Couldn’t find a picture of the place anywhere … google maps street view to the rescue!
When? - 11th of August, 2010
Where? - The Colonial Hotel, 585 Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD.
Price? - $20.50
Barry? - No
Website? - http://www.colonialhotel.info/
Reviewers - Adam, Cale, Lee, Ness, Stefo, Tanya, Tony Q[/info]
I received an email last week from a reader named Shannon who said that the Colonial hotel, around the corner from where he works, has revamped their menu and is now offering a 420g parma with (according to the website) ‘herbed and crumbed chicken breast with smoked ham, napoli sauce, mozzarella, tasty cheese, chunky chips and a garden salad’ for $20.50. Sounds like a winner to me! so on the word of our new friend Shannon we decided to head to the inner city, we loaded up the Parma Bus and were on our way (there isn’t actually a ‘Parma Bus’ but wouldn’t that be awesome!?).
Sigh … A man can dream.
The Colonial is one of those places I have been to a hundred times but never considered eating there, not that there is anything wrong with it but going to ‘NEXT’ or ‘PLASTIC’ (as the pub is known on certain days of the week) have been purely outings for drinking, dancing and stopping to get McDonalds at 4 o’clock the following morning -it has just never been a venue I’ve associated with having a parma, so lets see if they can change my opinion!
Interesting fact - I was at The Colonial Hotel helping my mate film his end of year 12 film class SAC when the planes hit on September 11th, 2001.
I made the reservation on their website’s super easy to use online booking system and we were off, ignoring warnings of torrential rainstorms due to hit the city - we wouldn’t let something as silly as a bit of water falling from the sky interrupt our search for the perfect parma!
Inside, the colonial is a huge place, on its busier nights it is three floors of drinking and debauchery - but on the night we went the dance floor and stage were gone, and in its place were a bunch of tables and people enjoying what looked like very tasty meals. When everyone in our group arrived we took our seats and placed our order. $20.50 for their parma, I was a tad disturbed when I noticed the sign beside the bar read ‘Melbourne’s best “Chicken” parmigiana’ … complete with quotation marks around the word “chicken”, who is that sign quoting when they are telling me its chicken, and are they a reputable source? I think I may need to see some references.
Table service was a nice touch, the amazingly friendly staff took our order and we awaited our parmas - the table we were seated at had a long couch down one side and chairs along the other, the couch was a nice, comfy touch until food came, then it proved a little low to eat comfortably. Not a massive drama though, I enjoyed the comfy couch so no points lost there.
Not too long after we ordered our parmigianas arrived.
The menu stated that this was a 420g parma - although it looks a little small in the photo I’d have to say this was the thickest chicken breast we’ve reviewed so far, consistently over an inch thick pretty much all the way to the edge. The schnitzel was coated in crumbs with herbs through them that gave them a nice home made flavour - there were a few areas of nude schnitzel but nothing to complain about, there was a (albeit rather small) slice of smoked ham, good coating of napoli and a decent helping of cheese, which was a mixture of mozzarella and tasty cheese. You could definitely taste the tasty cheese in the mixture, this may be a little overpowering if you don’t like the sharp taste that tasty cheese has, but I love it so no points lost here. The parma was juicy, thick, well cooked and delicious. A fine effort, Colonial!
Now on to the chips - first of all, as you can see from the photo of the plate above, there was PLENTY of room left, there was no need to stack the parma onto the chips as they did. Other than that it was a fairly small serving of standard chunky fries, there was no detectable seasoning but there were salt shakers on the table. I haven’t got much else to say about the fries, they were hot and fresh, but rather bland and an extra handful would have been appreciated.
The salad was a simple garden salad of Rocket lettuce, cucumber, shredded carrot, tomato and a dressing that I couldn’t quite place, it tasted like a sweet balsamic. It was a very tasty salad that scored high with the judges, my one complaint would be that there just wasn’t enough of it, you have a big plate there guys, fill it up!
We finished up our parmas and settled the bill, there was no Barry that I could see at this pub but the strippers are right across the road so you’ve got your entertainment covered (gotta love King st!).
The Colonial Hotels chicken parma is pretty damn good. A tasty, juicy and most of all thick chicken breast I would be happy to try again. Unfortunately the sides were a bit of a let down, the chips were bland and the salad was tasty, but small. Its definitely worth a try, if only for the chicken itself.
Parma - 7.4
Chips - 5.0
Salad - 7.5
Value - 7.0
Total - 6.87
The search continues …