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Most pubs I have encountered in Melbourne will serve up a decent pot and parma but if there’s one place that can probably be relied on to do it time and time again, it’s Mrs Parma’s. The chefs are well versed in what they describe as ‘The Art of Parmology’, dishing up several variations of the chicken schnitzel+napoli sauce+cheese combo. And since their motto is ‘hand crafted beers for hand crafted parmas’, it’s probably safe to assume that Mrs Parma also knows the art of Beerology…
Quite fittingly, the interior of the venue is decked out in wooden tones and furniture that make it look just like a pub. The carpeted area and seating upholstery reminded me of a motel or old hotel setting. Dr M and I arrived at about 12.30pm for lunch and so it was quite odd to see so much natural lighting and so little noise.
Caution to those with smaller appetites/great news for those who love to eat: THEIR PORTIONS ARE HUGE! 230g chicken schnitzel…
Unaware of this, Dr M and I ordered a parma each and struggled to finish our meals.
Mushroom parma - with baked field mushrooms with oregano.
It was from my first bite that I realised the whole Art of Parmology thing was NOT A JOKE. Toppings aside, the chicken breast was tender and coated in a crispy crumbed shell. The ratio of meat to crumb was perfect and to my taste bud’s surprised delight, the parma was by the far the least dry I had encountered yet.
The oregano flavour was potent throughout the cheesy topping and the familiar earthy flavours of the firm+juicy mushrooms, though foreign in this setting (I had never before encountered them in a parma) were a welcome variation.
Mexican parma - with tomato salsa, sour cream, guacamole and jalapenos.
Think nachos. Take out the soggy nacho chips and throw in a schnitzel base instead. While we did get the same ‘messy’ appearance we get with nachos as we ate our way through the dish, our fingers were saved from getting dirty at least. You can use a knife and fork on a parma, but it’s quite tricky to do with a shared plate of nachos!
Accompaniments for two: a crisp salad with tangy dressing and quality chips.
While the serving sizes for the parmas were HUGE, I thought the sides were quite puny. At first anyway. Turns out they were perfectly sized. Perhaps even too big. Given the ginormous parma, Dr M and I didn’t even come close to finishing our chips. The chips were quite good (crunchy crisp on the outside, soft and tender inside) but didn’t leave any lasting memories. We were able to finish a little more of the salad, since we needed some freshness to help balance out with all the fried and cheesy goodness from the parma and chips.
One of the best ‘keep calm and…’ signs I’ve seen…
To all parma fans out there or if you’re harbouring a hankering for some chicken parma, the great taste, not to mention the assortment of topping that provides the Mrs Parma touch to each schnitzel, will not disappoint. And though I walked away all parma’d out and with absolutely no thoughts of touching a parma any time soon, I will return to Mrs Parma once those cravings for a parma come back…
25 Little Bourke St,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
(03) 9639 2269