[info]When? - 11th of June, 2015
Where? - Corner Napier St. and Brewster St. Essendon.
Price? - $21.50
Website? - http://windyhillvenue.com.au/
Reviewers – Adam, Cale, Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Stefo [/info]
You know how all of the Assassin's Creed games start with the line "This work of fiction was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs."? Well I feel like today's review should start with a similar disclaimer - This parma review was conducted by a team of supporters of various Australian Rules Football clubs. We had two Carlton supporters, a North Melbourne supporter, two Bulldogs supporters (myself included ... carn the Doggies!) and a Collingwood supporter. We did have a Bombers supporter lined up as well but he got stuck at work and couldn't make it.
Why Windy Hill? Convenience mostly, most of us live in and around Essendon, and as we hiked over to St. Kilda last week we were in the mood for a bird with minimal travel time. The problem with going local? After five years of reviewing parmas we're kind've running out of ideas, but Windy Hill has always been one that stuck in the back of my mind ... So I figured why not? We loaded up the parma bus and took the very short trip up to Windy Hill.
The website recommends booking so I called on Thursday afternoon and booked a table in the Terrace Bistro - Windy Hill definitely wont be winning any awards for atmosphere, thats for sure, Pokies on the right, TAB and lounge bar on the left (with walls plastered with Bombers paraphernalia, as you would expect) and Bistro out the back.
The bistro has a very "RSL" feel, I would have thought a large window overlooking the football ground would be a no-brainer, but instead we got four small windows with the blinds drawn. Calling to book a table was a good idea as at 7pm the place was already filling up.
I grabbed the menu and flicked through, then I saw a photo and my heart sank...
That's the photo they put in their menu. That has got to be the most un-appetising parma I have seen in my life yet that is the one they choose to advertise the meal? The crumbs are thicker than the chicken! It looks as dry as a dead dingo's donger (to steal a phrase from my dad) ... altho that avocado laden salad does look okay.
After seeing that photo expectations were low, we went to the counter, ordered our meals and grabbed a beer from the bar. Beer selection is bare bones - Carlton, Pure blonde, VB and maybe a Bulmers - Nothing for the craft beer folk but to be honest I wasn't really expecting it - We're at a footy club, not a beer bar.
We quickly downed our free bake at home rolls and about 20 minutes later the main event arrived...
That looks a million times better than the photo! This might not be as bad as we were expecting. The schnitzel was decently sized, pure chicken breast and thick, just how we like it. The crumbs weren't anything special but applied conservatively - my biggest criticism of the schnitz would be that it was a little overcooked and quite dry. Would have loved it had it been slightly juicier - but at least our rock-bottom expectations had been exceeded.
The toppings were a mixed bag - The mozzarella was plentiful and it was well cooked, perfectly gooey and tasted great. The excess napoli definitely helped with the dryness of the chicken, but it was a little bit tomato-pastey for my tastes. One thing the horrible menu photo had over the parma we were served was that it included a slice of ham - I'm normally not too fussed if a parma arrives without ham, but the Windy Hill parma definitely could be improved by a slice or two.
The chips were basic pub chips. Nothing special at all, desperately needed some seasoning - Tomato sauce was supplied on request without any hassle. They weren't bad, but definitely not worth writing home about.
The salad looked impressive, and I'm always a fan of a lot of dressing - but this salad was horribly overdressed. I think they were going for more dressing than actual salad. The lettuce, cucumber and tomato were crisp and fresh, unfortunately they were murdered by a metric tonne of dressing and at least ten thousand mustard seeds (I may be exaggerating there, but not by much). Good foundations that were killed by overzealous dressing.
Another disclaimer - The views or opinions expressed in the below quotes do not represent the opinions of myself or parmadaze.com. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the individual(s)... There... that should cover me in case anybody wants to sue!
$21.50 is a tad rich for what we received. The bread roll was a bonus but for that kind've price I would expect table service as well, not "order food at this counter and drinks at that counter". That being said there are a heap of meal specials available for members and non-members alike -
If you are a member of Windy Hill I would recommend trying this parma out (or even ducking in on one of the non-member days). Full price I'm having trouble giving this one my seal of approval. It's better than I expected and by no means the worst parma we've done by a long stretch, but for an over $20 parma I would expect something better.
If you live within a 1km radius of Windy Hill then its worth paying the $11 yearly membership fee and checking out their parma, if not then you won't be missing much by giving this one a miss. The chicken was quality and the toppings were tasty - just let down a little by some lackluster sides. Bomber's supporters might get a kick out of seeing all the Essendon stuff on the walls, but as I bleed red, white and blue I won't be in a hurry to head back any time soon.
- Thick, unprocessed chicken breast
- Plentiful cheese
- Overcooked and dry
- Really could use some ham
- Overdressed salad
Parma - 6.17
Chips - 4.67
Salad - 4.33
Total - 5.47
The search continues...