Special Attempt: 'The Birmy Reconsidered'

I have tried it in the past so I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that telling your wife that Valentine’s Day dinner is “parma night at the pub” does not go down as well as one would hope. So last night, rather than heading out for a parma we took a week off and headed out to a non-parma serving restaurant (I know right? why even bother?). Luckily I had a review banked from the Australia Day long weekend for just such an occasion… Enjoy!

Before we get into it, This week we indulged in latest trend of 2019 and launched a ParmaDaze Discord channel, A spot to drop in, hang out and chat about whatever tickles your fancy (mostly parmas, but we are open to other topics). I’m almost always hanging out in there if you’ve ever got a question ask so click here if you want to check it out!

Anyway, on to this week’s review…

I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard yet as I have been broadcasting it pretty relentlessly since the announcement, but this year we presented the Birmingham Hotel in Fitzroy (Or Collingwood, depending on who you ask, Smith Street is literally the border between the two suburbs) with their third consecutive Golden Chook award for best parma in Melbourne.


An impressive feat indeed! Before we discovered The Birmy Melbourne’s Imperial Hotel took out the Golden Chook for four consecutive years, so Birmy has to go unbeaten for another 12 months to hold the title for as long as the Impy did.

Anyway, after the announcement of the Birmy’s third award, Triple M picked up the story and it got a bit of attention…

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You can read the full post here if you’d like. After it went live Facebook was ablaze with comments, our traffic surged (if you are a new reader here due to that article, Welcome!) and more eyes than ever were on ParmaDaze. Of course, with added attention comes added criticism, and the Facebook comments weren’t without detractors, claiming that the Birmy no longer deserved the title of number one.

This got me thinking. Our first review (and first scoring) of the Birmy parma was in 2016. I ‘ve stopped in periodically since to make sure things were still up to par but I hadn’t gotten to the Birmy for probably 12 months before we presented them with the 2018 Parma of the Year award.

Was it still good? Or had it done an Impy and dropped in quality?

Luckily as I was in the middle of this existential crisis the Birmingham made an announcement…


$10 Birmy parmas?! How could we not go?

So rather than a full blown redo I decided that we would head down to the Birmy during the Parma Party and just double check that the Birmy Parma was still up to scratch.

We arrived at the Birmy on the Monday, I was expecting throngs of hungry parma goers however the pub was relatively quiet when we arrived, grabbed a seat and placed our orders.

As we sat the pub started to fill, more and more people rolled in the door to get their hands on a feed. The Birmy’s usual parma night goes for $13 so to be able to get one for just $10 was a spectacular deal.

About 20 minutes after ordering our $10 Birmy parmas fell to the table…


Look, I know taste is a subjective thing and what I like may not necessarily be what someone else likes. But I’ll be goddamned if that isn’t the best damn parma going. As soon as I saw it my fears that it had dropped in quality allayed. We picked up our cutlery and tucked in to find that, if anything, the quality of the Birmy parma has improved since 2016, with the addition of a strong garlic flavour throughout the crumbs of the schnitzel

The chips were spot on too, well seasoned, well cooked. Crunchy and soft at the same time. Delightful.

Now this post isn’t going to be entirely sucking up to the Birmy parma. I think it’s just because my tastes have changed but I am just bored with garden salads now. The Birmy’s is fine, but after nearly 10 years of reviewing them I’m just over the garden salad in general. If the Birmy offered up the option of salad or coleslaw I think that would be my dreams coming true.


The fact that we were getting the best parma I had ever tried for only $10 was just ludicrous, $13 on their parma night is just as silly so if you haven’t had one before I urge you to get down to the Birmy and try it for yourself.

Now as I said at the start of the review - The Imperial held on to their top spot for four years before toppling to the Birmingham, and there’s no reason that a better parma can’t come along and take the top spot from the Birmy. So please, keep those suggestions coming in. Either on Facebook, Instagram, our contact page or even as a comment on this review - Let me know if you know of a parma better than the Birmy’s and we’ll check it out.

It has been a few years, there has been some damn stiff competition, there have even been copycats - But for now the Birmy parma remains unbeaten in our eyes. If you haven’t checked it out yet get down there immediately, you won’t be disappointed.

The search continues…

2018 Parma of the Year awards

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a quality holiday break. 2019 is now upon us but before we can crack into a fresh 12 months of the search for the perfect parma lets first get a bit retrospective and take a look back at the year that was 2018.

2018 was a quality year! We had parmas in cast iron skillets at GG EZ, we discovered the unholy abomination that was the Cheeseburparma at Father’s Office, we launched the first of a couple of video reviews with The Barwon Heads Pub we had a parma on the other side of the flippin’ planet in Galway, Ireland and even got a mention in both the Herald Sun and the Wall Street goddamn Journal!

