When? - 10th of March, 2010
Where? - Mrs. Parmas, 25 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Price? - $23 for a chicken parma (of any variety)
Barry? - No
Website? - http://www.mrsparmas.com.au
*EDIT* 23/3/12 - We went back! After many many emails, we gave it another review! See the results! Here!
As we are on the hunt for a perfect parma, a restaurant boasting a menu of over 10 different varieties of parma seemed to be a pretty apt choice!
The Restaurant itself looks great, a wide open space in front with plenty of standing height tables for the after work rush of city-going businessmen looking for an after work beer.
Towards the back of the pub is the dining area, with both booth and table seating available its a very nice, cosy little pub, and the facts about the history of the parma strewn about the walls is a very nice touch, and gave our group some laughs
If you like a good beer, this is the place to go, their beer menu is an extensive tour of the microbreweries of Victoria, from memory they had about 20 beers available. I ordered a pot of my favourite (Mountain Goat Hightail Ale) and took a seat.
The parma menu is intimidating, so many choices I found myself changing my mind constantly until the moment I had to place my order! I settled on the ‘Mexican’ - a Chicken Parma topped with salsa, sour cream, guacamole & Jalepenos. I think I had time to finish my pot and start on another before our meals arrived, not too bad considering there was about 15 in our group.
The Parma came out on a bare plate, with no sides to speak of, I was a little confused until the waitresses re-appeared with a few bowls of salad and chips to share around the table, but ill get to those later, firstly, lets talk about the parma
The chicken breast was very nice, a little on the thin side but very long and wide, covering most of the bare plate. The breast seems to be hand crumbed and spiced, giving it a nice flavour all up, the cheese was well cooked, and left little exposed (or ‘nude’) parts of the chicken breast. Its tough to judge this as a regular parma beyond that, as its a ‘novelty’ parma with all the other stuff on top, but I must say, I enjoyed the mexicanization of the parma, the sour cream and guac worked wonders with the chicken! it was like eating chicken nachos. if I were to make a change though, would be to keep the sour cream and guacamole on the side, as by the time I got to the end of the parma it was a little too overpowering and I resorted to scraping some of the excess off, not that it was bad! Just too much of a good thing. All in all, it was a great piece of chicken.
All is going well thus far! but alas, this is where it falls apart. The sides.
As I said at the beginning, I was a little confused at the bare plate when the parma arrived. wheres my salad? where are my chippies? then after our parmas were delivered the waitress came back with three bowls of chips and three bowls of salad, we had about 15 people in our group all spread along a very long table, and im sorry but three measly bowls of chips doesnt cut it! the chips were gone in about 15 seconds flat and a few people missed out entirely. The bowl size was probably enough for one person and we had to share one bowl to every five people. $23 a piece is up there on the parma price scale, for that much I’d expect my own bowl of chips, even one bowl to every 3 parmas wouldve been enough, we queried the waitress about it and she said we could order extra bowls at extra cost. MAJOR loss of points. From what I did get of the chips they were nice, standard fried chips, nicely salted and fresh - they do have the right idea of keeping them separate from the salad and the parma itself to avoid sogginess. The salad was your standard garden salad with vinaigrette, totally acceptible
SO in summation its a good place to know about, there are so few restaurants in the city where you can get good pub food without a lot of wank attached, this is a good, quick parma in an area populated by french restaurants and wine bars. I liked the different varieties of parma and the chicken itself was delicious, the beer selection was amazing (and delicious!) it just hit a major wall when it came to the sides, which are JUST as important as the chicken when it comes to the hunt for the perfect parma.