Where? - 160 Bell St. Coburg
Price? - $25 without salad, $28 with salad
Reviewers – Lee & Tony
After the utter debacle that was our last attempt the pressure was on to find a decent spot for our next review - I'd be facing a mutiny if I put another shocker on the docket.
It was a bit of a gamble to go for another place that had more of a restaurant-y vibe than a straight up pub, but from what I had seen of Bell Street's Old Cop Shop it was a bit of a combination of the two.
The inside of the Cop Shop is fantastically done. Intimate and cosy without feeling cramped, and the memoribilia from the time the building served as an actual police station adorning the walls is a lovely touch.
Beyond the restaurant and the bar is a much more relaxed courtyard. Plenty of tables, heaters for those chilly nights and the old holding cells are right there in case patrons get a little rowdy after a few too many beers.
It was a nice night, so we pulled up a pew in the courtyard and checked the menu -
Looked good. The $3 charge for a salad seemed a bit steep, especially for a parma we'd already consider on the expensive side, but here at ParmaDaze we're suckers for a good salad, and all in attendance shelled out the extra $3 for the greens.
Not a huge range of beers on tap at the Cop Shop, but points to them for having a few crafty options on the taps they do have, including their own "Old Cop Shop Lager". I opted for the Thunder Road Full Steam Pale Ale - A perfectly fine beer for an afternoon in the sun.
About 20 minutes after placing the order our meals arrived -
Phew. At the very least it was better than last week's. Mutiny averted!
We picked up our cutlery and tucked in. Under the crumbs we were delighted to find a juicy, pure white chicken breast. Full of flavour and cooked perfectly. The crumbing was slightly soggy and didn't really have any crunch, but this is a minor nitpick - overall the schnitzel was a great foundation for this parma.
The toppings were equally enjoyable. Fresh, flavoursome napoli remained piping hot under a delightfully tasty cheese blend - I am always partial to a bit of tasty cheese in my parma toppings and it doesn't show itself nearly often enough, the cheese on the Old Cop Shop parma was on point.
There was a slice of ham, however it's flavour was pretty much lost entirely amongst the strong flavours of the cheese and napoli - But it's good to see it there none the less.
The chips were pretty standard pub chips. They were well seasoned, although I would have killed for some sort of dipping sauce to really take them to the next level.
The salad was pretty good. Fresh ingredients splashed with a flavoursome and zesty dressing - However the general consensus was that it wasn't $3 worth of salad. As much as I enjoy a good salad with my parma if I find myself at the Old Cop Shop again I'd keep my $3 and put it towards my next schooner instead.
This was a tough one to give a value score. The parma was quite tasty and it was overall a very enjoyable meal. The ingredients were top quality and everything was prepared with skill... However $28 with a salad is a bit rich. If this parma was $25 straight up with a salad I would be singing it's praises. The extra $3 slug for a salad is just unnecessary - If I made the decisions at the Cop Shop I'd split the difference - charge $26.50 for the parma (with salad) and have a lot more happy patrons.
A sandwich board out the front of the Cop Shop advertises a $20 Parma & Pot lunch special (until 3pm) from Monday - Thursday. I'd definitely recommend stopping in and checking it out at this price if you can.
I enjoyed my trip to the Cop Shop. There aren't many quality places like this in the Coburg area, and the Cop Shop is a welcome addition. The parma, despite a couple of minor missteps, was damn tasty, and I'd happily go back and enjoy it again.