Tuesday nights at 7pm are not usually the time you head out for a picnic; but this week was an exception as we made our way to the Picnic Café for their Parma Rama Tuesday night special. Normally closed for dinner, Picnic Café has opened their doors for the punters every 2nd Tuesday for some cheap Parmi’s and beers; a match made in heaven!
Andrew - There is currently 7 Parmi’s on offer here, all with varying toppings. Being a purist I stuck with the classic ham, cheese and sauce; AKA The Peppa Pig. All the boys picked different options here so we really got to see a good sample of what was on offer. We even brought along a vegetarian against our better judgement; however, he was pleased to find an option available for him as well.
Theye’ve got some decent sized Parmi’s here with a handful of chips and small salad sides. What really hit me was the crunch of the chicken and the Napoli sauce. These two factors were the huge points of difference for me and what really won me over. The crumb is super crunchy and cooked to perfection and the Napoli sauce is fresh, homemade, and full of flavour. I couldn’t believe there were bits of fresh tomato that were mixed in with the sauce that you could see had been cooked up that day. It results in a great flavour and shows a bit of time and work goes a long way.
Chicken was cooked well and was of varying thickness. What started off as a thin schnitzel worked its way up to a medium thickened piece, retaining moisture the whole time. Only let down for me was the amount of toppings overall. Though they all worked well together and really gave a good flavour, I just would have liked to have seen a bit more.
For the sides we get a little salad dressed with vinaigrette and a handful of shoestring fries. The sides were really just that; a side, and were only there to act as an addition to the Parmi. Overall not as big as you get elsewhere but both very tasty and add a little something that can sometimes be a letdown.
I’ve gotta say this Parmi did live up the hype for me. I loved the crunch of the chicken and I could stop raving about the fresh Napoli sauce. For $15 with any drink purchase ($20 for a Parmi and Corona!) this is hands down one of the best Parmi specials around the Brisbane area.
My Score – 8.5/10
Paul - I could sit here for hours talking about Darren’s shitty Ferrari and his baby food fetish or the time Reuben broke his collar bone on our annual boys ski trip to Thredbo…but why waste time on that when I can talk about this amazing Parmi.
Hidden away in the suburb of Camp Hill, the Picnic Café offers something very special…
I ordered the Brisvegas and after listening to a boring conversation about how much Andrew and Reuben mucked around at high school, the Parmi finally arrived, and boy did it look delicious.
The crumbed chicken was out of the world…crunchy, flavoursome and moist…mixed with the Brisvegas toppings of Napoli sauce, cheese and pineapple…it created the perfect mix of flavour with every bite.
Special mention goes to the Napoli sauce…with real chunks of tomato it had a great homemade feel to it. One of the best Napoli sauces I’ve ever had.
For me, there were not enough chips and the salad was standard but the side of onions rings with hot sauce made for a great addition.
Overall, this has to be one of my favourite Parmis. It will be hard to beat.
My Score – 9.0/10
Darren - My review starts with my conquest to find the holy grail of Parmi’s! Before I jumped in my Ferrari, I asked my personal assistant Siri “hey baby, where is Picnic Café in Camp Hill?”, her response was “sorry its closed but here’s the directions”. This place is so secret that Siri and Google don’t know it’s open and as difficult to find as…… well you know…..but once you find it, it takes you to a magical place.
Upon my arrival I was greeted by several waitress with a smile and directed to my table, in which my noble servants were waiting for me to arrive. The dining area was cramped for 4 generously sized males however it was a still a pleasant place to catch up.
The Parmi menu was extensive and showed creativity was two side options of onion rings and sweet potato fries. Some members of the table opted for the onion rings but my attention was drawn to the good the bad and the ugly Parmi……it can be described as a Mexican Parmi – tomato sauce, black beans and jalapenos and of course cheese. The onion rings were delicious, I have to say I am not a massive onion ring man but I couldn’t help going back for more, the side sauce complemented the side particularly well.
And now the Parmi…..at first glance there was slight disappointment as I feel it’s always good to receive a generous side of chips and salad. However the disappointment was gone once I inspected the Parmi……the breast of chicken was thick, massive, juicy and moist. The crumbs and topping gave it an extra level of awesomeness that you have to experience for yourself. The key in any Parmi is the Napoli sauce and you could tell this was made with good product and effort was given! The price of $20 which includes a drinks was pretty good value considering the awesomeness of the Parmi. The only feedback I can give it would have been nice to have the meal a little warmer, however it was an extremely busy night.
In summary, my personal assistant and Google doesn’t know everything but what I know is if you want a cracking Parmi check this place out!
My Score – 8.0/10
Reuben - I know you’re filled with questions…Can crumbed eggplant with tomato Napoli & cheese really be called a Parmi? Can you even eat cheese as a vegetarian? How much money would it take for me to eat Andrew’s meat?
As the token vegetarian, I felt it was my responsibility force my culinary beliefs down the table’s throat while I placed an order for ‘The Hippy Hipster’ ~Vego~ with a side of onion rings. And yes, as the meal’s name implies, I was rocking a poorly kept ‘pube’ beard and plaid shirt from the Salvo’s bargain bin.At $25 for the Parmi, Corona and onion rings I was happy to hand over the cash at the end of the night. And don’t worry, if you haven’t realised your life aspiration as a raging alcoholic you can grab a soft drink in the $20 package.
The onion rings came out a bit early and the timing made them feel like more of an entrée than a side, however, they were fresh, pleasantly crispy and definitely a tasty addition. The inclusion of a spicy dipping sauce was a nice touch and I was impressed with the portion size.
After several heated discussions on the limit of Paul’s sexual prowess and whether or not it was acceptable to consume apple puree at the age of 33, the crumbed eggplant arrived. And was it really a Parmi? It sure was.
I really enjoyed how moist and flavoursome the eggplant was while maintaining a pleasantly crunchy crumbing. The Napoli sauce was plentiful, flavoursome and had decently sized chunks of real tomato hidden under the melted cheese, telling me that this was a sauce that took time to make and wasn’t squeezed from a packet. Presentation wise it was hard to distinguish my meal from the 3 others on the table, so they’ve nailed the authentic Parmi experience on a grass only diet.
On the side, a fresh salad and shoestring fries. The salad was your stock standard fair rocking the essential lettuce, tomato and cucumber with a light dressing. I’m not the biggest fan of shoestring fries and I didn’t reach enlightenment when I put them away tonight, however, they weren’t too oily and were definitely enjoyed.
Overall I was really impressed with the meal and would definitely recommend this animal friendly adaption of the classic Parmi. Make sure you book early though, as it was popular with the locals and I couldn’t spot an unoccupied table.
My Score – 8.0/10
Average Rating 8.4/10 - If you want one of the best value Parmi's in Brisbane, head to the Picnic Cafe on the fortnightly Parma Rama night. For $15 you can get a quality Parmi which has one of the best homemade Napoli sauces we have tasted. Make sure to book as these spots go fast!