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Reviewers – Cale, Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, Tony Q [/info]
I stumbled upon La Four Seasons a few weeks ago, while switching trams on the way to our parma at The Waterloo Cup Hotel. Not even being aware of its existence, the words "Schnitzel Haus" emblazoned in gold on the window caught my eye and I investigated further - What I found was an extensive novelty parma menu, probably the biggest we've seen this side of town. I did a little research and discovered that what used to be "La Four Seasons Pizza & Pasta" had recently undergone a management change, complete redo, and come out the other side as a "Schnitzel Haus". My curiosity was piqued, so last night we loaded up the parma bus and went to check it out.
The interior of the cosy little restaurant is decked out quite nicely, nothing amazing but definitely nothing offensive - They even went to the trouble of putting up a TV in the corner and what appeared to be a large projector screen on the other side of the room - not sure what that is used for as it was inactive at the time, functions perhaps?
Beer list was pretty standard for a restaurant - mostly bottled, but with the surprise option of Asahii on tap, which went down quite nicely.
We opened our menus and looked at the mammoth selection before us -
It was nice to see that La Four Seasons didn't just conform to the standard "Novelty" parmas you seem to see quite often these days and seem to have put some actual thought into coming up with something original. BBQ Sause, bacon and blue cheese? Never seen that before! Marinated steak fillet, onions and mushrooms? Thats a new one as well!
Although heavily tempted to go for a novelty, I channeled my inner parma purist and went with the original. The other 6 at the table sampled from the novelty menu, but we will get to that later.
Before too long (about one of those custom Asahii glasses) our parmas appeared from the kitchen, complete with cute identifying flags... Lets take a look at what we were served -
First up, the standard Parmigiana -
"The Godfather 2" Napoli, bacon, salami, chorizo, roast capsicum, red onions, olives & mozzarella -
"The Oh ha-ha" Chilli con carne, avocado, sour cream, mexican salsa, mozzarella -
"The Licke'n Finger" BBQ Sauce, bacon, blue cheese, fried onions, mozzarella
"The Dusty Bull" Bolognese, bacon, chorizo, mushrooms, mozarella -
Comparing my standard parma to everyone's fancy creation left me a little deflated, mine looked boring in comparison - yet I picked up my cutlery and tucked in.
The schnitzel was decent quality - big enough with relatively good thickness with a non-offensive level of crumbing. Pure chicken breast from what I could tell and it carried quite a lot of flavour - my spirits were actually lifted upon my first bite, as what I thought was going to be a boring bird actually handled itself quite well.
Toppings were where this parma shone. The ham and cheese both had a fantastic flavour to them that permeated the entire dish. I will say it was a little light on the napoli but that is a forgivable sin. Perhaps it is because my expectations were low, but I was plesantly surprised with this parma, and word from around the table seemed to agree with me.
I did the obligatory taste-test of a couple of other parmas around the table and ... damn. I thought mine was flavourful - the novelties tasted like someone smacked me in the face with a sack filled with flavour - A lot going on with those ones! (in a good way)
Now the one prickly bit with this parma were the sides. Rather than going for a straight up "chips and salad", as a normal pub would do, Four Seasons gives you the option on ordering of choosing between chips, salad veggies. I hate choices like this. Naturally most of our group went for the chips, but luckily the health conscious among us opted for the salad, so we were able to score both.
One benefit of not getting salad is there is more room on the plate for chips - There were more than enough and well seasoned with a dusting of herbs. Slightly undercooked, but not noticeably so in taste, plus the addition of a pot of (extremely strong, I still stink) garlic aioli is always appreciated.
I didn't try the salad personally, but it also looked pretty good. plenty of ingredients, crisp, fresh and not tight on the creamy dressing (probably negating any health benefit one would normally gain from opting for the salad, but what are you gonna do?)
The standard parma ran at $21, which is okay (although for $21 I kind've want both chips and salad), From there though, the cost of the novelties takes a sharp upturn, with the most expensive topping out at $25.90 (The cow boy, topped with marinated steak fillet). Those who had the novelties around the table seemed happy to pay what they did, so I can't judge on that, I just know that my wallet would sting slightly shelling out $25 for a novelty parma and still having to chose between chips and salad. Although saying that, I did not walk away hungry, it was a very filling meal.
I saw a takeaway menu sitting on the counter when we were settling the bill, I didn't look inside but if the parma menu is also available for take away I would keep this place in mind! My low expectations were absolutely smashed and we were served up a parma that was quite enjoyable. Although I'm a parma purist, and the standard parma does hold its own I would recommend going for one of the novelties - from what I tasted ... Wow, to steal Arnott's Pizza Shapes latest slogan, its in-your-face flavour.
- Original range of novelty parmas
- Garlic aioli supplied with chips
- Have to choose between chips and salad