Where - 616 Elizabeth St. Melbourne
Price - $24
Website - http://www.thelastjar.com.au
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
With St. Paddy's day next weekend I thought it only fitting that we get a little bit Irish for this week's parma - And where better than the pub voted Time Out Magazine's Pub of the Year and Best Pub Food of 2015 (That I only recently discovered had a parma on the menu)? The old Arthouse Hotel - Elizabeth Street's The Last Jar.
I've known about and enjoyed the Last Jar for quite a while, but as I mentioned above it was only just recently brought to my attention that they have finally decided to chuck a parma on the menu, so without delay we loaded up the parma bus and headed in.
The Jar is a great, cosy, understated Irish Pub. I find some of them fall into the kitschy trap of covering the walls in pieces of old farming equipment - but The Last Jar keeps it classy. Nothing but old world charm and relaxed vibes (with quite a cool little rooftop beer garden tucked away upstairs)
We grabbed a seat and checked the menu for our target...
We placed our order at the bar, but in a ParmaDaze rarity we also ordered ourselves an entree, the curiously named "Irish Poutine" seemed too good to pass up.
About 10 minutes after ordering the poutine arrived
Now before all you poutine-purists get up in arms about "They aren't real cheese curds!!" - Relax. Take the name "poutine" with a grain of salt, and consider the Irish Poutine more like "Irish curry chips feat. cheese"
And goddamn, they were good. I'm a sucker for McDonnell's curry chips at the best of times, but the cheese took them to the next level. We had to stop ourselves from gorging on the bowl as we knew a parma was just around the corner, but if the poutine was any indicator of quality - this parma was gonna be great.
The tap list at the Last Jar was surprisingly varied. To be honest I wasn't expecting more than Guinness and Kilkenny, but imagine my surprise with Mountain Goat, Young Henry's and even a rotating guest tap made an appearance. Something for everyone at the Last Jar.
While we were willing ourselves to not finish the poutine, the parmas arrived...
The schnitzel was phenomenal. Impossibly juicy while coated in the crispiest of herbed crumbs (that packed a flavoursome punch) it was an absolutely great start.
Not a monster schnitzel in circumference, but insanely thick, pure, chicken breast more than made up for it.
The toppings followed suit with the schnitzel and were also all top notch. The napoli seemed freshly made - Chunky and jam packed with flavour. The ham, while not knocking us out, carried a subtle smokiness that helped the dish along. The cheese was plentiful and well grilled.
This was simply a fantastic parma.
In the shadow of the awesome Irish Poutine entree, the chips underwhelmed - Don't get me wrong, it was no fault of their own, but after knocking it out of the park with the poutine, the cheeseless, curryless chips served with the parma failed to live up to their poutiney (it's a word! I swear) cousins. However, there were plenty of them, they were well seasoned, well cooked, served hot and crispy.
The salad wasn't great. It all looked fresh and there was plenty to go around, but it desperately needed more dressing as the leaves on their own were quite dry. Nothing offensive, but failed to live up to the standard of everything else on the plate.
The Last Jar's parma screams quality. Everything put into this dish seemed the highest calibre of ingredient quality and I'd have absolutely no qualms shelling out another $24 for the dish we received. There aren't any specific parma nights that I know of (if there are please let me know and I'll adjust the review) but to be honest I'd happily pay full price again.
The Last Jar already has the reputation for serving up a quality pub meal, and they have once again smashed it with this parma. I highly recommend stopping in and checking them out (I'm sure there are a plethora of events planned for St. Paddy's day next week!) and definitely - Definitely - get the Irish Poutine ... You won't regret it.