Where - 2 Gamon Street. Seddon
Price - $20 (Chicken or Eggplant)
Website - https://www.charlesandgamon.com.au
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
We've been meaning to visit this week's pub for a while now. From memory it was scheduled to be our last review of 2017, but got pushed due to some issue I'm having trouble remembering six months later. So it got bumped back to our To-Do list where it waited until this week, when I received a glowing review from a reader, urging us to check it out. I bumped it up our list and last night we visited Seddon's Charles & Gamon.
If you're thinking from the above photo that Charles & Gamon looks like the ground floor of somebody's house has been converted into a pub, then you are correct! As far as I can tell Charles & Gamon is the ground floor of somebodies house, converted into a pub. Proof to all the men out there that you can start serving beers out of your man cave and people will turn up. Don't let your dreams be dreams.
Upon arrival at C&G we walked past the beer garden which, while it looked quite inviting, would have been a little too chilly for us to choose for our meal this brisk May evening. We ventured inside and grabbed a table. I was expecting a relatively small bar however Charles & Gamon is roomier inside than I had expected. A mix of high tables, low tables, booths and couches filled the room, offering the full gamut of seating options. We grabbed a high table in the corner and checked the menu -
Although having an Vegetarian friendly eggplant parma is good to know, tonight our sights were set (as always) on the chicken.
The menu at C&G is a wide spectrum of options. If you're feeling fancy you could try the likes of Duck Liver Parfait, Kangaroo Tartar or Braised Beef Tongue, right alongside more traditional pub fare such as a Cheeseburger, Parma or Bangers & Mash.
Beers selection on tap at C&G is slim, but adequate. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale and local brewery Hop Nation struck my eye as standouts amongst the four taps available, with plenty more options available in bottles should you be feeling adventurous.
Our parmas arrived about 15 minutes after ordering, and my word, did they look fantastic on the plate...
Before continuing to the photos themselves, be aware that Charles & Gamon is quite lowly lit - Nothing but Edison bulbs and tea light candles as far as the eye can see - Which, while great for setting a mood, isn't very conducive to good food photography, so be gentle.
We grabbed our cutlery, tucked in and were greeted with pure, white, juicy chicken breast. Thick, well cooked and the crumbs were thin and crispy - On looks alone it was near perfection.
Then I started eating it, and on first bite I knew this was gonna be a parma that divided the room.
There was a spice through the crumbs. A sweet spice. At first I thought they had used candied or maple bacon like the parma at nearby Smokehouse 101, but on trying the bacon on its own I couldn't detect it, followed by trying the napoli on its own ... Nope not there, through the process of elimination I had narrowed it down to the crumbing on the schnitzel. I want to say it was cinnamon, possibly nutmeg? Whatever it was it was a divisive choice that split opinions on this parma down the middle.
The toppings on this parma were phenomenal. The three cheese blend was impossibly gooey and flavoursome, the bacon was thick cut and an absolute triumph, and the napoli was plentiful and rich (and the extra dollop on top of the parma was a nice touch, something unique that we have not yet seen before) however every bite was overwhelmed by the mystery spice.
It penetrated the dish. After a few bites I had adjusted and wasn't too offended by its presence, however some of the review team with a less-than-positive outlook on cinnamon could barely get through the meal. My preference would be that it not be there, but I could get through the dish and appreciate the other elements for what they were, yet for others it was a deal breaker and ruined the meal entirely.
The chips were spot on. Beer battered, well cooked, piping hot, crunchy and not served underneath the parma - Pretty much a tick in every box (a little shy on seasoning, some salt & pepper shakers on the table would be appreciated).
The garden salad was mostly fine. Leafy greens with some tomato and onion. It was crisp and fresh however the dressing used was very sour and could be backed off a little, but mostly a refreshing palate cleanser for the meal.
A parma with ingredients of this quality for only $20 is insanely good value. Weird spice aside this is a pure chicken breast with thick cut bacon, a mountain of high quality cheese blend alongside a decent serve of chips and salad. Hard to walk away from this one hungry, and for only $20 that is quite a bargain.
From the crumbs to the salad, the parma at Charles & Gamon is one of bold flavours. They have taken some risks, not all of which have paid off. As Reviewer Nikki said in her comment above, this parma has the potential to be top tier - Maybe even make it to our top ten, however the addition of the mystery spice completely overwhelmed the dish, they have the makings of a phenomenal parma here but they just took it one step too far.
As for the pub itself It is a cosy little spot with super friendly staff and a great atmosphere - If I lived nearby I could definitely see this becoming my local (On a night like that one I was eyeing the mulled apple pie cider on the menu pretty hard). If I heard the mystery spice was removed from the crumbs I'd happily go back for a redo any day of the week, otherwise I have to drop my recommendation to possibly worth a try... maybe?