Where? - Watergardens Shopping Center. Station Street, Taylors Lakes.
Price? - $13.90 Regular, $15.90 specialty parma Wednesday special. Between $23 and $26 (depending on the parma) full price.
Website? - http://www.sportingglobe.com.au/
Reviewers – Al, Elicia, Fridge, Frita, Janet, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo [/info]
**UPDATE!** on the 7th of April, 2016 we visited the Sporting Globe in Moonee Ponds to try out two new additions to their parma line-up, which will serve as an addendum to this review ... Check it out here.
I've always had a soft spot for the Sporting Globe. Sure it's a corporate, concrete, soulless pub franchise, but they are designed as sports bars and you absolutely can't argue that they achieved their goal - Which is why the one in Moonee Ponds is still my go to spot if I want to catch a game over a few beers.
"Is this a redo?" you may be asking. Well sort of, but not really... this is uncharted waters. As I mentioned before the Sporting Globe is a franchise of pubs, now with six locations dotted around the state (Moonee Ponds, Watergardens, Fountain Gate, Geelong, Richmond & Werribee). Yes we have done the parma at the Moonee Ponds Globe before, but that was over two years ago and a fair bit has changed since then.
It's kind've like reviewing one Nando's against the other, sure there might be changes in two years, but between locations you'd expect everything to pretty much be the same. So to answer your question - I'm not sure, I'm not calling it a redo, but I'll put a note on the old review that this one is more current and probably more accurately reflects the state of the parma across all Sporting Globe's than the old one.
If you have been to any of the other locations you won't be too surprised when it comes to decor as they all look pretty much identical. Black walls, red highlights, concrete floors and TV's everywhere (even each booth in the restaurant has its own personal TV mounted in the wall). If you're a sports fan this is the spot for you. I will say that, while very similar, I enjoyed the aesthetic of the Watergardens location a little more than I did Moonee Ponds - the large outdoor decked area overlooking a water feature would be a great place to relax with a pint on a fine Sunday arvo.
So what has changed? First up, on our first visit to the Globe there were two choices for parmas, the standard and the "Buffalo" (seasoned with the same spice that they use on the buffalo wings). However now there are four options on the menu -
Not to mention when we arrived there was an additional sheet to the menu that I couldn't find on the website at all -
Quite a range! I also love the addition of the blue cheese dipping sauce with the Buffalo parma, a fantastic (and much needed) addition to that particular variety... However there has also been quite a price hike, in 2013 it cost $18.90 for the standard parma and $19.90 for the Buffalo - Damn inflation. Thanks, Obama.
But our wallets were to get a slight reprieve - As we were there on a Wednesday night we managed to get in on the Wednesday parma special -
$13.90 for the standard and $15.90 for the novelties, thats pretty much a $10 discount across the board, not bad at all! (However we aren't sure if the discount also applies to the "Parmacado" special).
We arrived just after 7 to an absolutely packed pub - The Sporting Globe is a big venue, and I doubt we would have gotten a seat if I hadn't called ahead with a booking, For a Wednesday night I was stunned at how busy it was, both in the restaurant and the public bar - Trivia was scheduled to kick off at 8pm, and it was in no way short of participants.
We took our seats, checked the menu and were almost ready to order when we got served, as one of the review team wasn't at the table we asked for another couple of minutes - a fatal mistake, as we didn't see the waitress again for at least another 30 minutes. I don't blame her at all, the restaurant was packed and she seemed to be attempting to deal with everyone on her own - I think another staff member or two on the floor was desperately needed. There was a slight snafu with an entree order of boneless buffalo bites getting lost, but as we moved from the pub area to our table after ordering (even though we did tell them we were moving) its hard to place full blame on the staff.
We ordered our meals, with a bit of variety around the table as to which novelty was ordered (with the exception of the Parmacado. Nobody got that), kicked back, and waited for our meals to arrive.
If you're after a beer the tap list at the globe looks something like this -
With quite a few more bottled options that tend more to the craft sensibilities, check the website for the full list.
Despite the wait to actually place our orders, the turn around time for the parmas themselves was pretty good - no more than a 15 minute wait and we were tucking in.
The MVP (Standard) parma -
The Jack Parma -
The Buffalo Parma -
I could've sworn I had a photo of the Premiership parma, but apparently not - a couple of reviewers partook in it though.
Oh, and just an FYI that the following comments are based on the MVP parma, which I had ordered for myself.
The schnitzel was decently sized - One of our review team tipped us off that the Globe used smaller sized schnitzels on the parma night but this didn't seem to be the case (he must've just gotten a bad one) as they were all fairly decently sized. Pure chicken breast, juicy and well cooked. I would've loved a little more heat through mine as it felt as if it had been sitting for a little while the others were prepared. Not over-crumbed but lacking any real crunch - yet it's hard to complain too much for the price.
The toppings were a mixed bag. They weren't at all tight with the ham and it was quite flavourful, and the cheese blend was probably the best part of the dish. Great coverage with the tang of a sharp tasty cheese, yet retaining a creaminess that I couldn't quite put my finger on, until I remembered the promotional post I did a while back for Philadelphia. Very similar flavours coming through and I'd be surprised if that Philly (or something similar) wasn't in the cheese blend.
The napoli, or lack thereof, was this parmas biggest problem. If I wasn't expecting it to be there I would have thought this was just a ham & cheese schnitzel. I don't know if it all absorbed into the crumbs (hence the lack of crunch) or the kitchen just ran out, but this parma was criminally lacking in the napoli department.
The chips were great, perfectly cooked and seasoned with a fantastic flavour. My one complaint was that there wasn't nearly enough of them - in fact if I had to pick anything that was a smaller serve than the Globe's parma on a regular night, I'd have to say they've cut back on the chips (or the kitchen was running low ... its hard to say).
The salad was decent. Props for them for putting it in a separate bowl but the innovation pretty much stops there. It was perfectly fine, but nothing to write home about, and the dressing, while abundantly applied was a little sweet for my taste.
Wednesday parma night is a perfect time to try this parma, as its too damn cheap to really complain. The Sporting Globe can get pretty pricey when you're not eating with the specials (and they have a lot of them), so its best to check your calendar against the 7 day lineup on the website before heading down to see what deal you can get... It's worth a crack if you can get it cheap.
As expected the parma at the Watergardens Globe is pretty much identical to the parma at the Moonee Ponds Globe, so I think its safe to call this a redo for all intents and purposes. If I came back I would definitely try one of the novelties, I've had the Jack parma in the past and would have to say its my personal favourite of the four, with the Buffalo coming in a close second. Reports of the novelties were favourable around the table with the exception of the Premiership, which seemed to not be as well received as the others.
We finished our meals and headed into the pub to catch the tail end of the trivia comp. The questions were fun, a lot involved visual cues from the many TV's dotted around the room and there was even a beer skulling comp or two thrown in for good measure, To be honest I was a little disappointed we were too busy eating parmas to participate as it seemed like a damn good time.
- Great value for money on Wednesdays
- Delicious chips
- Good variety in novelties
- Solid cheese blend
- MVP had shocking lack of napoli