[info]When? - 23rd of January, 2014
Where? - 328A Keilor Rd, Niddrie
Price? - $20.90
Website? - Squid Inc. Facebook page
Reviewers – Cale, Grace, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, Tony [/info]
** NOTE - This pub has closed! Parma no longer available - Review will stay up for posterity. Enjoy!
Last week, when we visited Melbourne Public, I had promised the guys that they had great looking oysters on the menu (I had come across some photos in my pre-review research), but their hopes were dashed when we arrived, realising that the good looking oysters were only served at Melbourne Public on Friday nights.
In an effort to make it up to those I had promised seafood, I picked Squid Inc. as the location of this weeks attempt. Quite the anomaly, its a seafood restaurant that I had heard on the parma-vine also served up a decent bird. I live just off Keilor Rd, a literal 60 second drive from Squid Inc. yet I had never paid them a visit. So we loaded up the Parma Bus and headed down the street to Squid Inc. (Great name by the way, gotta love a pun-based business name! I giggled for a while when the sign first went up)
It was a lovely evening in the Keilor Road cafe district, so we opted to sit outside. Great atmosphere out here, quite relaxing to kick back with a beer and watch the world go by.
Picked up the menu and spied our target and placed the order.
I'm not a seafood guy. If I do have flake from a fish & chip shop I cover it in tomato sauce and you would have to pay me to eat octopus. But when the pregame of oysters kilpatrick hit the table I've got to say I was tempted to have one...
Look at all that bacon! By far the most bacon-loaded kilpatrick I have ever seen, and (although I didn't have any) reports came back positively.
There was a bit of a wait for our mains, about 40 minutes, but considering we had entree's and a seafood restaurant probably doesn't often get a bulk order of seven parmas simultaneously I'm willing to cut them some slack there.
Just as my hunger reached its peak our meals arrived...
First impressions were good! Lovely presentation, the dusting of freshly grated parmesan over the entire dish was a presentation technique we had never seen on a parma before. I quickly rescued the chips from under the parma and tucked in.
First up is the schnitzel quality, this was the biggest (and probably only) complaint about the dish. The schnitzel itself, while being real, unprocessed chicken, was a bit thin. It fluctuated throughout, but fluctuations between "medium thickness" and "pretty thin" are nothing to write home about.
Okay. Bad bit out of the way, everything else was pretty damn good! The napoli was definitely the star of the dish. It was clearly home made, carried a fantastic flavour, was perfectly spiced, fresh and chunky! It reminded me a lot of the napoli from the parma at The Plough, which I still consider one of the better napoli's we have had.
The mix of mozzarella and parmesan cheese was also great, normally lost in a cheese mix, the flavour of the parmesan really shone through with each bite.
In last week's review of Melbourne Public I said that we don't deduct points due to lack of ham if the taste of the parma stands up on its own without it. The parma at Squid Inc. is a perfect example of a parma that didn't have ham, but more importantly didn't need ham. Between the flavourful napoli and tasty cheese mix it stood up perfectly on its own.
The chips were solid. Underneath the parma was a big serve of well cooked pub chips. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Nothing spectacular to report but they served their purpose just as a good chip should
The greek salad was surprisingly tasty! They didn't skimp on the expensive ingredients (the feta and the olives), it was nice to see a salad that wasn't just a boring garden salad for once. It complimented the rest of the dish very well.
For $20.90 I'm pretty happy with this parma, yes the chicken could have been thicker but overall I walked away satisfied. If you were in Keilor Road and had a hankering for a good parma I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you're a non seafoodie like myself and are looking for a good option while you're friends are tucking into their oysters, squid and other ickies.
The Squid Inc. parma has all the elements of a great bird, but they're let down in one key area - the thickness of the schnitzel itself. A little bit plumper and this would have blown me away. That being said it was still an extremely tasty dish. We've had quite a few parmas on Keilor Rd over the years (here, here, here, here, here, here and here ... phew) and Squid Inc.'s is the best we have found so far. Worth checking out if you're in the area.
- Great napoli & cheese mix
- Greek salad didn't skimp on the feta & olives
- Thin schnitzel