The Verdict: The Chicken Parma at the Brook Hotel will always hold a special place in my stomach because it is the Parma that got the conversation about Brisbane’s Best Parma started. This Chicken Parmigiana was actually pretty good however it was let down by a lack of tomato sauce and some pretty ordinary salad.
Chicken: The chicken piece in this Chicken Parma was good. It was well crumbed, well cooked and quite succulent. It was on the small side which is the only criticism I can find for it.
Tomato Sauce: This was where the principal disappointment in this meal came from. The tomato sauce was both a little bit bland and a little bit lacking. It just did not cover the chicken piece and it did not really add much flavour to the dish.
Ham: Finally a massive piece of ham on a chicken parma! The minute this parma was placed in front of me I knew I would be happy with the quantum of ham provided simply because the piece of ham covered the whole piece of chicken and was folded over for a double layer effect. It also tasted very nice as well.
Cheese: I am told that the cheese looks good in the photo. I have to tell you that the photo does not do this cheese justice. It was well melted and was layered on quite thickly.
Side Dishes: Another Parma let down by its side dishes, or least in this case, one of its side dishes. The chips were excellent: well cooked and well salted. The salad was a major let down. Setting aside the fact that it had broccoli in it about which the best that could be said was that it was unusual, the salad on a whole was a bit bland and had a look about it of just being left overs.
Presentation: I am getting tired of writing this but again the chicken portion of this meal was placed square in the middle of chips. Enough said.
The venue: The Brook Hotel is on Osborne Rd behind the Brookside Shopping Centre. It is a large multi bar venue with a large poker machine room. The Bistro is comparably small and has what could be best described as a classic fit out. One of the main things to note about the bistro at the Brook Hotel is its pricing. My Parma was priced at $12. Read that again: $12. You would struggle to find better value in the suburbs.
The Final Word: The Brook Hotel Chicken Parmigiana is the best priced Parma I have trialled so far (specials aside). It was another Parma that had some really great elements: the Ham and Cheese were nothing short of sensational. The negatives though, the sauce and the salad drop this Parma to the middle of the Parma Ladder.