Where - 580 Morses Creek Road, Wandiligong
Price - $28.50
Website - http://www.thewandipub.com/
Reviewers – Darren, Johno, Lee, Mel, Nikki
If you missed the last couple of days, this week we have been going back-to-back with reviews from Victoria's Alpine Region. Starting with the Happy Valley on Wednesday, the Snowline Hotel Yesterday and finishing things off today, and trust me ... We saved the best for last.
On the final day of Alpine week we have the Wandi Pub! (Or the Wandiligong Hotel ... or the Mountain View Hotel, depending on which sign out the front you prefer to read).
To be honest the Wandi pub popped up out of nowhere. Unlike yesterday's visit to the Snowline the Wandi Pub hadn't been recommended to us at all, until another ParmaDaze reviewer was up in the area a few weeks ago, stumbled onto it and recommended we give it a try.
Unsurprising, considering its location, but the Wandi just screams "country pub", with most of the inside of the pub seemingly constructed from corrugated iron and trees (not wood, full on trees)
To the right of the front bar is a dining room that seems to be going for a slightly finer dining experience than the pub proper. We grabbed a table in there and checked the menu -
$28.5 is definitely pricey for a chicken parma, so to have any chance of earning a decent score the Wandi pub was going to have to bring both the noise and the funk.
Outside and surrounding the Wandi lies a massive beer garden... Actually "garden" seems like to small of a word to accurately describe the area - It's more like a beer field than anything. with an outdoor stage for entertainment, I'd have to call this one of the best spots for a bevvy in the sun I've seen for quite a while.
Absolutely huge and worth the trip alone.
Tap list at the Wandi was enough to satisfy most beer drinkers. Hawkers, Bridge Rd, Brick Lane, Coopers, and a few more options on tap and in the fridge.
After a 15 minute wait our parmas arrived...
Don't be deceived by it's size - They say good things come in small packages, and this is definitely the case for the Wandi parma.
I honestly have trouble faulting it. The earlier statement that it was a little small is probably the only thing I can think that I have against it. The schnitzel was cooked to absolute perfection. Kept thick to retain its juiciness, just how we like it, and crumbed just enough to add a delicious crunch and nothing more.
On the first bite I knew this was something special. On to the toppings.
Holy crap where do I start. The Yack free range leg ham is an absolute triumph. Thickly cut and laid on with gusto it was (if you'll excuse the cliche) the absolute star of the dish.
The napoli saucee was abundant, rich, chunky and packed with flavour and the cheese was perfectly browned with a sharp bite that brought everything together.
This was the best parma I've had in quite a long time. Fingers crossed the sides could hold up their end of the bargain.
Fat chips! Just shy of perfection. A generous serve, piping hot, crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside - The only way to improve them would be the addition of a gravy or dipping sauce of some kind. A fine addition to an already fine parma.
As far as salads go the Wandi's was pretty impressive. Packed full of ingredients and dressed from top to bottom before being plated (how it should be done). I'd normally want a seperate bowl but the genius way in which the Wandi parma was plated kept everything seperate without anything needing to be in top of everything else.
Value. This is the tough one as on any other day I'd say $28.50 for a parma would be a bloody outrage, However for this parma ... I think I'm okay with it. Everything on the parma was top notch made from the highest quality ingredients. You could taste the extra cash paid in the parma as you ate. It loses a couple of points for being so pricey - But to be honest I'd pay it again any day of the week, and would have no qualms giving it my seal of approval for others to do the same.
I feel a little guilty rating a parma that is a 3 hour drive out of Melbourne so highly, as it is a legitimate pain in the ass for anyone who doesn't already live near/visit the region often to get to - But honestly, this one is worth the trip. It more than deserves its honour of Best Regional Pub in Victoria 2017 from Time Out, and is definitely one for any parma lover to put high on their priority list.
And with that we wrap up Alpine week! Hope you enjoyed our little experiment to get some more regional Victorian pubs checked off the list, with the quality of the parmas we discovered I'm calling it now as an unmitigated success, and don't worry - We'll be back to something a little closer to home next week.
See you then!