The Verdict: I heard much about the Chicken Parmigiana at the Paddo Tavern before trialling it and it did not disappoint. The main question of the night thought was whether this Parma actually qualified for race to find Brisbane’s Best Parma because the tomato sauce was actually a tomato salsa and not a Napoli sauce.
Chicken: The chicken piece in the Paddo Parma was excellent. Well cooked and well crumbed. It was a little on the small side but that did not detract from how good it was and tasted!
Tomato Sauce: I have set out in Rule 5 of my rules for judging Brisbane’s Best Parma (https://brisbanebestparma.com/2014/12/27/the-rules-how-i-am-going-to-judge-brisbanes-best-parma/) that no variations to the make up of the chicken portion of the Parma would be acceptable. In that rule I note that a “tomato based sauce” required but do not specify a Napoli sauce. Why am I mentioning this? Because the Paddo Parma used a tomato salsa for this element. As it is clearly a “tomato based sauce” this Parma therefore still qualifies, albeit I have the sense that a tomato salsa is really stretching the boundaries of the rule. All that said was the tomato salsa actually any good? As salsa’s go I found it a little bland to be honest.
Ham: If the tomato salsa was bland (and controversial), then the ham was its direct opposite! A very large piece that complemented every aspect of the chicken piece well and tasted just how ham ought. In a pretty good effort the ham was one of the highlights!
Cheese: The Paddo Parma produced precisely what I am looking for in the cheese element in the dish. It was well melted, abundant and very tasty! I can not find anything to detract from the cheese in this dish!
Side dishes: You will note from the photo the presence of a green tipped chip. I may have a phobia about eating chips like that which gave me a general sense of foreboding about the chips when they came out but that one chip aside (which I did not eat) these chips were perfect. Crispy and well cooked! The salad was just as good as the chips: after waiting a few weeks for a good salad the Paddo’s Parma salad absolutely nailed it! It was freshly put together, well seasoned and just enough.
Presentation: No other way to describe the presentation of this dish other than perfect!!!
The Venue: The Paddo Tavern is in Paddington near Lang Park. It has been one of the “got to” Brisbane pubs for as long as I can remember with a number of bars as well as large restaurant. On nights when fixtures are on at Lang Park it will be heaving but even on a Tuesday night it draws a good crowd. It is 2 4 1 on Tuesday’s which may explain that. I ordered the “Paddo Original Parma” which was pricey at $30.
The Final Word: The Paddo Tavern Parma is, really, a very good Chicken Parmigiana. It ticks almost all of the boxes of what I am looking for and but for the tomato sauce being a bland salsa it may have been Brisbane’s Best.