When? - 28th of April, 2011
Where? - Westwaters Hotel & Entertainment complex. 20 Lake St. Caroline Springs
Price? - $16 in the sports bar, $22 in the bistro
Barry? - Yes (one of the new ‘Play On’ machines)
Website? - http://westwatershotel.com.au/
Reviewers - Cale, Lee, Nikki[/info]
This weeks attempt took place in Caroline Springs, for some reason I got this song stuck in my head all night because of that fact. It’s a pretty awesome song, so here is some reading music to put you in the mood.
I swear after listening to that song you’ll be singing it for days, busting out ‘Baa Baa Baaaa’ at random, inappropriate moments, I know I have been.
Oh and henceforth in this review I shall be referring to Caroline Springs as ‘Sweet Caroline Springs’, I highly recommend the council to consider a permanent name change.
There isn’t much of a reason as to why we chose the Westwaters this week, we had heard good things and it seemed like a good idea! So we made the hike out to Sweet Caroline Springs, I hadn’t been out that way much and I must say I was shocked at the quality of the Westwaters - it is an absolutely massive complex, much like last weeks review of Skyways Tavern, but bigger, newer and nicer, with a Sports Bar, Bistro, TAB, cafe, pokies, bottle shop all underneath a Mercure hotel
We were spoilt for choice when it came to eating areas, sports bar down one end, huge bistro at the other and what seemed to be a cocktail/lounge bar connecting the two. We opted for the sports bar as we haven’t done a proper pub review in awhile, took our seats and ordered our meals.
Theres lots to do at the Westwaters if you want to kill some time while you wait for your food. Both Indoor and Outdoor pool tables are available, as well as pokies, TAB and one of the new Barry replacement ‘Play On’ machines. After a quick wait our parmas landed in front of us…
When the parma hit the table in front of us I was very impressed - great size, good thickness, homemade crumbs and a sprinkling of green things on the top, I’ve said it before but its amazing how much a sprinkling of green things improves the look of a parma. There was a little nude schniztel, caused my a phenomena which will henceforth be known as ‘Curly Ham’
Curly ham occurs when a parma is made using the circular slices of deli ham, when it is cut with the ‘skin’ still around the edges (its not really ‘skin’ kind of like a rind produced when they cure it), this normally wouldn’t cause a problem but when put on a parma and grilled, the ‘skin’ tends to shrink under the heat and the ham itself does not, causing the skin to tighten up and curl the edges of the ham up and away from the parma itself, taking the topping with it and leaving shamefully exposed nudge shnitzel below.
Now this isn’t that much of a problem, but it can easily be avoided by using shaved ham instead of sliced, something to think about. Anyway. back to the parma!
The chicken, while not only big was thick, juicy and flavoursome. The homemade crumbs were a delight and, despite the curly ham, the toppings were pretty much on the money, my only complaints (and they are minor ones) would be the napoli is a tad bland and the cheese (after awhile, it was a big parma and took some time to work through) got a bit rubbery. But as I said these are only minor issues with what was an outstanding piece of chicken.
The chips were another highlight, massive chunky chips that were almost a hybrid of chips and wedges. I initially thought the serving was a bit small, however these chips were so big they were almost a potato overload, any more would’ve gone to waste.
After the great entries in the parma and chips categories, the salad was a bit of a let down, A simple garden salad of rocket, cherry tomatoes, grated carrot and sliced onion. My initial impression was the onion was sliced a little too thin to give any flavour however hiding under the pile of rocket was a stash of heaps of onion, almost too much. The salad was just okay, it served its purpose, I just wish pubs would get over their obsession with rocket and put some real lettuce on the table. Rocket may look pretty but it tastes like crap, and I’d take something that tastes great and doesn’t look flash over something that looks fantastic but tastes like oily grass.
The Westwaters parma was pretty darn good, if not for a few minor issues it would be a serious contender, and at $16 in the sports bar its fantastic value (the parma in the bistro area prices at $22, not sure what is different to justify the extra expense, but I was more than happy with the $16 variety)
Our trip out to Sweet Caroline Springs surprised me, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from the Westwaters but I was delighted to be proven wrong, definitely one worth checking out.
Parma - 7.83
Chips - 8
Salad - 4.5
Value - 8.17
Total - 7.27
The search continues…