When? – 31/05/2012
Where? – Young & Jackson (Y&Js Cafe) Corner Swanston & Flinders St. Melbourne
Price? - $22.00
Website? - youngandjackson.com.au
Reviewers – Cale, Lee, Ness, Nikki, Pat, Tony[/info]
Young & Jackson is a pub that needs no introduction, I’d go as far as to say it’s Melbourne’s most well known pub - supporting this claim is the fact that I hinted on the Parma Daze Facebook page a couple of days ago that we were “going to that pub that everyone knows” … I thought it was cryptic, but commenters guessed the location in about 2 minutes flat. Surely a pub with such a high profile must have a quality parma? The signature dish for pubs all over this great country?
Situated in the corner of Flinders and Swanston St and adorned with an electronic billboard that puts Times Square to shame, Young & Jackson is a hard pub to miss, Inside you have lots of options, on the ground floor there is the main bar, the back bar and Y&J’s cafe which serves pub food and smaller meals. The next floor up has more of a cocktail lounge vibe, with couches and ‘Chloe’s Restaurant’ - a more lah-dee-dah affair that doesn’t have a parma on the menu. Finally on the floor above that there is the rooftop cider bar, an awesomely decked out spot that is a must for any Cider lover … but we’ll get there later, lets start with the parma.
Of all the rooms in Y&J’s, the cafe on the bottom floor was the only spot we could find a parma on the menu
We placed our order, grabbed a pint and took a seat. It’s worth noting that the largest table in the room was for 6 people, and they don’t take bookings in advance at the Y&J Cafe, so if you have a group of more than 6 you’ll either be splitting up or you’ll probably be missing out. They take advanced bookings at Chloe’s Restaurant upstairs, but (as mentioned earlier) there is no parma on the menu up there.
Before too long our parmas appeared -
The parma was … hmm .. well. Hard to describe. The schnitzel was thick enough, however the crumbs were quite thick and flaked off the chicken as soon as the knife pierced them. The quality of the crumbs made me suspect processed chicken, but the thickness of the chicken itself made me think otherwise. The final verdict was a processed schnitzel, but a high grade processed schnitzel.
The cheese only covered the spot where the ham sat, and some slippery ham led to slippery cheese, leaving a large part of the schnitzel nude to the world. The dominant flavour of the meal was probably the napoli, which had been loaded with pepper. There was a heap of cheese but it was all flavourless mozzarella (no sign of the parmesan mentioned on the menu) and I wouldn’t have known the ham was there if I couldn’t see it, added no flavour whatsoever.
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The chips were standard out-of-the-bag frozen pub chips, unsalted and bland. They had two saving graces - 1) there was a buttload of them, and 2) each plate came with an individual sauce pot, always points for a sauce pot.
The salad was, in a word, terrible. Garden salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, a couple of snow peas and bean sprouts… Lots of bean sprouts. There was no dressing to speak of other than a splash of oil and every mouthful was just an overload of bean sprouts - they dominated the whole salad and majorly overpowered it.
For one of the highest profile pubs in the state, the parma at Young & Jackson was a major disappointment. It seems they put all of their culinary efforts into Chloe’s Restaurant upstairs, and the pub meals down below have fallen by the wayside.
Post parma we headed upstairs to the cider bar - I’m a sucker for a good beer garden, and this is a fantastic spot, more ciders on tap than you can poke a stick at, great view of the city and plenty of room to move (granted it was 8 o’clock on a Thursday when we were there). To be fair, the whole pub is a pretty decent spot, I’ve had quite a few great nights there myself and their service slinging pints is hard to fault, which is why its such a disappointment that their parma was a let down … I expected more.
Parma - 4.83
Chips - 5.00
Salad - 3.25
Value - 4.00
Total - 4.39
The search continues…