Where? - 32 Chapel St. Saint Kilda
Price? - $23
Reviewers – Lee, Matt, Nikki, Stefo
Okay, First thing's first. Yes, the Dick Whittington Tavern is colloquially known as "The Dick", and yes, their attached bottle shop trades under the name "The Dick Liquor". Have a laugh, get it out of your system now. We've got serious parma business to discuss.
The Dick has been on our list for a while now, I think it was originally recommended by a friend a good 3 - 4 years ago and has been stuck on our list since then, but after yet another recommendation to give it a crack we could put it off no longer and headed down to the St. Kilda end of Chapel St.
The Dick is divided into a few areas, the Upstairs area reserved as an upmarket function space while downstairs is where the magic happens. First up we arrived to the public bar...
... and pulled up a pew in front of the fireplace. There was a gaming area to the back and an unobtrusive TAB set up between the TV's, the perfect spot for a pint and a punt - Unfortunately a quick check of the bar menu revealed that we would need to move through to the bistro if we wanted to get our parma on.
The bistro was a quieter, more intimate setting than the public bar but I'd happily have a feed in either. Moments after sitting down we were presented with some fresh bread, olive oil and salt.
A very classy touch that was much appreciated.
We checked the menu. Please excuse the oil drips in the photo as I may have gotten a tad overzealous with my olive oil dippage.
Spotted. A little let down as The Dick's website menu touts bacon on the parma in place of ham, but we always keep an open mind before passing judgement.
Tap list is a little basic at the Dick (Draught, Boags, Creatures, Coopers, Stella, Squire) - If you're after something a bit on the craftier side they've got a decent selection of bottled options, Mountain Goat, Stone & Wood and Feral to name a few.
After a 20 minute wait (glad they brought that bread out as we were starving) our meals arrived...
When it first hit the table the parma looked a little small, not to worry though as it had the thickness of pure chicken breast to back it up. Plump, juicy and crisp, with the crumbs carrying a fantastic crunch - There were some minor complaints around the table of it being slightly overdone, but for my money this was a very tough schnitzel to fault.
The toppings were also great. My hesitance toward the lack of bacon was completely unwarranted as the gypsy ham that was quite generously used in its place was absolutely bursting with smokey flavour. The taste of the cheese struggled a little to make its presence known, but managed to do the job.
The napoli was probably our biggest criticism of the entire meal. It was fine, but there just wasn't enough of it. Another tablespoon or two and this would have been a hall-of-famer.
The beer battered chips were delightful. Generous serving well seasoned and the offer for dipping sauces was made freely as the parma was delivered. A fine side to a fine parma.
The salad was pretty good also, points for serving in a seperate bowl. The garden salad of greens, cucumber, capsicum and cherry tomatoes with a healthy dose of balsamic dressing really hit the spot, although it may be a little too heavy on the dressing for some.
$23 for the parma we received (bread included) is a perfectly acceptable price for this dish. I didn't see a specific "parma night" advertised anywhere in particular, however they do offer a Wednesday "Blokes Night", serving "half price mains to each and every lad who walks in the door" - Worth a crack at that price.
I really enjoyed The Dick (phrasing). It was a top tier parma that I'd happily return for. The pub itself was a joy, and I have to make special note that each and every staff member we encountered was absolutely lovely, friendly and eager to have a chat. Definitely one to try.