Where - 579 Little Collins St. Melbourne
Price - $20
Website - https://www.thebottomend.com.au
Reviewers – Cale, Lee, Ness, Nikki, Stefo
If you live in Melbourne you’ve surely heard of Easey’s by now, if not by it’s name then you would know it as “that burger place with the trains on the roof”. Easey’s are the bee’s knees when it comes to burgers in Melbourne, so when I heard they had taken over the kitchen at Little Collins Street’s The Irish-pub-turned-sometimes-nightclub The Bottom End my interest was piqued. They didn’t jump straight in with a parma, however, first they introduced us to the “Parmawich”…
An interesting concept - Take everything that you would normally find on a plate when you get a parma and chuck it in a bun - chips and salad included. I was always keen to get down and try this one but as the Parmawich was (and still is) only available during Wednesday trivia night the stars just never aligned.
Then Easey’s / The Bottom End announced they were ditching the bun, plating up a traditional parma and chucking it on the every day menu, and that was something that we couldn’t ignore any longer so last night we headed down to The Bottom End at the bottom end of Little Collins St (ohhhhh I get it now) and checked out the parma on offer.
The first thing that struck me about the Bottom End is how big it actually is once you get inside. The long, main bar and room of cushioned booths that greets you when you walk in would be sufficient, however further exploration reveals another room around the corner, just as big if not bigger.
We grabbed a booth, checked the menu and didn’t have to look too far to find our target for the evening…
Top billing! Reasonably priced as well - Amazingly the parma being the most expensive thing on the menu, with everything listed below less than twenty bucks … something astonishingly rare to see these days.
We placed our order at the bar, feeling particularly saucy this Thursday evening we also grabbed a couple of bowls of mac & cheese bites to go with our parmas
The tap list at The Bottom End is lean but sufficient. When I ordered at the bar I spotted Sample, Furphy, Carlton & Coors on tap, I clocked the tap list on the menu later and I saw it also had Balter XPA listed but I didn’t see that when I ordered. $8 pints of Coors for happy hour did go down very nicely though.
About 15 minutes after placing the order our buzzer buzzed and we headed to the window to collect our meals…
To be honest when I first saw the Bottom End’s parma on the plate I was a bit trepidatious. The dark edges of the exposed schnitzel and parmesan cheese dusting didn’t make for the most aesthetically pleasing of parmas, however when I cut through the schnitzel and revealed the chicken breast beneath all of my fears were allayed.
Call Sir Mix-A-Lot because this schnitzel was thick and juicy. The schnitzel was massive - coupled with the mac & cheese bites I was in a food coma after struggling to get through this meal. Although the edges looked a bit well done at first glance that ended up being more of a result of caremalisation from the sauce than from actual burnt edges. The size did vary a little from plate to plate but they were all quite thicc so it wasn’t much of an issue. Overall a fantastic foundation for the parma.
The toppings on the Bottom End’s parma were super unique and interesting. The smoked ham packed a flavoursome punch with an almost sweet finish.
Great coverage of cheese and a very unusual blend - Powdered parmesan is not something we see often but definitely welcomed.
The napoli sauce was a hotly discussed issue around the table. When I first tried it I thought “oh, they’ve done a napoli and barbecue sauce mix here” yet at the same time it tasted a little bit bolognese-ey, and a little bit sweet. If was different and yet oddly familiar and then it struck us - If you are old like us you may remember the serve-yourself pasta station at the old Pizza Hut buffet? Remember the napoli sauce you used to be able to spoon over your hour-old, stuck together, rubbery penne? That is what the Bottom End’s napoli tasted like. It was a blast from the past and worked surprisingly well on their parma. Very happy with this one.
In a weird turn of events the chips and the salad both scored the exact same in the final score (7.67 each), and as I have been quite wordy to this point we might as well discuss them together. Both were very fine sides. The chips were crispy, hot, well seasoned and served almost not underneath the parma, just how I like it. Like the parma the salad didn’t look too crash hot on the plate however, like the chips, it was just how I liked my salads - Absolutely drowned in dressing. Tasty dressing too, with strong mustard notes that really hid the fact that you were eating something remotely healthy. Very nice all around.
Oh, and the mac & cheese bites were phenomenal. Definitely a worthy side.
In this day and age only $20 for a top tier parma such is this is something I would expect to find on a special parma night. only twenty bucks all day every day for the parma we received is absolutely outstanding. If that’s not good enough for you I don’t believe that the Bottom End has any particularly cheaper parma night, however as I mentioned at the start you can pick up their trademark Parmawich for only $10 on Wednesday’s during trivia. Definitely worth checking out.
I had faith that Easey’s would put out a quality product. Their burgers are top notch so it stood to reason they would put out a top notch dish when they turned their sights to parmas, but I wasn’t expecting this. It’s a unique-yet-familiar parma that absolutely blew us away and is a worthy addition to our top 10. Definitely check it out.
Oh, I know I’m sounding like a broken record lately and this is probably the last time I’ll mention it in-review but the ParmaDaze Discord is going strong, feel free to drop in for a chat whenever!