Special Attempt - 'The United States of America'

For those among you that have been with Parma Daze from the beginning will remember the reviews going quiet between the end of March to late April, during this time I was away on a quick tour of that little country on the opposite side of the globe known as the United States of America.

Las Vegas and California were the two places I visited on the trip, and while in both locations I made a point of seeking out a parma to see how well the yanks do ‘Chicken Parmesan’ (Pronounced how us Aussies would pronounce ‘Parmigian’, not like the cheese). I’ll do a review for both, lets start with the Rainforest Cafe, at the MGM Grand Casino, Las Vegas

Part restaurant, part bar, part gift shop, The Rainforest Cafe is located within the MGM Grand casino on the Las Vegas strip. While there was no Barry, there were at least ten million pokies, roulette wheels, table games or hookers to chose from along the Las Vegas strip - an acceptable alternative.

If you hadn’t guessed by now, the Rainforest cafe is themed (drumroll) like a rainforest, with anamatronic animals everywhere, massive aquariums, real water falling from the trees and a planetarium style false sky in the roof (complete with thunderstorm every hour), its really something you need to experience.

Elephants, Gorillas and Monkeys … oh my!

I looked through the menu and found the closest match to a parma I could find - the ‘Parmesan Chicken Expedition’, The drinks menu was quite interesting, offering something called a ‘Cotton Candy Martini’ which looked as if they soaked Fairy Floss in various alcohols and served it in a martini glass, this was a little intimidating so I went for a beer instead.

Noticing (as I have with American parma’s other times I have had them) they do not come with the usual chips & salad, There were no chips (or ‘fries’) on the side menu so I opted for a bowl of onion rings as a side to try and compensate - this backfired however as the ‘side’ of onion rings came out a good 20 minutes before the parma, I was already finished them before the chicken even arrived.

This is the parma as it was put on the plate in front of me, complete with splatter of already dried hard (under the heat lamps no doubt) spaghetti sauce across a plate that would look at home in my grandmas kitchen, even the sprinkling of garnish on top of the cheese looked sad and withered. With much hesitation I grabbed my cutlery and started my Parmesan Expedition.

Its a good thing I was in Sin City, as there was enough full frontal schnitzel nudity to make me think I’d wandered out of the Rainforest Cafe and into Holly Madison’s Peepshow. The chicken itself was as thin as a credit card, but the crumbing had some herbs mixed through it so it wasn’t that much of a fail in the taste department. The Napoli (or ‘Marinara sauce’ - which amazingly contained no seafood) was extremely sweet, almost sugary, and the cheese was absolutely tasteless, extremely rubbery - probably as a consequence of sitting under the heat lamps.

As I mentioned earlier, there were no chips or salad to speak of, in its place was a pile of linguini with plain napoli sauce and two small pieces of garlic bread that were so hard that I think I chipped a tooth attempting to eat one. Pasta is an ok side, but not in place of chips or salad - this isn’t a one off either, this is how they do parma’s across the pond, always served with a pile of pasta. Sorry America, but you need to get on to this, Parma with Fries! you won’t regret it.

The venue is spectacular, absolutely no place like it, unfortunately they seem to be a major tourist attraction and thus SO busy that the food has greatly suffered. on the way out you are ushered through an immense gift shop, so you can buy a memento to remember your meal. too bad it was a parma I’d rather forget.

This frog was pretty happy though.

On to the second attempt from my American holiday! ‘Louie’s Pizza & Pasta’ at Universal Studios, Hollywood.

I will start off the review by stating the following - I was under no illusions that this was going to be a good parma, I was at the Universal studios theme park, had just come off ‘The Simpsons Ride’ (The most amazing roller-coaster simulator experience I have ever had) and was feeling a bit peckish. ‘Doc. Brown’s Chicken’, the ‘Jurassic Cafe’ and the ‘Flintstones Bar-B-Q’ all had hideously long queues - Louie’s queue was only just out the door so it seemed like the best option (as the above photo shows).

There is no restaurant inside, through the door pictured above, the queue continues to snake around inside the building before you find yourself in front of a counter length heat lamp, divided into three sections - PIZZA, PASTA and in a small section in the corner by the soda fountain, CHICKEN PARMESAN. I knew it would be terrible, but I took an oath when I was a young boy that I would never turn my back on a parma if it were available. I wasn’t about to break my sacred vow so I picked up the plastic plate of parma, filled my paper cup with Coke, paid for my meal and took a seat in the outdoor eating area

Mmmmm Mmmmm! looks tasty doesnt it!

I feel as if i have run the ‘shnitzel nudity being an adults only thing’ well and truly into the ground by now, but come on Louie’s! this is a family place!. I don’t even think I need to go into how the parma was, there was a light dusting of barely melted cheese - the photo is misleading as you may think all that napoli is covering more chicken, you are mistaken, that napoli is the napoli for the pasta - the schnitzel itself had barely any napoli OR cheese on it at all. it did have a couple of pieces of penne on it is a garnish, I am unsure as to whether this is an American serving variation, or some pasta just rolled on top when it was served, either way it was appreciated.

As with the rainforest cafe, the napoli was amazingly sweet, but actually didn’t taste too bad, parma aside, the pasta was actually pretty tasty. Again it was served with a piece of garlic bread, this was the hero of the dish, it was fresh, (they put it on seperately instead of letting it sit under the heat lamps) cooked just right, and I would actually consider adding a piece of GB as a serving suggestion to Aussie parma’s, very nice addition.

I’m not going to score either of these parmas as it wouldn’t be fair, its kind of like comparing apples and oranges. Americans, you do a lot of things right, but parma just isn’t one of them. Before you send me hate mail I will say I am aware that I didn’t select the most reputable businesses for review and I wouldn’t take what I have written as a judgement on the American parma scene as a whole, on previous trips I’ve sampled the Chicken Parmesan at places such as Maggiano’s or Buca Di Beppo and was not disappointed.

You guys really need to get on to the chips & salad though … seriously.

The search continues …

Rainforest Cafe (MGM Grand) on Urbanspoon

Attempt #14 - 'Mona Castle Hotel'


When? - 7th of July, 2010

Where? - Mona Castle Hotel, 53 Austin st. Seddon

Price? - Wednesday $12 ‘Pot n’ Parma’ night, $17.90 all other times

Barry? - No, but ‘Mr. Jackpot’ Machine is almost as entertaining

Website? - http://www.monacastlehotel.com.au

Reviewers - Cale, Grace, Lee, Matt, Ness, Nikki, Tony Q[/info]


Hidden away in the back streets of Seddon (much like The Rose Hotel in Fitzroy) you’ll find the Mona Castle Hotel, an old school watering hole that hasn’t gone the way of the gastro-pub, where you’ll find down to earth food at a very fair price.

