When? – 24/1/13
Where? – 43 Royal Pde, Parkville
Price? – $22 Classic Parma, $22.50 Calabrese Parma
Website? - http://parkvillehotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Cale, Fridge, Kylie, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo
Upon walking into the recently reopened Parkville Hotel I was instantly impressed. A fantastically executed renovation has breathed new life into this pub, while retaining a classical atmosphere.
Walking in past the patrons enjoying some bevvies in the sun on the tables out the front, I spied what appeared to be a small beer garden out the back, which I (unfortunately) didn’t get a chance to check out. We were seated in the front bar, I grabbed a pint of cider and we checked out the menu -
Naughton’s Parkville serves an array of classic pub food with what appears to be an Italian twist, I saw a few wood fired pizzas and hamburgers go past that looked very impressive. But we stayed on task and ordered our parmas (three of the eight in attendance went with the ‘Calabrese’ option for an extra 50c)
One thing I noticed with the classic parma after placing the order is that, in keeping with the Italian theme, this is more of a “traditional” parmigiana – meaning no slice of ham.
We’ve had parmas that have omitted the ham before, and it isn’t always a negative (The parma that started all of this was also pork-free, and we still consider that the best we’ve had). So I held my judgement until I tried it … Although I will say that when I noticed it was missing I regretted not going with the Calabrese Parma instead.
I was three quarters of the way through my first pint when our parmas arrived from the kitchen. The ‘This schnitzel is shaped like Australia’ joke is an old standard, but this took it to a whole new level…
The schnitz was first-rate. A not-too-thick and not-too-thin juicy breast of chicken, perfectly crumbed and tasted amazing – it’s a sign of quality when you don’t mind a bit of schnitzel nudity, as it tastes just as good without the toppings.
The cheese was grilled to a perfect golden brown and kept its taste and texture through to the end, I just wish there was a bit more tomato sugo on the dish, as it was a little dry on the napoli in some spots, and felt like I was eating just a cheese covered schnitzel.
I hate to say it, but although it was a damn tasty parma, A slice of smoked ham would have really brought this dish to life – I tried my hardest not to miss it, but I did.
When I was doing my pre-parma research earlier in the week the menu had a third option, alongside the Classic and the Calabrese there was a prosciutto alternative that I think would have been amazing, Sadly it was absent from the menu last night – hopefully it makes a re-appearance.
I didn’t get a photo of it but the Calabrese parma looked pretty much the same, just with a few slices of salami dotted around on top of the cheese.
The chips were pretty standard. Well cooked but unseasoned and in rather short supply. The salt shaker on the table was used liberally but once it was the chips turned out to be a perfectly serviceable side to the meal.
The salad was a disappointment. A handful of lettuce drizzled with some oil and vinegar. Thats it. For a pile of lettuce it tasted okay for what it was, but it was just boring – a major let down compared to the rest of the meal.
$22 for the standard is pretty standard these days, According to various sources on the internet, Thursday night is 25% off parmas, pizzas and drinks if you have a student ID, however I saw no advertising of that once we arrived, So I wouldn’t bank on it without a bit more research.
All in all Naughton’s served up a damn quality parma that was let down by some lackluster sides. Those who had the Calabrese option were particularly impressed (still kicking myself that I didn’t go that option!). It was a perfect size, I arrived hungry and left quite satisfied.
The pub looks great and has been gorgeously renovated. There were plenty of other great looking items on the menu that I’ll definitely be back to try – here’s hoping the prosciutto parma makes a re-appearance by the time I do!
Parma – 8.63
Chips – 6.31
Salad – 3.44
Value – 6.75
Total – 6.75
The search continues…