When a place has a name like ‘Mrs. Parmas’, you expect it to be good at dishing up parmigiana. Thankfully, this place doesn’t disappoint. Although the prices significantly more expensive than you’d expect to see elsewhere (at $20+ a parma, compared to the $8 or so I was willing to pay in my poor university student days) the quality definitely shines through.
Their standard parmigiana menu offers a choice of three bases; chicken, veal and eggplant for the vegetarians, with a variety of different toppings available. There’s the standard combination of ham, cheese and tomato, to the bruschetta varietal for vegetarians, to the "Parmageddon" for those who like their food spicy. They also serve other relatively standard pub dishes, including steak, pasta and even curries. I'd refer you to their online menu for their full list of food and drinks, but their site appears to be down.
Every few months, a group of us from work head to this joint for a hefty dose of chicken/veal/eggplant, but this time we’d decided to visit during the Good Beer Week Festival. The boys had a great time trying the specialty beers on tap, not that they don’t usually given the huge range of microbrewery beer Mrs. Parmas has available.
(Apologies for the terrible quality of the map - I didn't want to be too conspicuous about taking photos so you'll have to deal with the blur. Still, it gives an idea of the microbreweries from which Mrs. Parmas sources their beer.)
Being somewhat of a special occasion, or week as it was, there was also a new topping combination available – the Bratwurst. Consisting of bratwurst sausage, sauerkraut and tomato chutney, the surprisingly spicy offering made a tasty and interesting addition to the menu.
|Chicken Bratwurst Parma|
Don't you think the flag was a nice touch? The bratwurst was slightly spicy (in my opinion at least - one of my workmates offloaded some of his onto my plate because he couldn't handle it) and flavoursome. The best part of the dish was the sauerkraut as it added an interesting sour touch to the dish. The chutney was thick enough to hold a strong tomato flavour, but not so much to be dominating, and the chicken was tender. Overall, this was the best flavour combination I've ever had here, and I'm hoping that they keep it on the menu, as unlikely as that may be.
As you can see by the size of the dish, there's a lot of chicken/veal/eggplant. My chicken parma filled me up enough that I didn’t feel like touching the complimentary potato chips, although I did dig into the salad to get my daily dose of vitamins. Next time , I’ll probably have the eggplant parma as this is one of the few restaurants that serve a decent vegetarian parmigiana. That’s to be commended as the first version of the dish was made using eggplant, not chicken as is the standard pub offering now days (according to Wikipedia at least).
The service is fast and friendly, and the busy restaurant caters well for small and large-ish (10 people) groups. If you want beer and a parma that's a level above average, then head over to Mrs. Parmas.
25 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Mon-Fri 11am-Late, Sat-Sun 12pm-Late