The main bar is full of character, with full TAB, TV’s, and more Western Bulldogs paraphernalia than you could poke a stick at, its a pub for the locals that definitely has that ‘family’ feel. Advertising themselves as ‘the coldest beer in the west’ isn’t far off either, with their pot glasses kept chilled in a fridge below the bar. My pot of Bulmers stayed icy cold and delicious the entire way through. With a great selection of beers on tap for a local pub (Pure Blonde, Carlton Draught, Tooheys Old, Cascade Light, and of course Bulmers Cider) it’s definitely a pub I would stop into again for an ice cold pot or two.

We booked the Mona Castle for a much larger table than could actually make it to the review, but it wasn’t a problem for the friendly staff who were happy to re arrange the tables after we told them only seven people would be eating. We ordered our parmas at the table and as it was Wednesday ‘Parma & Pot’ for $12 night’ the waitress went and gathered our included pots straight away. The Dining area we were in (there are a couple) had a very warm open fireplace and entrance to a massive outdoor beer garden/dining area - enclosed in a marquee with outdoor heaters, this also looked like a cosy little spot to enjoy a beer and parma

While we waited we took some time to play what looked like a lone pokie machine sitting in the corner, but what turned out to be a ‘Mr. Jackpot’ machine, something we were yet to come across in our travels

The ‘Mr. Jackpot’ machine is hard to describe, imagine the love child of a standard pokie machine and the Joker Poker machine we encountered at The Rose. 20c buys you one ‘ticket’ and if you match the three symbols on the ticket you recieve a prize corresponding to the pictures, this time however the tickets are displayed as digital tickets on the screen, and you can purchase up to five at a time.

I’m aware what I’ve described sounds pretty much exactly like a regular pokie, but trust me its different! you’ll have to seek out Mr. Jackpot to see what I mean.

After a few turns playing the machine unfortunately broke down and refused to take any more coins, not to worry though, because our parmas arrived soon after.

Apparently these parmigianas are so fresh they are reproducing … mine had a baby

The Parmas arrived after a short wait, there was a little bit of size variance with mine (pictured above) being the smallest of the bunch, but they seemed to compensate that buy giving me a larger serving of chips and a smaller, baby parma alongside the main event.

The schnitzel was barely crumbed, only the slightest dusting of crumbs made this a very different parma, I was a little turned off at first but quickly realised I would much prefer a thick piece of chicken with few crumbs to a wafer thin fillet with crumbs thicker than the chicken itself. The chicken was thick, juicy and seemed to be herb encrusted, the Napoli was very thick and rich, but maintained a good flavour that wasn’t too overpowering. There was a slice of ham hiding at the bottom that I barely noticed and had to check for, with a healthy coating of cheese and sprinkling of parsely it was definitely a different, but tasty parma.

The chips were served to the side of the parma instead of underneath (as they should be! no more soggy chips) Mine were a little overcooked but well salted and a hearty serving - although as I said before I got more chips than the other reviewers, possibly as compensation for having a smaller parma.

The garden salad was also a decent serving, which seemed to be about the same sized portions all round, containing rocket, cucumber, tomato, onion, capsicum, mustard seeds and a lot of grated carrot with a light balsamic dressing, it was fresh, tasty & a great accompaniment to the parma.

The Mona Castle is a great little pub, a well hidden little gem in the backstreets of Seddon. At only $12 on Wednesdays with a free pot this parma is outstanding value, I’d be more than happy to come back on another night of the week and pay the full price of $17.90, The atmosphere in the main bar is great, if I had the choice I would definitely eat out there next time where I can have a parma, punt, an ice cold brew & pump a few more bucks into Mr. Jackpot … love that guy.

Parma - 7.7
Chips - 5.8
Salad - 6.3
Value - 8.0
Total- 7.10

The search continues …

Mona Castle Hotel on Urbanspoon

Attempt #13 - 'Bridie O'Reilly's'



When? - 30th of June, 2010

Where? - Bridie O’Reilly’s, 29 Sydney Rd. Brunswick

Price? - $15.00 Tuesday & Wednesday, $19.90 usual

Barry? - Yes

Website? - http://brunswickrd.bridieoreillys.com.au/

Reviewers - Adam Y, Bec, Cale, Emma, Grace, Janet, Kathleen, Lauren, Lee, Luke, Ness, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, Tanya, Tony Q[/info]

*update* If you're looking for a review of the Bridies new $4.50 parma special you can check it out by clicking Here.

‘Bridie O’Reilly’s’ (or ‘Bridies’ to the locals) is a tough place to categorize, is it an Irish pub? a restaurant? a nightclub? sometimes all three at once and with three separate locations in Melbourne alone (all with almost identical decor) it seems to be becoming a bit of a pub franchise.

We chose the Brunswick Bridies for this weeks challenge as it is fairly local to all the reviewers, and was the standard place to kick on to after the Prince of Wales closed on a Friday night. Open ‘till all hours of the morning, Bridies gets absolutely packed on weekend nights, with a queue sometimes extending well out on to the street. But will this bode well for the food? After last weeks Grandeoso parma challenge at The Hotel Albion this would be a tough act to follow.

Bridie O’Reilly’s is a huge pub. Entering past the large beer garden would normally put you in the center of the pub, but as the ‘club’ half of the pub is closed off during their quiet hours, we took a right, past the open fire place, couches, row of booth seating, Barry machine and immensely long bar to find the restaurant area. We took a seat, had a chat, and went to the bar to place our order.

There was a little confusion as to the cost & deal available to us on Wednesday night, All the posters and specials boards listed Tuesday night as their ‘Pot, Parma & Trivia - $15’ special night, and Wednesday night as ‘Wing Night’, offering a huge variety of American style chicken wings at 75c a piece. I placed my order only to discover that on the menu itself it is printed that Wednesday night is ‘Parmarama Night’ - $15 with  a supposed free pot, which some of us who were unaware of the deal didn’t receive, a few others did because they specifically asked for it. This was a little off putting and definitely hurt the ‘value’ score for Bridies.

