When? – 7/12/12
Where? – 524 Macaulay Rd, Kensington
Price? - $22.00
Website? - http://www.tonikbar.com.au/
Reviewers – Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo
**UPDATE** 23/7/15 - Tonik has closed its doors and re-opened as Lost and Found Bar & Tattoo Studio ... with a much better parma! Check out the full review of the new establishment here.
Tonik has been on the top of our list for quite a while. Literally.
Here’s a picture…
So with the end of the year upon us I simply couldn’t venture into 2013 (or the Mayan apocalypse) without testing the Tonik parma, we loaded up the parma bus and headed to Kensington.
The reason it has taken so long for us to get to Tonik is that up until a few weeks ago, apart from their Tuesday $17 ‘Parma and a pot’ special, with 7 different kinds of novelty parma on the menu, there was no chicken parma available on any other day of the week. It was only recently that they included the holy bird on their regular menu.
We arrived to a surprisingly busy little bar, took our seats and placed our orders. For some reason the upstairs area of Tonik was taken over by a makeshift craft market on this particular Thursday, quite an odd thing to find above a bar, but we had a browse, taste-tested some banana bread and sniffed some scented candles - a fun little distraction while we awaited the arrival of our parmas.
Just as we finished browsing our food arrived.
My first thought was that the schnitzel looked quite small, warning bells rang, but we have been fooled by a small looking shnitz in the past, and they usually make up for it in thickness. Which this parma kind of did, it was not only quite thick, but it was dense. It’s hard to explain and I don’t think I’ve ever described chicken as dense before, but this was definitely it, and it was quality chicken, although as thick as you can be, it was still rather small.
Unfortunately thats about where the positives end, the napoli tasted watered down and far too peppery (especially for those around the table that don’t eat pepper - thats what its in the shakers on the table for)
The cheese and ham where there, but I had trouble detecting their taste over the overpowering pepper flavour.
The chips were in short supply, undercooked and had bit of a starchy aftertaste to them, everyone reached for the salt and supplied tomato sauce squeeze bottle to try and salvage them a little.
The garden salad was a disappointment, more of an afterthought than a side dish - a pile of oily rocked with a very light sprinkle of some other veggies on top. The oil gave it an unpleasant aftertaste that wasn’t very enjoyable at all.
Opinion about the parma itself varied around the table, but thoughts about the side dishes seemed pretty unanimous…
For what is on the plate, $22 is quite high for what you get. A small schnitzel, minimum chips and an afterthought of a salad. For $17 with some novelty toppings and a free pot I would be happier, hell for $17 and nothing else I would be happier, but if It wasn’t on a Tuesday I wouldn’t travel very far out of my way to try this one again.
I was disappointed with Tonik as I had heard good things and had such high hopes. The parma itself wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, and the rest of the package was a major let down.
Major let down
Well that’s all she wrote! Our last ranked parma of the year - be sure to tune in next week as we award the Dazey award for best parma of 2012! (how exciting).