(once again I am stuck for a decent exterior shot … I try and remember to take one myself but am usually so caught up in the fervor that parmage is soon to take place that my mind blanks on the task!)
When? - 24/11/11
Where? - Seared Steak & Seafood. Shop 1140, Level 1, Highpoint shopping center, Maribyrnong
Price? - $22.90
Barry? - No
Website? - None
Reviewers - Adam, Cale, Carly G, Janet, Lee, Nikki, Stefo[/info]
Our reasons for visiting Seared were 100% selfish. As many of you may know The Inbetweeners Movie opened last Thursday night seeing as a majority of the review team are big fans of the TV series we planned a double event - Parma at the closest possible venue to the cinema, followed by the movie. It was a toss up between The Anglers Tavern and Seared, but seeing as Seared was literally 100 metres from the Hoyts box office, Seared won (and we will keep The Anglers in our back pocket for a future review).
Breaking a little from our unspoken convention Seared is definitely not a pub - more of a licensed cafe if anything. The majority of Seared’s dining area is outside, this is fine if the weather is nice and you can tolerate smokers all around.
None of us were too fussed, so we ordered our parma and awaited its arrival. (one thing I do want to go back for is the “giant chicken nugget” they advertise as a main on the menu… I have to know what that is)
A few opinions floating about the interwebs state that although the food at Seared is good, the service is terrible - I went in with an open mind but I’m afraid I’ll have to agree with the trolls. After we were seated and placed our order we were only approached one other time in the hour and a half we were seated to see if we needed any drinks. Not great.
But on to the important bit - The parma.
Based on looks alone the Seared parma is spectacular - stacked high on a mountain of chips, lashings of ham, cheese and you can never go wrong with the aesthetic choice of a sprinkling of green things. However looks have fooled us before, we tucked in to discover that for once the parma actually lived up to the initial impression.
The schnitzel was quality chicken breast, thick, well crumbed and cooked, the napoli was well herbed, definitely home made, the ham was in abundance and carried a fantastic flavour and the cheese (while leaving a little nudity) was melted to perfection and tasty while not overpowering the meal. The whole parma carried a home-made vibe that (to be honest) I was surprised to find in a venue inside a shopping center.
Compared to the parma, the chips were a let down - there were a lot of them, you can’t fault them for that - heaps of chips, however they were slightly over the line of overcooked and completely unseasoned. Everyone at the table reached for the salt shaker at one point or another to give them some semblance of flavour.
The salad, like the chips were a let down, it seemed as it was there mostly for show - presented well, with each salad consisting of a pile of lettuce, two slices of cucumber and two pieces of tomato strategically rested to sit atop the cucumber. The was the smallest hint of balsamic dressing, but it was so minute that it could’ve been added by accident as the chef dressed a nearby salad. All in all at first glance the salad looked pretty, but on closer inspection there was absolutely no substance to it… the Brynne Edelsten of garden salads
Quite possibly the strangest image I have photoshopped for this website … just go with it.
The quotes seem to agree with what I said, and I’ll carry that through to the wrap up - The Seared parma is great, top notch. however this is one of those times where it was horrendously let down by the sides, both the chips and salad were not up to par, and they let the dish down massively, dodgy sides are forgivable in times of a cheap parma, however this one clocked in at $22.90 - quite a price tag for a good parma and shit sides.
I’m coming off too harsh - it is an accepted fact that the parma itself is the most important part of the dish and the parma at Seared is worth getting if you find yourself at Highpoint, I said it before but I was genuinely surprised at the quality of the chicken - my expectations for a shopping center parma was quite low, and Seared definitely raised the bar.
Oh, and the Inbetweeners movie was freaking amazing - A must see if you’re a fan of the TV series. If you haven’t seen the TV series, See it, then see the movie.
Parma - 7.93
Chips - 4.21
Salad - 4.86
Value - 5.57
Total - 6.10
The search continues…