Where? - 1141 Sydney Rd. Hadfield
Price? - $13 Parma Thursday, $21 regularly
Website? - https://www.firstandlasthotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Carly, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Shanan & Stefo
If you've been watching the hit new HBO show Westworld you'll know what I mean when I say that the First & Last Hotel is exactly like that ... Except much lower quality and with more pokies - Although all of the staff passed the Turing test with flying colours, so points there.
You do have to respect the First & Last for leaning into the Western theme. They have really gone all out to the point where its hard to find any element that hasn't been given at least some Western flair, from the cowboy that greets you at the door to the treasure chest shaped container for drinking straws.
I wasn't filled with confidence that this would be a good parma when I set the location this week, however it had been recommended a few times, and it wouldn't be the first pokie den to surprise us with a decent feed.
We grabbed a table in the dining room and checked the menu..
Aside from the parma there was also a dish called "Chicken Louisiana" on the menu that was basically a chicken breast stuffed with bacon, wrapped in prosciutto and topped with mushroom sauce. We didn't order it, but that description is heart-attack-inducingly amazing.
Upon going to the counter to order we discovered that it was $13 "Parmageddon" Thursday. Normally a "Parmageddon" night is associated with a slew of novelty options, but unfortunately the night was simply related to the price discount. We ordered our $13 parmas and awaited their arrival.
Beer list is pretty standard for a pokies pub, All the Carlton favourites were there, I was surprised to see that pints of Furphy were only $6 - Not my favourite beer, but for $6 a pint it will most definitely do the job. The (possibly robot) staff were super friendly, although I felt bad for the handful on shift having to practically run from customer to customer as they seemed woefully understaffed for the evening.
About half an hour after ordering our parmas arrived from the kitchen.
Yeah ... not great.
The schnitzel was big enough (although oddly enough one or two few around the table were smaller than the others), and served quite hot - Not much else to say. Quite processed although not a supermarket-deli-window level of processed. The chicken was thick enough in some areas and credit-card thin in others. The crumbing wasn't too thick, but it held no grip on the chicken and peeled away in large chunks while trying to eat the parma.
The flavour of all the toppings was eclipsed entirely by an extremely sweet canned napoli that tasted as if it had a few cups of sugar poured into the pot (although I'm 90% sure it came out of a tin). The ham and cheese were both there and applied liberally, however the sweetness of the napoli rendered all flavours moot.
The chips were dry, totally unseasoned and looked as if they had been sitting in the kitchen for a while as they were quite shrivelled. In desperate need of a dipping sauce of some kind. At least they were served beside the parma and not underneath (although being underneath may have given them some moisture at least)
The simple garden salad of lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumber salads ingredients looked quite tasty and fresh, however much like the parma itself it had been drowned in a horribly sweet dressing that obliterated any other flavours.
For a $13 parma at a pokies pub I wasn't expecting much at all, and I think the parma at the First & Last met my expectations. It was a filling dish, so if you're after nothing more than something to fill your stomach on the cheap while taking a break from Where's The Gold? then it won't disappoint to horribly. If we had paid full price ($21) for the meal I'd probably be more incensed, however I'm putting this one down as a case of "you get what you pay for".
If you want to kick off your Sydney Road pub crawl in style then the First & Last would be the place to start, It's a one of a kind pub with amusing decor, good for a pint at least. The name of the pub is quite appropriate, however, as last night was the first and last time I'd ever eat.
- Amusing Decor
- Cheap & filling on parma night
- $6 pints of Furphy
- Processed schnitzel
- Horribly sweet napoli
- Dry, shrivelled, unseasoned chips