[info]When? - 22nd of January, 2015
Where? 98 - 100 Lygon St, Brunswick
Price? - $19
Website? - http://www.thealehouseproject.com.au/
Reviewers – Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, Tony[/info]
Let me start out this review by saying that I love the Alehouse Project. When it comes to craft beer in Melbourne I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who does it better. Which is why, when I saw this post on Instagram last week -
I jumped on the chance to check it out, seemed like a perfectly fitting parma to kick off 2015.
If you're a fan of beer then you've no doubt already heard about the Alehouse Project, but in case you've been living under a rock, this is a pub with twelve taps of continuously rotating microbrewery beers. Every time you visit there's something new to try and I've yet to sample a beer I didn't like.
This week in particular the Young Henry "Stupid Sexy Flanders" cherry flanders ale was absolutely fantastic - couldn't recommend it more highly, absolutely delicious beer (and probably the best name for a beer I've ever heard).
Feels like I'm wearing nothin' at all... nothin' at all... nothin' at all!
A new discovery last night was the beer garden, way down the back, past the couches and tabletop arcade table, take a right and there is a quaint little spot in the sun, its cosy but comfy, perfect for a summer weekend arvo sesh.
Anyway - I digress. On to the parma.
We arrived, spied the menu...
and placed our orders. It was relatively early on a Thursday evening so the pub was pretty quiet, didn't take long at all for the food to arrive.
Then it did.
The schnitzel wasn't hard to see, thats for sure (more on that later). When it first fell to the table I thought "Uh oh, this is processed shit" But I was surprised to find real chicken under the relatively thin crumbs.
Unfortunately thats about everything positive I've got to say about this parma, and you don't know how much it pains me to write this review as I really like this pub - but it just wasn't good.
The chicken was dry, and there was a pretty noticeable black border around one side of my schnitz. Chicken size was inconsistent around the table, with the one pictured being one of the bigger ones.
There was so much nudity on display here I thought we had accidentally wandered into Schnitz n' Tits. Only 3 quarters of the chicken had toppings on it (thats being generous), and the toppings themselves just weren't good. The napoli was straight from a can, the cheese was like rubber and the ham ... actually the ham was okay, carried a decent flavour.
While it was real chicken underneath the toppings every element of the dish was completely tasteless. We took to loading it up with salt, pepper and tomato sauce in an attempt to bring it back to life, which helped a little, but shouldn't be necessary.
When the menu said "fries" I was expecting shoestring fries (aka. Maccas chips), So I was pleasantly surprised when a side of proper, thick cut chips accompanied my chicken. It was a relatively small serving and they were in desperate need of some salt, but they were decent. Maybe a little undercooked but not criminally so.
The "salad" was just some lettuce leaves tossed in oil, nothing to write home about but it was relatively enjoyable. Since our visit to The Wolf & I my eyes have been opened to the possibility of a good simple salad. Now the Alehouse was nowhere near the Wolf's standard, but I didn't dismiss it as quickly as I once would've.
In this day & age I class anything under $20 as pretty reasonably priced, this one came in at $19, which isn't bad, but when compared to what we actually received it is a bit steep. If this parma was $10 - $15 with a pot of craft beer thrown in I'd be more forgiving, but full price with no freebies for that? Not great.
I really did not enjoy writing the review this week. I love the Alehouse Project and urge you to check it out if you haven't yet.
At the time of writing this the parma has been on the menu for 9 days. It's still a baby, plenty of time for retooling.
If anyone from The Alehouse is reading this, first of all, I'm sorry. Secondly, you've got a good foundation with the chicken you're using. if you upgrade your napoli to something a little less tomato-pastey, make sure you cover the schnitzel in all of the toppings (cheese to the edge!) and season your chips before putting them on the plate then you're on the way to having something decent.
I'm more than happy to come back for a re-review if things improve. Until then, I'll just stick to the beers.
- Amazing craft beer pub - possibly Melbourne's best.
- Tomato paste napoli
- Gratuitous schnitzel nudity
- Burnt schnitzel
- Unseasoned chips