When? - 12th of May, 2010
Where? - The Skinny Dog Hotel, 155 High St. Kew
Price? - $25
Barry? - No
Website? - http://www.skinnydoghotel.com.au/
Reviewers - Adam Y, Bec, Cale, Emma, Janet, Kathleen, Lauren, Lee, Luke, Matt, Nikki, Pat, Shanan, Stefo, Tanya[/info]
The Skinny Dog is an odd one, there are heaps of posts on online forums floating around online claiming it as the biggest and the best parma in Melbourne, with photos to back it up! The problem is it seems that around late 2008 the parmas took a downward turn, The good reviews started to drop off, more and more unimpressed opinions seemed to pop up (with the odd exception of a positive opinion every now and then).
Looks like a job for Parma Daze!
We loaded up the cars and took our biggest review team yet out to Kew to try the Skinny Dog Parma, I was a little worried about parking, but there was plenty available at the supermarket carpark that resides out the back of the pub. Walking in to the Skinny Dog gives a very good first impression, recently refurbished its an impressive looking pub with a great range of both tap and bottled beers, sports on multiple big screen TV’s and a very nice looking beer garden (complete with separate bar) out the back.
After everyone arrived we realised just how big this weeks team was, 15 hungry folks had turned up for a parma, and seeing as we were without a booking (not making that mistake again!), we were pretty much screwed. There would have been a 45 minute wait for a table in the very busy restaurant section, so we opted to re arrange all of their bar furniture into an area for ourselves in the front bar, which the staff seemed fine with.
So with seating sorted we all ordered our parmas off the bar menu - at $25 it was the most expensive parma we had reviewed to date … high hopes! Some of us got the unique option on ordering of ‘chips or coleslaw’, but not everyone was asked and even with the choice, everyone opted for chips.
The turnaround time was very quick, I was expecting a long wait but within about 15 minutes our parmas started arriving (although not all at once … which is fair enough as we had ordered quite a few).
Helloooo? salad? where are youuuu?
The Parma looked impressive when it arrived, nice big plates, chips served in a separate bowl (fantastic!) the parma itself looked big, certainly not the biggest in Melbourne, and considerably smaller than some of the photos floating around online, but big none the less. The one thing that shocked us all was the lack of any form of salad! apart from sprinkling of green things over the top of the parma, salad of any kind was nowhere to be found.
On first bite the parma was good, real chicken breast, with what tasted like home made & spiced breadcrumbs, no nude bits of schnitzel, a generous slice of double smoked ham and even a few basil leaves under the cheese … all seemed well! But as I got into the parma things seemed to change, first of all it was majorly undercooked - don’t get me wrong, there were no pink bits (thats what she said) but the crumbs were soggy with absolutely no crispness and the breasts thickness was not consistent at all, some parts were fine, but in other spots it got dangerously thin. The sauce was sparse and a bit watery. The double smoked ham had a very prominent smokey flavour, which I personally didn’t mind but could have been a bit overpowering for some. One thing almost everyone commented on was the cheese - there was a lot of it, ill say it again to make sure you take it in there is a lot of cheese on this parma. i’m a big fan of cheese at the best of times but this was too much, bordering more cheese than schnitzel! I’m not sure if the cheese was the culprit of the soggy crumbs, but in the end just couldn’t shake the taste of undercooked chicken.
It was a big parma, I had fear at one point that I wasn’t going to be able to finish, but after a quick break to digest and a pot of cider, I managed to polish it off with ease (again, thats what she said).
The Chips had good and bad points, they were well cooked and nicely salted, I loved that they were served in a separate bowl, this should be law for all parmas. They stayed fresh and crisp throughout the meal but in saying that, the bowl was a little small. The chips were thinly cut french fries, which you don’t see with chicken parmas often (not that theres anything wrong with that) but they looked like they belonged next to a medium quarter pounder meal, not a chicken parma.
The chips would have felt right at home next to this bad boy … and there would’ve been more salad on the burger than on the plate!
The Salad was … nonexistent, as I said at the start of the review a few of the team members got offered coleslaw instead of chips, I’m sorry but when I’m paying quite a premium for a parma I expect to have a full range of sides, not the choice of sacrificing my chips to get a bowl of coleslaw instead.
All in all its a great looking pub, and a good looking parma with the potential to be the best! its big enough and the chicken itself is darn good quality, they are trying different things with the parma without straying too far from the norm (I was impressed by the fresh basil leaves) but it was a let down in lots of other ways … too much cheese, the ham was too strong, without the option to leave it off, the sauce was barely there, and it was just so undercooked - try as I might, I couldn’t get the bad taste out of my mouth … Thats what she said.
*EDIT 31/03/2011 - Score amended under the ‘You don’t win friends with salad’ ruling of March, 2011
*EDIT (AGAIN!) 14/10/11 - We went back! After getting word of improvements made to the parma, we gave it another review! See the results! Here
Parma - 5.5
Chips - 4.9
Salad - N/A
Value - 4.9
Total - 5.18
The search continues …