[info]When? - 18th of June, 2015
Where? - 238 Lennox St. Richmond
Price? - $22
Website? - http://thelondon.net.au/
Reviewers – Lee, Nikki, Tony [/info]
When one of the ParmaDaze regulars recently got a new job in Richmond he charged us with a task - Find a good parma close to my work that I can use for after work parmas & drinks.
After a bit of Googling I came across the London Tavern. On paper it has almost everything I like in a pub. Its a quaint, backstreets local, with a quality beer garden, fireplaces when it gets chilly and, most importantly, a parma on the menu. We locked in the venue and last night headed down to The London Tavern to see if they were up to snuff.
A stones throw from the MCG (Just look at the 'G in the background of the above photo - so close!) The London would be a perfect spot for pre/post footy beers, Even if you can't make it to the footy its hard to look in a direction when you're in the London without spotting an impressive TV screen playing the sport.
The London is divided into a few unique areas. First up there's the cosy dining room, complete with roaring fireplace
Beyond that is the jovial front bar (still with plenty of tables in case the dining room is full), a quasi bar/dining area with a second fireplace and, finally, the impressively sized beer garden that is just begging for the sun to peek out from behind the clouds. I joked when we arrived at about 6:30 that the place was quiet - but by the time our parmas hit the table at 7 you'd be struggling to get a seat, as the pub quickly became packed with hungry diners and Thursday night footy fans.
We grabbed a table in the aforementioned quasi bar/dining area and checked the menu -
Easy done. On top of this the London also offers the addition of gravy or aioli as a side for $1 each, Reviewer Nikki and myself both grabbed a side of gravy for chip-dipping purposes, Reviewer Tony went sauce-less.
Earlier I mentioned a second fireplace in the area where we were seated, It was absolutely lovely when we sat down, but unfortunately I had picked a seat literally this close to the flames -
As cosy as it was, when my skin started to blister it was time to rotate around the table to a spot that didn't burn with the ferocity of a billion suns.
Craft beer enthusiasts are out of luck at the London, the beer list is bare bones. On tap we have Carlton, VB, Pure Blonde, Fat Yak, Peroni and Bulmers. There is a bit of a wider selection available in bottles (check the full beer list here), but nothing that will blow your socks off. I do enjoy a craft beer, but at the same time I'll never say no to a pint of Carlton, so no major complaints on my end, just something to be aware of.
About 15 minutes after ordering our meals arrived -
The schnitzel was real chicken and thick. At least an inch all over, a massive slab of bird. It was real chicken breast and well cooked, which is why I was a little dismayed that they had gone quite heavy on the crumbs - they had nothing to hide yet it was crumbed as if they did. Despite being lovely chicken the crumbs were a little soggy and didn't grip the chicken very well.
The cheese mix was mostly tasty cheese, and I think a detected a hint of parmesan in there as well. All up it was a solid mix that, while a little dry, carried some great flavours throughout the dish.
The Napoli sauce was pretty standard, nothing to write home about - I would have loved the addition of a slice of ham to really give this parma a shot in the arm, unfortunately there was no pork to be found.
The chips were probably the highlight of the plate. A hefty serve, beer battered, cooked to a perfect golden brown and well seasoned. The gravy was an added extra so won't affect the score, but I have to say it wasn't great. Very watery and almost flavourless, would give that a miss next time, and with quality chips like these it's absolutely not necessary.
Rather than your usual garden salad the London has opted for a bowl of coleslaw. I always enjoy when a pub makes this change as a coleslaw can be quite a refreshing side. The London's slaw It was well sized, separated from the parma and creamy. It worked well with the parma to the point that I was putting a bit on my fork before cutting a slice of parma - a great marriage.
At $22 ($23 with the gravy) this parma is getting on the expensive side. Would I pay it again? Maybe, it wasn't a bad parma by any stretch. On Monday night's the London does a $10 parma night - If the parma served on the parma night is of the same quality as the one served last night this is a fantastic deal and I have zero qualms recommending checking it out. But at full price? Yeah ... I'd probably give it another crack, but I wouldn't be as excited about it.
I like the London Tavern, it manages to keep an old-world country pub feel while maintaining everything you need in a modern pub. The next time I go to the footy at the 'G ducking into the London for a pint afterwards is definitely on my agenda. The parma had a couple of issues but overall it was decent, I wouldn't travel long distances for it but if you're in the area (especially on a Monday night) definitely give it a crack.
- Great beer battered chips
- Tasty coleslaw
- Good cheese mix
- No ham
- Bland napoli
- Soggy crumbs