Where? - 765 Gilbert Rd, Reservoir
Price? - $25.90 for both varieties
Website? - http://www.mistysdiner.com.au/
Reviewers – Carly, Lee, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo
Well, its Superbowl week - The week more than any other in Australia where we seem to celebrate all things American - So this week we decided to get into the Yankee spirit and check out one of the most American places in Melbourne - Misty's Diner.
Before heading to Misty's I asked around, and the general consensus seemed to be along the lines of "Its an experience" and "the food will shave years off your life" ... Sounds like my kind've spot, so we loaded up the parma bus, cranked some Sweet Home Alabama, and headed to Misty's Diner
Oh, and just to clarify for this review we visited the Misty's in Reservoir - They have another location in Prahran, but from the looks of things they're pretty much the same experience at both spots.
Walking into the (obviously an old Red Rooster) Diner, I instantly see what everyone meant by an "experience" This place is top to bottom gaudy American chic. The outfits, the licence plates on the roof, the music, the glass case of authentic american candies - this place is on point.
We grabbed a table and checked the menu. We were told to make sure we went in hungry, and after hitting some traffic on the way there we were absolutely famished by the time we arrived - so we opted for a pregame of deep fried pickles before our parmas.
The beef gravy option was too rich for our blood, so we all went for the more traditional parma ... although the sauteed mushrooms struck us as a weird addition from the word go.
All of the tables were outfitted with working jukeboxes, I grabbed some change and got the tunes pumping.
Beer selection is completely American. Coors, Bud, Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada and a few others ... Nice for a change! Blue Moon was my drink of choice for the evening.
The fried pickles were good, but not great. The side of ranch helped but they didn't quite have the pickle punch you want in a deep fried pickle - Reviewer Carly put it the best when she said "They could just be deep fried zucchini and you wouldn't know the difference"
Shortly after we polished off the pickles, the behemoth of a parma arrived...
The picture doesn't do it justice - this thing was massive. First up - the chicken. I hesitate to call it a schnitzel, as it was nothing of the sort. A huge chunk of deep fried, buttermilk battered chicken breast was the foundation for this parma - The closest thing I can liken it to would be an oversized KFC boneless breast piece. It was pure white breast all the way through, thick and well seasoned. On its own it was a solid foundation for the parma.
Unfortunately this parma fell down when it came to the toppings. They just didn't go. All the ingredients were quality, but the conflicting flavours of the tomato and onion just didn't pair well with the buttermilk fried chicken.
Don't get me wrong, everything was fresh and applied liberally, but the presence of one item was just inexplicable - The sauteed mushrooms. They didn't sound right from the moment I read them on the menu, and just as I expected they stuck out like a sore thumb. They didn't mix well with the chicken or the toppings. Keep the onions, they were fine ... but ditch the mushrooms.
The flavours were confusing, but also a little bland. The last fried chicken parma we had was from the American BBQ restaurant Smokehouse 101 in Maribyrnong - Now that was a fine example of how to do an American style parma, the fried chicken was the same, the BBQ sauce worked infinitely better than napoli and combined with the maple bacon it had so much flavour I almost started bleeding from the eyeballs. The parma at Misty's is a bit of a damp squib in comparison.
The chips were lovely - But with the sheer amount of food piled on to the plate they were a bit of a struggle to get to. Once I managed to dig them out from underneath everything they were a fine, crunchy, fried chip - Maybe a little oily and under seasoned but not criminally so. I was glad I hung on to the leftover ranch dip from the pickles for some chip dipping.
The salad was probably the most disappointing element on the plate. Totally undressed, dry as buggery - and covering it with something as divisive as olives was another odd choice (I enjoy olives, but at least three people out of our group of five hated them). Definitely an afterthought and a bit of a let down.
I got very excited when I heard our already massive parma also came with a veritable loaf of garlic bread ... and rather disappointed when I realised it was left on the grill too long and tasted quite burnt. Not a repeating problem though, as reviewers Shanan and Carly ordered there food about ten minutes after the first three and their garlic bread was un-burnt and cooked to perfection - Luck of the draw I guess!
Value is a little hard to judge - $25.90 is very steep for a parma, yet we walked away so full we could barely function. If you're personal definition of value is money in vs sheer amount of food then Misty's takes the cake - However we have always judged value with the rule of thumb "Would I pay $x dollars to have that parma again", and to be honest I won't be rushing back for a Misty's parma any time soon.
We finished off the meal with a slice of Nutella pie, which was by far the best thing we ate all day - Absolutely phenomenal, and grabbed a pack of Milk Duds from the American candy stand for the car trip home. Misty's is absolutely killing it when it comes to the American food. The entree was enjoyable, the desserts were amazing, some of the shakes and burgers I saw coming out of the kitchen looked absolutely insane ... Having a parma on the menu of a place so authentically American was an anomaly to begin with. If you want a unique American styled parma experience check out Smokehouse 101. I would recommend a trip to Misty's just for the experience, its definitely a place worth at least one trip - But stick to the American grub unless you're really desperate for a parma.
- Quality tasty buttermilk fried chicken (independent from toppings)
- Amazing desserts and entrees
- Decent chips
- Unique dining experience in Australia
- Odd choices for toppings did not mix well with other ingredients
- Burnt garlic bread
- Dry, tasteless salad