When? - 16/02/12
Where? - The Local Taphouse, 184 Carlisle St, St. Kilda East
Price? - $24
Barry? - No
Website? - http://www.thelocal.com.au/
Reviewers - Cale, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Stefo, Tony
Before I get into the review proper some quick housekeeping, this will be the last review to include the ‘Barry?’ info in the opening facts, I’m ditching it as Barry machines are so insanely rare these days, and even pubs that have them call them something different (“Game on”, or “Black” come to mind) I’ll still mention in the body of the review if the machines are there, just not at the start. Cool? Cool. Now lets get to the parma because, trust me, its a good’un.
The Local Taphouse was a pub I had never heard of untill it was suggested to me a short while ago by @beergirlbites on Twitter, I gave the website a once over, confirmed a parma was on the menu, and we headed over to St. Kilda to give it a go (note: traffic in that area at around 6:45 is insane, leave early)
First things first, the range of beers available at The Local is staggering, The full page menu boasts one of the most extensive ranges of beers I have ever seen, and thats not even touching on their in-house infused creations. I went with the ‘Funky Brewster’, a Mountain Goat beer infused with banana, cinnamon and apple slices. Absolutely amazing.
And for the indecisive among us, a tasting paddle for $15 is a great place to start, and the friendly staff are more than happy to suggest a combination of beers for the layman.
But enough about the beer, you are here for the parmas!
We took a seat upstairs in the restaurant area, offering table service - there’s also a rooftop patio outside that would be perfect for a drink on a sunny day, unfortunately the ever-unpredictable Melbourne weather was not on our side, and we were driven indoors by the rain. While noshing on some complimentary bread while we perused both the beer menu and food menu, we found the parma and placed our orders.
We have a rule of thumb at Parma Daze that you can tell if a pub is a good pub if it has coat hooks on the walls. I counted 7 from where I was sitting in the restaurant, The Local Taphouse was off to a fantastic start!
Before too long, (about the time it took me to down a pot of Funky Brewster) our meals appeared, If looks were anything to go on this was going to be a great parma, from the moment my eyes fell upon it I was impressed.
The chicken was pure breast, highest grade juicy schnitzel. I always find the test of a good schnitz is how it holds up free of the parma toppings, and this one came up in spades - I would be more than happy to eat this schnitzel completely nude (the schnitzel being nude, not me - it was very hot and I would be afraid of dropping something steaming on my naughty bits).
The napoli was home made perfection, the ham was an explosion of flavour that complimented the chicken flawlessly and the cheese, while being a little overcooked, served its purpose with gusto.
My only criticism to this parma would be that it was slightly overcooked, with the tiniest of burnt edging around a portion of the meal, but not so much as to be noticeable or detract from the meal in any significant way.
The chips were a triumph. I’m making a note here, huge success! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). Hiding under the parma was a pile of golden brown, beer battered ambrosia. And to make them even better, all parmas were accompanied with a personal pot of garlic aioli for chip-dippage. I cannot fault them.
The salad is where things fell apart a little unfortunately, but only for some of us. The garden salad consisted of lettuce, cabbage, onion, capsicum and tomato, which would have been great if everyone had gotten all of the ingredients - Reviewer Tony came off best, with a plethora of onion and capsicum. I (and others around the table) didn’t fare as well, having to search through the pile of lettuce to find a single sliver of capsicum or onion.
Price-wise it clocks in at $24, which is a little up there, but definitely worth it, A couple of the reviewers suggested that for the price they would have preferred it a tad bigger - however I’d be happy to pay it again without hesitation.
To put it plainly, The parma at The Local Taphouse is amazing, get one in ya.
Post-parma we headed downstairs to the bar (with plenty of couches available for relaxing) and indulged in another tasting paddle. I went into The Local with no expectations and was blown away. Well done.
Parma - 8.58
Chips - 9.67
Salad - 6.08
Value - 7.08
Total - 8.00
The search continues…
Massive thanks to @BeerGirlBites for the recommendation