[info]When? - 26th of June, 2014
Website? - Facebook Page
Reviewers – Cale, Fridge, Lee, Stefo, Tony Q [/info]
First things first, big apologies that this week's attempt is mere meters from last week's, I normally try and vary things up and never hit the same area twice in consecutive weeks, however some troubles with the parma bus this week limited our possible travel distance. Hopefully its fixed by next week and we can check out some spots on the other side of town!
But until then - Moona Bar.
The words "hidden back-streets bar" is not something you hear often when discussing the Moonee Ponds pub scene, I'm struggling to think of any pub but this one that isn't sitting on Mount Alexander Road, so in that respect Moona is a bit of a first for the area.
Tucked away on Hinkins St. (kind've behind the Sporting Globe, but closer to The Junction) amongst a slew of warehouses sit the very brightly adorned pub. Inside is a very open plan space. Bar up one end, couches and an open fire down the other and some tables in the middle.
We took a seat and checked the menu - Horror. We couldn't see a parma.
Had a slight panic attack, but was informed by the kind waitress that the parma was on the specials board, we looked over and saw it, written in bright neon paint, staring us in the face.
I snapped a photo but it didn't come out too well, But it was $19, and I'll get to the specifics shortly.
We ordered our parmas, had a chat, and about a pot-of-draught later our meals arrived.
The schnitzel was fantastic, no two ways about it. Pure, succulent chicken breast crumbed with a bold mix of dukkah, lemon & thyme, giving this parma an extremely original flavour - it was a ballsy moved but it definitely paid off for them.
I love the spice mix and hope they don't change it - however if I could make one change it would be that they just back it off slightly. It was delicious, but very rich - and by the time we got to the last mouthful it was getting a little overpowering.
The napoli was fresh, chunky and in abundance, just how I like it. Plenty of cheese cooked to a crusty golden brown. There was ham on the dish, but its flavour was a little lost amongst the spices - its inclusion was appreciated none the less.
Chips were pretty standard, but there were more than enough of them and they were cooked to perfection. If I'm nitpicking I would have loved a bit more seasoning on them or even a dipping sauce would have topped off this side perfectly.
The salad was also a bit adventurous. A pretty standard garden salad with carrot, onion, lettuce, tomato & cucumber, but it was topped with a passionfruit dressing that really added a freshness to the dish. Another risk, another pay off.
For $19 I walked away stuffed, and would be more than happy to pay another $19 to have that meal again. There is a Wednesday parma night for $10 that Moona are advertising, but from what I hear it is slightly smaller, and a more 'traditional' option - To be honest I'd rather shell out the extra nine bucks and get the bigger, tastier version - but the option is there if you want it. I'll be back to Moona, The staff were friendly, the vibe at the pub was pleasant and the food was spot on (not to mention the massive projector screen for sports games).
The Moona Bar is original. Both the pub itself and the parma is unlike anything I've experienced before - in a good way. If I were management at Moona I would get the parma off the specials board and on to the menu exactly how it is - That little bit of originality took it to new heights without altering the essence of the dish too much to be considered a "novelty" parma.
If they do decide the mix things up again I will be a little disappointed but I'm confident that I'll enjoy whatever they come up with next, as the expert execution of this parma shows that there is definitely some skill in the kitchen. If you want something a little different in Moonee Ponds I definitely recommend giving it a go.
- Bold, original spices in the crust that I've never come across before
- Tasty, fresh salad
- While delicious, the spice was a little overpowering by the end, could be backed off slightly