The famous ‘Barry’

After we placed our orders a few reviewers wandered around to the ‘Barry’ pub trivia machine that I make a note of in every review. With a lot of interstate (and international) readers now I thought I’d take a minute to clarify what exactly ‘Barry’ is. As you can see from the photo above, Barry is an electronic touch screen video game that is found in a majority of pubs around Melbourne, on it you can play a variety of games such as “Cluedo”, “Monopoly”, “Who wants to be a Millionaire” & “Deal or No Deal”, all the games have been altered slightly to turn them in to multiple choice trivia games, the great part about Barry though is if you are lucky enough to win the game, you can win a cash prize - usually enough to buy a round of beers or even pay for your parma!

After a few games we managed to take $10 out of the machine, with another group scoring $20 earlier in the night, it killed enough time before the parmigianas started arriving.

The Parma looked good on arrival, a sprinkling of shaved parsley always does wonders for the look of a parma, I had a few concerns though as parts of it looked overcooked, and there was enough full frontal schnitzel nudity to give this an MA15+ rating, diners under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they want to eat this parma.

On first cut the chicken seemed a thick, but on closer inspection I discovered it was the age old trick of coating it with an obscene amount of crumbs to make it appear bigger than it is. The breast (which was a little pink, and I am dubious if it was breast at all) was a little stringy. It was an edible piece of schnitzel, but it wasn’t great. The napoli sauce was a little rich, but had a good taste to it, very flavoursome and complimented the parma well, same goes for the cheese and the slice of ham - The ham had a very lightly smoked taste which can be a welcome addition to a chicken parmigiana if you like smoked ham, if not it can put you right off.

I’m not sure how they accomplished this, but when the parma arrived it was stacked high on the chips, so much so it was difficult to cut without first pushing the chips aside and taking it down from the pile, however when the parma was removed I discovered that even though it was stacked high on the chips, there were very few under there, I’m sure this breaks a few laws of both physics and nature, but they managed it. The chips themselves were standard pub chips, they arrived with no seasoning whatsoever, but there was Salt, Pepper & Tomato sauce already on the table.

The standard garden salad of rocket, tomato, shaved carrot, cucumber, onion and a rich creamy dressing, it was a perfectly acceptable side dish to the parma, but nothing outstanding.

The Bridies parma is 100% average, it was totally acceptable as a by-the-books chicken parmigiana but there was nothing remarkable about it at all. I suppose it is to be expected from a franchise pub such as this, its kind of like comparing a McDonalds hamburger to one you would get from a restaurant. Not good, not bad, just average.

Sure, they are both technically ‘Hamburgers’ … but which would you prefer?

Parma - 4.6
Chips - 4.1
Salad - 4.3
Value - 4.7
Total - 4.48

The search continues …

Bridie O'Reilly's on Urbanspoon

Attempt #11 - 'European Bier Café'



When? - 16th of June, 2010

Where? - European Bier Café, 120 Exhibition St. Melbourne

Price? - $13.00 Wednesdays (parma night), $18.00 Lunch menu, $22.00 Dinner menu

Barry? - No

Website? - http://www.europeanbiercafe.com.au

Reviewers - Adam Y, Cale, Grace, Lee, Pete, Tanya, Tony Q, Tony S[/info]

I’d often said to my friends that ‘The Euro is like the Prince of Wales, just in the city’ it played the same music, drew the same kind of crowd and even shared some of the same cover bands - so when we found out that the European Bier Café also put on a Wednesday parma night, we just had to go and check it out.

As the name suggests, the European Bier Café is all about the Bier, um, I mean Beer. The Bar is lined with taps, I counted no less than Forty different varieties of beer available either on tap or bottled, as well as a few drink specials, full spirit selection and even my personal favourite on tap - Bulmers cider.

So with a pint o’ cider in hand ($9 for a pint, very reasonable) we ordered our parmas - The Euro website advertises their wednesday parma night as $12 all night, but in actuality it was $13 - still a well priced parma, but be weary of that. There are a couple of options you can choose from: Traditional Parma, Hawaiian Parma (with pineapple) and Italian (with fresh tomato, rocket lettuce, prosciutto and parmesan)

We all ordered Traditional Parmas, kicked back and waited for them to arrive, there were a few big screen TV’s scattered around so we rarely found ourselves without entertainment, while waiting I noticed that Wednesday is not their only ‘special’ dining night - The Euro also offers a ‘$12 Pie Night’ on Mondays, and a ‘$14 Steak night’ on Tuesdays, an interesting option, but this isn’t Pie Daze, nor is it Steak Daze …. it’s Parma Daze.

One reviewer was particularly famished and ordered himself a bowl of wedges as an entree - which were promptly seagull’ed by the rest of the table - they were good wedges with the standard sour cream and sweet chili sauce, if they were any indicator as to the quality of the parma we were about to receive, we were in for a quality piece of chicken.

Apologies for the iPhone photo - I couldn’t find my usual camera nor the memory card for my backup camera - I swear there are gremlins living in my house sometimes

It was a good looking parma, nice and big no nude schnitzel - there was a portion with no cheese, but it still had napoli and ham, so it wasn’t full frontal schnitzel nudity.

The parmigiana was well cooked and of a good thickness, a little thin in some places but real quality chicken breast. One complaint about the schnitzel is that the crumbs were rather soggy all over, the chicken had no crispness at all - but this is a minor complaint as the rest of it was delicious, there was a generous coating of flavoursome napoli. The cheese was spot on, golden brown and not in short supply - under which was a much appreciated (and different) serving of shredded ham, which I would have thought would be too much ham - but it worked very well with the dish.

The chips were shoestring (a.k.a McDonalds) fries, they were many in number though, with a majority of them not sitting underneath the parma, if they had have been under those soggy crumbs it would have been a disaster - but they were cooked well, crispy and generously salted (perhaps a little too much - could have been backed off a little).

The garden salad consisted of Rocket, red cabbage, tomato, shredded carrot, capsicum & a balsamic dressing, it was a large serving and very tasty, complimenting the meal beautifully.

If you come down on a Wednesday, this is a great value parma - especially for an inner city restaurant. Their prices for dining on any night other than Wednesday are a little high however with the parma running up to $22 for their regular dinner menu, i’d feel a tad ripped off paying $22 for this parma knowing it is available $10 cheaper on a different night of the week. That being said if you DO catch parma night its tough to beat the value of this meal, It’s big, juicy, delicious and comes with admirable sides. The atmosphere of the Euro is great, and the beers are spectacular.

