Attempt #39 - 'Cushion Lounge'

Photos of this place are frakking impossible to find online, so I snapped this while crossing the road, narrowly avoiding getting cleaned up by an oncoming tram


When? - 15th of February, 2011

Where? - Cushion Lounge, 99 Fitzroy St. St. Kilda

Price? - $10 ‘Parma n’ Pot’ Tuesdays, $17 regular menu

Barry? - No

Website? -

Reviewers - Adam, Lee, Nikki, Tanya, Wade[/info]

My memories of Cushion are a drunken blur, an establishment that I have only been to as an after-bar after a long, long night on the town. I have vague memories of shots, cocktails and floors so sticky that I lost my shoes on multiple occasions.

However a couple of weekends ago I was attending my sisters wedding at the lovely Circa on Fitzroy St, and on the way to the reception the cab happened to pause at the large specials board outside Cushion, advertising their Tuesday night special - Pot n’ Parma for $10. The challenge was set, We moved our usual Wednesday parma night to a Tuesday one and last night we headed to St. Kilda to see what they had to offer.

We were told on the phone the night before that Cushion don’t take bookings, so we rocked up a little earlier than usual to ensure we got a table big enough for all the diners - carparking was an issue, but we managed to find a handy underground park at the nearby Metropol building and walked down - the five large outdoor tables were already packed with people getting their after work parma fix, so hopes were high that we would finally find the elusive combination of both cheap and good.

Inside the pub was relatively empty, apart from a few groups scattered around, who were also munching on chickeny goodness (chickeny is too a word!) we managed to score primo seating at the large wooden table to the left of the entrance, perfect.

I downed a pint of Bulmers while waiting for the team to arrive, and once they did we ordered our parmas at the bar, the ‘free pot’ extends to either carlton draught, soft drink or house wine, so beers were poured and we returned to our table to await our meal.

While waiting I had a chance to try and classify what exactly Cushion was… its not a pub, nor is it a restaurant or even a cafe, although it borrows aspects from all three. I think the best thing to call it is a nightclub on a quiet night - the concrete floors (not as sticky as I remember them), the boarded up DJ booth, the shiny disco ball hanging above the tables, the signs directing patrons to the smokers area and the cocktail list with entries such as ‘Love Potion 69’ are all hallmarks of the club-turned-restaurant to fill seats on an off night. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, The Prince of Wales had all of these features and yet we still rate it as the best parma we have ever eaten.

After a short wait, our parmas arrived

The schnitzel was kinda small and devoid of ham, I have been trying to avoid the whole ‘schnitzel nudity as people nudity’ joke lately as I think I’ve kinda been running it into the ground, but the lack of cheese on this parma pushed this thing to X rated, full frontal, with penetration, nudity, I would call it the Jesse Jane of chicken parmas, but the breasts weren’t that big, so lets call this one the Jenna Haze of schnitzel nudity

Okay that was the bad, the good however, is that the schnitzel, while kinda small was actually real chicken breast, the napoli sauce was delicious and the cheese that was there was pretty tasty, as a whole the parma worked well.

Before I get to the chips, I was thinking about this as I was writing the review - why is it there are so many porn stars who have names starting with the letter J - Jesse Jane, Jenna Jameson, Jenna Haze, Jill Kelly, Jordan Capri, Jenavive Jolie, Jayden James … I’m sure theres four or five out there with the sirname ‘Juggs’, the list goes on! I’m sure theres a scientific reason for it, maybe its just a mystery for the ages.

But I digress…

The chips were one of the few we have come across that were actually set beside the parma as opposed to underneath, This kept them hot, fresh and crispy the entire meal, a decent serving and seasoned with chicken salt, the chips were fresh, crisp, thick and tasty.

The garden salad seemed a bit of an afterthought, comprising of lettuce, onion, carrot and cucumber, we had to struggle to determine if there was dressing on it. The veggies were fresh but as a whole it was a bit dry without dressing, and although I’m not a fan of tomato myself, I was surprised to see it not included in the mix.

The Cushion parma, while a bit on the small side, was actually pretty damn good! the chips were great, and apart from some minor cheese related issues so was the parma. We had this parma on their Tuesday night special of $10 with a free pot, on their regular menu this parma clocks in at $17, which, to be honest, I would be less than stoked to pay for what we got. But as far as budget parma nights go, this is pretty damn good and I would definitely recommend stopping in for dinner if you are in the area on a Tuesday - for only $10 its great value and hard to go wrong.

Oh, one last thing - I’d normally put this after the scores, but the situation is getting kinda sad (not the guy from Jersey Shore, he is always happy)

The Parma Daze Twitter has been going for a week now and its only got three followers (one of whom is my personal account, the other is one of the reviewers and the third is some sort of german spam site) I see the google analytics stats guys, I know there are a lot of people reading this! go check it out and follow (please … this isn’t doing good things for my self esteem)

Its good! I swear!

Parma - 6.9
Chips - 6.4
Salad - 4.6
Value - 8.1
Total - 6.58

The search continues…

Cushion Lounge on Urbanspoon