Where? - La Di Da. Corner of Little Bourke & King St, Melbourne.
Price? - $12.50 Mon - Thurs, $17.50 Friday lunch, $19.50 Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Website? - http://www.ladidapeople.com/
Reviewers – Dale, Lee, Nikki, Matt, Tony [/info]
I've always considered La Di Da as a nightclub, granted my only exposure to it before yesterday was on the nights that it joins Bang and Next to become the "Plastic" mega-club. So when I heard that they also served food my interest was indeed piqued.
A few of the regulars couldn't make it this week so it was going to be a quiet night - because of this I forwent calling and booking a table. "It'll be fine" I said to myself "we'll get a table no problem". However if I had've called ahead I would have been told that the entire dining area was booked out for a private function. Smooth move right there.
We arrived and (luckily) managed to secure one of the tables in the side bar, completely walled off from the dining area. On a nice night this would be a great spot for a beer - the massive open doors at one end lent to a CBD beer-garden type feel. We settled in, the first pints were poured and we checked the menu for the dish of the evening...
Sighted! But it wasn't until we got to the bar that we realised we were in luck, as there was a note at the end of the menu...
Gotta love an unexpected bonus, Like finding a $20 in your jeans pocket after washing them. Being Thursday night our parmas came to only $12.50, and (not mentioned on the above image) when you order a cheap parma you can get either a free soft drink or a $2.50 pot of draught. If the parma was quality a $15.00 pot 'n parma deal is a great start
No more than 5 minutes later our parmas arrived (Everyone else we saw eating in the pub also had parmas, they must have quite a construction line going in the kitchen).
These teardrop shaped plates sure are popular these days, it may just be coincidence but we seem to be seeing more and more of them lately. Anyway, crockery aside, on to the parma.
No points for presentation on this one, the large plate left a lot of white space, which also left my wondering why they insisted on stacking the parma on top of the chips - I don't really have a problem with the parma being on the chips if there is no other space on the plate - I'd rather more stuff in a big pile than less stuff just so it all fit without overlapping.
The schnitz wasnt great, as you can see by the above pic mine had a massive burnt tail poking out from under the toppings. It was pretty thin, there was one lump down the north end of the plate where the schnitzel thickened out to a respectable girth - but the majority of it was around the 1cm of thickness max.
Napoli, ham and and crumbs were all present, but none were really noteworthy, Everything tasted as if it came out of a package. The highlight of the dish would probably be the cheese, it didn't blow me away but there was plenty of it, it was well cooked and it retained a delightfully gooey consistency throughout.
It was an okay parma, bordering on "good", but I'm struggling to find anything noteworthy to actually talk about. It was cookie cutter. Everything was there but there was no panache, It didn't feel like any love was put into it at all.
The chips looked decent, there were little flecks of herbs throughout that gave me hope that they were well seasoned - but those barely added any flavour, leaving everyone reaching for the salt shakers. They were okay, my major gripe being that they were rather undercooked leaving them a bit hard and claggy. We asked a passing waitress for some tomato sauce to help rectify the situation but it never came, The function next door was in full swing and I think we were forgotten.
Probably the most disappointing part of the dish was the salad - this is pretty common with discount parmas as its probably the least cared about part of the dish and thus the first thing to go when tightening the purse strings. My salad was a couple of bits of lettuce and two wedges of tomato. That's it. A couple of reviewers had some onion as well, but that didn't make it onto everyone's plate. A massive afterthought.
Value is a tough one. for $12.50 this is an acceptable parma - sure its not great, but it doesn't sting the wallet too hard either way, and at least it'll fill a hunger hole. However I do have a problem with the other prices a person could potentially pay.
Classically a discount parma night is just one or two nights of the week, yet La Di Da sell this parma for $12.50 from Monday to Thursday - thats the majority of the week. If I paid $19.50 for what I was delivered last night I would not be happy - La Di Da are walking a fine line between offering a discount parma from Monday to Thursday, or just jacking up the price on weekends. It depends on how you're looking at it.
Overall there isn't a lot to complain about for $12.50, these days $12.50 doesn't buy you a whole lot - hell a trip to the Nando's next door would probably cost you more than this parma, and if thats all you're after then this is a pretty good deal - especially if you're the designated driver and you score a free soft drink with it. If you're after a quick bite to fill a hole and not hit the hip pocket too hard then check it out, otherwise I'd say give this one a miss.
- If you go Monday - Thursday its cheap, with a free soft drink or discounted beer.
- Uninspired, cookie cutter parma
- Starchy, unseasoned chips
- Not worth the price on Friday, Saturday or Sunday
Parma - 5.60
Chips - 4.60
Salad - 3.40
Value - 6.90
Total - 5.22
The search continues...