Parma - 7.9
Chips - 6.9
Salad - 6.8
Value - 8.3
Total - 7.61

The search continues …

European Bier Cafe on Urbanspoon

Attempt #10 -'The Windsor Castle Hotel'



When? - 9th of June, 2010

Where? - The Windsor Castle Hotel, 89 Albert St. Windsor

Price? - $20.00

Barry? - No

Website? - None

Reviewers - Adam Y, Cale, Emma, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Tanya, Tony Q[/info]

Its hard to imagine, but the three giant pink elephants on the roof of the Windsor Castle Hotel is not the strangest thing you will see on your visit to this cosy pub tucked away in the backstreets of Prahran. Walking into what seems like a newly renovated bar (as none of the photos I’ve found online look anything like what I saw when I walked in) this dimly lit pub has its walls adorned with an eclectic array of paraphernalia, in other words, there’s lots of crazy shit on the wall. While standing in the front bar waiting to order a drink I managed to document the following things in various display cases and areas scattered over the bar and around the pub:

  • Various animal horns & antlers
  • A full sized stuffed peacock
  • A ventriloquist dummy’s head
  • A variety of different sized test tubes, beakers and glassware
  • at least two owls
  • a range of different sizes & breeds of stuffed chickens (I’m hoping our parmas didn’t come from these guys)
  • Gary Coleman’s face on a speaker
  • An indoor room roofed with what looked like vine leaves.

Im sure there was a lot that I missed, the above is what I managed to remember to write down on my trips to the bar. In short, theres never a shortage of things to keep your attention while waiting for a drink.

When the crew arrived we moved out of the front bar to the back of the pub, where the dining room is located, we took our seats on their super comfy red velvet booth chairs around a massive round table. I’ll make a note of saying its very dark in this pub, my notes are rather scribbled as I could barely see what I was writing, but it all adds to the mood. I counted no less than three open fireplaces on my walks through the pub, and the wireframe elephants head mounted above the fireplace in the dining area made this area as interesting to sit in as the front bar.

We ordered our chicken parmigianas (of course) from the attached kitchen and took a seat, it didnt take too long for them to come out -

The flash on the camera gave us the best look at the parma we got all night … so dark!

The parmigianas arrived and my first impression was that it was small - big serving of chips and a mound of salad, but the parma itself fell short in the size department, and at $20 (not too expensive, but not exactly cheap) I’d expect something a bit bigger.

The chicken, however small, was tasty - real unprocessed chicken breast was used and there was no nude schnitzel, not a tough feat considering its size but a relief none the less, the cheese was well cooked, a little burnt on some parmas but nothing too sinful. The napoli sauce tasted as if it had a bit of red wine tossed through it, an addition I really enjoyed. There was debate as to whether or not this parma came with ham - we all could taste the ham, but for the life of us couldn’t actually find any! as it was so dark we even resorted to trying to use our mobile phones as a light source as we dissected the cheese looking for ham, but none could be found!

The chips were crinkle cut, salted and fried, there was a decent serving on each plate and they were a great accompaniment to the parma - even though they served the parma on the chips, the parma was small enough that they didn’t sweat at all and loose their crispness, very good.

The salad had a delicious dressing on it and there was a lot of it, but it was all rocket with a sliver or two of onion tossed through… nothing more! no cucumber, no tomato, no carrot, capsicum or celery - Nada!

The parma was flavoursome, with real chicken and a lovely napoli, there might have been ham, we couldn’t tell. The chips were delish and the salad, while bare, was-good tasting. It fell short on the size of the parma, it was just small, and for $20 a piece I’d expect a bit more.

The Windsor Castle is definitely an experience, with cosy open fireplaces and enough ‘stuff’ everywhere to keep you entertained its definitely worth a visit, just look for the pink elephants.

Parma - 6.3
Chips - 7
Salad - 5.8
Value - 5.5
Total 6.21

The search continues …

The Windsor Castle Hotel on Urbanspoon

Attempt #9 'Sir Charles Hotham Hotel'



When? - 4th of June, 2010

Where? - Sir Charles Hotham Hotel, 3 Brougham St. Geelong

Price? - $12.00 (from the bar menu)

Barry? - No

Website? - http://www.hothamhotel.com

Reviewers - Beth, Brett, Cale, Lee, Stefo[/info]

Not long ago we received word that Geelong radio station 94.7 ‘The Pulse Food & Wine Show’ was hosting a competition to find the best pub meal in the Geelong area - The station then contacted us and asked if we would like to appear on the show, talk about parmas to the fine folks of Geelong, then go and sample the parma of the pub they had judged to be the best pub meal in the Geelong region! an opportunity we jumped at.

So last Friday a few of us road-tripped down to Geelong, met with Brett, Beth & Jenni of the Food & Wine show and talked on the radio for awhile about the greatest food to grace our fair planet - The Chicken Parmigiana.

While we were on the show the winner of the competition was announced - The Sir Charles Hotham Hotel. We promptly piled into the car and headed down to see what Geelong had to offer.

The Hotham is the classic country pub. Pool table down one end, packs of chips hanging over the bar, horse racing on the TV and (according to the pictures on the wall) has been run by the same family for 3 generations - as we were there at 1 o’clock on a Friday afternoon the place was pretty much deserted save for a few regulars at the bar, we took a seat in the bar (I didn’t get a chance to peek into the bistro over the other side, the bar seemed a perfect choice).

The bar menu was classic country pub fare, with choices such as Rissoles, Lambs Fry or Meat Loaf all at a very reasonable price. The Parma was one of the most expensive meals on the menu but at only $12.00 I was more than happy to give it a go. We ordered our parmas along with a few schooners of ‘Diggers Draught’ - a very tasty beer I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying before, definitely recommended.

Before we got our mains the staff brought out a plate of complimentary garlic bread, I can’t say whether this is a standard freebie or it was purely to butter us up so we give them a good review, but it was greatly appreciated.

The parmigianas arrived promptly and looked delicious, no nude schnitzel and a good layer of bubbling golden brown cheese. There was a slice of ham but it wasn’t too overpowering as some ham can be, so it was a welcome addition

The chicken was of good quality, not winning any awards for size but it wasn’t too small, a little on the thin side of the chicken breast scale but nothing scandalous.

The chips were pretty standard, a smallish serving but fresh & crispy, unseasoned but salt & pepper were readily available. One reviewer ordered a tartare sauce as a side for chip-dippage and that wasn’t a problem for the very friendly staff.

I can sum up the salad in one word - Fresh. the lettuce was crisp, the onions were delicious, there was even the inclusion of diced celery sticks thrown in the mix everything in it seemed like it was plucked from the garden minutes before and drizzled with a light mustard dressing. A few other reviewers went the steamed vegetable option instead of the salad & they weren’t as impressed, I didn’t try any myself but they all looked a bit limp & lifeless, nothing near the freshness of the salad.

