THE FACTS -
When? – 19/07/2012
Where? – The Mitre Tavern. 5 Bank Pl, Melbourne CBD
Price? - $18.90
Website? - http://www.mitretavern.com.au/
Reviewers – Fridge, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Pat, Stefo
The Mitre Tavern is a parma that I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. I mean, It’s the first pub in Melbourne! That kind of nostalgia has gotta be worth massive points. We loaded up the parma bus and headed for the CBD.
After a little trouble finding a carpark, we made our way down Bank Pl to the Mitre. If you have yet to visit the Mitre it is certainly an odd sight - Nestled between highrises in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD is a tiny little two story house surrounded by hundreds of Melbournites in suits, all downing a few well earned post-work pots.
We ducked in through the doors and took our seats in the bistro downstairs (there is a much more lah-dee-dah steakhouse upstairs, but unfortunately there is no parma on the menu up there)
After settling in with a pint of Mountain Goat, we checked the menu -
When a pub puts its own name in the name of the parma it can either be a very good thing or a very bad one - On one hand it could mean that they are very extremely proud of their quality meal, yet on the other (more likely) hand, its a kiss of death. Much like when you see the word “Famous” on the menu before a parma.
One other thing we noticed was the lack of salad, It wasn’t until after we ordered that we noticed the ‘sides’ section on the back of the menu, the option to add a salad would cost us an extra $3, but seeing as we had already ordered, nobody partook.
Before too long our meals arrived in front of us.
The Schnitzel was quite wide, but unfortunately it was thin and processed, the crumbs were thick and there was more nudity on the schnitzel than on this painting on the wall -
The area under the cheese and ham was passable, although there was a major lack of napoli leaving the whole thing dry - It was the first time in 106 parmas that I’ve resorted to using the tomato sauce for more than just the chips, just to give the thing some moisture.
The above rundown has come off a bit harsh - it wasn’t terrible, But I was expecting a lot more from the first (and one of my favourite) pubs in Melbourne.
The chips were okay, passable and well cooked, however they were nothing special and just looked lonely on the plate without any salad. Two of the six parmas that came out had individual sauce pots on the plate (you know how I love my sauce pots) yet the other four had no sauce pots, and a squeeze bottle of sauce put on the table in front of us, when questioned about this the waitress said “I guess the chef just got lazy”.
I was reading a review of a fellow food blogger who goes by the name Juganauts (whom I also borrowed the above artwork photo from) and she put it perfectly …
If you have a minute, check out Juganaut’s Foodie Thoughts, its a great read, not parma exclusive, but they do come up fairly often.
Now, the salad. As mentioned before, It was nonexistent (unless you wanted to shell out an extra $3 for it). This is not the first time we’ve come across a salad free parma, and we have rules set in place for how its handled score-wise (known as the “you don’t win friends with salad” rule). A zero across the board would be too harsh, so instead they get a 5, which effectively nullifies the salad from affecting the score - however the lack of a salad is definitely reflected in the final Value score. Sound fair? good.
I love the Mitre Tavern, Its everything I love about a pub in a cosy little home squirreled away in the back alleys of the Melbourne CBD, which is why it kills me to say that I would not be back for another parma any time soon.
Such a disappointment but dry, processed chicken, thick crumbs, nude schnitzel and no salad make the Mitre a pub that I’ll only be returning to for a beer, not a meal… (and maybe some of those cheap lodgings afforded to seamen)
Parma - 5.17
Chips - 5
Salad - 5
Value - 4.67
Total - 5.00
The search continues…