Where - 93-95 Queen St. Melbourne
Price - $16
Website - http://www.ggezbar.com
Reviewers – Lee, Matt, Nikki, Stefo
It's no secret that I'm partial to a video game now and then. Other than parmas and beers, games are pretty much the only other thing that appears on the ParmaDaze Instagram, and I even briefly toyed with the idea of a ParmaDaze Twitch channel called ParmaPlaze (although I wouldn't rule it out entirely ... you should bookmark that link).
When I heard about GG EZ, Melbourne's first dedicated eSports bar, I thought it sounded like a pretty cool idea. When I heard that GG EZ, Melbourne's first dedicated eSports bar had put a parma on the menu I immediately put it on the docket as a must-try. So last night we loaded up the parma bus, headed to the city and descended the stairs into GG EZ.
The street level entrance to may look a little seedy, but once downstairs I was thoroughly impressed with the fitout of the pub.
Plenty of tables and a heap of TV's playing a wide gamut of professional eSports games (on arrival there was League of Legends, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike and a few screens playing the newly released Dragonball Fighter Z - which I was keen to check out, so that was a bonus.
We grabbed a seat and checked the menu -
It definitely sounded interesting! I wasn't too sure what to expect with a "Korean style" parma, but I was keen to see what they would come up with. We placed our orders at the bar, kicked back with a beverage and took in some of the eSports on the screen.
I'll say it now - I was super comfortable at GG EZ, and if it wasn't a Thursday night and I didn't have to go to work the next day I could definitely lose quite a few hours to some pints and pro gaming.
3 beers on tap with an American flavour - Coors, Samuel Adams and Gage Road's Little Dove (Surprising to see Sam Adams on tap, I don't think I've seen that outside of the USA). I would consider it a pretty sparse selection if it not for a much more robust list available in stubbies (4 Pines, Furphy, Gage Roads, Kona, Omission, Stone & Wood, Two Birds and Yenda)
About 15 minutes after ordering our buzzers buzzed, and we collected our parmas.
Unless you play PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds you might be a little confused as to why the PUBG parma is served in a heavy cast iron skillet, lets just call it an "in joke" and leave it at that.
First up, the schnitzel was an absolute triumph. Thick and juicy with an unbelievably crunchy coating of crumbs that stole the show. Served hot, it was a fantastic foundation on which to build the rest of a parma.
The toppings faltered a little, but were still enjoyable. There was plenty of napoli, however it was a little on the sweet side for our liking. The cheese was fine, however I would have preferred a little sharpness to the cheese blend, other than straight up mozzarella.
As I say about almost every parma served without a slice of ham - Some ham would have really helped this parma shine.
Now. The chips. As you may have noticed from the photos above, GG EZ made a ... let's say controversial choice with their selection of "chips" to side this parma. Rather than standard fries or steak chips or anything made with a potato, GG EZ have opted for honey-butter coated taro chips.
Look, I give them points for originality and trying something new, but when the side to your parma tastes more like a honey joy than a chip I'd rather save them for desert than keep them as a side to my parma.
The salad was a bit of a mixed bag. Nothing but lettuce and it was a little wilted, however I found the house made dressing was quite flavoursome, and with a bit of tweaking (more than just lettuce) could be fantastic.
I feel like I've been a little harsh on this parma, and a lot of my criticisms can be negated with the knowledge that it was only $16. A price that low for a schnitzel of the quality we received is virtually unheard of these days. I plan on being at GG EZ again in the future, and would have very few qualms ordering this parma again.
I really enjoyed my trip to GG EZ, For someone who has been playing video games since my Dad borrowed his workmate's Atari 2600 in the mid 80's walking into GG EZ felt like coming home.
The PUBG parma has a great foundation, and with a few tweaks could be pretty phenomenal - My one suggestion would be to add the option of swapping out the Taro chips for real chips. They have that option for the burgers and I would gladly sling them a few extra bucks for some real fries.
Other than that it was a great venue and definitely one every video game fan should check out.
Before getting to the scores below I will preface them by saying that this is one parma that is worth trying, regardless of score. The taro chips were not well received, which dragged down the total score quite a bit, so just be aware of that before reading on!