This parma screams home made, it (and the rest of the menu) is exactly what you’d expect your mum to put out on the table when you got home from school - or your nan to serve you when she was looking after you on the school holidays while your parents had to work. Its a quaint country pub with an equally country menu - Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that in a negative light, its great that family run pubs like this still exist! The staff were friendly & obviously loved their work.

A big thanks to the people at The Pulse 94.7 for having us on the show, and an even bigger thanks to Brett & Beth for coming down and reviewing their contest winner with us.

Oh, and apologies to any Geelong residents who might take offense at me referring to them as a ‘Country Town’. You don’t need to send me abusive emails.

Parma - 5.8
Chips - 5.4
Salad - 5.2
Value - 7.6
Total - 5.96

The search continues …

Attempt #8 - 'The Rose Hotel'


When? - 2nd of June, 2010

Where? - The Rose Hotel, 406 Napier St. Fitzroy

Price? - $13.00

Barry? - Yes (although out of order when we visited)

Website? - None

Reviewers - Adam Y, Bec, Cale, Grace, Janet, Kathlen, Lauren, Lee, Luke, Matt, Nikki, Pete, Shanan, Stefo, Tanya, Tony Q, Tony S[/info]


Walking into The Rose is like travelling back in time, its old school Aussie pub through and through. From the vintage ‘Joker Poker’ card machine to the Fitzroy football club team photos adorning the walls, I was having flashbacks to when I was a kid in the 80’s getting sent into smoke filled haze of the local watering hole to pick up my Dad on a Friday night while Mum waited in the car.

Tucked away in the backstreets of Fitzroy, it’s definitely a pub for the locals to go for an after work pint, decent selection of beers on tap and very reasonably priced, The Rose gives you the feeling that you are having a drink in your own loungeroom. A couple of TV’s up on the wall in the front bar played foxtel, meanwhile out in the back dining room we were stuck with ‘Hey Hey it’s Saturday’

We picked The Rose mainly because it was in Fitzroy (an area we have wanted to do a review in for a while) and it had Barry the pub trivia game. But tragedy struck on arrival when we saw the ‘out of order’ sign stuck on the Barry machine. Devastating.

The menu had a decent selection with nothing going higher than the $13.00 mark, we ordered our parmigianas and took a seat in the back dining room (a cozy little nook away from the main bar). It wasnt too long till our meals arrived

Apparently The Rose enjoys serving a loaf of bread with their parmas

As you can see from the above photo, the first thing that struck me was the generous serving of breadstick that accompanied the parma, a welcome addition that I haven’t seen on a parma plate for quite a while. The second thing that struck me was the rather black burnt edge around my parma itself, I looked around and saw I wasn’t the only one to have a blackened parma, but there were many who didn’t so it was the luck of the draw.

Apart from the burnt bit (which was only on one edge) the schnitzel was fairly thin and heavy on the crumbs. There was a rather large portion of nude schnitzel, but the area where there was cheese had plenty of it, there was plenty of napoli sauce, but it too tasted as if it had been left on the stove a little too long. A few of the other reviewers said that their parma was fine & they enjoyed the taste, so I possibly just got an unlucky draw this week.

The chips hiding under the parma were decent, a little soggy after living under the chicken for awhile. they were unseasoned but there were both tomato sauce and salt & pepper shakers readily available. Classic pub chips for a classic Aussie pub.

In the ratio of chips/salad on a parma plate, this parma is definitely skewed to the salad - there was lots of it. A typical garden salad of lettuce, tomato, carrot, capsicum, cucumber, sprouts & onion - LOTS of onion with what tasted like a garlicy cream dressing, not too shabby, unless you don’t like onion, then you may not be a fan.

Having Barry out of order was a let down, but the old school ‘Joker Poker’ machine provided some laughs, I think I pumped about $6 into it and won 2 x 50c prizes, but it was fun none the less.

I felt like a major tightarse claiming my two 50c winnings from this machine, but hey! winners are grinners! 

I loved the atmosphere of The Rose Hotel, they have kept the charm of an old school Aussie pub and resisted the current trend of swankifying (that is too a real word - if it isn’t I’m coining it right now) old pubs into high class establishments (last weeks review of The Metropolitan is a perfect example of this). I’d be happy to go back on a sunday arvo for a chat and a pint, its the perfect pub for that. The Parma’s were cheap in price and cheap in quality, but I suppose you get what you pay for. Another thing worth noting is that it is definitely a pub for locals of the area - almost every car park for a 2 block radius is a permit zone for residents between 7pm and 6am, so be prepared to walk!

I wasn’t a huge fan of the parma, a few of them being burnt was inexcusable,  but some other reviewers enjoyed it, at only $13 it wont hit the wallet too hard if you get a bad one. The drinks are cheap and I really liked the addition of the slice of breadstick to the plate, but it wasn’t quite the best thing since sliced bread.

Parma - 4.6
Chips - 4.9
Salad - 4.7
Value - 5.6
Total - 4.90

The search continues …

Rose Hotel on Urbanspoon

Special announcement!

If you happen to be in the Geelong area this Friday (the 4th of June) be sure to listen to THE PULSE Food and Wine Show 94.7 FM from 12 noon till 1pm, Myself and a few other members of the Parma Daze crew will be on as guests talking about who we are, what we do and judging the parmigiana of their ‘Best Pub Meal in Geelong’ competition winner. Be sure to tune in!

Attempt #6 - 'The Quiet Man'



When? - 19th of May, 2010

Where? - The Quiet Man Irish Pub, 271 Racecourse Rd. Flemington

Price? - $18.90

Barry? - No

Website? - http://www.thequietman.com.au/

Reviewers - Adam Y, Adrian, Bec, Cale, Daniel, Emma, Glen, Janet, Jarrad, Kathleen, Lauren, Lee, Luke, Matt, Nikki, Pete, Rob, Shanan, Stefo, Tanya, Tony Q, Tony S[/info]

Top of the mornin to ye! and welcome to our review of The Quiet Man Irish Pub, located just a stones throw from where we recently sampled The Doot’s parma, The Quiet Man was an easy choice, nice and local to a majority of the reviewers (a welcome change from last weeks hike to Kew to try the Skinny Dog’s offering).  We had heard a couple of recommendations in favour of it, so off we went to see if The Quiet Man could deliver us a pot o’ gold … in parma form.

