Where - 64 Smith St. Collingwood
Price - $5
Website - http://www.forestershall.com.au/
Reviewers – Cale, Lee, Stefo
Sitting around the table at Foresters last week discussing how this review would go, we tossed out the idea of the entire article consisting of one line -
"It's only five dollars"
However we decided that would be a bit of a dick move to our readers. People come to ParmaDaze for long form reviews, not tweets. So rather than a single line review we're giving the Foresters Five Dollar Parma the full treatment.
First up, Foresters is an impressive establishment. An unassuming facade gives way to a beautifully restored, two level pub (and yes, you can sit in the clam shell).
At 6pm on Thursday they were already getting surprisingly busy, so we wasted no time securing a seat and checking the menu
Not much else to say! Oh, other than there is a choice between chicken and eggplant, for the vegetarians among us.
We placed our order at the bar.
The beer list at Foresters is something that has to be seen to be believed, I'd even go as far to make the (totally unfounded and unresearched) statement that they have the most comprehensive tap list that Collingwood has to offer. A must for any craft beer lover, Check it out for yourself.
After about 15 minutes of waiting, the moment finally arrived. Please be aware that Foresters is a horribly dark pub, I did my best to lighten up these photos as best I could, but the results aren't perfect -
The schnitzel is exactly what you would expect for a $5 parma, namely an oversized chicken nugget. As heart shaped and processed as you can get. But you know what? I didn't hate it. Using the cheap as buggery ingredients they had they still managed to pump out a piping hot, fresh schnitzel.
The toppings were on par with the schnitzel. When we ordered we were offered the option of adding some extra toppings to the parma for an additional cost (ham, salami, etc.), I didn't do this, as I wanted to try the pure $5 parma experience, but it is definitely something to consider if you don't mind chucking them an extra buck or two.
The napoli and cheese could have used a bit more coverage - If I were them I'd be doing everything in my power to cover as much of the schnitzel as possible - But like the schnitty the toppings, while completely plastic, were prepared and served well.
The chips were chips. A surprisingly decent serving for what we paid, but they were just chips none the less. Could have used some salt - and the lack of salt shakers on the table made it a little difficult to remedy this issue. Like the parma they were served hot and well cooked.
The "Salad" was two cos lettuce leaves doused with a cream dressing. At any other pub I would have thrown the plate across the room at this point, however our mantra of "it was only five dollars ... it was only five dollars" kept me calm and centred.
For a value score this is hard to fault. It's $5. You can't even get a quarter pounder meal for that price anymore.
The parma at the Foresters won't rate well because there is only so much the "Value" score can do - However this is one of the rare occasions where I would actually reccommend trying a low scoring parma. If you understand what you're going in for from the get go then it's hard to be disappointed. The worst thing that will happen is that you have a few fantastic beers in a great pub with a so/so parma to soak it up. If you keep your expectations low you might be pleasantly surprised.
It's only five dollars.