When? - 08/12/11
Where? - The Union Hotel, 109 Union St. Brunswick
Price? - $18
Barry? - No
Website? - http://www.unionhotelbrunswick.com.au/
Reviewers - Alek, Emma, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo, Tony[/info]
The Sunday before we visited the Union on official Parma Daze business was Reviewer Pat’s birthday - and to celebrate another successful rotation around the sun, Pat organised a Sunday sesh in the beer garden out the back of the Union Hotel, Brunswick.
The weather was gorgeous, the beer was tasty and the food around me looked good - if you follow the Twitter you would have seen me post a photo of the unofficial parma I snuck in that Sunday - After consumption of that bad boy we deemed it tasty enough to return for a full review, which we did last week.
Now just to be clear we are talking about The Union Hotel on Union Rd. Brunswick, there is a Union in Ascot Vale that we have already visited and I hear there is even a Union on Brunswick road, so this could get a bit confusing. This Union is a hidden little gem nestled in the middle of suburban brunswick, From the outside it looks like a standard pub, you’d never guess that inside is hiding a fantastic beer garden that I predict I will be re-visiting quite a few times as the weather warms up.
I made a call earlier in the day and reserved a table, I wasn’t expecting it to be busy but you can never be sure - it was a good thing we did when we arrived at seven things were fairly quiet but they quickly filled up, tables were disappearing left and right so we quickly took our seats to ensure our parma cravings would be fulfilled.
We ordered our meals at the bar and awaited their arrival, Upon returning to our table a basket of sourdough bread was delivered, a very nice touch, regular readers will know that we are suckers for free bread. The live music kicked in shortly after (if you check their website you’ll see an ever-rotating schedule of live acts on a Thursday night) I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will never remember to set the timer and record the amount of time from ordering to arrival, but the Mountain Goat steam ale was delicious, the music was pumping and the conversation was good so the wait flew by, before I knew it the parmas were filing out of the kitchen
The lighting inside wasn’t too great, so to make up for it here is the photo of the parma I had the weekend prior - practically identical and a much better photo
The first and most noticeable thing about the Union parma is the excess of nude schnitzel I was a bit worried the first time I had this parma, but amazingly after starting I didn’t really care about the nudity - the home made schnitzel has an amazing herb encrusted crumbing that is rather tasty, so much so I didn’t quite mind the shortage of napoli and cheese (although full coverage would have been nice)
With the schnitzel and crumbing being so obviously home made it was a bit of a let down that the napoli was definitely from a packet, but there was plenty of it, as was the cheese, and they complimented the chicken nicely, Also the chopped basil on top was a very nice touch that actually added some flavour to the dish, unlike most of the other ‘green things on top’ we have discovered in the past. The chicken itself was a tad thin, but not terribly so, All in all despite being a little bit small the Union parma was full of flavour with a home cooked flair that you only find in small charming pubs like this.
The chips were well cooked, tasty, and there were a fuckload of them (pardon my french). The parma sat atop a mountain of chips that were quite nicely seasoned - A sauce pot to the side would’ve scored them top marks.
The salad, like the chips, was also rather sizable. A simple garden salad of lettuce, onion, carrot & tomato, however even though it was big it was rather dry - there was very little dressing, leaving the whole thing quite bland.
Now to celebrate our tenth consecutive week with reviewer quotes … here are some reviewer quotes!
Despite some minor complaints the Union serves up a respectable little parma, I love a good beer garden and this one is in the perfect stage of not being quite well known enough to get too busy - but that won’t last for long, and as summer is starting to kick in I recommend trying this place out ASAP - A pint of steam ale, a parma and a seat in the sun makes for the perfect Sunday session, give it a go.