Where - 84-88 Sydney Rd. Coburg
Price - $26
Website - https://thewoodlandshotel.com.au
Reviewers – Kim, Lee, Nikki, Pat
Before we get into the Woodlands review just a heads up - We've got a few redo's coming up in the next few months. We normally try and keep our revisits to one per month max, however lately we have been inundated for requests for revisits, and from some damn fine looking places too!
It won't be all redo's, but definitely more than usual over the next few months. Anyway. On to this week's review.
I have long praised the Woodlands Hotel for it's unique take on the chicken parma. I have written articles for other websites praising it as being one of Melbourne's most "weird and wonderful" takes on a parma. Our original review back in 2013 hailed it as a parma of bold flavours and unconventional presentation.
So when I saw this post on the Woodland's Instagram...
My interest was definitely piqued. While I wouldn't call the old Woodlands parma perfect (the uncommon flavours could turn some punters off) It'd be a shame if Melbourne lost one of the most exotic examples of a parma we have to offer. Further research was definitely needed so this week we loaded up the Parma Bus and headed back to the Woodland's Hotel in Coburg.
The Interior of the Woodlands remains unchanged, the light and spacious front bar is where we set up shop for the evening. While we ate the back room was pumping with live music and quite a few people came in and ascended the stairs to the 2nd floor Steakhouse, a spot I made a mental note to definitely return to in the future.
We grabbed the menu and checked our target...
We placed our orders at the bar, kicked back and waited for our dinner to arrive.
As far as a tap list goes the Woodlands prides itself on a solid rotation of craft beers. I dare not list any here as they will most likely be gone by the time you get there, but know this is a pub dedicated to a varying selection of quality local brews (Not to mention over 40 options in cans & stubbies in the fridge)
As is tradition with revisits, lets compare our 2013 visit with it's 2018 counterpart
As you can see by the above photos the biggest change in the Woodlands parma is the presentation. No longer is the parma on the chips and the salad on the parma, they have been de-stacked into a more traditional plating style.
As far as schnitzels go this one is on the money. Impossibly juicy pure white chicken breast, cooked to perfection with its thickness left in tact. I normally like my crumbs with a bit more crunch but that's a minor complaint - Nearing perfection with this schnitzel.
The prosciutto has been swapped out for speck and the taleggio switched to brie, but luckily the bold flavours I have praised this parma for in the past still remain.
The napoli sauce is chunky and fresh and everything was of the highest quality. I must say that I would probably prefer the original prosciutto over the speck and I enjoy the salty punch prosciutto brings, but for the most part the thickly cut speck is a fine alternative.
Non traditional parmas are always a risk, I wish I could report that everyone around the table liked the Woodland's take on a parma but the creamy brie wasn't for everyone, something you might want to consider before jumping in.
I'm not a fan of shoestring fries at the best of times, but as far as shoestring fries go these were pretty good. Well seasoned, piping hot, and we managed to get our hands on some garlic aioli chip dip on request.
The salad was quite simple (leafy greens with some onion) but did the job, the dressing used doing its best to bring out its flavours. It was fine as a palate cleanser, but nothing outstanding.
The Woodlands parma uses the highest calibre of ingredients, so be honest I don't think the $26 price tag is too big of an ask. If you're after a bargain on Monday nights they offer up a parma, steak, burger or fish & chips with a free pot or glass of wine for just $20, a fantastic deal if you ask me!
I am relieved that the Woodlands Hotel didn't alter their unique take on a parma. It's definitely not for everyone, however if you're feeling adventurous it's definitely one worth checking out.