Where - 376 Smith Street. Collingwood.
Price - $24
Website - https://www.robertburnshotel.com.au
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
As you could probably guess I spend a lot of time on social media looking at pictures of chicken parmas - On Instagram especially there are series of tags that I watch consistently, waiting patiently for the next big thing to appear.
So when this photo popped up on my feed…
Its safe to say my interest was piqued!
I didn’t know much about the Robert Burns, other than it being “that pub near the Birmy that doesn’t do a parma” … Or didn’t do a parma as far as I was aware. I guess I just needed to look a little more carefully.
Either way that looked looked like a quality dish - A little unusual, not what we would normally try, but a quality dish none the less. So last night we loaded up the parma bus and headed to Fitzroy.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect walking in to the Robbie Burns, but what we found was a pub dripping in old school charm. Walking in the door took me straight back to my childhood of counter meals in country pubs. Dimly lit, open fireplace, bistro out the back. The Robbie Burns has a fantastic old world vibe that you just don’t see often any more.
We grabbed a seat in prime position in front of the fireplace and checked the menu…
Now although the menu doesn’t state it the parma does come with chips, but we’ll cover that a bit later. We ordered our parmas at the bar and kicked back in front of the fire grooving along to the tunes of the in-house DJ. I was really digging the vibe of the Robert Burns and had my fingers firmly crossed that I wouldn’t have to give them a negative review once the parmas arrived.
As far as beers go the Robert Burns has got you covered. The rotating tap list offering breweries such as Hawkers, Sample, 4 Pines, Stone & Wood, Urban Alley, Young Henry’s, Grifter, 2 Birds Capital Rock and more, as well as an impressive range of tinnies in the fridge.
After about 20 minutes our parmas arrived from the kitchen…
I knew from the outset that we were not in for a traditional parma experience with our trip to the Robbie Burns, so I did my best to keep an open mind. One thing I did not notice from their instagram post was that this is a bone-in parma, our first bone-in parma in fact. I am not a fan of chicken on the bone in many circumstances so I wasn’t huge on this idea - However the bone was unintrusive, easy to cut around and overall didn’t detract from the dish as much as I thought it would.
Other than that this schnitzel was top notch. The unique toppings allowing the quality of the schnitzel to star. Well cooked, super crunchy and delicious.
I’m not a big fan of buffalo mozzarella at the best of times. I find it doesn’t really have much of a flavour at all, however I didn’t mind it at all on the Robbie Burns parma. The dusting of parmesan added some much needed bite. To be honest I could have used a little bit more napoli and prosciutto (I am a prosciutto fiend though, they could stack it a foot high and I wouldn’t be satisfied) but overall it was a super tasty dish.
Anyone who reads ParmaDaze with any sort of regularity will know that I am not a fan of shoestring, or “Maccas” fries. I think that a parma belongs beside a chunky chip and any parma we’ve had with shoestring fries has ultimately let the dish down in the long run.
Well I’ll be damned if we haven’t just found the exception to the rule, as the bowl of hand-cut shoestring fries accompanying the Robert Burns parma were some of the best I’ve ever had. They were hot, they were well seasoned, they were bursting with flavour and most of all they had an outstanding crunch that I couldn’t get enough of. A serve of some sort of dipping sauce on the side and we’d be looking at a perfect 10 for chips, and that’s something I never thought I would say about shoestring fries.
Now so salad is included with the Robbie Burns parma, however they do have an extensive menu of sides on offer…
We opted to try the Simple Green Salad and the Creamy Mash, chuck them in the middle and call them the “salads” on which we would base our score (Sure mashed potatoes are a salad. If pasta salad can be a salad then runny potatoes can definitely be a salad too!)
And I’m glad I did as I’ll be damned if they weren’t the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever bloody had. I’m sure they were absolutely horrible for me, filled with cream, garlic and butter, but god damn they were good. If you venture to the Robbie Burns for the parma you need to treat yo’self and get a side of creamy mash, you won’t regret it.
When they put the “Simple” in “simple green salad” they weren’t lying. Lettuce leaves tossed in oil is about as simple as it gets. It was fine, a good palate cleanser, but definitely not $7 worth of leaves.
Value on this one is a tough one to gauge. $24 is a pricey parma but there’s no doubt they used high quality ingredients which sort of justifies the price - However if you want more than fries and start adding on sides the price can shoot up pretty quickly. I was happy with the price of pretty much everything, with the exception of the simple green salad. No parma nights on the books that I can see, however there are a few happy hours you can keep a look out for!
Update! Robert bUrns have just anNounced a $20 parma & pot special on wednesdays. Definitely a bargain.
The Robert Burns Hotel is literally 150 metres from the Birmingham, our current highest rated parma of all time therefore anything the Robbie Burns put up would undoubtedly be compared to the Birmy, so the fact that they did something wholly unique with their parma makes me happy.
I really enjoyed our whole experience at the Robert Burns. The food was great, the atmosphere was fantastic, the beers were quality and even the staff were super friendly, chatty and welcoming. If you’re getting tired of the same old parmas and feel like trying something different, rustic, yet still super high quality then I definitely recommend giving the Robbie Burns a crack.