The quest to find Brisbane’s Best Parma had to start somewhere and so it was that last night I broke my chicken parmigiana duck for 2015 at the Newmarket Hotel.
Keeping with the template previously advised, here is my review of the chicken parmigiana at the Newmarket Hotel:
Chicken: The chicken breast was well crumbed, contained a large amount of meat and, as has been pointed out to me on social media, looked a little like a map of Australia (sans Tasmania). I thought the cooking of the breast might have gone a little long because I found it to be a bit dry and chewy in places.
Tomato Sauce: This aspect of the Newmarket Hotel parma was pretty good if a little lacking. The sauce tasted good and was a good compliment to the rest of the meal but given the size of the chicken breast I would have liked a little more.
Ham: No complaints about the ham on this chicken parma save again for that feeling that there could have been a little bit more of it.
Cheese: I really enjoyed the cheese last night. There was a thick enough layering of it, it bound well to the rest of the chicken, tomato sauce and ham combination and, indeed, kept it all together. Proportionally I thought the amount of cheese was spot on.
Side Dishes: I will deal with the salad first because it is the positive part of this review. There was plenty of salad, it was not overrun with dressing nor was there a preponderance of new age salad inclusions like kale. Top marks for the salad. Unfortunately the chips really let this meal down. Where I thought the chicken breast was overcooked, the reverse applied to the chips. They were soggy rather than being crisp and were luke warm at best when they reached the table.
Presentation: This is how the chicken parmigiana looked when it was placed in front of me.
You will note that a portion of the parma is resting on some of the chips. In most cases that would be a significant negative for me however given the size of the meal compared to the size of the plate it was understandable and probably unavoidable.
Size: I would consider this to be a medium to large chicken parmigiana with the chicken breast similarly sized.
The Verdict: I had high hopes for the first chicken parmigiana of 2015 and whilst this parmigiana had some very good points ultimately the chips (terrible) and the chicken breast (dry) were disappointments. I can not imagine that this parmigiana will find itself in the top half of the parma ladder by the end of the year.
Postscript: I mentioned in an earlier post that I would not be judging the chicken parmigianas I eat based on the service received or value for money in the meals. I stand by that. Equally, I also commented that I would also provide comment about both in each review. I have to say that the Newmarket Hotel let itself down massively on the service front. I don’t whether it was because it was a Wednesday night or because there were too few staff on or because I just bring the worst out in wait staff but I found the service to be glacial in speed at best. It was not a happy dining experience for this reason.