The Quiet Man is all Irish from the moment you walk in the door, complete with Irish bar staff, ‘100 pints of guinness’ club & copies of the ‘Irish Echo’ newspaper available in the lobby, this place is exactly what you want from an Irish pub, in fact …

Just some music to get you in the mood (I am aware this is Boston-Irish and not Irish, but its still a bloody good song)

We took our seats in the bistro and waited for everyone to arrive, the menu had an interesting little story about the history of the pub on the first page which made for some good reading … probably the only thing I read on the menu as we all knew exactly what we were getting. The Parma.

I thought our review team at the Skinny Dog was big, but this one tipped the scales at 22 reviewers, so understandably it took a little longer for our parmas to arrive, but that wasn’t much of an issue as the pints of Bulmers and $6 pints of coopers (their ‘beer of the month’) were going down very well, we also lucked out as we happened to be there on the same night as a local live music/poetry reading class were having their monthly meeting in the bistro, good old fashioned entertainment!

Damn thats a lot of cheese!

Parmas on the table, full pint of Bulmers beside it, it looked a little on the small side, but that is definitely an excusable sin if the parma is quality. I was feeling good until (while taking the above photo) I heard one of the other reviewers say ‘wheres the chicken?’ not a good sign!

I cut my first slice, and I assure you the chicken was there, a little on the thin side of things but an ok quality piece of breast, the problem was in the crumbs though, they were very processed and seemed to fall away from the chicken at the slightest movement, leaving exposed breast and crumbs on the plate - a sure sign of pre-processing. But it wasn’t all bad, it had a decent taste to it, some nice tomato salsa (according to the menu),plenty of mozzarella cheese and a hearty slice or two of virginian ham, some bites were a little overpowering on the cheese/ham front with no taste from the chicken. but it was an ok parma … not bad, but not great.

The chips hiding under the parma were again, so/so. The menu clearly advertised them as ‘chunky chips’ which they were definitely not, just standard chips. Tasty, but no chunks at all.

The salad is a very hard one to judge at The Quiet Man, purely because of its inconsistency - My serving was very nice, a mixture of rocket, lettuce, onion, tomato, capsicum & carrot which (while a little oily) had a great taste to it and complimented the meal very well. However other reviewers seemed to get different salads, ranging from one missing ingredient to one that was purely rocket and nothing more inconsistency killed it unfortunately, if the other reviewers had’ve gotten the quality salad that was on my plate I think it would’ve scored much higher!

This review seems to have come off pretty harsh, so I’ll clarify by saying it wasn’t a bad parma, its just not great! it has some issues but overall it had a good taste to it. There were a few issues with consistency of size (some people got small parmas, other people got, um, very small parmas) and salad so it was definitely a tough one to review as there were many varying opinions!

The one thing I love about the quiet man is the pub itself, it has a great atmosphere, delicious (and sometimes very cheap) drinks on tap and is definitely a cozy place to gather with your mates and enjoy a pint. The parma isn’t bad but it could be better, it seems to be a gamble when you arrive whether or not you get a good one …  just hope the luck of the Irish smiles upon you.

Parma - 5.9
Chips - 6.2
Salad - 4.6
Value - 5.9
Total - 5.74

The search continues …

Quiet Man Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

Attempt #5 - 'The Skinny Dog Hotel'



When? - 12th of May, 2010

Where? - The Skinny Dog Hotel, 155 High St. Kew

Price? - $25

Barry? - No

Website? - http://www.skinnydoghotel.com.au/

Reviewers - Adam Y, Bec, Cale, Emma, Janet, Kathleen, Lauren, Lee, Luke, Matt, Nikki, Pat, Shanan, Stefo, Tanya[/info]

The Skinny Dog is an odd one, there are heaps of posts on online forums floating around online claiming it as the biggest and the best parma in Melbourne, with photos to back it up! The problem is it seems that around late 2008 the parmas took a downward turn, The good reviews started to drop off, more and more unimpressed opinions seemed to pop up (with the odd exception of a positive opinion every now and then).

Looks like a job for Parma Daze!

We loaded up the cars and took our biggest review team yet out to Kew to try the Skinny Dog Parma, I was a little worried about parking, but there was plenty available at the supermarket carpark that resides out the back of the pub.  Walking in to the Skinny Dog gives a very good first impression, recently refurbished its an impressive looking pub with a great range of both tap and bottled beers, sports on multiple big screen TV’s and a very nice looking beer garden (complete with separate bar) out the back.

After everyone arrived we realised just how big this weeks team was, 15 hungry folks had turned up for a parma, and seeing as we were without a booking (not making that mistake again!), we were pretty much screwed. There would have been a 45 minute wait for a table in the very busy restaurant section, so we opted to re arrange all of their bar furniture into an area for ourselves in the front bar, which the staff seemed fine with.

So with seating sorted we all ordered our parmas off the bar menu - at $25 it was the most expensive parma we had reviewed to date … high hopes! Some of us got the unique option on ordering of ‘chips or coleslaw’, but not everyone was asked and even with the choice, everyone opted for chips.

The turnaround time was very quick, I was expecting a long wait but within about 15 minutes our parmas started arriving (although not all at once … which is fair enough as we had ordered quite a few).

Helloooo? salad? where are youuuu?

The Parma looked impressive when it arrived, nice big plates, chips served in a separate bowl (fantastic!) the parma itself looked big, certainly not the biggest in Melbourne, and considerably smaller than some of the photos floating around online, but big none the less. The one thing that shocked us all was the lack of any form of salad! apart from sprinkling of green things over the top of the parma, salad of any kind was nowhere to be found.

On first bite the parma was good, real chicken breast, with what tasted like home made & spiced breadcrumbs, no nude bits of schnitzel, a generous slice of double smoked ham and even a few basil leaves under the cheese … all seemed well! But as I got into the parma things seemed to change, first of all it was majorly undercooked - don’t get me wrong, there were no pink bits (thats what she said) but the crumbs were soggy with absolutely no crispness and the breasts thickness was not consistent at all, some parts were fine, but in other spots it got dangerously thin. The sauce was sparse and a bit watery. The double smoked ham had a very prominent smokey flavour, which I personally didn’t mind but could have been a bit overpowering for some. One thing almost everyone commented on was the cheese - there was a lot of it, ill say it again to make sure you take it in there is a lot of cheese on this parma. i’m a big fan of cheese at the best of times but this was too much, bordering more cheese than schnitzel! I’m not sure if the cheese was the culprit of the soggy crumbs, but in the end just couldn’t shake the taste of undercooked chicken.

It was a big parma, I had fear at one point that I wasn’t going to be able to finish, but after a quick break to digest and a pot of cider, I managed to polish it off with ease (again, thats what she said).

