Where? - 11 Dukes Walk, South Wharf
Price? - $21.50
Website? - http://www.melbournepublic.com.au/
Reviewers – Dale, Fridge, Janet, Kylie, Lee, Nikki, Stefo, Tony [/info]
In my mind Melbourne Public is a brand new spot. Pretty much everywhere down in the docklands my mind considers "new" even though it has been there for quite a few years now.
South Wharf is an area I don't get to often, Yet tucked away behind the Exhibition Center a surprising array of cafes, restaurants and pubs have popped up - one of which is Melbourne Public.
The pub looks fantastic. Light filled, spacious and fantastically decked out - its a shame there is another building in front of the massive glass windows, otherwise they would have a fantastic view of the bay ... SO close.
We arrived at Melbourne Public at the height of the January 2014 heat wave. Pure relief washed over me as I opened the door and felt the cool breeze of aircon hit me. We made our way to the bar and ordered a couple of pints while the rest of the group arrived. The Melbourne Public website currently has a printable coupon available if you sign up to their mailing list that gets you a buy one-get one free drink. We came prepared and collected our free beverages - definitely recommended.
Once everyone arrived we migrated from the front bar to the skinny (but still beautifully decked out) dining area down the back. Spied the parma on the menu...
And placed our orders.
I boasted last week that I was one-for-one in remembering to set the stop watch in 2014. Well. Now I'm one for two, as it completely slipped my mind till about ten minutes after we ordered, so I don't have a stopwatch-screenshot this week. Although if memory serves it was about a half an hour wait for 8 parmas. Not bad at all.
Points for presentation! This parma looked very impressive on the plate with all the elements separated for maximum freshness.
Without delay I ditched the
bay basil leaf, picked up the cutlery and tucked in.
The schnitzel was quite thick, juicy and of decent quality, but the crumbs were very soggy and had zero crunch. There was no ham, the napoli needed some spices and just came across as bland. Great cheese coverage and plenty of it - they had used a cheese mix very heavy on tasty cheese, so it packed quite a wallop, good if you like tasty cheese, bad if you don't, as (coupled with the weak napoli and lack of ham) the flavour of the cheese pretty much dominated the entire dish.
We don't normally deduct points for the lack of ham on a parma if it stands up on its own without it. But I can't help but think a slice of smoked ham would have done this dish wonders. The ham would break up the onslaught of cheese, as well as bring out some of the flavours in the napoli. We can dream...
The chips were the absolute star of this dish. I've seen the mini deep fryer basket on so many instagram food photos, yet this is the first time we've ever found a pub that does it! Beer battered and seasoned to perfection with the perfect crunch on the outside and pillowy soft in the middle. I was full, but still at them as I didn't want them to go to waste. A pot of aioli or tomato sauce would have brought these chips up to perfection
Rather than a boring garden salad the Melbourne Public parma was accompanied by a side of freshly made coleslaw. I enjoyed it, it wasn't as overflowing with mayo as some coleslaws can be. It was a light, summery accompaniment to the meal that I enjoyed greatly.
For $21.50 I was relatively happy with what we received. The two-for-one drink voucher definitely helped the value score, and remember that if you parked in the DFO car park to validate your parking at the bar, as it brought our carpark fee down from $8 to $4
Melbourne Public is a great looking pub with a good vibe in a pretty neat location. The parma had great sides but was let down by a lacklustre main event. With a few tweaks this parma could be one of the greats, and is definitely worth giving a go in its current state if you're in the area - Although I wouldn't go too far out of my way for this one.
- Fantastic chips
- Fresh coleslaw
- Quality chicken breast
- Soggy crumbs
- Overpowering Cheese
- Bland napoli
- Needs ham