Where? - 4/1142 Mount Alexander rd, Essendon North
Website? - http://www.demazzi.com.au/
Lets cut right to it - Demazzi's would have to be one of my favourite spots in the Essendon area. We've done a review of the parma in the past - but last night the glorious weather inspired Reviewer Nikki (my partner in crime) and myself to stop in for a quick dinner in the sun.
I mentioned it briefly in the parma review, but Demazzi's signature "thing" is stonegrill, wherein your steak is delivered to your table raw, sitting atop a slab volcanic stone heated to 550 degrees, which you proceed to cook yourself while sitting at the table. It's kind've a novelty, a bit of fun, but there's something fantastic about every mouthful of a steak remaining piping hot from start to finish as if you're eating it directly off the barbecue (which you essentially are).
My one issue with stonegrill is that its work at a time you want to be relaxed. Kind've like the difference between driving yourself or calling an Uber - sure driving can be fun, but sometimes you just want to kick back, enjoy the ride and have all the work done for you. I was in one of these moods last night, so when we arrived at Demazzi's last night I decided to explore some of the other non-stonegrill menu options.
After a recent management change the once bloated multi-page menu has been slimmed down to a two-sided single page - They've trimmed the fat and left a lean, easy to digest selection, First up is the non-stonegrill stuff -
Followed by the stonegrill selections -
Reviewer Nikki went stonegrill and decided on the aged eye fillet, while I landed on the Philly cheese steak burger. The Louisiana spiced crispy chicken burger sounded damn tempting, but I just cannot stomach chicken thigh meat so decided to stick to the safer option (and lets face it, meat coated with cheese is kind've my thing).
The beer list isn't too adventurous. All bottled, but enough to satisfy most palates -
I decided on a Little Creatures. We ordered our meals, kicked back in the sun and took in the scenery of all the almost car accidents at the Mount rd/Keilor rd roundabout. Seeing as the restaurant was relatively quiet (we were there at 5:30) and they don't actually need to cook the steaks, our food was out insanely quickly...
First up, Nikki's stonegrill looked on point -
When the waitress tells you the plate is hot ... she really means it.
The trick with stonegrill is you need to get a bit of a construction line going - Cut off a few slices and let them sizzle away on the plate for a minute, when the one you put on the grill first is ready to go, thats when you cut the new piece off the slab and get that going.
I stole a couple of dips of the mushroom sauce with my chips and it was also damn tasty - rich, creamy and not tight on the pieces of freshly sliced mushroom throughout.
But enough about food that I didn't eat ... on to the cheese steak!
I really enjoyed this dish. The steak was plentiful and oh-so-tender. The cheese was gooey, flavourful and everywhere. It was topped with a creamy mayonnaise that was pretty much a house-made replica of Big Mac sauce and again, worked well with the rest of the elements.
The coleslaw was crisp and fresh and complimented the dish also. I'm normally not a huge fan of brioche - I could take it or leave it over a normal burger bun, but in this case the sweetness wasn't overpowering at all. It was very lightly toasted with just the right amount of crunch - It all just worked.
Oh and I didn't mention the pickles as I'm not really a pickle-fan, they were promptly picked off and handed over to the wife.
The chips were fantastic. Well cooked, served in a separate fryer basket and dusted liberally with chicken salt and herbs. A great accompaniment for a great meal.
When I went off-stonegrill for my menu selection last night I was a little worried, especially when the eye fillet hit the table I definitely felt a twang of food envy - but all my fears were allayed when I bit into the cheese steak, and I definitely feel that $19.90 is a reasonable price for what I got (deliciousness for under twenty bucks? No problems there) It was a fantastic dinner that I'd definitely get again ... If I have the will to resist the stonegrill a second time.
And now for a smidge of non-review stuff...
Thanks for reading to the end of a review! You, my friend, are made of awesome.
If you're not doing anything tomorrow for lunch or dinner (Thursday April 2nd) then consider getting down to either The Racecourse Hotel or The Rosstown Hotel. Both pubs are hosting a charity event from 12 noon till 9pm on Thursday wherein 100% of the profits from every $25 'parma n pot' deal sold is going straight to the Good Friday Appeal... This isn't a small donation per parma sold, this is all $25 for every parma n pot sold straight to help kids in need.
I had no hand in organising this event, but I wouldn't be here without the Royal Children's, so I'm doing my darndest to get the word out. We will be at The Racecourse enjoying a parma on Thursday night ... hope to see you there!