Where - 622 Mount Alexander Rd. Moonee Ponds
Price - $22 Members, $24 Visitors
Website - https://www.mpclub.com.au
Reviewers – Lee, Nikki & Stefo
The Moonee Ponds club, in some form, has been around forever. We first tackled it back in 2012 when it was known as the North Suburban Sports Club (which you can read about Here). The parma wasn’t bad when we reviewed it seven years ago - it was fine, but forgettable.
So when word came down the grapevine that the North Suburban had had a name change, some renovations and a shake up to the kitchen staff I made a note to check it out.
Which brings us to this week. After a run of frozen parmas, rustic parmas and parma pizzas I was craving something traditional. I wanted a no frills, no fuss, quality feed - So when I was going over my list of recommended parmas The Moonee Ponds Club stuck out as somewhere that might be able to scratch that itch.
To quote myself from the review of the North Suburban “If you’ve ever been to an RSL, you’ve pretty much got the atmosphere of the North Suburban down. Pokies up the front, pool room to the side, restaurant up the back and a bar down the middle, complete with a club keno screen to finish everything off”. It always had a bit of a “footy club” vibe that didn’t seem to be connected to any particular club.
Walking in to the Moonee Ponds Club last night I was amazed how things have changed…
Gone is the footy club feel, this place actually feels like a real pub now. The bistro up the back has been completely re-done, with added fireplaces, lighting fixtures, exposed brick walls and large booths lining the room. They have added a lounge area with plump leather chairs along with some bookshelves with a decent selection of reading material - If I were a little bit more local I could definitely see this becoming a home away from home.
Rather than venture into the bistro we grabbed a table at the main bar and checked the menu for this week’s parma…
Now as you may have guessed, the Moonee Ponds Club is a “Club”, so from the beers to the food everything is priced for either Members or Visitors. As lowly visitors we were charged $24 for tonights parma, and on top of that we splashed out an extra $3 each for a side of gravy, bringing the total for our meals up to $27 a piece.
If you’re after a fancy selection of tap beers on your visit to the Club you’re going to be disappointed. Carlton, VB, Cascade and Great Northern was all that was available on tap at the time of reviewing - However I was surprised to see a relatively decent range of beers available in the fridge. Stone & Wood, Lord Nelson, Moo Brew, Feral and Kona Big Wave to name a few. Not a ground breaking selection by any means, but definitely more than I expected to find available at the local club.
As is tradition with reviews for places we have been before, first we will look at the 2012 North Suburban Club Parma…
Before tucking into the 2019 version…
What a change! First up they have switched from a thinly hammered schnitzel to this chonker, opting for thickness over size, which I am all for. The crumbs were crispy and other than the chicken being a little dry it was very well cooked - served piping hot and steaming.
The ham, like the chicken, was stacked thick. It didn’t carry a whole lot of flavour but at least they weren’t tight with it. Good coverage of cheese, a solid, flavourful blend that browned up very well (albeit a little oily).
The napoli was the contentious part of the dish. It was rich, thick and chunky how we like it, however it carried a sweetness that was hard to pin down - Until we found the fennel seeds. We have come across this before and it has never been well received. It didn’t ruin the dish, however the strong liquorice taste of the fennel was strong and definitely detracted from the other flavours of the dish. Some people might like it, I personally could do without it.
The chips were kept crispy in their own mini fry basket. A pretty generous serving size, they were well cooked but needed salt. I highly recommend getting a side of gravy for some chip-dippage as the flavoursome gravy definitely helped elevate these chips from “Just Okay” to “Yum!”.
The salad was fine. Nothing exceptional about it but at the same time I’ve got nothing negative to say about it either, just your standard garden salad. It did it’s job.
I’d gladly fork out another $24 for the parma we were served. Despite a few mis-steps it was an overall quality dish. If you are after a true bargain however, head down to the Moonee Ponds Club on a Tuesday night, when word has it they offer up both their traditional parma and a rotating novelty topped parma at a very tempting price..
The Moonee Ponds Club has had new life breathed into it. I love the new look and feel of the place, its a cosy spot with a real local pub vibe. I started this week craving a no frills, well done parma and that is exactly what I received. Definitely worth a visit if you are nearby.