Where? - Victoria Hotel, 380 Victoria St. Brunswick
Price? - $15 Parma n pot Thursdays, $17 other times.
Reviewers – Cale, Dale, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo[/info]
I've said it before, but I really need to start writing down how we come across these pubs. I feel bad that the person that took the time to suggest it doesn't get credited - oh well, you know who you are buddy! Cheers!
Anyway, somehow the Victoria hotel ended up on our list, it made it to the Facebook poll and got up. In my pre-attempt research into the pub I checked out their website (I always do, to get an address phone number and confirm that there is actually a parma on the menu)
First up, the menu...
Parma... Check! Then the specials caught my eye -
Lovely We haven't had a good parma & pot deal for a while, Most cheap parma nights in Melbourne fall on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (in an effort to get people in on the quiet nights) so a Thursday cheap parma is quite rare these days. Bonus. Lock it in. Load up the parma bus.
We arrived at the Victoria to quite an unusual sight - Apparently Thursdays in addition to being Parma Night are also "Go Go Dancing Night", taught by Anna's Go-Go Academy. $10 a sesh, while we didn't partake it was fun to watch, and it seemed like everyone involved was having a good time.
As you'd expect from a pub/backpackers there is no shortage of entertainment options at the Vic - with pool, jukebox, foosball, plenty of TV's and even a ping pong table you'd have to try hard to be bored. We walked past the GoGo'ers, through the dining area in the back and out to the beer garden. Although it was a horribly cold & windy night outside the high walls and abundance of heaters meant we were perfectly comfortable, and the roaring open outdoor fire was a great touch.
Apologies for the Instagram filter, but doesn't that look cosy!
A few review members were still to arrive and we were hungry people, so we indulged in a pregame serve of cheesy herb & garlic bread. I forgot to grab a picture but it was a decision we didn't regret - We got a full plate of turkish bread slices with an abundance of garlic & herbs, plenty of cheese and a spicy dipping sauce - for only $4 you'd be silly not to start your meal with this quality entree.
Everyone arrived, we went to the bar and ordered our parmas, as promised it came to $15 with a free pot. Just lovely.
Before too long the parmas arrived from the kitchen...
Not bad! Not bad at all...
Expectations were pretty low for a backpackers discount parma, but I was pleasantly surprised. For processed chicken breast it was of the highest quality (best of a bad thing, I suppose) - probably the thickest processed shnitz we've ever come across. The crumbs were nothingness and there was a fair bit of nudity but that's not that big of a complaint. The cheese, the ham and the napoli all carried their flavour quite well (although a touch more nap would have been appreciated). Not a stand out dish, but it was enjoyable and nobody left hungry - definitely better than I was expecting.
Now I forgot to take a cross section until I was 3/4 of the way through the parma, so don't take the below photo as any indication of thickness, just use it to appreciate the chicken quality and ingredients layers (the crumbs were thin, no attempt to hide credit card chicken under an inch of crumbs)...
The chips were good, fresh, crispy and plenty of them hiding under the parma (I removed them from their sweaty prison immediately after we got the dish). Could've used a bit more salt but thats a minor complaint, an all round solid accompaniment, on par with the rest of the dish.
If there's one way to get us to like a salad, it's to dress it well. The salad with the Victoria parma had plenty in it (lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumber, mustard seeds, even some olives thrown in) and covered with a creamy dressing - it was very enjoyable and for a garden salad it was quite good. My one criticism would be, if you're going to put olives in a salad can you make sure they're pitted? Nothing more annoying than having a collection of spat out olive seeds on the side of your plate while trying to enjoy a parma.
Great value here, $15 with a pot you can't expect the best meal, but the Vic turn out a quality bird for those on a budget. All of the meals on the menu are similarly priced - The garlic bread was especially good for the price (I've had worse GB at double the price).
This parma isn't going to win any awards, yet I don't think its trying to. Yes the chook is processed but for only fifteen bucks with a beverage you've got to cut them some slack - It's an honest meal for an honest price, sure it has it's faults but I'd have no problems dropping in on a Thursday night again if I were in the area. If I were paying full price ($17) I'd probably go elsewhere, but as far as a cheapo parma & pot deal goes it's one of the better ones we have come across. Victoria Hotel is definitely worth checking out if you're on a budget but craving a hit of parma and a game of ping pong (or a Go-Go dance).
Parma - 6.83
Chips - 6.42
Salad - 6.50
Value - 8.00
Total - 6.92
The search continues...