Where - 61-65 Victoria Parade, Collingwood
Price - $23
Website - http://www.badenpowellhotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Grace, Lee, Nikki & Tony
The AFL footy season is winding up for the year, so its probably not the best time to talk about an MCG-adjacent footy pub - But I suppose if your team makes the finals this year you've got another month to get in and check it out.
I've been aware of the Baden Powell for a while, however I had mentally written it off as a "non parma pub". Having skimmed the menu once or twice in an effort to find parmas to review the parma at the Baden Powell eluded me ... Because it was in disguise.
Despite the Baden Powell's website claiming that they do a "ripper parma", and their Wednesday $15 parma night being called a "Parma Night" - The Baden Powell doesn't actually have a parma on the menu...
Once I realised that the "Chicken Cotoletta" was basically a gourmet parma we loaded up the parma bus and headed to the Baden Powell.
To be honest, when I saw that the Baden was seemingly trying to hide the fact that there was a parma on the menu I was expecting an upmarket gastropub. Tablecloths, sommeliers, the whole shebang - Imagine my surprise when I found the Baden Powell to be a down-to-earth, quality pub.
We grabbed a table in the bistro, checked the menu (pictured above) and ordered our meals.
While waiting I had a bit of a snoop around the Baden, as their website claims that they have the “Best Beer Garden in Collingwood” I figured it was worth some investigation.
I’ve gotta say, they’re not far off. While the front bar of the pub seemed a tad crowded (I can imagine it particularly packed on game day), the beer garden was a spacious, open affair with separate bar, plenty of tables and big screen TV’s to catch all of the action. Will definitely back in summer for a pint in the sun.
The tap list is impressive. Ranging from “Caaarlton” (literally how it’s written on the chalkboard) to craft, with something for all tastes in between.
After a 20(ish) minute wait, our Parma arrived from the kitchen...
Well this is different.
All of the discussion for this Parma is in the toppings, but lets talk schnitzel first.
It was fresh, perfectly cooked and had a fantastic home-style taste to it. Not too thick and not too thin, it was big enough with a light layer of crumbing which carried a fantastic crunch. A great foundation for the dish.
The toppings are where things get interesting - First of all, yes, there is cheese on this Parma - its hidden under the generous lashings of the star of this dish - the ham. As soon as the plates hit the table the fragrance of the smoked ham wafted forth. It was thick cut, flavoursome and utterly delightful.
The Baden Powell has forgone a traditional Napoli sauce in favour of a freshly cut tomato salsa. Imagine what you’d get on a bruschetta, that’s what they’ve put on this Parma.
A bit of a contentious point around the table, some liked it, some thought a more traditional Napoli would have suited the dish better. I thought it was a fresh twist, great if you’re in the mood for something a bit different.
The chips were pretty standard. Decent enough serving, adequately seasoned, but nothing to write home about.
Long time readers of the site will know that I’m a sucker for cheese through a garden salad. Nothing makes a salad as delicious as stripping out all nutritional value one might gain by stirring through a handful of Parmesan. I was a huge fan of this one.
Would I happily pay another $23 for this Parma again? I think so. It was different, but I definitely enjoyed every mouthful. The ingredients were great quality all around and it was definitely a filling dish. Wednesday night at the Baden Powell is $15 “Gourmet Parma” night, so if you’re on the fence about if you would like their take on a Parma then this is definitely the night to check it out.
I liked pretty much everything about our visit to the Baden Powell Hotel. The pub was cool (beer garden especially), the tap list was solid and the Parma was very tasty and definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a unique take on the dish. Oh, and it’s walking distance to the ‘G if you’re heading to the footy this weekend.