When? – 16/8/2012
Where? – The Merrywell - Crown Casino
Price? - $28
Website? - http://www.themerrywell.com.au/
Reviewers – Bec, Fridge, Johno, Lee, Luke, Matt, Mel, Nikki, Pat, Stefo, Tony S, Tony Q[/info]
The Merrywell is the new kid on the block at Crown, situated in the new “West End” section that is looking damn impressive, I’ve been wanting to go there since I spent multiple hours staring at the sign while waiting in line for Comic-Con at the exhibition center.
We loaded the Parma Bus with one of the biggest groups we’ve had in a while, headed to Crown and took our seats in a prime position looking into the window that overlooks the kitchen, the food I could see being prepared looked amazing, so hopes were high.
We checked our menus and placed our order…
hooo boy, I’m no tightass, but $28 is the most we have ever paid for a parma, and thats not including chips or salad?
I still held out some hope, for that price they had to be doing something impressive.
The pub itself is an absolute triumph, modern and sleek yet with the warmth of an open fire and lounge area, Not to mention the balcony - a gorgeous drinking platform overlooking the river, with an outdoor bar, heaters and TV screens - even the dunny’s had those dyson air-blade things … worth the trip alone right there!
After a bit of a wait (understandable, as we ordered 12 parmas in one hit) our food hit the table.
Now, before we get to the chicken I will preface it by saying that The Merrywell’s menu is extremely American influenced, with items such as “jalapeño poppers” and “mac & cheese bites” its a menu that wouldn’t look out of place between an Applebee’s and an Outback Steakhouse.
It was obvious that the menu was mislabeled, this wasn’t a chicken parma, it was a chicken parmesan - Reminiscent of both of our parma tours of the United States, right down to the accompanying pasta.
The schnitzel itself was small, quality chicken (albeit a little dry) with fantastic crumbs that were the highlight of the dish, but still small (and slightly overcooked). There was no ham, the napoli was spread fairly thin and the cheese was reduced to a couple of dollops in the middle and some grated parmesan garnished on top. For a chicken parmesan it was ok, but the menu said Parma, and in Australia a parma is a very different beast to a chicken parmesan
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Firstly, in true yankee tradition, there were no chips. In its place was a pile of pasta with napoli sauce, to avoid confusion we will be scoring the pasta as if they were chips.
For pasta, it was … just plain pasta in napoli sauce that tasted dangerously close to being tinned - if you’re gonna take away our chippies you’d better replace them with something damn good! mediocre pasta is just not going to cut it.
Now, aside from the parma, on the menu we noticed a couple of options for share plates of chips, one item in particular caught our eye…
B…B…Bacon Aioli? You mean I can actually dip my chips into liquid bacon?! I must try this amazing dish! When we ordered the parmas we also ordered 3 serves of the share plate of chips to go around the table. $14 also seems pricey for some chips and aioli, but honestly - liquid bacon? I’d give up my first born son.
These were a bonus item that didn’t affect the final score, but along with the parmas arrived The Merrywell Chips -
Again, “Chips” is a bit of a misnomer, these were baked potatoes, halved, and baked. The bacon Aioli was fantastic, but I couldn’t help bit thing I would have enjoyed it more if it was served with a more classic chip - And with potatoes this size in a “share plate” situation, double dipping becomes a real issue.
You dipped the chip.
you took a bite.
and you dipped again.
There was no salad, save for the couple of green leaves atop the parma, so the “You don’t win friends with salad” clause was initiated (for those unfamiliar, see the salad section of This review, where the rule was first put into effect).
For $28 ($42 if you include the Merrywell Chips) this parma is far too expensive for what was on the table, end of story, sure its at Crown - A building literally designed to rip off consumers, but at least on the roulette table they at least pretend you have a chance of winning money (I may be a little bitter as I lost an extra $50 on the way out)
The pub is absolutely gorgeous, one of the best looking spots I’ve had the pleasure of downing a pint. Good music, great atmosphere and a decent selection of beers on tap.
The other food looked amazing and I’ll definitely be back to try the Wagyu sliders or Mac & cheese balls.
The “Parma” was a disappointment, but mainly due to the fact that it wasn’t really a parma - which is exactly why I didn’t score the American tours, its comparing apples and oranges. It was a tasty dish, but the lack of chips or salad for such an inflated price dragged the score down immensely - I won’t be trying it again in a hurry.
Parma - 6.25
Pasta - 4.92
Salad - N/A - “You don’t win friends with salad” rule initiated.
Value - 2.96
Total - 5.08
The search continues…