Where? - 690 Mount Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds (with other locations in Werribee, Richmond, Fountain Gate, Watergardens, Geelong and Rockingham)
Price? - $24.90
Website? - http://www.sportingglobe.com.au/
Reviewers – Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo
Cards on the table - We had not planned to visit the Sporting Globe this week.
All this week the plan was to visit Essendon's exceedingly popular Crème cafe, but (as seems to be a recurring theme this year) when I called on Thursday afternoon to secure our table I was told that they were completely booked out. Crap.
So in a last minute scramble for ideas I remembered that the Sporting Globe had recently introduced a new parma to their novelty line up, a special parma designed by 2014 MasterChefTMWinner Brent Owens...
The "Smoked Cheddar Parma" with ale infused tomato relish, streaky bacon, mozzarella and smoked cheddar. It was supposed to be a "limited time only" thing but it would seem that the Globe has promoted it to permanent menu status.
But this brings us to a conundrum! We have reviewed the Moonee Ponds Sporting Globe before, and we have also reviewed the novelty parma line-up at the Watergardens location. So what does this review count as? It's not a redo as its a different kind of parma, but its not a new location so we can't really give it a numbered review and its own spot on the ladder - Which is why I have come up with a new category on the fly, this review will serve as an Addendum to the previous two reviews. Part special attempt, part new review. Its its own thing (and yes, I'm making this up as I go ... sue me).
I'm not really going to cover the decor of the Globe as after two reviews it has already been covered ad nauseam. If you haven't already you should check out our last two reviews here and here, as I'm probably going to refer back to them a lot from this point out.
We arrived at the Globe and grabbed the menus ... I'm always surprised at how often the Globe must reprint their full sized, massive menus, as they never seem to be the same every time I visit. We spied our targets...
Interesting to note that a version of the "Smashed Avo" parma was on the specials menu the last time we visited a Sporting Globe under the name "Parmacado", and, like the Smoked Cheddar, has also received a promotion to full menu status. Reviewer Pat had to make things difficult and ordered himself the Smashed Avo parma ... Everyone else got the Smoked Cheddar.
Now one big disappointment ... The Sporting Globe Moonee Ponds used to carry Stone & Wood on tap, but as of last night's visit it is no longer available. Still a decent variety of beers on tap, but I was definitely sad to see Stone & Wood missing from the selection.
After about a pint's worth of wait, the parmas arrived.
Pat's Smashed Avo parma -
Our Smoked Cheddar parma -
First up, the schnitzel. What a hunk of bird this was. If we scored just on thickness this baby would get a 10. Thick as buggery with the perfect level of crunchy crumbs - However (and this is probably the biggest fault of the entire parma) it was extremely dry, and mine was served a little bit colder than what I would normally like. Great quality ingredients but faltered a little in the execution.
Now ... the toppings, boy were they divisive, and I'll do my best to convey everyone's opinions, both positive and negative.
The napoli was very interesting. It was almost a barbecue style sauce, but extremely sweet. A very dominant flavour that permeated the whole dish. I wished they had've made it more of a sauce than a relish as that would have helped a little with the overall dryness of the dish.
The streaky bacon was present, but lacked any significant punch. When I'm sold a parma on the promise of special bacon I want a pig to climb out from under the cheese and smack me in the face while I'm eating it.
The smokey cheddar and mozzarella blend was actually damn tasty. The smokiness of the cheddar carried through the dish well. I would have liked a little more power too it (I like my cheese flavoursome) but it did the job well.
The toppings on this parma promised a lot, and they delivered for the most part - However I feel that overall they were a little muted. It might have just been high expectations but I wanted fireworks of flavour from this dish, and at most all I got was a few sparklers.
Oh, and over the other side of the table reviewer Pat really enjoyed his Smashed Avo parma ... lots of thumbs ups and mumbles of "this is tasty!" causing quite a bit of food envy from everyone else.
Apologies for the blur, this is what happens when, after four pints, you pick the photo you want to use and delete the others that you took.
When the MasterChefTM designed parma first hit the Sporting Globe menu it was served with a side of special sweet potato fries (visible in the first photo above). It would seem this got the chop in the move from the specials board to the full menu and have been replaced with the standard Sporting Globe chips - And I'm not complaining one bit. The Globe's chips have always been on point, and last night was no exception. Served hot, crispy and well seasoned with chicken salt. Absolute winners as per usual.
An element that didn't get cut on the move was the apple & celeriac salad, and (once again) this was a great choice. Creamy, flavoursome and slightly peppery - it was a great little salad. It looked small on the plate but was quite rich, I don't think I could've eaten much more if I wanted too. A very welcome addition.
$24.90 is a bit steep for this, but everything at the Sporting Globe is a bit pricey so that's not out of the ordinary. It would seem from the website that the $15.90 specialty parmas on Wednesday's still stands ... I would have to assume that these two special parmas would be included. Definitely worth a crack at this price.
As I said earlier, this was a divisive parma. I definitely enjoyed it - but not nearly as much as I should have due to the issues with the schnitzel. If I found myself at the Globe again I wouldn't rush to try the Cheddar, but would probably either stick to the original variety or see what all the fuss was about with the smashed avo one.
As this is an Addendum I won't show the scores that we took, but they were pretty much in line with our past scores for the Globe's parmas. High in the 6's, not quite a 7 ... Still worth a shot if you're in the area (and the buffalo bites are still phenomenal).