Where? - 293 Fitzroy St. Fitzroy
Price? - $24
Website? - http://www.thestandardhotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
It's no secret that I love a good backstreets pub, and Fitzroy's Standard Hotel might be the quintessential example (you might even say it sets the standard. Badum tshh).
Surrounded by a myriad of one-way streets that always seem to be driving away from the pub, it took a fair bit of focus on Google maps to find the Standard, but once I laid my eyes on it I knew it was my kind of pub.
Walking in the front door you get smacked in the face with the character of this pub. The walls are lined with an eclectic range of all kinds of paraphernalia, mostly music and Fitzroy Football Club themed, but there's a little bit of everything in there.
It's a laid back pub with a refreshing lack of pretentiousness and the clientele run the full gamut of Fitzroy millennials to retiree's propping up the bar.
Out the back is a beer garden that seems to go on forever, snaking back even deeper into suburban Fitzroy - It would have been my pick of where to grab a table for dinner however, as early as 6:30 on a Thursday afternoon, it was packed out there.
Luckily there were still plenty of open tables inside for us to choose from. We sat, checked the menu, ordered a cheeky entree of saganaki ($12), grabbed a beverage and soaked up the atmosphere.
The saganaki arrived and it hit the spot with gusto - I was surprised at how generous of a serve it was (you can't really tell by the below picture, but that is two full slices of cheese stacked on top of each other). Great starter to the meal.
After polishing that off we got on to the main event...
A bit of a novelty parma! Even though it's touted as "deluxe" there is no "regular" parma on the menu, other than an eggplant option for the vegetarians ($20) the deluxe parma is the only choice.
As to be expected from a Fitzroy pub the beer list was chock full of craft beer options. 11 taps offered everything from Melbourne Bitter to Stone & Wood to Hawkers to Moo Brew and more, definitely enough choices to wet any whistle.
Just as we polished off the last of the saganaki the main event arrived (surprisingly speedy service).
At first glance this parma looked damn impressive. Big on the plate and served mostly not atop the chips - We picked up our cutlery and tucked in.
The schnitzel was thick, white, juicy chicken breast. Cooked to perfection and crumbed just as well with what looked like a home made crumb blend. Quite thin on the crumbs and only slightly flakey, it was almost a near perfect foundation for the dish - However all of the parmas that arrived were served quite cold.
Not a huge issue as temperature can be chalked up to a momentary glitch in the kitchen and not a persistent issue, but I like my parmas piping hot when they hit the table, this one was only lukewarm.
The toppings were overall pretty great. The napoli sauce was very rich, almost too rich, but otherwise very tasty. The prosciutto was a welcome addition, grilled to a crunch and adding its trademark salty deliciousness throughout.
The flavour of the tasty cheese permeated all the other flavours well, the feta not so much... As much as I enjoy feta it was lost amongst the other flavours of the dish.
The chips were a triumph. Served piping hot, mostly away from the parma (with a couple of stragglers underneath soaking up the juices for those that swing that way). Well seasoned and even with a pot of tomato sauce thrown in for good measure, a fine accompaniment to the parma.
The salad ... not so much. With all the other elements on the plate kicking goals it was quite disappointing that the salad came off as a bit of an afterthought. Nothing but lettuce leaves with a couple of onion slivers, definite room for improvement here.
$24 for the parma we received? Yeah I've got no qualms paying that again. They didn't skimp on any of the ingredients (except the salad) and you can tell a whole lot of love went into its preparation. From what I can see online I can't find mention of any sort of parma night, but for the price they charge its an honest feed that I doubt you'll walk away from hungry.
Although not without its faults, the Standard offer up a pretty great parma. With a few tweaks here and there it could be a real contender. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area. A great pub offering up a great feed.
- Great quality chicken
- Fantastic flavours throughout
- Top notch chips
- Served lukewarm
- Weak salad