The Chips had good and bad points, they were well cooked and nicely salted, I loved that they were served in a separate bowl, this should be law for all parmas. They stayed fresh and crisp throughout the meal but in saying that, the bowl was a little small. The chips were thinly cut french fries, which you don’t see with chicken parmas often (not that theres anything wrong with that) but they looked like they belonged next to a medium quarter pounder meal, not a chicken parma.

The chips would have felt right at home next to this bad boy … and there would’ve been more salad on the burger than on the plate!

The Salad was … nonexistent, as I said at the start of the review a few of the team members got offered coleslaw instead of chips, I’m sorry but when I’m paying quite a premium for a parma I expect to have a full range of sides, not the choice of sacrificing my chips to get a bowl of coleslaw instead.

All in all its a great looking pub, and a good looking parma with the potential to be the best! its big enough and the chicken itself is darn good quality, they are trying different things with the parma without straying too far from the norm (I was impressed by the fresh basil leaves) but it was a let down in lots of other ways … too much cheese, the ham was too strong, without the option to leave it off, the sauce was barely there, and it was just so undercooked - try as I might, I couldn’t get the bad taste out of my mouth … Thats what she said.

*EDIT 31/03/2011 - Score amended under the ‘You don’t win friends with salad’ ruling of March, 2011

*EDIT (AGAIN!) 14/10/11 - We went back! After getting word of improvements made to the parma, we gave it another review! See the results! Here

Parma - 5.5
Chips - 4.9
Salad - N/A
Value - 4.9
Total - 5.18

The search continues …

Skinny Dog Hotel on Urbanspoon

Attempt #4 - 'The Doutta Galla Hotel'


When? - 5th of May, 2010

Where? - The Doutta Galla Hotel, 339 Racecourse Rd, Flemington

Price? - $18.90 regularly, with a $12 Parma & Pot Night on Wednesdays from 6pm

Barry? - No

Website? - http://www.douttagallahotel.com 

Reviewers - Adam Y, Bec, Cale, Emma, Fridge, Kathleen, Lee, Luke, Matt, Shanan, Stefo, Tanya, Tony Q & Tony S[/info]

We rocked up at the Doutta Galla Hotel at about 7.30 to find a fairly full pub. Split down the middle by the bar with the drinkers on one side & the eaters on the other, the Doutta Galla (or the ‘Doot’ as its known to the locals) looked promising. The restaurant side was very busy, most of the tables were taken, so we were forced to sit on the massively long outdoor table that runs the length of one side of the building (not really a fault to the pub however, as there were fourteen reviewers and we arrived without a booking)

We claimed a table and joined the long queue to place our order - I took the large amount of people eating as a good sign, hard to imagine a bad parma attracting this many people! The service on the register was slow, it took quite a while to get to the front of the queue, but the order was eventually placed without too much hassle. We were there on ‘Parma Night’ so it came to $12 with a free pot, winning points on the price, and who doesn’t love a free beer?! Another thing worth noting, apparently if they dont ask you if you would like a garlic bread with your parma, you get one for free.

The pub itself had a good atmosphere, a pool table in the pub area and a video jukebox always adds to the fun, plenty of TV’s to keep you amused and a good range of beers on tap (including Bulmers cider, a personal favourite & great accompaniment to a parma). There was also a rather cosy room at the front of the bar with an array of couches & plenty of outdoor seating if its a warm night, unfortunately for us it wasn’t a warm night on the night of the review, but as dedicated reviewers we suffer for our parmas!

Apologies to the quality of the photo, it was dark outside and the lighting is the combination of about 4 mobile phone screens

The parmas arrived, the reviewer who ordered last (and separate to the majority) got his parma about 5 minutes before everyone else, but soon enough we were all digging in. I had high hopes for this parma & first impressions were good! … I was sorely disappointed.

On the plate, the parma looked kind of small, not an unforgivable sin if its tasty, but the chicken was terrible quality, thin, cheap and more breadcrumbs than chicken. There were many nude parts of the schnitzel & the cheese that was there tasted plastic. There was an included slice of ham, which is always a bonus point, but the napoli sauce was virtually nonexistent.

The salad was a mixture of shredded lettuce, carrot and other vegetable with some tomatoes thrown on the side, it tasted more like coleslaw than a parma salad, one reviewer commented “this is what I used to feed to my pet rabbit”.

The one redeeming factor was the chips, they were beer battered, plank style chips, wouldve been great if they had’ve been salted just a little. There were salt shakers on the tables inside, but being relegated to the outdoor seating, we didn’t have access to them.

After the meal we moved inside to warm up, played a few games of pool & had a drink. The general consensus was that the parma was cheap, small and we all played pool ‘like Betty White’ because of it.

Betty White hates shitty parmas

All in all it’s a cheap & nasty parma for a cheap price, if you are looking for a low priced parma you are gonna pay for it in quality and this definitely qualifies, if we had’ve gone on a night that wasn’t their ‘parma night’ and paid the full price of $18.90 I would have been severely disappointed & its score would’ve been significantly lower. It’s passable for what you are paying, but its always a bad sign when after the meal half of the reviewers are feeling sick, and the other half are considering going to McDonalds up the road to have a proper dinner.

Parma - 4
Chips - 5.9
Salad - 2.3
Value - 7.3
Total - 4.74

The search continues …

Doutta Galla Hotel on Urbanspoon

Attempt #3 - 'The Leveson'


When? - 28th of April, 2010

Where? - The Leveson Hotel,  46 Leveson St. North Melbourne

Price? - $23 normally with a $20 ‘Parma’s of the world & Pint’ special on Tuesdays

Barry? - No

Website? - http://www.theleveson.com/

Reviewers - Lee, Matt, Shanan & Tony Q[/info]

Whenever I ask for recommendations for good parmas, or simply google ‘good parmas in Melbourne’, The Leveson is up there with The Palmerston as one of our supposed ‘best’, so from the get go it was high on our queue for review.

The team arrived at about 7:15 on a wednesday night to a fairly empty pub, there were a few people in the restaurant section up the back but we opted to eat in the front bar where there was an open fire, pool table and sports projected on to the wall as well as a plasma over our heads.

We ordered our parmas from the very friendly bar staff, grabbed a beer and had a game of pool to pass the time. There were a good selection of beers on tap & in bottles available, with my pot of Hoegaarden and parma the cost came to $31 ($23 for the parma and $8 for the pot) which in my book is a little pricey, but bearing in mind I ordered a premium beer and hadn’t tried the supposed ‘famous’ parma yet, I was ok with shelling it out.

