Attempt #129 - 'The Village Belle'

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When? – 14/2/13

Where? – 202 Barkly Street. St. Kilda

Price? - $13 Parma Thursdays, $20.90 Regularly

Website? -

Reviewers – Cale, Fridge, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Stefo, Tony[/info]

In the words of the great Ian Malcom from Jurassic Park 2 …


“Hang on. This is gonna be bad…”

The Village Belle was not our first choice - It was on the facebook poll as an option but came in 2nd to the Hotel Grosvenor. Unfortunately due to Saint. Valentine the Grosvenor was running a set menu on Thursday night which (shockingly) didn’t include a parma.

The Belle is deceptively massive, the huge bistro leads into a massive public bar, and goes much deeper than expected back into a sports bar and pokies area. Lots of little nooks and crannies to get lost in.

At first we took a seat by the window in the public bar for a few pints while we waited for everyone to arrive, open windows led out to a great view of the world passing by on Acland St. fantastic for people watching.

Once the team arrived we moved into the Bistro and took our seats, found the menu and realised we had a choice ahead of us -


A decent range, most of us decided on the Traditional but Reviewer Fridge went with the Hawaiian and Reviewer Cale went with the Bolognese. Upon placing our order we got an unexpected surprise … It was parma night! Thursday at the Village Belle just got a lot easier on the wallet as the price dropped from $20.90 to a flat $13 for all varieties.

Bargain! I was stoked with that little win.

Then the meals arrived…


My heart sank. The edges were burnt, and there was a major case of slippery cheese, indicating that this parma had a long stay under the heat lamps while waiting for the other ones to be ready.

Hoping to be pleasantly surprised I cut into it. I wasn’t surprised. the schnitzel was insanely dry with very little redeeming factor. The napoli tasted canned, the ham give it a little flavour and the cheese was rather rubbery.

I really believe this parma was destroyed by the heat lamps, as reviewer Matt said his actually wasn’t that bad - The working theory is that Matt’s was the last parma off the rank, while everyone else waited for his to be done. Murdering them in the process. Reviewer Fridge even commented that one mouthful was so hard it felt like he almost broke his tooth.


The chips had promise and could have been awesome. Beer battered, well seasoned and very tasty - however (like the parma) they were dry and flat as if they had been sitting for a long time. Reviewer Tony said it well, when he said “even though they taste good, its like they cooked a proper chip, then stuck in a tube and sucked all the potato out, leaving just the shell” And I have to agree.

Boring garden salad, lettuce, cucumber, onion and tomato with some creamy dressing. Not terrible, but (once again) wilted and bland.


For only $13 I can’t complain too much, I have seen photos of the Village Belle parma that look nothing like what we received, that leads me to believe they put on the cheap stuff on parma night. If I had’ve paid $20.90 for what we got I would have been a lot crankier, and the parma probably would’ve gone out the window.

It’s hard to deny - The heat lamps killed this parma - Although even without that I can’t see it being any more than mediocre (apart from the chips). Cupid did not strike an arrow through my heart in regards to this parma, And I doubt I’ll be back.

Parma - 3.88
Chips - 5.50
Salad - 3.13
Value - 5.06
Total - 4.29

The search continues…

Village Belle Hotel on Urbanspoon