Jason’s leaving the big smoke to go back to Mornington next week so a bunch of us met up for dinner at Mrs Parmas, a restaurant that specialises in all things parmigiana (chicken, veal and eggplant).
Situated on the top end of Little Bourke Street, it sits on the site of the now-defunct Cheers, a bar that pretty much tried to replicate the famous bar from the television show of the same name. That’s why the place looks a lot like the set of Cheers, only with more suits and more bogans.
The menu at Mrs Parmas reads a lot like a pizza shop menu. Choose base (chicken $23, veal $24.50 or eggplant $18.50), then choose from a list of about 10 unconventional toppings ranging from ‘safer’ options such as mushrooms to just plain weird ones such as BBQ (bacon and onion rings – WTF?!). Of course, if you are a traditionalist, the original ham + napoli + cheese option is available. Each parma also comes with chips and salad too. I thought about going for the mushroom parma, like Jase, but I ended up choosing the bruschetta one (ricotta, tomato and basil), thinking that my parma would look a little like this:
(Image credit: www.jenius.com.au)
Unfortunately, my parma looked like this:
The first thing you notice when you get your parma is that it’s big. REALLY big. Sadly, that was the only good thing I could say about the parma. The ingredients weren’t terribly fresh and who the heck puts cherry tomatoes on a real bruschetta?!? The 230g chicken breast may have been huge and surprisingly not terribly flat but it was probably one of the driest parmas I’ve ever had. The funniest thing about the meal was that the chips (fried in beef tallow, sprinkled with fluro yellow chicken salt) actually tasted better than the parmas which says something about a restaurant that professes itself as a parma specialist.
In saying all of that, the range of boutique beers that this place has is pretty impressive. Boasting a range of over 20 beers from microbreweries around the state (on tap and bottled), you can enjoy a pint (or two) of a malt that’s rich, deep and saccharine (Adam’s ‘Dirty Angel’ from the Flying Horse brewery) or a semi-sweet cider made with Packham and Bartlett pears with a hint of apple (in my case, 2 Brothers’ Gypsy Cider). Mmmm.
You can find better parmas elsewhere, which is why I don’t recommend Mrs Parmas if you feel like a parma. Do come here for the beers though.