Where? - Highpoint Shopping Centre, Rosamond Rd. Maribyrnong
Price? - $22.90
Website? - http://www.rozzis.com.au/
Reviewers – Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Stefo, Tony [/info]
A cafe at a shopping centre?
Normally I wouldn't look at a place like Rozzi's twice. It feels more like a spot you would stop at to grab a coffee and maybe a chocolate chip muffin for your walk between Kookai and Forever New (for this hypothetical I'm assuming you're a 2o year old girl). It just doesn't feel like a place where you'd stop for a parma and a few beers.
But then, as of a couple of weeks ago, I started seeing some very interesting pictures popping up on the various social media sites. Pictures of a damn tasty looking, topping laden parma with chunky, delicious looking chips and a tantalising greek salad. On at least four occasions over the past fortnight different pictures of the same parma kept crossing my path, and every time the same name was attached - Rozzi's at Highpoint.
Now there are other Rozzi's locations around Melbourne, according to their website they have spots at Chadstone, Epping Plaza, Greensborough Plaza, Fountain Gate and Craigieburn. Basically they've got the shopping centres covered. Now this review is for the Highpoint location so I can't officially speak to the quality of the others ... but you'd think they'd be pretty similar. A quarter pounder tastes the same at every McDonalds.
The Rozzi's at Highpoint is relatively new. Part of the latest renovations it's, if you know Highpoint, between the new supermarket and that dumpling place thats always ridiculously busy (seriously, if you're in a queue 30 people deep for dumplings you may have to re-assess your life choices). Half of the tables are inside the store, half are out in the general walkway and there is an outdoor eating area just on the other side - It was a lovely night so we pulled up a chair at the outside area.
We grabbed a menu, spied our target for the evening...
... And placed our order at the bar.
The beer selection advertised on Rozzi's website is pretty impressive for a cafe, however in reality the selection was limited to bottles of Asahii, Peroni and one or two less notable choices. Looks like Asahii was the drink of choice for the evening.
After about half an hour of waiting our parmigianas started filing out of the kitchen...
The schnitzel was both great and its biggest failing. Rozzi's parma uses real, unprocessed, pure white, thick chicken breast. It was juicy, tasty and big enough that you won't be walking away hungry. However (and this is the whole dishes biggest failing) the crumbs were burnt. Not just a little crispy, burnt burnt, and all five parmas that we received were the same ... and come to think of it the photos I saw leading up to the meal also showed signs of char.
Amazingly though, it didn't kill the dish. Yes there was a slight ash-y taste occasionally, but the meal was so smothered in amazing toppings it wasn't as big of a deal as you would expect.
First up, the napoli was fresh, chunky, applied liberally and carried a fantastic, rich flavour. They weren't tight with the ham in the slightest - lashings of flavoursome shaved ham coated this parma from side to side, all held together with a hearty layer of grilled-to-perfection cheese.
Flavour-wise this parma reminded me a lot of our first trip to the Portland Hotel, even down to the wooden board for presentation - I would not be surprised at all if I heard that Rozzi's got their inspiration for this parma from the Portland.
The chips were phenomenal. If I didn't know any better I'd say these were Bad Boy Chips, actually, looking at them again now I'd say there is a very high possibility that these are bad boys. As the parmas were dropped off the waiter asked if we would like any tomato sauce or aioli, we obliged and were presented with four pots of dipping sauce (two tomato, two aioli) which brought these bad boys to life. My only (extremely minor) criticism would be that they lacked a bit of salt, and I could not see any salt shakers on our or any of the nearby tables.
Kicking goals again, the Rozzi's parma was accompanied by a chock-full greek salad. We had lettuce, we had olives, we had capsicum, tomato, cucumber, onion AND we had feta cheese. They say the way to a man's heart is through is stomach - well the way to my heart is to put cheese in my salad. A fitting accompaniment to a damn good meal.
For $22.90 I was pretty happy with the parma that we received, especially considering the location (with big meals at a cafe usually being much pricier than the same deal at a pub). The option of a tap beer rather than a pricey stubby would have been appreciated, but again, considering where they are, thats a pretty big ask. I was more than happy to pay the price for this parma and I would have no qualms checking it out again the next time I'm dress shopping with the wife.
The Rozzi's parma had one failing - It was burnt. Despite still being a great meal I can't help but feel that if it wasn't burnt we'd be looking at a new entry in the top ten. Maybe we got a bad batch and you'll get a non-burnt, amazing parma when you try it - or maybe you'll get one equally as charred. Either way it's worth a crack, Definitely the best you'll get at Highpoint anyway.
- Plentiful, flavoursome toppings
- Amazing chips
- Quality salad
- Burnt schnitzel