Website? - http://www.courthouseonerrol.com.au/
Reviewers – Lee, Tony [/info]
When I first saw The Courthouse a few years ago I immediately thought it looked like a good spot to try a parma - A corner pub on Errol Street in North Melbourne? Surely they would produce a quality bird!
Yet on checking the menu I was saddened - at the time The Courthouse was aiming for a much more "Gastropub" vibe, and there was nothing even close to the humble chicken parma on the menu, disappointed, I put it out of my mind and moved on... Until a few weeks ago when I heard that The Courthouse had new owners.
Could it be? Perhaps the new owners weren't as anti-parma as the previous ones? I checked the menu on the website and was again, disappointed. Nothing. No parmas ... Until I checked the separate "Bar Menu"
Huzzah! Parma sighted. It's not available in the Bistro, but the Bar menu has an aptly named "Good old chicken parma" We loaded up the parma bus and headed to Errol Street.
Upon arrival the pub was bustling with groups of patrons enjoying a knock-off drink, It was busy, but not crowded with plenty of tables available. It's worth noting that the largest table in the bar could fit four people, at a push five, with a heap more intimate options for two or possibly three people. I ordered a pint (Carlton Draught, $9), our parmas ($22) and waited, before long at all (about a quarter of a pint) our meals arrived -
The first thing that struck me was that the Schnitzel looked quite small - there was a lot of empty space on the plate and a pretty small bit of bird in the middle - this was deceiving though, as the bird was actually quite thick, easily making up for any shortcomings in circumference.
The crumbs were crispy, not thickly applied and carried no sogginess, everything was looking up until we got to this parma's biggest shortcoming - It was overcooked.
One edge of this parma was bordering on burnt, and everywhere else had been cooked too long, causing the crumbs to burn and the quality chicken breast inside to dry out. It was disappointing as this was a nice bit of schnitzel, let down by this one issue.
The toppings helped save the dryness of the parma quite well. There was plenty of napoli, tasty cheese and ham that all served their purpose quite well, however lacked any major *oomph* that would make a single ingredient stand out - This parma would have benefited greatly from some smoked ham, as opposed to standard ham, just to add a bit more complexity to the dish.
The chips were fantastic. When I think of great beer battered chips these are what I picture. Perfectly crunchy on the outside giving way to velvety soft pillows of potato inside. Well seasoned, Heaps of them, served beside the parma - A tick in almost every box, any sort of dipping sauce would have made these a 10/10.
The salad was fresh, but a bit boring. Lettuce tossed in oil with some radish slices, cherry tomatoes and a bit of cucumber. To be fair they certainly weren't tight on the cherry tomatoes, but like the toppings on the parma itself there was nothing there that *wow'ed* me.
For $22 I'm not complaining too much about the value this week, I would seek this parma out again, if only for the chips. All the ingredients used in this parma were top notch - no processed schnitzel here, so a price tag of twenty two bucks is more than justified. There are some drink and food specials that it would be worth checking their facebook about - although I didn't see any parma-specific ones at the time of review.
I'm giving the Courthouse the benefit of the doubt on this review, as if this parma was served exactly how we received it, just with five minutes fewer on the stove, it would have been quite good and I'm not going to let what was quite possibly an isolated incident drag the score down too much.
Worth checking out if you're in the area, even if its just for a pint in a pretty cool little pub in North Melbourne.
Court is adjourned.
- Quality ingredients
- Great chips
- Dry, overcooked schnitzel