When? - 5th of May, 2011
Where? - Moonee Valley Legends Bistro, Moonee Valley Racecourse. Wilson St. Moonee Ponds.
Price? - $10 Parma Thursdays, $17.90 Regularly
Barry? - No
Website? - http://mvrc.net.au
Reviewers - Emma, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo
UPDATE 09/11/18 - WE FINALLY RETURNED TO THE VALLEY FOR ANOTHER VISIT. SEE HOW MUCH HAS CHANGED SINCE THIS REVIEW HERE!
UPDATE 23/3/15 - WE'VE HEARD A FEW REPORTS THAT THE PARMA AT MOONEE VALLEY HAS TAKEN A NOSEDIVE SINCE OUR REVIEW BACK IN 2011 - NOT TO MENTION THE UNLIMITED SALAD BAR IS A THING OF THE PAST. UNTIL WE CAN GET AN OFFICIAL REDO ON THE BOOKS APPROACH THIS PARMA WITH CAUTION! MAY NOT BE AS GOOD AS PREVIOUSLY STATED.
Our visit to Moonee Valley Legends began late last week, when, while killing some time at work I sent a quick email to the Moonee Valley Leader newspaper, letting them know who we are and what we do. Shortly after I sent the email I got a call from the Leader and did a quick phone interview after which we arranged to meet up to take some photos, considering the photo was for the Moonee Valley Leader, the Moonee Valley racecourse seemed like an obvious choice for a venue. On Wednesday afternoon we met with the photographer, took some photos and sampled their parma. There was only one parma between the three reviewers that could make it to the photoshoot but it actually looked pretty good, I was convinced that it needed sampling so we returned the following night, on their ‘Parma Night’ to see what the Moonee Valley Legends Bistro had to offer.
Anonymity is pretty important to us at Parma Daze so we made sure not to alert the staff we were returning, I wanted to don fake mustaches to be sure but was told that it would probably raise more suspicion than anything, so I opted for the next best disguise - I changed my T-shirt from a blue one to a grey one. There is no way in hell they could see through that piece of masterful deception. We didn’t see anyone we recognized from the day before (luckily it was relatively quiet both times we visited). We took a seat in the bistro, placed our order and appreciated the amazing view out over the racetrack and the Melbourne city skyline while we awaited our parmigianas arrival.
The bistro was rather quiet but we could hear some kind of raffle going on at the ‘trackside cafe’ next door which was considerably busier, I was surprised more people weren’t in the bistro with us partaking in $10 Parma Thursday but I suppose there are some weirdos out there who don’t appreciate the glory that is a bargain parma. If we wanted to kill some time before our food arrived there was the option of pokies, TAB, Club Keno, candy machine and kids video game room, set up with a few Playstation 2’s. Bonus.
Before the chicken arrived we were treated to some complimentary bread rolls, always a winner, then a short wait later the main event arrived on our table.
The edges of my parma fell victim to a bit of nude schnitzel that was slightly burnt, however that didn’t apply to the other reviewers, who seemed to have gotten the better of the batch. I was concerned that the schnitzel was prey to massive over-crumbing on first cut but it quickly thickened up to perfectly acceptable levels. Apart from being a tad overcooked the schnitzel was piping hot and both the crumbs & chicken carried a great flavour. If you are a fan of ham on your parma then this is one for you, a heaping of 4 layers of shaved ham complimented the chicken perfectly, there was plenty of cheese and the napoli sauce had a great taste to it, nicely herbed as opposed to the bland tomato paste napoli we have had on some parmas in the past.
Now I have decided to introduce a new feature to Parma Daze parma reviews, the initial photo of the parma as it arrives sometimes isn’t enough to tell the whole story. I give you the cross section, a view of the parma sliced down the middle so you can get a much better idea of chicken/crumb/topping ratio
As you can see the schnitzel was a little thick on the crumbs, but not unacceptably so, the ham is in abundance as is the cheese and napoli. Overall it had a few faults but at only $10 its hard to complain too much.
The chips that accompanied this parma were near perfection, beautiful golden brown chunky chips with plenty of seasoning and flavour, the majority of them were served beside the chicken as opposed to on top and they are the quite possibly the best chips we have come across in 49 reviews. Bravo.
Now the salad, when the parmas first arrived I thought to myself ‘They’re kidding, aren’t they!?’ the salad that lay before us was no more than a pile of undressed, unseasoned lettuce, nothing more. However when the last parma fell onto the table the staff informed us that we had full, unlimited access to the salad bar, we wandered over to have a gander and were pleasantly surprised at what we found…
Reviewers Pat, Nikki, Emma & Stefo sample the salad bar
The salad bar was impressive, with the options of beetroot, garden salad, pasta salad, couscous salad, fresh tomato, noodle salad and a choice of sauces and dressings, what started as possibly our worst entry for salad quickly transformed into what is quite possibly the best salad selection we have come by, I know Bart Simpson said ‘You don’t win friends with salad’ but when a parma comes with an all-you-can-eat salad bar with pasta salad, you really do win friends with salad. My only complaint would be the lack of a potato salad, they were so close to perfection and a potato salad would have sealed the deal.
My salad plate after my first visit to the salad bar, a sampling of everything available, except the tomatoes, I hate tomatoes.
After we polished our plates a few of the lads headed into the video game room with their beers and had a quick game of fifa on the Playstation 2, When we returned from the games there were some after-dinner chocolates on the table waiting for us. Kicking. Goals.
Reviewer Pat partakes in some Fifa, a little false advertising as all the games are Playstation 2, yet the cabinet clearly advertises Xbox - the bastards.
All in all the Moonee Valley Legends parma is freaking spectacular. Our paltry $10 bought us a bread roll, parma, chips, unlimited salad bar and an after dinner mint, that is a pure bargain in anybodies language. The sides were nigh on perfection, the only thing that I considered to be less than perfect was the parma itself, It suffered from some minor nude schnitzel, it was the slightest bit burnt and the crumbs were a tad thick in parts, but all in all these are minor complaints that could be fixed pretty easily, and its possible that the chef was just having an off day, we all have them! for just $10 I’d be more than happy to return any Thursday to give it another try.
Keep in mind that we did review this parma on their Thursday parma night, any other time you head down the same deal will cost you $17.90, but you know what, for what we got $17.90 is a perfectly acceptable price that I would gladly to pay on a repeat visit. Definitely a fantastic parma and one to keep on your radar.
Parma - 6.8
Chips - 9
Salad - 8.4
Value - 8.74
Total - 7.95
The search continues…
A big thanks to the Leader for taking the time to chat with us!