Where? - 107 Raglan St. Port Melbourne
Price? - $20 in the Public Bar
Reviewers – Lee, Nikki & Stefo
Way back in the early days of PD we paid a visit to South Melbourne's Hotel Albion for their "Grandeoso parma Wednesday" (You can read the review here). At the end of that review we staggered out of the Albion chock full of parma but not yet full of booze, we wandered over the train tracks and discovered another backstreets local - The Railway Club Hotel.
We only stopped in for one or two beers before heading home, but that pub always stuck in my head as somewhere we should pay proper attention to ... Unfortunately it took us just under 7 years to get around to it.
The Railway Club is the epitome of a backstreets local. Cosy public bar swimming in atmosphere, plenty of on-street seating for a beer in the sun and exceptionally friendly service.
The pub was packed when we arrived, inside and out, but we managed to score a seat in the corner of the public bar. A perfect spot to drink in both the ambience of the pub and a few pints of Stone & Wood.
We checked the menu and spied our target for the evening.
It's worth noting that the Railway Club has different menus for the Bistro and the Public bar, tonight we dined off the public bar menu, not the Bistro menu.
Tap list was decent. Nothing too out there but there was Carlton Draught for the traditionalists all the way up to Stone & Wood or Colonial for those who like their beers a little on the crafty side.
20 minutes after ordering our boomerang's buzzed, we headed up and grabbed our parmas from the kitchen.
When I first saw this parma I was less than impressed. It didn't look great. However as we all know, the ugly ducking can sometimes become a beautiful swan.
I'm mixing a lot of poultry metaphors here, but in short the chicken schnitzel was phenomenal. I'm going to use the word "juicy" about 30 times between now and the end of the review, but its hard to avoid because this parma was just so god-damn juicy it's ridiculous.
The pure white chicken breast was cooked to perfection, juicy and succulent. dripping with flavour. My one criticism would be that any crunch that was in the crumbs was long gone by the time the dish arrived, but that is a minor complaint with a parma this tasty.
The napoli sauce on top of this parma was a true hero. Fresh, tasty and bursting with flavour - it complimented the juiciness of the chicken perfectly (see, I told you I would use "juicy" a lot).
The ham was plentiful and had a great flavour that managed to come through despite a very strong napoli. The cheese was grilled to a gooey perfection.
Rather than standard pub chips the Railway Club has opted for thick cut potato wedges, almost roast potatoes. They were crunchy and cloudy. Needed a little seasoning but otherwise fantastic.
The garden salad was simple, yet fresh and crisp. I'm not a fan of raw tomato, but this salad had both standard tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. A fine side to the dish.
For $20 I'd have this parma every day of the week without complaint. I think it's a bit pricier in the bistro and there aren't any parma nights that I could see, but $20 for a parma like this is very hard to complain about
The Railway Club touts itself primarily as a steakhouse, but don't let that fool you into thinking the other meals are sub-par. This parma is one of the best we've had for a very long time and I have no doubt I'll be back in the next few weeks to try one of their fantastic looking steaks as well.