremarkable chips that were cold. Didn't finish them. Plus some were tainted by the dressing from the sauce.

Salad: Boring. With the dressing I would have appreciated it in a separate bowl. And way too many of those stalk things. Left nearly all of it on the plate.

All in all it won't be a parm that I'll remember in years to come. It was serviceable and I was full at the end but a lot of little things could have been done better.

-Dave the Mega-Parm

Friday, 19 October 2012

What could have been!

A few weeks back I went out drinking with a few mates with the plan was to get a chicken parm for dinner and post about it on here. It was going well and to plan, except that a lot of beers were consumed before chicken parm time. So I don't really remember much from the night, other than that my beer tasted like cucumber...

Here's a pic however of the Parm from Irish Murphy's.

Lesson was learned, chicken parm reviews need to be done with less than 10 beers in the belly.

In the famous words of Arnie, "I'll be back, to Irish Murphys to eat another parm".

-Dave the Mega-Parm

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Woolloongabba Hotel

Last weekend there was an international rugby league match between Australia and New Zealand (GO AUSTRALIA!!). If there is a list of good reasons to go out and eat chicken parm and drink beer, this has to be one of them. So we headed out to the Woolloongabba Hotel in Woolloongabba (duh) for beer, parm and rugby league.

Here is a picture of their chicken parmy.

So how was it?

Size: Medium to medium large, with a good serving of chips. The salad was also on the larger size (if that's a good thing to you, then you're not a friend of the Mega-Parms).

Chicken: Well cooked chicken, no problems with it's flavour or thickness. The crumbing was also of good quality. No problems here.

Sauce: A huge amount of sauce, and it had a very Napolitano (is that the right spelling) taste to it. Not a bad thing though, quite tasty.

Ham: If there was ham on this parm, I didn't see or taste it. Could have been in the sauce but I'm not playing Where's Hamdo (Where's Waldo) with my parm.

Cheese: A lot of cheese and it was slightly under cooked. Well it was cooked but could have used another minute under the grill to give is a bit of a crust. Was nice though, no other complaints.

Chips: Good chips, nice and crunchy. And as mentioned before there was a good amount of them. Nothing amazing as they were fairly standard pub chips, but they were good.

Salad: Un-interesting and boring salad. Not a fan. And not in a separate bowl so got a little bit of salad taint on the chips and parm. If my mantra wasn't that I wouldn't change the parm in anyway I would have ordered it without.

All in all the meal was good, and for $19 it was good value. I've been told they sometimes do a two for one special. I'd certainly recommend it at two for one and would also recommend it at regular prices.

Dave the Mega-Parm