Where? - 365 Victoria St, West Melbourne
Price? - $22
Website? - http://www.threecrownshotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Emmett, Fridge, Lee, Stefo, Tony
I like to think that we do redo's semi regularly, In my mind its once every couple of months, maybe more - yet when I check the website for this post and see that our last redo was in October of 2014. I realise I really need to pull my finger out of my ass and get to some of the pubs we've already visited that are in desperate need of a revisit.
Our last visit to the Three Crowns was back in 2012, you can read all about it here, but the basic bullet points were this - We loved the pub itself but it took forever to get served and even longer to get our food, the parma was decent quality chicken but small and served rather burnt.
So when I got word from our friends over at Jimmy's Burgers that the pub had undergone a bit of a management and menu revamp I was keen to check it out! (granted that was sometime last year ... but these things just get away from you!)
So we loaded up the parma bus to head to our (shamefully) first redo of 2015 - The Three Crowns Hotel.
Inside the pub is just as we remembered. A welcoming, friendly pub any man would be proud to call his local. We grabbed a table out in the dining room (a stones throw from the beer garden) and checked the menu -
First improvement over last time - We were served almost instantly, and the staff were more than happy to help with any odd requests (like two of the review team ordering a side of red wine jus for chip dipping ... no problems whatsoever).
One thing that hasn't changed about the Three Crowns is their quality tap list - It may be small, but there is a great selection for those who feel like something a little different. Last night we sampled the Mountain Goat Steam Ale (an old favourite) the Cavalier Pale ale and the Mountain Goat Fancy Pants. All delicious.
We ordered our meals and waited patiently, after about 25- 30 minutes our meals arrived...
Now, as per usual with redo's lets refresh our memories from the 2012 attempt with the "before" shot...
and (drumroll please) ... The redo!
Definitely an improvement. Before I even get to the parma look at that improvement in those sides! ... but more on those later.
Now. Yes it's improved, but the Three Crowns parma wasn't perfect. First up, the schnitz was pure, white, juicy chicken breast. It was well cooked and a fair chunk larger than its 2012 predecessor - But our main problem with the schnitzel on this parma was the crumbs, or lack of crumbs to be more precise. We've encountered this kind've parma only once before, at The Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, where rather than your standard crunchy crumbs the chicken was coated in what I can best describe as batter, giving it the look and consistency of a piece of grilled flake from the fish & chip shop.
It's not a dealbreaker, but it is an odd thing to come across when you aren't suspecting it, and I'm gonna be honest, I'd prefer a good crunchy crumb to the battered version.
The "batter" was quite thin, that thickness you can see under the parma is just a couple of errant chips that got caught in the cross-section
The toppings were also a mixed bag, and probably my biggest complaint about this entire dish will come in the next paragraph, so be prepared. The ham was plentiful and I would have loved a bit more cheese over the top (another handful would have been perfect) - that was all rendered moot, however, by the shockingly overpowering napoli sauce. There was a lot of napoli that carried a very invasive flavour throughout the dish I couldn't taste the ham, I couldn't taste the cheese, I couldn't taste the chicken - All I could taste was napoli, to the point where we were making liberal use of the supplied hot sauces on the table (a nice touch, by the way!) to try and punch some sort on non-napoli flavour into the dish.
The chips were fantastic, definitely a beer-battered upgrade from the last time round, I'd go as far as to say they were the highlight of the meal. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, Everyone at the table wanted more by the time the plates were cleaned.
Swapping out the boring garden salad for a refreshing apple slaw was also a master stroke. It was unique and refreshing. Slaw done poorly can really kill a parma, slaw done well can raise it to new heights - A fine accompaniment to the dish.
For $22 I'd probably order this parma again if I were at the Three Crowns. I don't think I'd travel for it - but if I found myself at the Three Crowns on a lazy afternoon I would consider giving it another crack - There's a $15 Parma & Pot night on Monday that would definitely be worth checking out if you're a local.
While it still has a couple of issues the parma at the Three Crowns is a vast improvement on its 2012 ancestor. The pub is still a friendly, welcoming local that I'd be happy to return to any day of the week.
- Amazing chips
- Refreshing and unique apple 'slaw
- Real chicken breast
- An improvement on what it used to be
- Odd "batter" texture on the chicken
- Insanely overpowering napoli