Where? - The Sporting Globe, 690-694 Mt. Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds
Price? - $18.90 regular, $19.90 buffalo parma
Website? - http://www.sportingglobe.com.au/
Reviewers – Cale, Fridge, Janet, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo[/info]
**EDIT** 13/08/15 - While not strictly a redo, we visited the Watergardens Sporting Globe on the 12th of August, 2015. This new review is most likely a more accurate representation of what the Sporting Globe now has to offer, as there have been some changes in the 2.5 years since this attempt. Check it out here.
**EDIT #2!** 07/04/16 - As an addendum to both this review and our second review at the Watergardens Globe, we investigated the new addition to the Sporting Globe's lineup - the Smoked Cheddar parma! Check it out here.
A long time ago I heard whispers of a new sports bar opening in Moonee Ponds, It piqued my interest and from then on I followed the development of The Sporting Globe very closely - The more I followed it, the more I liked it. An American style sports bar serving good quality bar food, good beer and a plethora of sports to watch - all a 2 minute tram ride from my front door. It was a long wait, but last week The Sporting Globe finally opened - and it was everything I was hoping for...
I snapped the above panorama on the opening day last Saturday, as you can see, there is no shortage of TV's at the Globe, with over 40 screens its really hard to find a direction to look in and not see a TV.
I refrained from trying the parma on opening day, I knew I wanted to save it for an official review. So I put the vote up on the facebook and hoped against hope that it would win...
One vote! Holy crap that was close. I really wanted to like this parma, and I sound biased already, but trust me - I will be as honest as I can with this review. Putting all predispositions aside we loaded up the Parma Bus and headed to The Sporting Globe.
If there's one thing the Globe is focussing on its food specials, Each night runs a different deal with Wednesday being $13.90 parma night (unfortunately we were in on Thursday, but no matter)
The beer range is pretty standard, not much in the way of craft beers but I think that 's pretty much to be expected at a sports bar. Plenty of options on tap alongside a lengthy cocktail list and fully stocked fridge full of stubbies.
After a couple of beers in the front bar we wandered down the back steps and took our seats in the bistro, as you can see from the photo below each booth is fitted with its own personal TV screen, complete with control panel so you can select what you want to watch/what volume you want to watch it at. A fantastic touch.
We settled on "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and got stuck into the menus...
There is a lot to try on the Globe's menu, with items ranging from bar snacks (chicken wings, wedges, nachos, calamari) to more substantial fare (steaks, wraps, pizzas, burgers and ... parmas)
There are a couple of options for parma on the menu -
I was torn, I love a spicy kick to my parma, yet its a risk to take a novelty parma without first testing the standard as a baseline. We decided amongst the table that it would work if we split the order, some people got regular, others got Buffalo, and then we could all have a try of both to get a feel of them.
We placed our orders, along with a pregame of a couple of bowls of "Boneless Buffalo Bites" - Crispy boneless chicken bites coated with buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese sauce for dipping. A few were gone before I could snap the photo (they went quick!)
These little bites were fantastic, The buffalo sauce definitely carried a spicy kick but was well balanced by the blue cheese sauce. I was a little worried about having a whole parma of buffalo sauce, as the bites alone were pretty intense, and without the blue cheese sauce... it was gonna be interesting.
After a short wait our meals arrived from the kitchen...
I started with the Buffalo parma, opting to have a few bites of the regular parma once finished. First off, it was damn cheesy, and as you can see by the above photo, if it had've been left any longer we would have had a dire slippery cheese situation on our hands (it had already started to slide off and pool at the base)
This is a parma of excess... Plenty of cheese, heaps of ham and lots and lots of buffalo sauce.
The buffalo sauce definitely gave the parma a kick, but damn was it overpowering. The first few bites were heaven yet towards the end I realised the only thing I could actually taste at all was buffalo sauce. The cheese, the ham, the chicken ... all buffalo flavoured.
Not to say it was bad, it was a great change up for parma lovers who want to try something different! It's an intense flavour with one hell of a kick, that works beautifully on something small like the boneless bites we had for pregame, but (as suspected) its just a bit too much when blown out to full on parma size - If they had something on the plate to level it out a little bit *cough* blue cheese sauce *cough* It'd be a much more enjoyable meal for the long haul.
Now, the regular parma. After finishing my buffalo parma I tried a few forkfulls of the regular (or "MVP") parma, and it was definitely a breath of fresh air after the intensity of the buffalo sauce. I could taste the ham, I could taste the cheese, I could taste the napoli and the chicken! It was all quality and great to calm down the tastebuds after the first one.
But an interesting paradox occurred when talking to the other reviewers... Those that started with the buffalo parma said the same as me - It was good but overpowering towards the end, and the bit of regular parma was a nice change.
However those that started with the regular parma said just the opposite - that it was good at first but got a bit boring towards the end, and their few bites of the buffalo parma gave them the kick that they were looking for.
It was two ends of the spectrum with no middleground for compromise! Maybe a regular parma with a pot of buffalo sauce on the side would be the way to go, but who knows.
The constant among the two parmas was the chicken schnitzel itself. Size-wise they were pretty standard - not small but not massive either - which I was thankful for after finishing my buffalo parma I was quite full, before having to tackle some of the regular.
It was real chicken breast and quite thick without being over-crumbed. While being a little dry in places it was an overall quality bird. The crumbing didn't quite hold on to the parma, however, and the bottom layer tended to flake away rather than stay on the chicken (I cropped the below cross section taller than usual so you can see this in action)
wow... that was a long chicken discussion. On to the chips!
They gave us steak knives too, I LOVE a good quality steak knife with my parma
The chips were fantastic. Well cooked, very well seasoned with (what I detected as) chicken salt. My only complaint being there just wasn't enough of them on the plate. I wanted more.
The salad was served in a bowl to the side, which was a nice touch. A standard garden salad of Lettuce, carrot, cucumber and onion (lots of onion) with a creamy dressing. Not terrible but at the same time not worth calling home about.
It's a sad state of affairs these days when I consider any parma to be under $20 as "cheap", but thats the way of the world these days. The MVP parma chimes in at $18.90 and the Buffalo parma at $19.90, both very reasonable for what you get. The night we tried the parma the drink special was $14.90 carlton draught or Midori jugs, which is very hard to sneeze at. Wednesday $13.90 parma night is definitely worth checking out, however I don't know if that applies to the Buffalo parma or just the standard.
It seems that if we judged both parmas on just the first half of the schnitzel then the globe would be getting stellar scores, yet the pair of them both have issues once you pass the halfway point - The MVP getting kinda boring and the Buffalo being just too damn rich, don't let this discourage you though - I would definitely (and most likely will) have this parma again - The Buffalo especially is a great change of pace for someone wanting to try something a bit different and don't mind a bit of spice, it's a unique parma experience that will definitely stick with me.
The venue itself is just what the area needs and will definitely be a breath of fresh air that I'm predicting will do very well indeed, absolutely worth checking out.
Parma - 6.71
Chips - 7.00
Salad - 5.57
Value - 6.43
Total - 6.49
The search continues...