When? - 7th of July, 2010
Where? - Mona Castle Hotel, 53 Austin st. Seddon
Price? - Wednesday $12 ‘Pot n’ Parma’ night, $17.90 all other times
Barry? - No, but ‘Mr. Jackpot’ Machine is almost as entertaining
Website? - http://www.monacastlehotel.com.au
Reviewers - Cale, Grace, Lee, Matt, Ness, Nikki, Tony Q[/info]
Hidden away in the back streets of Seddon (much like The Rose Hotel in Fitzroy) you’ll find the Mona Castle Hotel, an old school watering hole that hasn’t gone the way of the gastro-pub, where you’ll find down to earth food at a very fair price.
The main bar is full of character, with full TAB, TV’s, and more Western Bulldogs paraphernalia than you could poke a stick at, its a pub for the locals that definitely has that ‘family’ feel. Advertising themselves as ‘the coldest beer in the west’ isn’t far off either, with their pot glasses kept chilled in a fridge below the bar. My pot of Bulmers stayed icy cold and delicious the entire way through. With a great selection of beers on tap for a local pub (Pure Blonde, Carlton Draught, Tooheys Old, Cascade Light, and of course Bulmers Cider) it’s definitely a pub I would stop into again for an ice cold pot or two.
We booked the Mona Castle for a much larger table than could actually make it to the review, but it wasn’t a problem for the friendly staff who were happy to re arrange the tables after we told them only seven people would be eating. We ordered our parmas at the table and as it was Wednesday ‘Parma & Pot’ for $12 night’ the waitress went and gathered our included pots straight away. The Dining area we were in (there are a couple) had a very warm open fireplace and entrance to a massive outdoor beer garden/dining area - enclosed in a marquee with outdoor heaters, this also looked like a cosy little spot to enjoy a beer and parma
While we waited we took some time to play what looked like a lone pokie machine sitting in the corner, but what turned out to be a ‘Mr. Jackpot’ machine, something we were yet to come across in our travels
The ‘Mr. Jackpot’ machine is hard to describe, imagine the love child of a standard pokie machine and the Joker Poker machine we encountered at The Rose. 20c buys you one ‘ticket’ and if you match the three symbols on the ticket you recieve a prize corresponding to the pictures, this time however the tickets are displayed as digital tickets on the screen, and you can purchase up to five at a time.
I’m aware what I’ve described sounds pretty much exactly like a regular pokie, but trust me its different! you’ll have to seek out Mr. Jackpot to see what I mean.
After a few turns playing the machine unfortunately broke down and refused to take any more coins, not to worry though, because our parmas arrived soon after.
Apparently these parmigianas are so fresh they are reproducing … mine had a baby
The Parmas arrived after a short wait, there was a little bit of size variance with mine (pictured above) being the smallest of the bunch, but they seemed to compensate that buy giving me a larger serving of chips and a smaller, baby parma alongside the main event.
The schnitzel was barely crumbed, only the slightest dusting of crumbs made this a very different parma, I was a little turned off at first but quickly realised I would much prefer a thick piece of chicken with few crumbs to a wafer thin fillet with crumbs thicker than the chicken itself. The chicken was thick, juicy and seemed to be herb encrusted, the Napoli was very thick and rich, but maintained a good flavour that wasn’t too overpowering. There was a slice of ham hiding at the bottom that I barely noticed and had to check for, with a healthy coating of cheese and sprinkling of parsely it was definitely a different, but tasty parma.
The chips were served to the side of the parma instead of underneath (as they should be! no more soggy chips) Mine were a little overcooked but well salted and a hearty serving - although as I said before I got more chips than the other reviewers, possibly as compensation for having a smaller parma.
The garden salad was also a decent serving, which seemed to be about the same sized portions all round, containing rocket, cucumber, tomato, onion, capsicum, mustard seeds and a lot of grated carrot with a light balsamic dressing, it was fresh, tasty & a great accompaniment to the parma.
The Mona Castle is a great little pub, a well hidden little gem in the backstreets of Seddon. At only $12 on Wednesdays with a free pot this parma is outstanding value, I’d be more than happy to come back on another night of the week and pay the full price of $17.90, The atmosphere in the main bar is great, if I had the choice I would definitely eat out there next time where I can have a parma, punt, an ice cold brew & pump a few more bucks into Mr. Jackpot … love that guy.
Parma - 7.7
Chips - 5.8
Salad - 6.3
Value - 8.0
The search continues …