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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Parma Times...good times @ Palmerston Hotel, Sth Melbourne.

The Palmerston Hotel on Urbanspoon

The Parma or Chicken Parmagiana - is probably one of the best pub grub items that is recommended to any discerning diner looking for a good counter meal. Noted as one of the best places to feast on a good parma in Melbourne is the Palmerston Hotel. Located on the corner of the busy Kingsway strip and Palmerston Crescent, it is only fitting that their signature dish be the Parma, and they even do their own variation with a twist called the Palmie.
It's Saturday night and with some time to kill before meeting up with some friends for a night on the town, my buddy MH mentioned he had a hankering for a Parma. I knew of the Palmerston but had not eaten a Parma there so just a short drive out of the city alongside the bustling traffic of other Saturday night 'out on the towners' and we're there.
A family friendly pub greets you with the warmth of dark cedar furniture and fittings. Big screens showing the current football match at the MCG and mesmerised footy devotees feeding their faces with their eyes fixated on the match.
We're seated quite promptly and the large blackboards reveal the extensive menu which ranges from Steaks and Curries to a most intriguing Chicken Wellington. Gastro-pub style menu much appreciated but we knew what we wanted, so bring it on and to be adventurous, make mine a 'Palmie'
Up until now I'm assuming you, my reader, knows what a Parma is - but if you don't it's simply a crumbed chicken breast topped with ham, napoli tomato sauce and melted cheese.
Caution: Although simple as it sounds, it is very, very easy to be recipient of a terrible Parma... Yes it is possible to get it horribly wrong. I'm talking about dry tasteless chicken, overpowering sauce and/or not enough cheese resulting in burning the surface. Potential for disaster!!!
Mulling over a cheeky pot of the cold amber stuff known as beer, we have a short but reasonable wait for the parmas. When they are delivered to us, the look and the aroma in the air tells you - it's gonna be a good one. And it certainly is. Chicken breast cooked perfectly, still moist and tender and well flavoured. No second rate chooks were put into this ensemble. The sauce had the right amount of tang and complemented the warm blanket of ham most justifiably. The final layer of cheese also lived up to expectations, with just the right amount of molten goodness oozing as you cut into this fine work of art. The twist on my 'Palmie' was that the tomato sauce is replaced with bolognaise sauce - Bellisimmo! Great idea and while certain Parma variations can go of the rails somewhat, this one is right on track.
Noticeable, is the smallish serve of chips you receive alongside a carefree salad of basic veg. I think the kitchen does not want to take your focus away from the star of the show, and it succeeds quite remarkably. Besides, as a wise animated man once sang 'You don't make friends with salad'.
All in all, a meal well worth the visit and I'm glad to say that the Palmerston Hotel holds its signature dish in good stride.
I reckon I am going to have to put their top ten list to the test.  Let me know if you are up for a "Parma Crawl"

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