Where? The Taylors Lakes Hotel, 7 Melton Highway Taylors Lakes
Price? - All over the shop depending where you sit, we went the $16 parma n pot in the Sports Bar
Website? - http://www.taylorslakeshotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki [/info]
Back when I had just turned 18 The Taylors Lakes Hotel became our go-to for grand final day. I'm not sure why, as it was kind've out of the way, but one year we watched the game there and it kind've became a tradition. For the next 4 years at least it wasn't even discussed where we should go, it was just always assumed we were going to the Taylors, and it was always a fantastic day.
Then something happened and we kind've just stopped. Not sure why, but for some reason or another Grand Final Day at the Taylors just stopped being a thing, and I kind've forgot about it until recently, when I started hearing whispers that they were doing some decent parma deals. Nostalgia kicked in, I thought about all the great times we had at that pub and said "what the hell", lets see what the old girl has got to offer.
Now the Taylors Lakes Hotel is a big complex. With a bistro, cafe, pokies bar, drive through bottle shop, hotel, sports bar and TAB it can be a little confusing. There is a parma available in the bistro - but for this review we stayed exclusively in the sports bar, and although they may be similar this review won't reflect whats available in the bistro.
Walking into the sports bar was like hopping into a time machine. It had been a good eight years since I had set foot into the sports bar at the Taylors, but it was as if nothing had changed. Pool tables to the right along with totally rigged claw machine, TAB to the left and bar straight ahead - The big screen TV that had seemed so massive all those years ago seems a little smaller in comparison with modern technology, but its still a great spot. We grabbed a table and settled in, feeling like I was home again.
Now I mentioned the different parma in the Bistro, but there's also an option in the menu - When I ordered my parma I was asked if I wanted the "Parma and pot deal" or not, I double checked the menu and aside from the $18.50 parma on the menu they have this deal running all the time -
Sounded good to me, so we placed our orders, picked up our free pots and boomerang (that thing that buzzes and beeps when your food is ready to be picked up) and waited for our dinner to be ready
For those that are into their racing legendary race caller Ted Ryan was in house at the Taylors the night we were there, raffling off free beers and giving tips for Melbourne Cup next week. Very entertaining, and created a great, fun atmosphere in the bar.
Before our parmas arrived we started off the night with a pregame of bruschetta pizza ($7.50)
It was quite tasty, I'm not normally big on bruschetta (raw tomato doesn't really do it for me) but I must say this was quite good. An enjoyable way to start off the meal.
Just as we polished off the pizzas our boomerang buzzed a second time - The parmas were ready...
Going into this meal I had pretty low expectations. For $16 with a pot I was expecting a processed, heart shaped piece of cardboard that was more crumbs than fake chicken.
Imagine my surprise when I cut the schnitz to reveal real chicken! not overcrumbed at all, thick and actually quite juicy. It wasn't the best quality chicken but for the price I wasn't complaining, and I was just happy to have real chicken and not an oversized mcnugget.
The toppings weren't great, but not terrible either. The mozzarella cheese was a bit rubbery and the ham didn't carry a lot of flavour (although it was a massive slice, doubled over on the chicken) The napoli was where it kind've fell over though - As I'm pretty sure they just spooned straight tomato paste onto this parma. It was so thick and heavy that it just overpowered the whole dish.
The chips were fantastic. Beer battered and well cooked, with quite a sizeable serving. They weren't seasoned off the bat, but there was a sauce/condiment bar right beside where I picked up the food with every sauce you could imagine along with salt & pepper shakers. A damn enjoyable side that complimented the parma quite well.
When I ordered the parmas I was asked if I wanted it with chips & veggies or chips and mash... I inquired "what about a salad?" at which point I was directed at a salad bar across the room. I put the order through with chips and veggies, not something we often get.
The veggies were okay, A little over-steamed and everything tasted as if it had been boiled in butter - but butter is delicious, and if you aren't worried about heart failure they were actually quite tasty.
The salad bar was pretty simple - a big pot of garden salad that was replenished a few times while we were sitting. Everything was fresh, I didn't see any salad dressing in the sauce bar though (although I may have missed it) so it was a little dry. The star of the night, though, was next to the salad pot - a big warming basket of bake at home rolls. I'm a sucker for a bake at home roll, so a bottomless basket of them? Winning.
Now I'm sure the Taylors Lakes Hotel doesn't want you abusing their kindness and stacking your plate with bake at home rolls, but its nice to know the option is available - and the bloke who hit the salad bar before me stacked his plate up with at least nine of the things.
For $16 with a pot, salad bar and bottomless bake at home rolls? Thats a pretty good deal. Its not a top-of-the-line parma but if you aren't expecting perfection this is a damn good feed at a reasonable price.
I had a great time at the Taylors Lakes Hotel last night. I went in with low expectations and they were more than surpassed. The pub has a fun vibe, the entree was solid and for the price I'm not complaining too much about the parma - Sure it wasn't perfect, the weakest part of the dish probably was the parma itself - but the supporting cast rallied and made this one to check out. I wouldn't go out of my way to try it, but if you find yourself in the area and feel like a cheap feed and a couple of pints its worth checking out.
I might even be back next grand final day.
- Salad bar with bake at home rolls
- Only $16 with a pot
- Real chicken for a value parma
- Tomato paste does not equal napoli
- flavourless/packaged toppings.