I’m not always as classy as Sophie, so some of my Edible Posts will be entirely concerned with parmas. And the photos may not be so good, because you tend to find chicken parmigianas in pubs, and pubs tend to be dimly lit. You have been warned.
It’s a horrible cliche to find yourself in Melbourne and obsessed with chicken parmigianas, but I can’t seem to shake the habit. And obviously I’m not alone: websites ranking the multitudes of Melbourne Parmas are cropping up all over the place. I was previously aware of parma.com.au, which has a crowd-sourced ranking system I regularly take isuse with. The other day, Andrew pointed me towards Parma Daze when choosing a pub to visit after a long run. It’s a blog aiming to find the perfect Parma, to replace the (apparently) legendary hole left by the closure of the Prince of Wales Hotel in Ascot Vale. On the recommendation of the dazed, we ended up at St Kilda’s Local Taphouse.
(At this point, I should probably confess that due to the aforesaid long run, I completely forgot to photograph my meal before destroying it. I will try to develop some self-will before I write here again…)
We were very impressed. I reckon the most common source of ‘meh’ on a sub-standard parma is boring napoli sauce. Sometimes it’s not even napoli sauce, and other times, it’s good sauce but there’s not enough of it. The Taphouse does not have these problems. They serve juicy, thick napoli, and they cover it with delicious ham. Cheese is an easy thing to get wrong, either with too little, or with so much that the meal looks rather like a heart attack. The Taphouse achieved a Goldilocks-level of just-right.
Oh, and the chicken was good too. Thicker and juicier than average, with the texture of actual chicken, and not something that had been beaten super-flat.
If I was going to take issue, I would take it with the salad. I’d feel like a douche doing so, because there are far worse salads being served alongside parmas in Melbourne. I mean, this one had dressing. If there’s anything I can’t abide, it’s an undressed salad. But compared to the meat, it was rather dull.
In a brief, non-parma related aside, I should point out that the Taphouse is unsurprisingly home to an intimidating array of fantastic beers, and the staff will gladly help you pick one, or even match one with your food.
More parmas, and perhaps proper restaurant reviews, to follow…
The Local Taphouse
184 Carlisle St, St Kilda