Looking back on 2018 I’m surprised at how many decent parmas we found. Compared to 2017 (which I have since dubbed “The year of the stinkers”) the bad to good parma ratio definitely leans towards the good end of the spectrum.

As usual we have our two main awards for the year - Parma of the Year and Best New Parma of 2018. But before we get to that lets look at some honorary mentions for parmas that have impressed us last year

Biggest Parma

It was early in 2018 that we discovered the parma at the Workers Club in Fitzroy, and for quite a while it was the hot favourite to take home the Best new parma of 2018 award (like I said, competition this year was fierce).


Not only was the schnitzel massive, engulfing everything on the plate, the chicken was of the purest quality, the toppings were fantastic and the sides brought it all together. It’s not often a big parma like this ticks so many boxes in other areas, but the parma at the Workers club managed to pull it off. Any other year this parma would have taken home a trophy, so I had to give it an honourable mention here at the very least. Check it out.

Most Creative Parma

In the year that we discovered the aforementioned Cheeseburparma you’d think the competition for most creative parma would be done and dusted, however while the Cheeseburparma was creative, the jury is still well and truly out as to whether it was any good. Enter multiple Golden Chook award winners The Imperial Hotel to introduce the world to the Pizza Parma…

A parma, sliced like a pizza that you can eat with your hands? Sign me up!

Best Home Delivered Parma

We didn’t get to many home delivered parmas this year, mostly because I’m running out of restaurants in my area that actually do parma delivery. Luckily of the two home delivered parmas we tried in 2018, the one from Frank’s Ristorante was pretty damn good!


Bad boy chips, super thick schnitzel, slathered in toppings. Pretty much the best parma in the Essendon area you can enjoy without putting on pants!

Most Improved Parma

This one is gonna be a tad controversial, I’ll explain why in a moment.

Hardimans Hotel. Once a poorly lit dive bar in Kensington which served us this parma -


(with a side of mice, that we could see running through the kitchen while we ate our parma), Underwent a truly stunning transformation in 2018, after being completely gutted both the pub and the parma served were totally unrecognisable, serving us this beauty on opening day …


However. Almost instantly after the review went live I started hearing reports that the parma Hardimans is now serving is no longer the parmesan and prosciutto encrusted glory that you see above. It has been scaled back to a more traditional parma. Not bad, but definitely not as unique and special as the parma we reviewed. Will be doing further investigation on this one in 2019 so stay tuned. Hopefully before we get back for a re-review the Hardimans parma can be restored to what we reviewed, as it was truly something special.

Best Brewery/Parma Combo

To be perfectly honest I’ve just made up this category so I can give The Cheeky Pint in Footscray a mention. As I said competition for the top spot was fierce this year, we had so many good parmas but it wouldn’t feel right not even giving them a nod.

as it definitely deserves to be checked out. The parma was thick, plump and juicy, the wedges were on point, the mustard aioli was a triumph and the beers on tap were delightful (I recommend the tasting paddle)

Best New Parma

Alright! Now for the trophies. For newcomers the Best New Parma is the first of two awards we give out every year. Simply put the Best New Parma award goes to the best parma we ate in 2018. The highest scoring new addition to the list in the last 12 months, and this years winner shone high above all the fantastic parmas I have just listed - Congratulations to Abbotsford’s The Park Hotel.


We’d tried it before in 2012 and, even though it was good back then, the new and improved Park Hotel parma is next level. Thick, plump chicken breast and lashings of smoked ham bring this flavour sensation to life, accompanied by perfectly seasoned chips and a tantalisingly fresh coleslaw that sides the parma perfectly.


If you have yet to visit the Park (or their sister pub, The Royston in Richmond) I highly recommend you do. You won’t be disappointed.

Parma of the Year

While the Best New Parma goes to the best parma we had of 2018, Parma of the Year goes to the best parma we've had since ParmaDaze.com started in 2010 - and as none of the parmas we had in 2018 have topped the 2016 and 2017 winner a third trophy was delivered to Melbourne’s parma kings… The Birmingham Hotel in Fitzroy.


Still fantastic after all these years, and consistently packing in the punters on their Tuesday & Wednesday $13 parma nights, not only is it the best parma in town its also the best parma night in town.


A well deserved hat trick to The Birmy.

And with that another year is over! Massive thanks to all the readers for the support throughout the year, your comments, suggestions and abusive emails are what keep me going.

Another big thanks to the review team, When you drunkenly agreed to do a weekly parma with me after a filling meal and too many pints at Mrs. Parmas I bet you didn't think we'd still be doing it 8 goddamn years later. Couldn't do it without you all. Many, many thanks.

I hope you enjoyed our retrospective on 2018! I hope I didn’t miss any. Naughtons and The Last Jar were pretty great too.

New reviews kicking off next week. Stay tuned for a heap more fun in 2019!