The food arrived as our first game of pool ended and ‘Hey Hey it’s Wednesday Saturday’ started on the plasma and I must say it looked impressive (The parma, not Daryl Somers)

Don’t worry, there are chips there too! they are playing hide-and-seek under the parma

The chicken breast was very tasty, decent size, a little on the thin side for my taste but it had a good flavour, the napoli sauce was very thick and rich and a little overpowering for some of the reviewers, there was a welcome slice of ham, the cheese was in abundance & had a great flavour, although on a couple of the parmas it was over-cooked and burnt in places.

The salad was very good, it was a rocket and cherry tomato salad with balsamic dressing, but what set it apart from the others was the generous chunks of mozzarella cheese tossed through, a rarely seen and much appreciated addition to usually ignored garden salad.

The chips that I found hiding under the chicken were damp and bland, not seasoned or salted and the clogged up salt shaker that was supplied was useless until I unscrewed the top and stabbed through the hardened salt with my fork, Although the pots of tomato sauce brought out by the staff were greatly appreciated.

By the end of our meal the pub had filled up a bit more but there was still plenty of room to move, Its also worth noting that on Tuesday nights they offer a $20 ‘Parmas of the World & a Pint’ night with a selection of 5 different novelty parmas with a pint of Carlton Draught and happy hour from 6 -7. Something I’d definitely be interested in trying.

The parma was good, but a bit expensive for what you are getting. If the cheese wasn’t burnt and the napoli wasn’t so rich (in some spots it tasted like pure tomato paste) it would be a great contender, the chips were a let down but the true standout of this meal was the garden salad, I can safely say it is one of the best garden salads I’ve ever had the pleasure of accompanying my parma.

The pub itself had a good atmosphere, good staff & a great range of beers. The open fire was a nice touch and a pool table is an always welcome addition - they also boast to be the ‘Only place in the area with Foxtel’, a claim I find to be a tad unbelievable but amazing if true!

Parma - 7.5
Chips - 5.8
Salad - 7.1
Value - 5.5
Total - 6.68

The search continues …

The Leveson on Urbanspoon

Attempt #2 - 'The Palmerston Hotel'

Palmerston outside  


When? - 18th of March, 2010

Where? - The Palmerston Hotel, 51 Palmerson Cres. South Melbourne

Price? - $17 for the ‘No.1’ Parma, $18 for the ‘Palmie Parma’

Barry? - No

Website? - None

Reviewers - Lee, Nikki & Shanan [/info]

 ** Edit 21/08/14 - If you're here this review is no longer valid - We have re-visited The Palmerston 4 years later .. find out how the redo went by clicking here!

The Palmerston has a BIG reputation to live up too, once voted Melbournes No. 1 parma by the now defunctwww.superparma.com, It is known all around town as ‘the best parma in Melbourne … and they like to boast about it too!

This review session was supposed to take place the night before, on the 17th of March, but due to St. Patricks day it was pushed back a night, and as a result we had a considerably smaller group than the bunch that attended the ‘Mrs. Parmas’ review - but we pushed on none the less.

It’s classic Aussie pub atmosphere from the get-go at the Palmie, it was a warm night so there were a few people eating & having a beer on the outdoor tables, upon entry there are a few TAB machines, tables of all shapes and sizes and the walls are lined with plasma screens showing race results & other sports, and of course the always essential Barry pub trivia machine was there, the perfect accompaniment to the after dinner pot. As we walked around the back of the pub, to the dining area, we were rushed by about 30 school students leaving, who were obviously just finishing their own parma night, they looked satisfied so we were excited when we were seated in the newly deserted dining area.

The staff were fantastic, bread rolls on arrival, table service for drinks & it wasnt a problem at all when we requested to move tables when we found out another reviewer was joining us later.

They have a couple of options for the parma, you can either go the ‘No.1 Parma’ which is your standard parmigiana, and the one voted ‘best in melbourne’ or for an extra dollar you can upgrade to the ‘Palmie Parma’ which is the same, but with bolegnaise sauce instead of napoli - a nice option! there is also the choice between chips & salad or Mashed potatoes & vegetables as a side, winning points so far!

We went with the boasted ‘No.1 Parma’, saving the Palmie Parma for another time. It arrived in about 5 minutes flat, and what a parma it was!

Palmerston Parma

At around the time our parmas came out, we had word that our extra reviewer was about 10 minutes out, so we ordered his, after about ten minutes we were told his parma was ready, he ended up getting stuck in traffic and didnt join us for a good half an hour after that  & I was fearing a soggy, ruined parma that had been sitting under the heat lamps - but to our surprise when he arrived, a freshly cooked parma awaited him!

The parma was thick and juicy, lightly crumbed and cooked to perfection, there was a spice in either the crumbs or the napoli that was quite unique, and yet we couldnt put our finger on what it was exactly. One criticism I do have is that it was a little light on the sauce, lots of cheese, lots of chicken, even a slice of ham! just a little dry on the napoli. Normally the inclusion of ham on a parma can be a bit overpowering, but I didnt even notice it was on there until about halfway though. I have had many parmas in my time, and this chicken breast is the first one ive had thats come close too … maybe even beaten out the Jimmies Parma

The sides were ok, but not great, the salad was a little too finely chopped for me, there was not a piece in the entire thing that looked over a square cm in size, it actually looked like it’d be more suited sprinked on toast and served as a bruschetta. But it was tasty and cant complain too much, the chips were standard fried, not salted but there were salt & pepper shakers on the table, the one gripe (and a common mistake) is that they piled the parma on top of the chips, so by the time I ate through to them they were a bit sweaty and damp, but the chicken itself definitely made up for it.

I tried some of the mashed potatoes, and they were very much to my liking, smoothly mashed and buttery, although they were *very* peppery, and may not be to some peoples liking, the boiled vegetables seemed to have suffered the same fate as the salad, too finely chopped and one vegetable was almost indistinguishable from the other.

The parma itself is the best ive tasted in a long time. The staff are great, love the table service and bread rolls - $17 is a very reasonable price for what you get! If they upped their salad quality, put on a bit more napoli & served their chips beside their parma, theyd be in contention to beat the Jimmies parma - I’ll definitely be going back for another Parma, pot & game of Barry

*EDIT* 13/09/2010 - I visited the Palmerston this weekend for another parma & Game of Barry to discover the Palmerston’s Barry machine is no more. Theres still a TAB though so plenty to keep the gambler inside us occupied while waiting for our tasty parma to arrive.

Parma - 9.6
Chips - 7
Salad - 4
Value - 7.8
Total - 7.30
The search continues …

The Palmerston Hotel on Urbanspoon