Where? - Prahran Hotel, 82 High St. Prahran.
Price? - $21 ($13 Steak & Parma night Tuesday & Wednesday)
Website? - http://prahranhotel.com/
Reviewers – Adam, Cale, Dale, Emma, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Stefo[/info]
150 parmas! Not quite as big of a milestone as 100 parmas, but worth acknowledging none the less. Hooray for us and thanks for reading! Couldn't have gotten this far without you guys.
Now, on to the pub.
The Prahran Hotel got off to a bit of a rocky start. Ffter taking out the facebook vote in a spectacular comeback, I called on Wednesday to secure our table for Thursday night (normally I book on the day, however I knew we'd have a few people and wanted to make sure we got a table).
I called the Prahran and made a booking, While on the phone the staff member told me "Oh we can fit in the halfpipe if you'd like!". She sounded enthusiastic so I accepted, not quite sure what the "halfpipe" was. Curious, I went to google and turned up this image -
Nice! The halfpipe is just that - half of a concrete pipe, fitted out with tables and suspended above the rest of the pub. Awesome, and fitting for an event such as parma #150. I told the rest of the review team - We were pumped.
However about 3 hours later I got a phone call. It was the Prahran Hotel.
Apparently, and I'm quoting here, "Someone with a gold card called and booked the halfpipe, so we wont be able to seat you there"
We'd been bumped. I accepted a table in the dining area and the call was over - I googled "Prahran Hotel gold card" and got no results ... something very fishy going on here. I mean I didn't really care, but at the same time its never nice to be told you aren't as important as the person who wants your table.
Thursday night rolled around and we rocked up at the Prahran. Wow. This has to be one of the best renovations I've seen in my life. The back room (the one with all the pipes) is absolutely spectacular, and a must see if you're a fan of Melbourne pubs - Completed by the same pub group that did the Richmond Club Hotel (which we tried a few weeks back) These guys have a stellar pedigree of revitalising run down pubs, and the Prahran hotel is no exception.
I haven't seen a more impressive collection of pipes since Super Mario Bros. 3
I'm going to be referencing our review of The Richmond Club Hotel a fair bit from this point on, so if you haven't read it yet you might want to familiarise yourself, as there are a lot of similarities between the two pubs.
The first thing that both bars share is the concept of the "Karma Keg" -
Such a fantastic idea, too bad I've never been to one of these pubs on a Friday.
Secondly (and a little less awesome) is the concept of seating times, both the RCH and the Prahran have set seating times for dinner - a 6pm and 8pm sitting. This really throws a spanner in the works for our reviews as we've been doing parmas at 7pm sharp for the past hundred-and-fifty weeks. We arrived at 7, pulled up a pew in the public bar at the front and killed time till we were good to take our table, a few bowls of wedges went around which served as a solid pre-game to the main event, so it turned out to be less of an inconvenience than we had originally thought, but just something to keep in mind when you're planning your night.
8pm came around and we took our (non tube-shaped) seat in the dining room, picked up our menus and spied the target...
By this time I was starving so we placed our orders. I finished what was left of my pint (about half a pint, from memory) and went to the bar for a refill - by the time I returned the parmas were on the table.
Now not everyone's parma was shaped like an inverted Africa, that was just mine - the 7 other parmas on the table kept a traditional shape.
The schnitzel was decent quality. Juicy, unprocessed and appeared to be pan fried, the crumbs were thin and unobtrusive (although nothing special in the flavour department). Thickness-wise it was a mixed bag, with some parts looking like this -
and other parts like this -
I'm not sure if it was from the schnitzel or the napoli but there was a strong citrusy zest to the dish, I've got a feeling the schnitz was given a liberal squeeze of lemon juice before the other toppings went on, and that flavour really shone through. The ham and napoli were there, but quite bland and didn't add much to the dish at all.
I hope you like a lot of cheese as this parma had an overload. So much cheese that a couple of times I cut into what I thought was parma, but came out with only toppings. Heaps of cheese, which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all - but it was as bland as the ham & nap.
The chips were stellar. Perfectly cooked, beer battered and very well seasoned, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside - I wanted more the moment I was done.
The salad was nothing too special, lettuce,cucumber, a tomato wedge and some slivers of onion with a creamy mustard dressing. It served it purpose but didn't do so with any particular style.
For $21 it didn't sting too badly for what we got, If I was at The Prahran again I'd consider having it again, but wouldn't go out of my way to get it. They run a $13 Tuesday & Wednesday parma night which would definitely be worth checking out, even if just to see the great renovations.
When we tried the parma at the Richmond Club Hotel our major complaint was that it was overcooked to the point of being burnt and dry - I think the Prahran parma is virtually identical when it comes to ingredients (especially in the case of the chips) but they were prepared with more care, the schnitz was succulent and juicy - no complaints in how it was cooked - Which put it ahead of the RCH in terms of score. It's not a bad parma by any means, but it lacks any flair that would make me want to recommend it to my friends, I'd say if you went on a parma night to have a look at the amazing establishment and a cheap feed you wouldn't be disappointed.
Parma - 5.38
Chips - 7.50
Salad - 5.44
Value - 6.44
Total - 6.03
The search continues...