When? - 20th of July, 2011
Where? - Gladstone Park Hotel, 196 Mickleham Rd, Tullamarine
Price? – $21.50
Barry? - No
Website? - None
Reviewers – Adam, Grace, Lee, Tony
Update 15/03/19 - we revisited the Gladdy in 2019 for an updated look (for both the pub and the parma) check it out here
The Gladstone Park Hotel. This is where I would normally insert the story of how we came across the pub in this weeks review, but to be honest there isn’t much of a story behind the Gladdy Pub, It’s rather close to where I work (what I do when I’m not eating parmas) and is one of those pubs that I’ve always seen but never really registered it as a place to get some food, maybe a cheeky beer and a quick pokies sesh, but as for a place to eat it never quite registered.
So imagine my surprise when we arrived at 7 to a packed bistro, If we didn’t have a booking I don’t think we would have gotten a table. I’d normally take a pub being so busy at 7 o’clock on a Wednesday to be a good sign. It’s a big place, with a bistro, TAB, lounge, pokies, drive through bottle shop and a motel out the back, its definitely a popular place for the locals to drop into for an after work drink
UPDATE: A fine young chap on the Parma Daze facebook just pointed out that the Gladstone Park hotel have a ‘Shop-a-docket’ going around, ‘Buy one meal, Get one Free’ Monday - Wednesdays, and come to think of it I remember a few people ordering with these at the time, so if you can get a shop-a-docket for a free parma go for it! (the “free” meal maxes out at $17.95, so the 2nd parma will cost you $3.55 - still a bargain)
We took our seats and perused the menu - the parma clocked in at $21.50, a little expensive but forgivable if the food is decent. We joined the massive queue to order our meals and placed our orders - An interesting sidenote - If the staff do not ask if you would like a garlic bread, you get a garlic bread for free. Everyone who ordered was hoping against hope that she would forget, but alas we got no free garlic bread, no matter how much we tried to Jedi-mind trick her into handing one over.
We paid for a garlic bread instead and it came out of the kitchen insanely quick, to the point where it almost beat us back to our own table after ordering.
There were a few mentions of special parma nights advertised around the pub, apparently Sunday is “Parmas of the World” nights and Friday is “Karaoke, Steak & Parma Night” unfortunately none of the advertising actually specified prices/what was involved in those specials, so thats all the information I have on them.
When we ordered the staff said it would be a 45 minute wait for our meals, after about 30 minutes they arrived - I was off playing the candy machine in the corner and came back to a piping hot parma sitting on the table. Awesome.
We have had a bad run of processed chicken the past few weeks, so when I saw that everyone’s parma was a different shape I silently wept with joy, it was real chicken breast. The chicken was thick, albeit a little small, but real chicken breast, it was well crumbed and cooked with a good covering of toppings (including smoked ham that added a nice smokey flavour to the meal) cheese/napoli/crumbs all good.
Due to the odd shape of my chicken it was hard to get a good cross-section, but heres the best I could do -
The chips had promise, beer battered chips are my favourite but unfortunately they were a bit of a let down. As you can see from the photo there was only a handful beside the parma, and I think we got the bottom of the chip barrel for the night as they tasted rather soggy, as if they had been sitting out for awhile, which I suppose is just luck of the draw - they had lots of potential and weren’t bad by any means, but could have been much better.
The salad was served in a separate bowl, a garden salad with carrot, cucumber, lettuce, onion, tomato with a creamy, almost ‘seafood cocktail’ dressing. It was a good size, fresh, crisp and tasty. As far as garden salads go, this was a good one.
Overall I enjoyed the parma at the Gladdy. It tasted great, and although the servings were a little small it was real chicken breast, and that can’t be beaten. $21.50 is a little expensive for what we got, but I’d definitely be interested in heading back on one of their specials nights to see what they have on offer. Oh, and the Candy Machine is a winner, its one of these ones…
and its full of all sorts of oddly shaped items that can very easily clear the entire tray of chocolate in one go, PROTIP - Aim for the cricket balls.