When? - 29th of October, 2015
Where? - 69-71 Errol St. North Melbourne
Price? - $24.50
Website? - http://www.errols.com.au/
Reviewers – Lee, Nikki, Stefo, Tony
And we're back!
First up a quick apologies for lack of content in my absence. I had lined up someone (who shall remain nameless) to write a couple of reviews while I was away, unfortunately it turns out that bloke is a no good so-and-so who, despite going out and eating a parma, never produced a review. That guy has now been exiled and will spend his days wandering the desert in a horrible, parma-less existence.
But after nearly a month abroad Reviewer Nikki, Reviewer Stefo and I were champing at the bit to get a decent parma. Reviewer Tony was there too, but he hadn't been anywhere ... although he hadn't had a parma since we left either, so he was equally as keen.
Errols has been on our list for quite a while. For as long as ParmaDaze has been a thing we have been hovering around Errol St. 3 Crowns, The Courthouse and the Town Hall all exist within a one block section of the North Melbourne Street (as well as quite a few others in the surrounding area) and every time we have visited I have seemed to catch Errols in my peripheral vision and think to myself "we really should give that place a shot".
So last night we did.
We arrived at Errols on a warm Thursday afternoon. The sun was shining, so rather than take a seat inside the spacious cafe, we opted for the on-street seating. Was a fantastic atmosphere for a meal with the ever-busy Errol St. bustling with activity.
On arrival the attentive staff clocked us and ordered our drinks. A schooner of Mountain Goat Fancy Pants will set you back $9, served cold and crisp - a great way to start the meal.
There wasn't a whole lot of deliberation once we received the menus.
Done. We kicked back in the sun and enjoyed our beers while waiting for the food to arrive.
Speaking of the beers, there are a couple of on-tap options at Errols, as well as some less exciting bottled options. Not the biggest tap list, but impressive for a cafe/restaurant, and to be fair if you cant be happy with Mountain Goat on tap then you are far too hard to please.
About 15 minutes after placing the order our parmas arrived from the kitchen...
Nikki and Stefo's parma hit the table first, and the first thing I noticed was that the edges of their schnitzel was quite overcooked, bordering on burnt. There was a definite black edge around the top end of their parma ... not the greatest start.
The second two parmas to hit the table weren't as badly overcooked - but still not great. The stacking of the parma on the chips was wholly unnecessary as there was a heap of empty real estate on the rather large plate. We quickly rescued the chips from their steamy prison and tucked in.
The schnitzel would have been good quality chicken breast at one point, but the aforementioned over-cooking had left it quite dry, especially around the areas of nude schnitzel, which were quite abundant. The schnitzel was thick enough and light on the crumbs, but rather small - not a very filling meal that everyone walked away from unsatisfied.
The toppings were three shades of mediocrity. I had to physically peel back the cheese to check if there was any ham on the dish as it added zero flavour. The cheese was bland, the napoli basically non-existent and where there was napoli it tasted quite tomato-pastey and canned.
Every element on the plate needed more seasoning. Everyone at the table reached for the salt and pepper shakers at some point to try and breathe some life into the dish.
The chips were cooked well and had a great crunch, but were as unseasoned as the parma. Not too much to complain about though, although I would have loved an extra handful - for the price of this parma (which we'll get to in a minute) I would have loved a lot less white space on my plate.
The salad was a wilted afterthought. A few lettuce leaves soaked in oil, mine containing a single radish slice and a lone cucumber, although I think I got a bad draw as their seemed to be more stuff in some of the other meals on the plate. It had some semblance of flavour, but was overall as underwhelming as the parma and the chips.
Almost $25 for what we received is bordering on outrageous. This is a $13-with-a-free-pot parma, at that price I would be able to excuse some of its missteps, but for twenty five dollars they get no quarter from me. That high of a price bracket is reserved for the best parmas, not something like this. There are much better (and cheaper) parmas within 200 metres of any direction you walk from Errols, I just can't think of a reason I would ever go back.
I may be coming off a bit harsh with this review, but I was really looking forward to coming back to a quality parma and was met with all kinds of disappointment. The establishment looked great, it had a great atmosphere, attentive and friendly staff and I even saw a Hawaiian pizza get served up to the table next to me that looked damn tasty. I just wish they could've served up the quality parma I was hoping for.
- Mountain Goat on tap
- Real, unprocessed (if it wasn't overcooked) chicken breast
- Burnt edges
- Nude schnitzel
- Bland toppings
- Expensive for what was received