When? – 23/8/2012
Where? – The Leinster Arms Hotel. 66 Gold St, Collingwood
Price? - $19.50
Website? - http://leinsterarms.com.au/
Reviewers – Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo
UPDATE 07/01/19 - We have been advised that the leinster has changed hands, and this review is no longer accurate. will be revisiting in a few weeks for a fresh look, stay tuned for more info!
We found The Leinster after The Happiest Hour promoted it as one of the last pubs left in Melbourne that still do a ‘Toss the Boss’, After looking into it the pub seemed to tick all of the boxes, A quiet, warm pub in the backstreets of Collingwood - the complete antithesis of last week’s attempt at Crown Casino and just the breath of fresh air we needed.
Also it’s been said that The Leinster is Mark ‘Chopper’ Read’s local, and thats kinda cool.
We loaded up the parma bus and headed into Collingwood, Unfortunately Toss the Boss runs on Wednesday nights, so we missed the boat on that front. Luckily the cosy ambiance of the pub more than made up for tossing a coin to get free drinks.
As expected, The Leinster is a cosy backstreets pub filled with charm and character, leather couches, brick walls and an open fire look comfy as hell in the lounge area, the pool table in the front bar is perfect for drinking the night away and although I didn’t venture in myself, I saw a lot of people heading through the back door to what looked like a solid, albeit cosy beer garden.
The dining “Atrium” was a different beast all together, Brick floors, brick walls, a glass roof and a buttload of greenery made for a very different pub-dining experience, it’s hard to explain the look exactly so I’m going to poach a photo from the pub’s website
Not your usual pub bistro!
We took a seat and checked the menu, while there were a couple of very intriguing menu items (“Willie’s Fettucine”, “”Fluffy” chicken breast”, or “Penne for the connoisseur”) We stuck with our guns and ordered the parmas…
But that’s not all, we were a particularly hungry group of parma goers this week, and the aroma’s coming from the kitchen certainly put us in the mood to venture over to the entree section of the menu, Reviewers Pat, Fridge and Nikki all ordered themselves a round of oysters Kilpatrick, while Reviewers Stefo and Myself, the less adventurous of the group, split an order of bruscetta…
The bruscetta was delicious! a perfect way to whet our appetites for the oncoming parmage… And although I personally would never touch an oyster with a 20ft pole, I snapped a picture -
Word from the seafood lovers was that the oysters were fantastic - everyone, suitably satisfied with their starters (alliteration for the win) waited with baited breath for the parmas to emerge from the kitchen.
Yet before they arrived the waitress arrived at our table with two large bowls of salad, Stating that as we all ordered parmas it would be easier to simply serve us our salad in large bowls… but more on that later.
Shortly after our salads arrived I hopped up to get myself a beer from the bar, and came back to find my parma already on the table. I saw the disappointed faces on my fellow diners, then looked to my plate … my heart sank.
Where to begin! The schnitzel was small, processed and oilier than a BP offshore drilling station. Under the crumbs was a credit card thin slice of pinkish-grey chicken that was not very appetizing at all. There was a crapload of cheese on top, however I think our meals spent some time under the heat lamps as my cheese had gone hard and rubbery, with the oil from the cheese separating out and adding to the already oily schnitzel.
The was a slice of ham and some napoli that was more tomato peel than actual napoli, however the entire parma was tainted with the taste of oil. every mouthful, oil. oil. oil.
After my third or fourth bite I really didn’t want to eat any more, I commented to the other lads that the only reason I would continue on was for the ParmaCam … the things I do for you people!
When the parma arrived the chips already looked dry and dead. Standard pub chips that I had to load with salt to get any semblance of flavour. Then came the moment when a small gnat-like bug crawled out from under one of Reviewer Nikki’s chips, scaled to the summit and claimed the chip in the name of all bug-kind.
Even with being in its own massive bowl the salad was dry. It contained onion, cucumber a heap of capsicum and far to much of an extremely sour white vegetable that we identified as fennel, but could be wrong.
We sat there after our meal truly flabbergasted (and feeling a bit sick). All the elements of an awesome parma were in play - The pub was fantastic, the other food we saw coming out of the kitchen looked amazing, Hell, even our own entrees were delicious!
The whole meal was a massive let-down yet, Amazingly, I would come back to the Leinster. A lot of the other menu items looked quite good, I just wouldn’t touch the parma again with a very, very long pole (longer than the one I use to not touch oysters)