Website? - http://www.theclydehotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Bearder, Fridge, Grace, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, Tony [/info]
The Clyde is another one of those pubs I've been past a hundred times, but never happened to go inside - Nestled between Lygon St and Melbourne Uni it definitely attracts the university crowd - And with a wide array of both food and drink specials its hard to blame them!
I liked the Clyde as soon as I walked in the door - It's got the "cosy local" vibe down pat, yet at the same time remaining surprisingly spacious. The welcoming front bar weaves around the corner to the immense lounge/dining area as well as (if it weren't one of the most horrible nights of 2014's winter so far) quite a pleasing beer garden. I grabbed a pint of Brunswick Bitter ($8 on Thursdays, can't complain about that) and took a seat while waiting for the rest of the review team to arrive - it was only 6:30 and the place was already bustling with uni students taking advantage of Thursday's $2 Taco night.
The team arrived and we moved around to the lounge and took a seat, we grabbed our menu's and spied the target -
There were novelties, but they kept them simple. Basically an extra dollar buys you pineapple or jalapenos. Almost everyone went with the standard parma, a couple strayed and got the Mexigiana (Fridge and Stefo) and I think only Reviewer Shanan opted for the Hawaiian.
It was a bit of a wait for the parmas, but nothing criminal as they were clearly very busy churning out tacos (which a couple of reviewers partook in, they looked pretty good. A little oily, but for $2 nobody is complaining). The parmas arrived...
The schnitzel was bad, there's no way of sugar coating it, it was just horrible. The worst kind of processed. Crumbs thicker than the chicken for the most part and had no grip on the "meat" itself, just flaking away whenever it was pierced with a fork. I lost count of how many times I cut a slice only to realise there was nothing but crumbs on my fork. The chicken inside the shell of crumbs was just as bad. Dry, bland and tasteless.
The toppings weren't much better - The napoli tasted like SPC spaghetti sauce from a can, the ham was completely undetectable (I had to check multiple times if there actually was any on my fork) and the cheese... The cheese actually had a little bit of flavour, despite its neon-yellow colour, it was a heavy tasty-cheese mix, and I always enjoy the sharpness that tasty cheese brings to a parma.
I immediately envied those on the table who got the novelty toppings. This parma needed all the help it could get - Luckily there were bottles of tobasco sauce floating around (presumably for the tacos). A heaping of that over the top made this parma bearable ... but it was by no means an enjoyable experience.
Hiding underneath the parma were the standard pub chips, there was a decent serving, but overcooked and criminally oily. I could feel the oil coating the inside of my mouth with each bite. They weren't as bad as the parma and were salvageable with a bit of gool ol' tomato sauce, but not great by any stretch.
Continuing in the "needlessly oily" tradition of this review was the salad. I had hope for the salad as it looked decent on the plate (although not everyone at the table got any tomato, I was one of the lucky ones), but the dressing they used tasted like pure oil. The quickest way to kill a salad in my book is to soak it in oil, It completely killed the flavour, I took a few bites and couldn't finish it.
$17.95 is one of the cheaper parmas we've had lately (its a sad state of affairs when I now consider anything under $20 "cheap"), but I wouldn't be happy paying that for this parma again. There's a $12 parma night on Tuesdays but to be honest I'd give that one a miss as well, there were just no redeeming qualities about this bird.
The pub, however, I loved. Cosy, welcoming, great range of beers and a quality atmosphere I'd be happy to visit the Clyde again (if I'm welcome back after this review, that is). I'd definitely pop in again on $2 taco night as they looked great for the price, along with cheap Brunswick Bitter meaning I can get a taco and a pint for $10? That's just a lovely evening right there. Just give the parma a wide berth .
- $8 pints of Brunswick Bitter
- Horrible parma
- Chips were far too oily
- As was the salad