A long time ago, in the back of a derelict country tavern, a young kitchen hand got distracted counting beads on his abacus and accidentally dropped a raw chicken breast into a pile of breadcrumbs, which then rolled off the bench and onto a ham, cheese & tomato pizza, and then into an oven preheated at 180 degrees Celsius for a good half an hour. And that (we're pretty sure) is how the chicken parma was born.
Since then, numerous equally delicious pub dishes have sprouted up on menus all over our city for a countless year, and each one of them without fail pairs superbly with a pot of the cheapest beer on tap.
Here are Melbourne’s best pub meals.
- The daily pie special served with mushy peas, mash and jus at South Melbourne’s The Palace Hotel.
- The market fish with cucumber and grape tabouli and almond harissa at Fitzroy’s Marquis of Lorne.
- The 300g Pork Scotch with mushroom, confit kipflers, mizuna, broccoli, and jus at Coburg’s The Woodlands Hotel.
- The crumbed calamari with hand cut chips and garlic mayo from The Tote in Collingwood.
- The $25 Sunday roast at The Local Taphouse in St Kilda.
- The vegetarian burrito with chilli beans, zucchini, corn, rice, salsa, guacamole, cheese, sour cream and salad at The Fox Hotel in Collingwood.
- The Philly Cheesesteak with American cheese, grilled onions, jalapenos, mustard, and chips at The Royston Hotel in Richmond.
- The $10 free-range chicken parma served with Napoli sauce, cheese, baby cos salad and fries at Collingwood’s Foresters Hall.
- Pan-fried veal schnitzel with sourdough crumbs, Mostarda di Cremona and lemon dressed Italian slaw with Grana Padano at Lamaro’s Hotel in South Melbourne.
- The gnocchi with sauce soubise, chilli gremolata, white baby carrot, and baby zucchini at The Carringbush Hotel in Abbotsford.
- The Flaming Pie with mashed potato, mushy peas and gravy at The Corner Hotel in Richmond.
- The Brenta Meats pork and chilli sausages with kipfler potato, apple and mint salad at Town Hall Hotel in Fitzroy.
- The chicken parma deluxe with free-range, house crumbed chicken breast, prosciutto, Napoli sauce, feta, tasty cheese, salad and chips at The Standard in Fitzroy.
- The steak sandwich with 150g scotch fillet, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, chipotle relish, ranch dressing w/ chips at The Great Northern in Carlton North.
- The plethora of steak options at The Station Hotel in Footscray. They all come with hand cut chips, salad, Bearnaise, and pepper sauce.
While we're on the subject of pubs, here are Melbourne's best pot & parma nights.
Image credit: Newmarket Hotel | Griffin Simm