Price? - $10.95
Reviewers – Cale, Lee, Stefo, Tony [/info]
I won't lie, We've been on a pretty bad streak lately. The last few weeks have been crap, preceded by crap, preceded by ... pretty good, actually. But three weeks without a decent parma is starting to hurt, So when it came to deciding where to visit for this weeks parma I decided to mix it up a little, perhaps find gold in an unlikely location.
Hooked On is a fairly recent addition to the Keilor Rd menu. Research online tells me they've been open since September, yet my memory tells me they've been open for about 6 months. Either way the place is brand spankin' new. Beautifully fit out, amazingly clean an professional and to be quite honest one of the best looking fish & chip shops I've ever visited. I've visited (for fish, chips and the occasional burger) quite a few times and have never been disappointed with the result.
So a couple of weeks ago when I was wandering home from a morning walk to the supermarket I spotted a sign in the window advertising "$10.95 Chicken Parma with Chips & Salad". Dangerous being so close to where I live, even more dangerous if it was good. I made a mental note to come back some time and check it out.
Now this isn't the first take away parma we've done on Parma Daze, and funnily enough the other one we reviewed (George's Hamburger, Fish & Chips) is in direct competition with hooked on, as only a few hundred meters divide the two, and they're the only two Fish & Chips shops on Keilor rd.
Parma night rolled around, we met at Hooked On, ordered our parmas (with a couple of dim sims on the side, because ... why not? We're at a fish & chip shop and its not something you can normally get as a parma accompaniment!) and waited for them to arrive...
I'm not terribly into seafood, a special flake is about as adventurous as I get, however I've gotta give points to Hooked On for the very pretty display window showing the different cuts of fish they use.
In a flash our parmas were ready to go. There is indoor and outdoor seating available at Hooked On if you want to dine in, however as I live so close we opted to do this weeks review in the comfort of home...
I think Hooked On needs to invest in some bigger containers as every element of the parma was spilling out of its styrofoam area and into the others. I was impressed when I opened the container. I picked up the knife & fork and tucked in. I was expecting horribly processed schnitzel - imagine my surprise when I cut into it to find real chicken!
It was deep fried, which isn't the best way to cook a schnitz, but I wouldn't expect any different from a business whose primary method of cooking is six vats of boiling oil. The deep fried'ness made the crumbs very crunchy, reminiscent of the hard crumbs that form around a chicken kiev. A minor complaint though, as this parma was turning out much better than I was expecting.
The toppings were also quality. Plenty of flavourful ham and well grilled cheese, the flavour of the napoli was a little lost amongst the other elements but it was there, a little more would have been appreciated though.
The chips were a bit of a divisive issue. They were fresh and hot, but unseasoned. You can't really expect more than "fish & chip shop chips" from a fish & chip shop, but far as "fish & chip shop chips" go these were pretty good. A very plentiful serving, more than enough - it just depends on if you like that style of chip with you're parma or not. Its not a pub chip, its not beer battered, but for what it was it was pretty good.
The salad had a lot of potential. I could see what they were trying to do but the end result was a little shaky. The greek salad I was served had a little bit of feta and plenty of olives and tomato, but no onion, Reviewer Tony got all of the feta and a heap of olives, but no onion or tomato and Reviewer Stefo got the short end of the stick, no olives, no feta, but he got onion when none of the rest of us did. So scores varied wildly due to the inconsistencies in the different dishes. The one thing all of us agreed on, however, is that the lettuce could have been a bit fresher - it was quite wilted and limp, as if it had been prepared quite a while in advance.
For $10.95? I'd have this parma again. It's got its faults but those are easily forgettable when you consider that last week's attempt was much worse than this, and more than twice the price, not to mention I got to enjoy it in the comfort of my own home (the beers are much cheaper there).
For a take away fish & chip shop parma Hooked On is right on target. It's cheap, quality, perfect for a quick feed on the go when you can't be bothered going to the pub, not to mention the added bonus of being able to throw in a potato cake or dim sim if you get the urge (although I regretted getting the two dim sims with my parma, as nice as they were, the parma itself was more than enough to feed a hungry man). If you're in the area I'd recommend checking it out, at that price it's hard to go wrong.
- Real chicken
- Generous serving for a tenner
- Deep fried schnitzel/hard crumbs
- Wilted salad