Where? - 60 Swan St. Richmond
Price? - $22.50
Website? - http://www.precincthotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Lee, Matt, Nikki, Stefo
Well, here we are. A quarter-of-a-thousand chicken parma reviews. I'm not gonna go on about it, as I did that a lot on our 200th review (which doesn't seem that long ago, to be honest), but just a massive thanks to you all for helping ParmaDaze get this far, couldn't have done it without all of you readers, and a special thanks to the review team who put up their time and money every week to help this silly little website do its thing. Finally, as we did in our 100th parma review, a moment to honour all of the chickens that have given their lives in search for the perfect parma. I ran the numbers and over the course of 250 reviews we have ordered a total of 1567 parmas. Divide that number by 2 (as you get two breasts per chook) and we get the grand total of 783 (and a half) chickens that have given their lives in the search for the perfect parma.
Cluck cluck, my brothers ... cluck cluck.
So! How'd we pick the Precinct? You decided! If you look at our Facebook you'll see the full story, but the short version is we did a poll, and the Precinct in Richmond won the day. We loaded up the parma bus for the 250th time and headed to Richmond... We left at 6ish but didn't get there until almost 8, a half an hour drive blown to hell due to massive traffic. The cause? Hugh Jackman playing at Rod Laver Arena. Bloody Wolverine kept me from my parma from almost an hour.
The Precinct is one of those pubs that you walk into on a quiet night and can just tell things get loose on the Weekends. It's got the vibe of a nightclub that acts like a local pub on weeknights. The bar is absolutely massive with a very impressive courtyard out the back with its own, separate massive bar.
As we were already running behind schedule thanks to the Boy from Oz, we wasted no time in grabbing a beer, a menu and placing our order.
The pub had quite a few people for a Thursday, but as the Precinct is massive it didn't feel at all cramped, plenty of room for everyone to spread out.
If you like your beers on the craft side you're going to be disappointed. The Precinct is a CUB pub, so the craftiest thing you'll get on tap is probably the Fat Yak or Lazy Yak, didn't see much more variety in the bottles either, oh and there are no pint glasses either - Schooners are the biggest glass you'll get.
About 20-25 minutes after ordering our meals appeared from the kitchen -
I'm not gonna lie, my expectations for this parma were low. From some of my research online before heading out to the parma the general consensus on the food at the Precinct was "Meh".
So imagine my surprise when it was actually quite good! The schnitzel was pure chicken breast. Plump and juicy with stunning thickness throughout. Other than some soggy crumb issues this was an unexpectedy quality foundation for the dish.
The toppings were also quite good - the star being the smoked ham, which added a delicious smokey flavour throughout the dish that was very easily picked up. The napoli and cheese, while not being particularly noteworthy, served their purpose well. There was great coverage all round and this, overall, turned out to be a very tasty parma.
The chips were pretty good, pretty standard pub chips - Under seasoned, but quickly remedied with a salt shaker. They were served almost completely out from underneath the parma, which I applaud them for. Well cooked, good sized serving, just didn't really blow me away.
The salad was quite similar to the chips - Not bad. Fresh and crisp with a lot going on. Technically good, but not a lot of flair.
For $22.50 I'd happily return to the Precinct and pay that again. There's no mention of a specific "parma night" that I can see to get it any cheaper, however they do advertise a $15 "Lunch Break" which, while they don't specifically say parma anywhere ... you'd have to assume they do. Maybe.
I walked out of the Precinct happy. After arriving with very low expectations and in a horrible mood due to Jackman-related traffic issues they must have done something right to turn it around. The Precinct parma isn't perfect, but its a good, honest pub meal thats worth a crack if you find yourself in the area - definitely worth keeping in mind if you're after a feed after the Footy/Cricket/Hugh Jackman performance. If they put a tad more love into the sides it'd be a more well rounded meal, but they've done well where its important.
- Quality chicken breast
- Smoked ham extremely flavoursome
- Soggy crumbs