Where? - 430 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Price? - Between $10 and $15 on Thursday nights, $21 regular menu
Website? - http://www.dukeofedinburghhotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Cale, Carly, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, [/info]
I said a couple of weeks ago that I hate reviewing parma nights, Its too hard to get an accurate judge on what the parmas are like on the regular menu when you're getting a discounted (and probably different) version.
But guess what! Last night we visited The Duke of Edinburgh, which has a (surprise, surprise) Thursday parma night. But what the hell. Variety is the spice of life, lets do this.
Those who live in the Brunswick area would probably know the Duke of Edinburgh as "Zagame's", the pokies/TAB venue it was a few months ago. Well it has recently changed hands and looks to be attempting to get back to its classic pub roots. I can't quite attest as to what the pub will look like in a few months, as there was massive renovation work underway when we arrived - however the pokies and sports bar area is currently untouched.
We pulled up a chair in the (currently mid-construction) dining area and found the menu - now on Thursday nights The Duke runs a parma night offering a variety of novelty topping options...
Not a bad selection, and at rock bottom prices it'd be hard to go wrong. Among the group we all picked a different parma, with a couple of us (including myself) went with the original as a baseline.
After a 30 minute wait (and a damn fine garlic pizza for entree) the parmas arrived - I tried to grab a pic of them all, some are better quality than others, but this is a run down of what we received ...
The Aussie -
The Hawaiian -
The Original -
The Mushroom (with added pineapple, on request) -
The Mexican -
The moment the parmas hit the table I was hit with immediate food envy. The novelties looked quite good, but the original just looked plain. I picked up the cutlery and tucked in.
It was ... Okay. The schnitzel had a decent thickness in parts but was fairly processed, but for a processed bird it was pretty decent quality (EDIT: Since posting this review staff of the Duke have contacted me and assured that the chicken breasts are not processed - you can check out the comment at the bottom of this review), there wasn't an overdose of crumbs and carried plenty of moisture.
The toppings on the original were a bit 'meh' No ham, very little napoli, but the cheese was fine. I'm not gonna lie - The original was boring as hell. For the price (ten bucks) its hard to complain, even though the last cheap parma we had was $9.90 and much better than this one. It wasn't bad, it just didn't do anything special. It was adequate - not exceptional.
But then a weird thing happened - all the novelty getters around the table were giving positive feedback. They really seemed to enjoy it, and, as I said earlier, they looked damn good. Especially the Aussie and the Mexican, I was very tempted to get another one just to check it out, but was feeling quite full at this point.
The chips were surprisingly good. Beer battered, well seasoned and just the right amount of crunch. My only complaint is that I wish there were more of them! not many on the plate at all, a shame as they were probably the part of the dish I enjoyed the most.
The salad was bad. No bones about it, a complete afterthought. The salad on my plate consisted of a pile of undressed lettuce leaves and a single tomato wedge - I heard reports of cucumber on some of the other plates, but without visual proof I put that down to myth, like bigfoot or the chupacabras.
For $10 its hard to complain, but I'm still gonna. A parma shouldn't rely on novelty toppings to be good - this is the major reason I really don't like novelty parmas. Restaurants use them as a crutch to prop up a poor bird. But when all is said and done it only cost me ten bucks and I walked away with a full stomach. If I were in the area on a Thursday ... actually no, I wouldn't go back. There are so many better options on Sydney Road I'd probably check one of those out. I'll rephrase. If I was forced to go back to The Duke on a Thursday I wouldn't mind terribly shelling out $12 to give one of the novelty parmas a go. I can't vouch for what the parma is like on a regular night, but if I was served what I got last night for $21 I would not be a happy camper.
All up the Duke's parma is one that really needs the extra toppings. If you are a fan of novelty parmas this is definitely one to check out (and the price isn't offensive) Thats the best recommendation I can give it. Avoid the Original, but stick to the Novelties - The Aussie in particular looked damn good.
- Quality chips
- Cheap on Thursday
- Good selection of Novelty parmas
- Original is bland
- Awful salad
- Uses novelty toppings to cover up sub-par bird