Well in what can only be described on one of the hottest weekends in Queensland this summer, we ventured up to the Sunshine Coast for the Australia Day long weekend with a few friends. This led us to what we came to call ‘Parmi Kingdom’, otherwise known as The Mooloolaba Beach Bar and Grill.
This venue has their own special Parmi menu with 6 unique parmi’s on offer. One big point of difference here is that all the Parmi’s on offer are different to the norm, with your traditional not even being available to order. This was a bit concerning to see on paper, but was quickly forgotten when the food arrived.
For our review we had 5 different reviewers sampling 4 of the Parmi’s on offer. The menu below details what Parmi’s are available.
Hog – Pulled Pork, bacon, red onion, rib sauce, sweet chilli and mozzarella
Cuban – Pepperoni, bacon, honey mustard & mozzarella
Pig & Pineapple – Bacon, pineapple, mozzarella & Napoli sauce
Mexican – House made sweet salsa, mozzarella, side of sour cream & hot chilli
Ranch – Smokey bacon, fresh avocado, mozzarella & ranch sauce
Beach – Marinated seared prawns, fresh avocado & garlic cream
Andrew & John “Hog” – You know what they say about first impressions….when this Parmi lands in front of your face you know you are in for a good time. Straight off the bat, this is a massive, full of flavour looking Parmi. The chicken breast has been virtually engulfed in a blanket of cheese, bacon and rib sauce; with the chips hiding underneath and salad neatly off to the side. The way these Parmi’s are made are to accentuate the toppings; as all our Parmi toppings really stood out as the centerpiece of the dish. In our case the rib sauce really shines through as a dominating flavour, with the bacon following closely behind. The sauce is a sweet rib sauce, which gets just a little sweeter with the grilled red onions mixed through. The chicken breast itself is of reasonable thickness with a light crumbing, with the crunch factor here getting a bit lost under the toppings. The addition here of pulled pork is very interesting; on one hand it adds a little something and beefs up the flavour, but on the other hand, it does feel a little underutilized and lost between the heavy rib sauce and bacon flavours. We sometimes even found ourselves searching for the chicken breast under the vast toppings. These are only minor drawbacks though, as the flavours of this Parmi are really something special that left us genuinely happy.
Gilbert “Cuban” – As has been said these are huge Parmi’s that really fill the plates they arrive on. As mine arrives it reminds me of a pizza with the pepperoni really showing through the melted cheese on top. Upon first taste though the pizza idea is quickly removed as honey mustard hits your palate. Like the others, the toppings here are what make this Parmi shine. Loads of pepperoni and bacon mean every fork is full of meat and the honey mustard really ties everything together. It is definitely a different taste, but when different can sometimes be daunting, I find the flavours here are a great variation to the standard.
Sarge “Pig & Pineapple” – This is what can be considered as close to the norm as you can get. In a similar vein to the ‘Cuban’, the toppings here really resemble a pizza upon first inspection. On the whole we have the basic foundations for the traditional Parmi, with the addition of pineapple providing a point of difference. This adds a certain freshness to the Parmi with the pineapple pieces adding to the juiciness of the chicken. As was expected with these top notch Parmi’s, the Napoli sauce is home-made and has been generously applied all over. I'm sure the others agree but the chips and salad also have their own charm. Their are appropriately sized for these large Parmi's and provide a break from the sometimes heavy flavours present. Overall for me, the huge portion size and quality chicken breast really win this Parmi, aswell as the fresh Napoli sauce that finds it way into every bite.
Tomeeka “Beach” – My Parmi is the only Parmi to not come with cheese, and it does stand out a bit from the others because of this. Personally I feel the lack of cheese makes this Parmi more of a schnitzel, but I am happy to look past this for the flavour that is brought to the table. The winner here is the garlic sauce that has been generously applied on top of the chicken. A creamy sauce that is not too strong and perfectly compliments the 3 prawns topping. The avocado is a slight let down however, not being a brilliant vibrant green of a fresh avocado, but feeling a bit older and soft. With a lack of cheese however this is when I get to taste the chicken breast base. A nice tender base with light crumbing which does remain crunchy throughout. This is where the extravagant toppings on the other Parmi’s can wash out the chicken a bit; whereas I am able to really taste the base the whole time. As with the Cuban this really is a different tasting Parmi, but a decent variation to the standard nonetheless.
Rating - 9.2/10: We all braved the extreme heat to get some of the best Parmi’s we have had in our lives. This venue really does some great takes on the traditional and provides 6 different Parmi’s that all have their own unique flavour. We were all pretty blown away by the top notch Parmi’s here and were more then happy for the price paid for what we got. The only downsides here can be that the flavours can be somewhat overpowing to the chicken, but that is only a slight negative.
If you are up at the Sunshine Coast this IS the place you want to go to get your Parmi Fix! Get along on a Thursday night for a special price of $15 each!