A twist of Italian cuisine heritage brought fresh from Australia. Mr. Johann Tirtha, inspired by his experience back in Melbourne, introduces the art of enjoying an affair between Parmigiana and beer. Proudly he presents his modest but honest venture of Big Parma in Bandung.
It’s reassuring to know that Bandung has now started to possess budding entrepreneurs with idealistic insights to deliver what’s inspired during their study abroad or whatever their experience was. No matter how small the scale is I think it’s something to be proud of and that’s actually what I felt after I heard about this establishment.
Big Parma might not be your typical big and fancy restaurant. The placement of this cafe itself even feels more like an additional section instead of being an independent outlet. Located outside a dominating clothing outlet which has always been a big business in Bandung. Taking an advantage from that situation, Big Parma aims not only to quench the thirst of shoppers but also higher than that. It might even one day serve the purpose of why people coming to shop there.
So what exactly is this parmigiana?
Parmigiana is a derivative version of Italian dish of breaded cutlets topped with cheese and tomato sauce then to be baked for completion. It’s very different than it’s counterpart namely Chicken Cordon Bleu where ham and cheese inserted inside then fried or optionally, baked.
It’s pretty much quite unknown in Bandung even though I know that Suis Butcher’s already got that in its menu for years but I bet that nobody still not get the idea of what a parmigiana is.
Here Big Parma offers three main parmigiana dish alongside other options that mostly contain chicken as well and some pasta. We chose two of the three namely Original Parmigiana layered with homemade Napolitana sauce instead of our other choice, the Smoked Beef Parmigiana which was using BBQ Sauce. The latter was also layered with thinly sliced smoked beef all over the surface. With a small gap of price between each of these signature dishes, I suppose that it’s better to just choose the best one which in my case was the one with BBQ sauce.
Once they came, all the dishes served with French fries and salad seasoned with light salad oil. Though the fries were not homemade, I was hoping that one day Big Parma would also serve other variants of taters for example mashed or hash brown. But probably the most recent good variant of potato dish I tasted came from Ya Udah Bistro with its German modifications using onions and was a bit oily. Though lacking in taste, we can always pour more salt or pepper. The best one is still the mashed potato from Chili’s. Unbeatable during the last three years of my endeavor.
In terms of looks I suppose Big Parma could strive to also bring more color to the dish which is perhaps at the most minimum can be achieved by covering the gaps between the chicken, potatoes, and salad. Use a bigger cut of chicken, or beat the chicken black and blue just to widen up its length, or spread the potatoes more, or more salad, or use smaller plates, or anything just to treat the eyes of the diners.
I don’t have any objection nor admitting extreme brilliance from the dishes. But as for those with BBQ sauce, well I have to say that it tasted quite sharp and quite inviting. If you press the chicken a bit with your cutlery then the sauce will come out all over and that my friend, was mouthwatering. The one with Napolitana sauce however was too mild for my liking and you might want to put more energy with additional sauces or pepper. Then again, this is something to do with your preference. While I personally chose to lead a savory life then arguably this Original Parmigiana would not be something I’d pick again next time.
Drinks? Aside from the beers, Big Parma offers extensive choice of coffee and Italian soda with many fruity flavors. If that’s not enough then you might want to experience Roppan taste here with Big Parma’s Toasty Bread flavored with either blueberry or strawberry. Quite rich and fulfilling yet the best part is to know that everything there was very affordable.
It was quite unfortunate however that Big Parma is so damn close with the street so you might found it cacophonous, especially added with unsuitable soundtracks it play.
No matter what, there’s plenty room to improve and improvise especially with parmigiana where as we know, Italian culinary world has always been known to have room for improvisations. Bandung with its unique challenges might be a big obstacle right now but there’s no telling that the tide will turn for you. There you go, big guy!
Address: Jl. Cemara no. 83, Bandung, Indonesia
Atmosphere: Half baked terrace cafe still fighting to keep the patrons hang out as long as they can.
Ambiance: Loud thanks to the inches-away traffic and unsuitable background music.
Service: Should be okay.
Opening Hours: 10 am – 9 pm (daily)
Pricing: Tea and coffee at around IDR 15K, food and snacks at around IDR 20K