When? - 16th of October, 2014
Where? The Courthouse Hotel, Corner Macrossan & Wharf Streets, Port Douglas
Price? - $24, $17 on Mondays
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
There wasn't as much fanfare for this special attempt (especially when compared to the one we had a couple of weeks ago), But that's mostly because I forgot this one was even happening. A family reunion of sorts has whisked me up from Port Douglas from Wednesday to Monday which put me out of state for our usual parma night, So at the last minute I had to work out some sort of tactic for review - And this is what I came up with!
We started our trip with a night in Cairns - I was a little worried after this initial night as I had my feelers out for some parma action, but every place I passed just advertised "Schnitzel" without any sort of toppings - Now I've got absolutely nothing against a good schnitty, but this website isn't called SchnitzelDaze.
So Cairns was a bust, we jumped into the hired QLD Parma Bus and drove up to Port Douglas where the rest of the Trip will take place. The first day here I wandered down the main street and found no less than three pubs that do some sort of variation on a parma. At the time of writing this review I've only done one of them, but who knows what I'll get up to in the next three nights. I'll update if I partake again.
I wasn't 100% set on which parma we were doing until we walked down the street on the way to parma night, but we walked passed the Courthouse Hotel and it was pumping. The place is absolutely massive, mostly because they have erected massive marquees on all sides of the pub, expanding outward like the Blob, slowly consuming the entire town with picnic tables and reasonably priced daiquiris.
Despite its immense size the Courthouse was packed. The queue to place an order was a good thirty minute wait, with a 45 minute wait after the food was ordered (at least they had the courtesy to let us know there would be a delay when we ordered thought, so we were prepared for it.
At pretty much 45 minutes on the dot our parmas arrived -
I wan't a fan of the schnitzel at all, the crumbs had the consistency of KFC chicken coating moreso than actual crumbs, but without the 11 secret herbs and spices. It was real chicken, but quite dry and stringy. Size-wise it was erring on the small side, although not overly so - I can say I was full by the end of the meal.
The toppings were as equally "meh" as the schnitzel. The napoli tasted like direct-from-the-jar leggo's pasta sauce, the ham added about as much flavour as a piece of damp paper. The cheese was a mozzarella and tasty blend, which I normally don't mind as it can add a bit of bite to a sometimes bland ordeal, Unfortunately this wasn't the case, There was plenty of cheese, It just didn't do too much.
The chips would have been amazing - had they been served an hour prior.
They were beer battered and perfectly seasoned, and plenty of them too - however they were damp and limp, as if we got the end of the bowl that had been sitting in the kitchen since the dinner shift started.
On the positive side the salad was pretty great. A fusion of a garden salad and rich, creamy coleslaw. All the ingredients were fresh, crisp and flavoursome. Parmas that just have a massive mound of coleslaw as a side can be a little heavy and overpowering, but this mix of both was the perfect accompaniment to the dish.
As with special attempts I'm not gonna give this parma an official score, but you can probably guess how it would go if I did ... Not good. However if we had a category for atmosphere it would get full marks. The live music under the marquee, beers by the beach and cheap mango daiquiris make the Courthouse a great spot to stop into, but I'd avoid the parma. There is a $17 Parma night on Mondays, but to be honest I still think thats a little expensive for what we were served (and the $24 that we actually paid is bordering on outrageous.
So here I sit, a little dejected as I haven't yet found a good parma for PD in PD, but it's hard to stay upset for long when this is my view while writing this post...
I'm not sure what the plans are for the rest of this trip, but if I venture out again I'll be sure to update with my findings - If not, I'll see you back in Melbourne next week!