Where - 27 Weston St. Brunswick
Price - $12 reg, $17 Large on Thursdays, $19 reg, $25 large other times.
Website - https://charlesweston.com.au
Reviewers - Dylan, Fridge, Grace, Lee, Pat, Kim & Tony Q
I said it back when we first reviewed them in 2016 and I’ll say it again. I love the Charles Weston. And although Brewcult briefly stole the title then rode off into the sunset, it stands as my favourite pub in the Sydney Road strip.
When we first tried the parma night at the Weston it was just that - A parma night exclusive. The parma was still a relatively new thing to their kitchen and while it was available on parma night it had yet to make its way to the printed menu. It rated well (total score of 7.24) but I was curious to see how three years of development had affected the Charles Weston parma (and to be honest, any excuse to revisit the Weston is fine by me)
As far as decor goes I don’t think a single thing has changed since our last review three years ago, so I’ll reiterate what I said then -
It has a great backstreets local charm coupled with multiple open fireplaces, friendly staff, live music, board games and a solid craft beer list, I'm not ashamed to say that I've spent many a Satuday and Sunday arvo wasting away the hours playing Jenga by the fireplace.
Along with the fireplaces, board games and beers the Weston also boasts a surprisingly spacious beer garden out the side, a full sized ping pong table indoors and a very cosy, dimly lit dining room out the back
You know what? I tell a lie. Something has changed - They have a foosball table now as well.
We sat down and checked the menu - It was great to see the parma had finally made it to print -
However it was once again Thursday when we visited the Weston, and lucky for us their $12 parma night remains. Our first trip we had the option of Hawaiian, Mexican or Classic. This time around the menu has expanded to Classic, Breakfast, Nachos or Eggplant - All available in a regular size for $12 or an “upsized” parma for $17. Of course I opted for the upsized version.
As far as beers on tap go the Weston has something for everyone. The board on our visit sporting a selection from Coburg Brewing Co, Venom, Hargreaves Hill, Balter, Hawkers, Napoleone Cider and Mornington Peninsula Brewery. My heart belongs to Balter and I stayed on those for most of the night, but it was nice to see a good range of beers on offer.
About 20 minutes after ordering our meals arrived from the kitchen. As is tradition with pubs we have already reviewed once, lets take a look at the parma from our first visit compared to the new one…
Quite a difference! First things first I definitely recommend going for the upsize as the schnitzel had almost doubled in size from its smaller counterpart. The chicken (which was entirely engulfed in toppings, not a nude patch of schnitzel to be found) was surprisingly thick - A little dry for my liking, but not a huge complaint. The crumbing was thin, slightly soggy but still enjoyable. Overall a quality foundation to the parma (especially on discount parma night).
I have already mentioned the liberal application of cheese, which was grilled to a perfect golden brown, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the Charles Weston has upgraded their pork from ham to prosciutto - Now prosciutto on parmas can be a bit divisive, however I am a big fan of the salty snap prosciutto provides.
The napoli was fresh and chunky, but, like in 2016, was a little bit lost amongst the other elements of the dish.
I was very pleased to see that the Weston has upgraded from shoestring fries to proper chips. Had these had copped a little bit more seasoning before they were plated they would have been fantastic. But as they were they were fresh, but a little bit lacking. Some dipping sauce would be nice.
The salad is one element of the Charles Weston parma that I think was done better back in 2016, this was a contentious point back in our last review however in my old age I have grown to much prefer coleslaw over a garden salad. As far as garden salads go it was fine, however I feel a side of coleslaw like it had when we first reviewed it was a much better accompaniment to the dish … but that’s just me.
For $12 or $17 (depending on the size you get) on a Thursday I’d have to say that this is one of the best value parma night’s in the Brunswick area. The upsized parma was a struggle to get through, and that’s just for the Classic, the novelty topping options were loaded even higher.
Every other night the pricing is still relatively good. It is smaller but a parma under $20 on a non-parma night menu is a rare sight these days, so I’d say this is one worth checking out parma night or not.
If you hadn’t worked it out already I am a little biased to the Weston just because I enjoy the pub so much. But putting my bias aside I genuinely enjoyed my parma there. Thursday parma nights are rare to begin with, they are more often than not relegated to the quieter Monday or Tuesday nights, and the Weston’s parma night offers up a high quality feed at a bargain basement price with a solid range of beers on offer. Definitely one worth checking out.