Where - 43 Royal Parade, Parkville
Price - $25
Website - http://www.naughtonshotel.com.au
Reviewers – Lee & Stefo
After a very redo-heavy year I’ve come to a decision - We officially retiring the Redux at ParmaDaze.
For clarity, we aren’t gonna stop revisiting pubs we have done in the past, but after reviewing parmas for nearly nine years we are going to be revisiting more and more pubs to the point where marking them specifically as redo’s is becoming an increasingly moot point, and keeping track of what actually qualifies as a redo is getting harder and harder to keep track of (Does it have the same owners? Has the name of the pub changed? Did the original owners change the name of the pub?).
Don’t get me wrong, if we visit a pub that we have already visited in the past I’ll definitely mention it in the body of the review and there will no doubt be comparisons made between the first and subsequent visits, but titling a revisit review as a “Redux” is now a thing of the past (and lets face it, calling a redo a “Redux” was always a bit of a wank to begin with).
Anyway. On to the review!
We first visited Naughtons in January of 2013, back when it was going by Naughton’s Parkville Hotel, and to be honest it was a pretty great parma! Not perfect by any stretch but I always held it in high regards as one of the better parmas in the area.
Then recently I found out that Naughtons had undergone a bit of a change. Basically gutted inside and reopened only weeks ago with a new vibe, a new fit out and (most importantly) a new menu. The rennos looked outstanding and I was curious to see if the parma had also undergone a change, so we loaded up the parma bus (for the last time in 2018, I might add) and headed to Parkville.
The sun was shining this particular Thursday so we opted for an al fresco table out the front of the pub. Grabbed a menu and checked our target for the night…
I was amazed at how busy Naughtons was for a Thursday evening. It wasn’t even 7pm yet at the joint was heaving. The new fit out looks fantastic. The left hand side of the pub has a strong bistro/restaurant feel while the right hand is a bit more casual. A mix of booths, high and low tables leading out the back to a beer garden style spot (although not open roofed).
We placed our order at the bar and grabbed a couple of beers.
The tap list at Naughtons impressed me. Mountain Goat Gose, a couple of taps running Wolf of the Willows, Venom Golden Ale and Brunswick Bitter to name just a couple, along with a massive fridge beside the bar with a large range of craft beers available (it seemed) for both dine in and take away
The parmas came out quickly, no more than 15 minutes after ordering our meals arrived at the table. Lets first have a look at the 2013 Naughton’s parma before diving into its 2018 counterpart.
I know we’re all thinking it - The schnitzel looks a bit small. And I’m not gonna lie, it was. Everyone at the review cleared their plate with ease so if you’re looking for a massive feed this might not be the parma for you.
However, I cannot fault Naughtons parma on quality. The schnitzel, while a little small was a perfectly crumbed, amazingly crunchy, cooked to perfection pure white piece of chicken breast. Other than its size I honestly can’t fault the schnitzel.
The toppings were also pretty great. The napoli was rich and thick and the cheese blend was flavoursome. I normally stand by the claim that a parma doesn’t need ham to be good, however the parma at Naughtons was begging for a slice of ham to really elevate it. Some smoked pork off the bone would have brought this parma to the next level. It was pretty damn good, but it has the potential to be great.
The chips were crunchy, well seasoned, served hot and in a neat little silver cup. A decent serving that was only missing a bit of dipping sauce to be great. Excellent work.
Last week’s visit to the Albion Rooftop was a prime example of putting as little effort as possible into a salad. This week at Naughtons was the polar opposite. The coleslaw accompanying our parma was great. Fresh and crisp, super light on the mayo, plenty of onion and the surprising addition of currants and slivered almonds. Absolutely fantastic and served as an outstanding side to the dish.
Value is a tough one this week. Yes it was small and it didn’t have any ham however the ingredients that were on the plate were top notch. I guess it depends on what you are after when you head out for a feed - Quality or quantity? I’d happily pay $25 for this parma again as I greatly enjoyed it but don’t expect to walk away stuffed for your money. Monday night is “All Counter Meals for $20” night so I’d definitely recommend hitting it then if you are in the area.
I really enjoyed our trip to the new and improved Naughtons. The pub has a friendly, inviting vibe, all the staff were great and the food is fantastic quality. If the parma was 50% bigger and threw on some smoked ham I reckon we’d be looking at a top ten contender, as it stands now its a super enjoyable, expertly crafted parma that you won’t walk away from disappointed. Check it out.
Parma - 6.75
Chips - 7.5
Salad - 9.5
Value - 6.00
Total - 7.30
And with that we close out ParmaDaze for 2018. The Parma of the Year and Best New Parma trophies have been ordered and we will present them to the winning pubs sometime before the end of the year, and will post the 2018 wrap up shortly after that so keep an eye out. Thanks for being with us for another year and I look forward to discovering some more awesome parmas through 2019 and beyond!