Attempt #88 - 'The Retreat'


When? – 15/03/2012

Where? – The Retreat. 280 Sydney Rd. Brunswick

Price? - $21

Website? -

Reviewers – Adam, Grace, Kylie, Lee, Nikki, Stefo, Shanan, Tony[/info]

I’m back! The honeymoon is over, during my travels to the United states I managed to track down no less than three parmas that I will be reviewing sometime soon, Massive thanks to Pat and Stefo for taking the reigns as I was gone, Pat, you’re review was fantastic, and Stefo, I’m sure when I get your review it will be just as good!

The Retreat is a pub I have passed many a time during one of a seemingly infinite number of drunken stumbles down Sydney road, yet never ventured into. Having been suggested to us many times I figured it was time to bite the bullet and give it a try, we arrived at seven to a fairly quiet pub and took our seats in the fantastic beer garden out the back (with separate bar, always a winner). After a few pre dinner pints and an entree plate of Nachos (pictured right here)…

We realised that the pub that was quiet moments before was filling up fast, a band was tuning up inside and all of the tables in the beer garden were full (with the exception of those not under cover, as the weather was starting to turn, but good old humid Melbourne kept the temperature quite pleasant despite being in a torrential downpour)

We quickly ordered our parmas from the window and awaited their arrival, The Retreat is a pub with a crapload of character and a lot of heart, all of the bar staff seemed to be having a good time, keen for a chat and happy to be there. I was at the bar ordering a drink when I saw our parmas file out of the kitchen, My heart sank when Reviewer Adam looked at me and simply shook his head … It wasn’t looking good.

It was not a pretty parma, the odd ordering of schnitzel, napoli, ham then cheese left quite a bit of nude schnitz and a bad case of slippery cheese. The schnitzel itself was thin, processed chicken, the cheese and ham both flavourless and the napoli tasted like pure tomato paste - very strong and overpowering. I wish I had some good things to say about this parma as the review is coming off extremely harsh, I will say it wasn’t at all inedible, it just had a lot of flaws that kept it from shining.

This week marks the return of ParmaCam! I hope you missed it, I definitely did!

[youtube id="KeP1ox6RtWI" width="580" height="337"]

The chips were bland and unseasoned, yet they weren’t in short supply and were cooked quite well - however I found myself mixing the chips with everything else on the plate to give them some sort of flavour.

There was no garden salad this week, which would be a refreshing change, however it was replaced with a massive dollop of coleslaw that was more dressing than it was vegetables - extremely overpowering and I struggled to get through it all

All in all The Retreat is a great pub to have a drink at, but the parma was a disappointment, it would have been passable as a discount parma on a parma n’ pot night, but at $21 it is far to expensive for what is on the plate. On the way out we noticed a second $25 parma on the menu that isn’t listed on the website - I’d be very interested to see how different the $25 parma is to the $21 parma, it’d have to be a hell of a lot different to justify the price.

It’s good to be back!

Parma - 4.00
Chips - 3.88
Salad - 2.56
Value - 2.88
Total - 3.46

The search continues…

Retreat Hotel on Urbanspoon