Where? - 4/1142 Mount Alexander Road, Essendon
Price? - $22.50
Website? - http://www.demazzi.com.au/
Reviewers – Cale, Dale, Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Stefo, Tony [/info]
When I was a little tyke I loved going to The Grand Hotel, back in the 80's the building was a "Billabong family bistro" and they served up a bitchin' frog-in-a-pond, not to mention the indoor playground had bubble machines on the roof that filled the room with bubbles. A wall mounted bubble machine for a kid in the 80's was enough to keep me entertained for hours.
As I grew the Grand grew with me, when I was about 17 or 18 it had become a pub/club known as "The Dirty G" for reasons that you can probably surmise for yourself, I managed to find this picture of the G in its heyday on the Moonee Valley Memes facebook site -
Not long after I turned 18 the Grand Hotel closed its doors. It was gutted, demolished and a block of short-stay apartments were erected in its place leaving just the facade, a few stores and restaurants - The cornerstone of which is Demazzi Stonegrill, our target for this week's parma review.
For regular readers, Demazzi is situated directly across the road from the infamous Lincolnshire Arms Hotel - This was our view from the table last night...
For those new to the party, The Linc stands as our current worst parma yet. They still do a decent pint, but avoid that parma at all costs - We took our seats hoping that bad parmas weren't contagious by proximity.
Now Chicken Parmas aren't really Demazzi's usual "thing", The majority of the menu is comprised of different cuts of steak - Being a stonegrill restaurant (one of only a handful in Melbourne) when you order a steak at Demazzi it is served like this...
Completely uncooked but sitting on a piece of superheated stone. You basically cut a slice of steak, cook it on the stone on the table and eat it directly off the grill. It's a load of fun and I can't recommend it enough if you're after a twist on the usual dining experience.
If you hadn't worked out by now, Demazzi is very local to where I live (a short stroll away). I pop in for a steak or breakfast every month or so and I've kept my eye on the parma for some time, the only reason we haven't reviewed it sooner is that it seemed perpetually stuck on the "specials" board and not on the actual menu (it was "Todays special" for at least twelve months), I felt weird recommending a parma that could disappear at any time. Luckily the parma was recently promoted from the specials board to the main event so it was time to check her out.
Before the parma we decided to do a little pre-game. Amongst the table we ordered a chorizo and trio of dips plate, bocconcini balls, calamari rings and a serve of Saganaki. All of these were quality ways to start the meal, the saganaki (served in a sizzling frypan) was particularly fantastic, with a perfect crust on the outside cracking into a deliciously gooey center.
After we polished off the entrees there was quite a wait before our parmas arrived, I was well into my second stubby of Beez Neez before the main course finally appeared...
Being the only person at the table who had tried the Demazzi parma in the past, I was shocked... the parma was quite small.
I immediately whipped out my phone and found an instagram post I made only last month...
I posted that picture on the 19th of October, and its easily double the size of what we were served last night, just over a month later. Look at how much the parma eclipsed the chips beneath it compared to the new photo.
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that maybe a restaurant that primarily serves raw steak on a hot stone wasn't prepared for a rush order of 7 parmas and maybe we were served half schnitzels as that's all they had in stock ... but I can't prove anything, and you should probably forget I even mentioned it.
Anyway, Like the guy that goes back in time and changes the past in every time travel movie ever made, I was the only one that noticed anything was amiss. The rest of the group were happily tucking into their parmas - so I joined them, doing my best to forget any pre-conceived notions I had.
The schnitzel was acceptable quality, thicker in some places and thin in others. It was unprocessed but a little dry - fortunately the extreme amount of cheese helped with the dryness. Yes, this was a cheesy parma. To the point where on more than one forkful that I thought contained chicken was just pure cheese.
This was a ham free parma - not the end of the world but it was definitely missed, the napoli served its purpose but wasn't particularly noteworthy.
If you're going to serve shoestring fries with a parma as opposed to chunky chips, you had better be damn sure there are a lot of them - luckily Demazzi did not disappoint on this front. The shoestring fries were very well seasoned, hot, fresh and mountainous. I'm not a big fan of McDonalds fries with a parma, but for what they were these were pretty good - We also got individual sauce pots for dipping, a nice touch.
The garden salad was fresh and crisp, Lettuce, cucumber, capsicum, heaps of onion, tomato and balsamic served its purpose fine, my major criticism would be that the pieces are all sliced too big. The full onion rings alone all required slicing, not to mention the 2+ inch long strips of capsicum were a bit of a hassle to manoeuvre.
$22.50 for the parma in the instagram photo I posted would have been fine. Not great, but fine. $22.50 for what we were served is a bit rich for half a parma. If we hadn't have pre-gamed I would have walked out still hungry from that meal.
We finished up our meals and wandered over to The Linc for some post-parma bevvies. The Demazzi parma is fine. That's all I can really say about it. There's nothing particularly offensive about it, yet I have no praises to sing about it either. The entrees were fantastic and I would definitely recommend Demazzi for a steak on the Stonegrill (The cape-grim eye fillet is particularly delicious) - It's their signature dish and its what they do best. If you are really craving a parma then this one will get you by, but there are tastier options on the menu if you find yourself at the Dirty G.
- Heaps of chips
- No ham
- Quite small
- McDonalds style fries
Parma - 5.50
Chips - 4.36
Salad - 5.43
Value - 4.86
Total - 5.13
The search continues...