Where? - 27 St David Street, Fitzroy
Price? - $22.
Website? - http://therainbow.com.au/
Reviewers – Dale, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, Tony [/info]
The Rainbow is another one of those pubs that I've heard about forever, but never actually visited. The winner of last weeks Fitzroy-Centric poll, we loaded up the parma bus and headed to this unassuming backstreets local.
To be honest I had no idea what to expect walking into the Rainbow Hotel. The bizarre paint job on the exterior was definitely enough to throw me off, however (after mis-judging how long my commute would take) I arrived at the pub a good hour before everyone else. I grabbed a pint, found a cosy booth in the corner of the beer garden and got comfortable.
"Comfortable" is a great word to describe The Rainbow Hotel. This pub is your quintessential backstreets local, complete with a friendly dog that greeted me with a wagging tail when I walked into the pub. If I lived in the area I could definitely see this place becoming a regular fixture.
The beer garden is everything you want in an outdoor drinking space. plenty of seating, combination of covered and open areas, outdoor pool table, even a window through to the main bar so you can order without going inside. The pints of Mountain Goat were going down far too well, I had to make a conscious effort to slow down otherwise I'd be smashed before the rest of the group even arrived.
Speaking of beers, I've got to take a moment to mention the range of bevvies available at The Rainbow, as I don't think I've seen a beer list like it.
Take a second to check out this beauty.
That's over 120 beers available, (combination of bottles and taps) very impressive, and the staff were very knowledgable and happy to recommend new libations to try.
The group arrived and we moved inside, we had a table booked in the dining room, but opted for the more social atmosphere of the front bar.
Grabbed the menu and took a look...
We placed our orders at the bar and awaited the food. Thursday night offers a "beer matched with main meal" night, where certain selections from the menu are matched with a pint that you get for free - Unfortunately on the week we were there the "matched" meal was the burger, which looked damn delicious, as everyone else in the pub seemed to be getting them. I'd definitely return to try the burger (and keep an eye on when the parma comes up in the drink matching night)
After about half a 500ml stubby of cider our parmas arrived...
Yes thats a Dalek. It's the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who this weekend... I'm a little excited alright?
The first three that came out were cooked perfectly, the second three were slightly overdone (as you can see from the above photo). Luck of the draw I guess.
The schnitzel, despite the crispiness, was good quality, non-processed, hand crumbed and quite juicy. There was a bit of nude schnitz around the edges, which wasn't the best, however the bits with topping on them were phenomenal. The smoked ham was the star of the dish, packing a massive punch of flavour. The napoli was fresh and flavourful, and the abundance of cheese worked perfectly with the napoli. Taste-wise it reminded me a lot of The Duke's parma, one of our favourites.
There were good and bad notes about this parma, however I think the good definitely outweighed the bad, sure it was a little overcooked and showing a lot of skin, but it definitely made up for its shortcomings by being packed with flavour.
The chips were also impressive. Not you're ordinary frozen chips from a bag, these hand cut beauties were well seasoned, perfectly cooked and in abundance (especially considering how filling chunky hand cut chips can be) also we were brought a bottle of tomato sauce without asking - always extra points for that touch
The salad is where things really fell apart on this parma. It was advertised as 'slaw' but it was a pile of shredded cabbage and nothing more. No dressing that we could discern, it was just so dry that I could barely eat it. A disappointing element to an otherwise great dish.
$22 is pretty standard these days, I'd have no qualms paying that again. If we had've gone on a night that a free pint was paired with the parma it would have been icing on the cake, but unfortunately we missed out this week.
The Rainbow is a fantastic little pub with great food coming out of the kitchen. The parma and chips were excellent but were let down by a sub-par salad. I'll be back to The Rainbow, it has a fantastic vibe, friendly staff and a beer garden to die for now that the weather is finally improving, definitely worth checking out
- Solid parma, full of flavour
- hand cut, well seasoned chips
- Awful salad
- A fair bit of nude schnitzel
Parma - 7.67
Chips - 7.42
Salad - 2.33
Value - 6.83
Total - 6.38
The search continues...