When? - 9th of June, 2010
Where? - The Windsor Castle Hotel, 89 Albert St. Windsor
Price? - $20.00
Barry? - No
Website? - None
Reviewers - Adam Y, Cale, Emma, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Tanya, Tony Q[/info]
Its hard to imagine, but the three giant pink elephants on the roof of the Windsor Castle Hotel is not the strangest thing you will see on your visit to this cosy pub tucked away in the backstreets of Prahran. Walking into what seems like a newly renovated bar (as none of the photos I’ve found online look anything like what I saw when I walked in) this dimly lit pub has its walls adorned with an eclectic array of paraphernalia, in other words, there’s lots of crazy shit on the wall. While standing in the front bar waiting to order a drink I managed to document the following things in various display cases and areas scattered over the bar and around the pub:
- Various animal horns & antlers
- A full sized stuffed peacock
- A ventriloquist dummy’s head
- A variety of different sized test tubes, beakers and glassware
- at least two owls
- a range of different sizes & breeds of stuffed chickens (I’m hoping our parmas didn’t come from these guys)
- Gary Coleman’s face on a speaker
- An indoor room roofed with what looked like vine leaves.
Im sure there was a lot that I missed, the above is what I managed to remember to write down on my trips to the bar. In short, theres never a shortage of things to keep your attention while waiting for a drink.
When the crew arrived we moved out of the front bar to the back of the pub, where the dining room is located, we took our seats on their super comfy red velvet booth chairs around a massive round table. I’ll make a note of saying its very dark in this pub, my notes are rather scribbled as I could barely see what I was writing, but it all adds to the mood. I counted no less than three open fireplaces on my walks through the pub, and the wireframe elephants head mounted above the fireplace in the dining area made this area as interesting to sit in as the front bar.
We ordered our chicken parmigianas (of course) from the attached kitchen and took a seat, it didnt take too long for them to come out -
The flash on the camera gave us the best look at the parma we got all night … so dark!
The parmigianas arrived and my first impression was that it was small - big serving of chips and a mound of salad, but the parma itself fell short in the size department, and at $20 (not too expensive, but not exactly cheap) I’d expect something a bit bigger.
The chicken, however small, was tasty - real unprocessed chicken breast was used and there was no nude schnitzel, not a tough feat considering its size but a relief none the less, the cheese was well cooked, a little burnt on some parmas but nothing too sinful. The napoli sauce tasted as if it had a bit of red wine tossed through it, an addition I really enjoyed. There was debate as to whether or not this parma came with ham - we all could taste the ham, but for the life of us couldn’t actually find any! as it was so dark we even resorted to trying to use our mobile phones as a light source as we dissected the cheese looking for ham, but none could be found!
The chips were crinkle cut, salted and fried, there was a decent serving on each plate and they were a great accompaniment to the parma - even though they served the parma on the chips, the parma was small enough that they didn’t sweat at all and loose their crispness, very good.
The salad had a delicious dressing on it and there was a lot of it, but it was all rocket with a sliver or two of onion tossed through… nothing more! no cucumber, no tomato, no carrot, capsicum or celery - Nada!
The parma was flavoursome, with real chicken and a lovely napoli, there might have been ham, we couldn’t tell. The chips were delish and the salad, while bare, was-good tasting. It fell short on the size of the parma, it was just small, and for $20 a piece I’d expect a bit more.
The Windsor Castle is definitely an experience, with cosy open fireplaces and enough ‘stuff’ everywhere to keep you entertained its definitely worth a visit, just look for the pink elephants.
Parma - 6.3
Chips - 7
Salad - 5.8
Value - 5.5
The search continues …