When? - 19th of October, 2014
Where? Central Hotel, 9 Macrossan St. Port Douglas
Price? - $24
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
As I said at the end of last week's update - If I find myself in front of another parma while in Port Douglas for the week I will let you know - Well I found one, this is me letting you know!
Now don't fret, there will still be a Melbourne-based review up on Friday, this is just a little bonus. It would've been done earlier but my laptop decided to have an emotional and physical breakdown mere hours after the last review went live, I'm still working on getting her patched up so this review is going out from my Melbourne based work computer.
So after a mediocre-at-best parma at The Court House I wanted to make things right - Surely that was not the best parma Port Douglas had to offer!
Not two minutes walk from The Court House is Central Hotel, a pub very similar in vibe to The Court House - A down to earth Aussie pub with an emphasis on outdoor entertainment. Much luke The Court House the Central is 20% pub, 80% beer garden, with a multitude of outdoor eating & drinking areas (a deck on the main drag, a raised deck just behind it with its own cocktail bar and an outdoor beer garden/cinema out the back)
The kitchen didn't open until eleven so we kicked back with a few pots on the deck while we waited (don't judge me, I was on holiday). The menu's were already on the table so we sighted the parma and were ready to go as soon as the kitchen fired up...
The deck on the main drag is a great place to kick back and people-watch. There is a pub next door that does nightly cane-toad races which are a load of fun (we would've gone there, but they don't do a parma).
After about 20 minutes our parmas arrived. I was hoping for the best, I really was...
And from first glance it looked okay - Unfortunately once I cut into it the horrible truth was revealed - Processed, heart shaped schnitzel, almost directly from the supermarket shelf. The crumbs were thick as buggery and it was dry as hell. Not sure what happened to the parma but mine came out luke-warm. It was okay when I first tucked in but by the time I finished it was stone cold - and I'm not a slow eater.
The toppings were okay and did their best to try and salvage the dish, but its hard to come back from such a bad foundation. Plenty of tasty, gooey mozzarella cooked just to my liking, the ham was packaged as well but thats a little easier to stomach, the napoli was tasty as well - but still from a jar.
The chips were actually pretty good. Beer battered, well cooked and hot. Well seasoned with an array of sauce options at the bar. The menu states that all main meals come with your choice of steak sauce - But I forgot to bring it up when I ordered and they didn't mention it - but I'm sure if you brought it up they'd throw in a side of gravy for chip dippage, bringing these ones to their A game.
The salad, while presented beautifully in a little origami bamboo boat, was a little 'meh'. It looked great on the plate, but after eating the top layer of grated carrot and dressing all that was left underneath was a few dry lettuce leaves - this is why you have to toss your salad through the dressing rather than just squirt it on top.
$24 is too much for this parma, I could handle this if it was a $12-with-a-pot special but $24 is a hefty price for processed schnitzel. Put a few extra bucks into your ingredients and invest in some real chicken. I could handle the so/so salad and package toppings if there was a good bird beneath it all.
As with last week's special attempt I'm not gonna give this one a score, but again, it wouldn't be great if I did. If I had to choose I'd probably take Central Hotel's parma over The Court House's - but only barely, They're pretty comparable but I think the Central's chips just pipped them at the post.
So that was our Port Douglas adventure! We didn't get to any other parmas before hopping on a plane back to Melbourne.
Be sure to stay tuned for Friday as we are heading back for a redo of one of the first parmas we ever did! (I hear it has gotten a lot better) ... see you then!