When? - 17/11/11
Where? - The Sherlock Holmes Inn. 415 Collins St. Melbourne
Price? - $21 for regular, $23.50 for ‘Parma Deluxe’
Barry? - No
Website? - http://thesherlockholmes.com.au/
Reviewers - Adam, Emma, Lee, Nikki, Stefo, Tony Q[/info]
I love underground pubs, not underground in the hipster ‘this place is so totally underground’ way, but literal pubs under the ground where you have to take stairs down from street level to enter. Turf Bar, The Charles Dickens and even a bar called ‘The Bomb Shelter’ underneath a strip club in Fargo, North Dakota (Although when I went there it was called ‘The Basement’) stick out in my mind as some of my all time favourite spots to grab a beverage.
So when the option arose to visit the Sherlock Holmes on Collins St, it was a no brainer. This pub is the definition of cosy, once you descend those wooden stairs (past the 221B Baker St Lamp) you would have no way of knowing that you weren’t in 1880’s London, Well, Beside the flat screen TV’s and abundance of Aussies. One thing that does remain authentic to the time period is the lack of mobile phones - being an underground pub surrounded by brick and concrete mobile phone signal strength is slim to none, so make sure you get all your tweeting done before you venture down the stairs.
Drinks-wise there was a decent selection of wines & beers (18 beers on tap), My usual pint of Bulmers was off the menu so I went with a ‘Stowford Press’, their on tap cider, I wasn’t a huge fan at first but it grew on my as I drank. Much less carbonated than Bulmers but it did the job perfectly, would have again.
Bookings are essential for groups if you want to get a bite to eat at the Sherlock, as its a small pub with an even smaller dining area, if we didn’t have a booking I’m pretty sure we would’ve been in trouble. We took our seats at the table and had a look at the menu wherein we were presented with a choice - Do we go the regular Chicken Parma for $21, or take a walk on the wild side with the ‘Parma Deluxe’, which includes salami and feta cheese on top of everything else. The table was split, Reviewers Stefo, Adam & Tony went for the Deluxe, Nikki and myself opted for the regular, and Reviewer Emma toed the line by ordering the Deluxe, with no feta.
We ordered at the bar, grabbed some pints and awaited the foods arrival - Our table was situated with a perfect view through the serving window into the kitchen, so we could see our parmas being prepared. Before too long they jumped from the kitchen to our tables, and we began our meal.
The schnitzel was fantastic, no bones about it, thick, juicy chicken breast, crumbed to perfection, some minor nudity but the schnitzel was so tasty that I didn’t care. Take a look at the cross section below to get an idea of the thickness of this beast.
The cheese was plentiful, golden brown and delicious, the ham was fresh and carried a great flavour, the napoli was hard to spot - very light on the tomato unfortunately, it was there, but scarce. Overall it was a great tasting parma, and those that had the Deluxe had even better things to say, the salami added a much welcomed spice and the choice of not omitting the ham in place on the salami (as you’d expect many pubs to do) was bonus points for value.
The french-fried (McDonalds style) chips always split the table in terms of opinion - I don’t mind a properly prepared french fry, yet others much prefer the beer battered chunky option. Taste-wise the french fries were fine, however the small tuft of fries that we received left us wanting more.
Once again, the salad split the table. It was a garden salad of lettuce, onion, cherry tomatoes, shaved carrot & shallots with a creamy honey mustard dressing that almost came across as a hybrid between garden salad and coleslaw. I enjoyed it, there was plenty of it, however some reviewers throught it was a little too bland for their tastes. each to their own I suppose! (although I’m right … everyone else is wrong)
This is what they had to say…
Overall the Sherlock Holmes is a great little pub with a great parma! the chicken was quality, juicy and tasty - although at the end of the meal there was talk that it was a bit small (a few were still a bit hungry after the fact) I would take quality over quantity any day. It’s worth noting that they do a $17 Parma n’ Pint Wednesday special that is definitely worth stopping in to if you’re in the area - even if you’re not.
If you are wondering whether or not you should seek out the parma at the Sherlock Holmes, the answer is elementary, my dear reader. Definitely.
(And before you angry, angry Holmes-o-philes email me, yes, I am aware Sherlock Holmes never actually said “Elementary, my dear Watson” … but what a cool way to end the review. I suppose I’ve ruined it now with this excessive sidenote. Damn.)
Parma - 7.50
Chips - 5.83
Salad - 6.42
Value - 6.92
Total - 6.83
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