Where? - The Australian. 20 W 38th St #1 New York, NY
Price? - $18 USD, $20 USD if you want it "Victorian Style" (with ham)
Website? - http://www.theaustraliannyc.com/
Reviewers – Grace, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Tony [/info]
It has become a bit of a tradition that whenever I go overseas I find a parma (or the closest approximation of a parma that I can find in the area) and give it a review, In the USA we've found a lot of "Chicken Parmesan", but never a good old fashioned parma.
Americans have an odd take on the parma (odd from our perspective anyway) as you will see from reading our last two attempts in the USA, the "chicken parmesan" sticks a lot closer to its Italian roots than it does to the classic Aussie pub meal we have come to know and love. Served almost exclusively in Italian restaurants, the parmesan consists of a schnitz, coated in napoli (or "marinara" sauce) a little bit of cheese (usually just a sprinkle of parmesan, hence the name) and served with a side of napoletana pasta. Its different, it can be tasty, but its not a Parma.
Regular readers will know that I recently took a few weeks off the parma hunt for a trip overseas. Over the course of 3 weeks we visited Vegas, Montana, New York, LA, San Fran and Hawaii - yet over that three weeks I only managed to get one parma on the books. Luckily It was a classic Aussie parma, found in the most unlikely of locations. New York City.
We got to New York about halfway through the trip - So I was definitely jonezing for a parma at this point - Not just a parma, but also an escape from the constant onslaught of America. I love the USA but sometimes you just need to escape. Before we left I had heard about this pub called "The Australian" in New York City, an Aussie themed pub in the middle of New York. I was pumped. We dropped off our bags and headed to the garment district.
I was a little worried while walking to The Australian that it wasn't going to be real Australian, Anyone who has been to Outback Steakhouse will know exactly what I mean, Outback is about as Aussie as Bridie O'reilleys is Irish, actually, its worse than Bridies, as Bridies actually tries somewhat to have faux irish cuisine on the menu. Anyway, I've gotten off topic.
We arrived at The Australian and were greeted with an Aussie accent - a great sign. The pub is cosy, narrow and deep with a bar running along the front and opening up to tables out the back. With heaps of TV's lining the walls, all playing AFL - You could easily forget that you were halfway around the world from home.
It was time for food, Looking at the menu was a breath of fresh air - all of the food was authentic Aussie cuisine, from wedges, meat pies, sausage rolls and even possibly the only chicko roll served in the entire USA. We spied our target -
Of course, we went "Victorian Style" and got the extra slice of ham.
While waiting for our food we kicked back, watched a bit of footy, and honestly forgot that we were in New York City for awhile - It was a fantastic experience.
Then the moment came, our parmas arrived...
It was a real parma! after weeks consisting entirely on burgers, nachos and onion rings I finally had a real parma sitting in front of me! Without hesitation I tucked in. It was so damn good I started humming Advance Australia Fair as I ate.
The schnitzel was pretty sizable, a little overcooked but nothing to complain about, there was plenty of cheese, napoli and ham, which all carried their flavour perfectly and worked well with each other. It wasn't overcrumbed, it wasnt underseasoned. Other than some slight nudity around the edges and the aforementioned overcooking It was a damn good parma. I'd definitely recommend it "Victorian Style", ham is the way to go.
There was a big pile of steak chips, well cooked and set beside the parma as opposed to under it - They were pretty unseasoned when they arrived, but moments after dropping off the parmas our very friendly Aussie waitress then delivered a few bottles of tomato sauce, which made everything better.
The garden salad was a bit of nothingness, but it did its job perfectly, Lettuce, tomato, onion, carrot and a mustard-seeded dressing, it was nothing to write home about, but it was nothing to complain about either.
I really enjoyed the parma, and for $20 USD plus tip its definitely worth giving a go - I may be a little biased in this review as we were rather parma-starved and possibly a little homesick at the time of consuming it, but you know what? Any pub that goes this far to properly represent Australian culture in a faraway land definitely deserves extra points in my book.
The Australian is an Aussie ex-pats dream. They open early when there's a big Aussie sports game on to show it live, and (from what I can see on their twitter) they throw a kick-ass Australia Day party. If I ever wound up living in New York my choice of apartment would definitely be influenced by proximity to The Australian. If ever you find yourself in the city that never sleeps, be sure to stop in and say G'day.
Oh, And for desert we had Tim Tams and Ice Cream. Something I've never had in Australia, but it just felt so right...
The search continues...