Where? The Wolf & I, 152 Chapel St. Windsor
Price? - Menu price $24, but there are a lot of specials
Reviewers – Lee, Nikki, Stefo, Tony [/info]
Coming out of the post parma #200 stupor, I was keen to back the weekend up with something of quality - it'd be a shame to back up such an epic weekend with a disappointing, processed, turd of a parma - So this week I did some research! Asked the interwebs for suggestions, delved into my archives of emails and one name continued to pop up - The Wolf & I in Windsor, For a pub that has only been open for just on 2 years (a baby in Melbourne pub standards) word seemed to have spread like wildfire.
Some pictures online looked pretty good, although they can be misleading, so I set the date and last night we headed down to check it out.
Just a warning - as we discovered last night, trying to get a carpark on Chapel Street at 7pm on a Thursday seems to require some sort of divine intervention, as we had to park miles away, but the atmosphere on Chapel is always entertaining - so the walk was a breeze.
We arrived at the Wolf & I to find (not unexpectedly) a very busy front bar. We rushed through to the bistro at the back rather quickly so I didn't get to really soak up the atmosphere of the front area - but from a cursory glance it looked pretty good. Absolutely loved the tables printed with aerial photos of Melbourne like a real-world Google Maps. Definitely worth a good 10 minutes of distraction - You've gotta love an entertaining table.
We took our seats in the bistro out the back, checked the menu and spied our target...
We were set - but as an unexpected bonus the very helpful waitress made us aware of the night's special -
Lock. it. in. Eddie.
It's also worth noting that The Wolf & I also offers $15 burgers and parmas from 12 - 3 Monday to Friday ... You'd almost have to go out of your way to pay full price for this bird.
We ordered, discussed the news of the day, and about 10 - 15 minutes later our parmas arrived from the kitchen.
First up I apologise for the sub-par photos this week, they do not do this parma justice at all and I will endeavour to get back to the Wolf & I soon and take some better photos. Watch this space.
The schnitzel was outstanding - I thought it looked a little small when it first hit the table but I didn't realise that the full chicken breast it was crafted from had barely been hammered before crumbing - if at all, leaving an enormous, kiev-thickness parma in front of me (seriously, check out the cross section below, it was at least an inch thick for the majority). The thickness resulted in a juicy, pure white chicken breast that retained its heat for the entire time I was eating it. Crumbing was minimal and crunchy, all in all an outstanding foundation to the dish.
The toppings were superb, and I'm going to jump straight to the absolute superstar - The ham.
I could smell it as soon as the plate hit the table, the minute that smokey aroma hit my nostrils I knew it was going to be a good parma. The ham was freshly shaved off the bone, just like christmas dinner, was liberally applied (they weren't tight with it at all) and absolutely delicious.
The napoli and cheese, while perfectly fine in their own right, took a back seat with the toppings as the ham took center stage. On the subject of the other toppings, the cheese was perfectly cooked, I believe it was straight mozzarella, but it could have been a blend, and the napoli served its purpose well - although if I had to criticise I'd say I would have liked a tiny bit more of the red stuff.
I'm gonna say this up front, and if you read this website often you probably already know, but I'm not a fan of shoestring fries with a parma. Or in general. They go cold far too quickly and are a pain in the ass to eat in general - No matter if you put them in a mini fry basket or separate bowl (as the Wolf & I did) they'll always be maccas chips in my eyes.
That being said, The Wolf & I did maccas chips well - Big serving, in aforementioned separate bowl, they could have been seasoned a bit more, but there was salt & pepper on the table that made short work of that - We asked the waitress for some tomato sauce and she came back with both sauce and garlic aioli - massive bonus there!
Leafy green garden salad on the side kept it simple but proved a lovely accompaniment to the dish. Separate bowl kept everything crisp and fresh, the cucumber carried a crunch and it was liberally coated with a delicious balsamic dressing - proof that you don't have to do a lot with a salad for it to be enjoyable.
As I said we picked up this parma on their Thursday night special for $20 flat with a free pint of Boags or glass of wine, Outstanding value there if you can get it, but to be honest I'd be completely happy paying full price for this parma - you pay for quality and the regular price of $24 is completely reasonable for what you get, visiting on either a Thursday night or Lunch Monday to Friday (15 bucks, no pint though) only sweetens the deal.
I had suspicions that The Wolf & I would be good, but I never expected it to be this good. If the sides had've been only slightly better they'd be in contention for top spot. Absolutely outstanding parma and easily the best we have come across this year (so far, at least). So power off your PC, close your laptop, press the little button at the top right of your phone, whatever you have to do to turn off the screen and get your ass to The Wolf & I as soon as possible - You won't regret it.
- Plentiful ham shaved off the bone
- Pure, unbelievably thick chicken breast
- Simple yet effective salad
- Garlic aioli & tomato sauce on request
- Shoestring fries went cold quickly