The Verdict: After a week in which only good things happened in the land of Parma, high hopes were had for a good chicken parmigiana at the Everton Park Hotel. Those hopes were, simply, dashed by the lack of moisture in the chicken and a new low water mark in side dishes.
Chicken: I have always been taught to try to see something good in every situation. The good bit of the chicken was that it was thin which made it easier to eat. It was just so dry! Either cooked too long or left to sit in the hot bay while the Parma Consogliere’s steak was overcooked, the only way to get this chicken down was accompanied by a schooner.
Tomato Sauce: The menu describes the sauce on the EPH Parma as a “tomato sugo”. To me it looked and tasted like it was tipped out of can. Which did not make it bad necessarily but just that it had a processed taste to it. There was a good covering of sauce but not enough to make up for the chicken’s dryness.
Ham: The absolute star of this dish, the rose arising from the manure if you will. The ham was abundant and, bizarrely perfectly cooked. It tasted great: so much so that I was almost tempted to peel it off the chicken and eat it on its own.
Cheese: As the photo shows the cheese on this Parma just did not cover enough of it . It was well melted and complemented the ham well but there just was not enough!!!
Side dishes: The side dishes were just not very good. Both suffered I think from their resting before being put on the plate. By this I mean:
- The chips had clearly been sitting in a hot bay in the kitchen waiting for the plate. Once, probably an hour before our arrival, they were probably well cooked but by the time they got to me they were soft, cold and tasteless.
- The salad was cold which should have been a warning but when one probed further under the dressing large portions of the salad had taken on a gelatinous quality that suggested it had been in the fridge, all together, for too long!
Presentation: Finally another Parma that came on a plate of an appropriate size and with the chips NOT hidden under the chicken. The ham aside it is pretty sad that the presentation of this dish is the next best thing about it.
The Venue: The Everton Park hotel is a suburban hotel north of Brisbane. It has everything one would want in a local: large bistro, TAB facilities and a couple of eating areas. The overall impression I had was of a place that had been half renovated as you walk through the new looking bar area into the very dated bistro. It was Snitzel night so my Parma was $20.
The final word: I have written before about the dryness of a chicken Parma and used the analogy of a trip to the Sahara. That analogy applies again to the Everton Park Hotel Parma: it was just so dry! Add the ordinary side dishes and this Parma is definitely now a challenger for the unwanted “Laura” Parma Award!
Postscript: forgotten the awards? Check this link here: https://brisbanebestparma.com/2014/12/30/the-parma-awards-you-asked-for-it-and-here-they-are/
If that was good presentation, what is bad presentation? Goodness me.