The University of Melbourne has many prestigious rankings and titles, but perhaps none more so than the well-deserved title of the Promised Land for Parma Lovers. Nothing quite beats a hearty parma at one of the local pubs after a hard day’s work at uni. Thinking about that cheesy and tender parma that makes your mouth water. The thought of which might be the saving grace for getting through that last five o’clock tute. But what is the perfect ratio of chicken, to cheese, to ham, to tomato, to chips? Forget the golden ratio. It’s time to find out the ‘parma ratio’. Judging the various parmas found at and around Melbourne Uni, this is your ultimate guide to finding the perfect parma. Using very strict criteria, each parma was evaluated according to size, quality and price. Just like life’s too short to read a bad book, it’s even shorter to eat a bad parma.
Prince Alfred Hotel 9/10
Monday – Pot and Parma $10 (drink not included)
Whilst this parma seems to be a winner for price, don’t let the big sign outside of PAs on a Monday deceive you. The $10 parma is only available if you buy a drink on top of your purchase. So make sure you read the fine print, as it’s otherwise $19. But if you’re willing to overlook this seemingly false advertising then the PA’s parma was incredibly satisfying. On top of its beautiful presentation, the tomato topping was very rich in flavour. However, the sauce had an overpowering taste when paired with the cheese and ham. The cheese was also slightly crusted and had a brown tinge – almost as if the parma had been scorched with a blow torch.
The Corkman Irish Pub 10/10
Uni Students Always Pay $15 for Pot and Parma
Corkman’s parma was top-notch and left one’s appetite completely sated. Due to the sheer size of many parmas these days, a common problem amongst us parma-goers is that we keep eating even when we are full. Corkmans offers a realistic meal size. The thicker chips that came with this parma covered the plate and had the perfect level of saltiness. Rather surprisingly, no salad came on the side so for veggie lovers, this may not be ideal. However, when you order a parma, is a salad really what you’re after? Perhaps Corkmans is breaking out of an outdated system. Despite no greens on the side, the parma was made with a lot of love and everyone’s plates were licked clean.
HJC Bar 4/10
(Lunch Only) Pot and Parma $11
To put it nicely, let’s just say that HJCs doesn’t specialise in parmas. We were served a chicken breast with slightly burnt edges with minimal tomato topping and a plonk of until-recently frozen cheese in the middle. It felt like eating just a normal bland chicken schnitzel. Additionally, the salad consisted of two mere lettuce leaves. Perhaps the one redeeming quality of the HJC parma was the crunchy french fries.
Bev & Mick’s Turf Club 8/10
Tuesday – Pot and Parma $12
A very flavoursome parma, featuring a perfect amount of crust and a crumbly outer coating. This parma had been layered to perfection – with a rich, creamy tomato sauce covered in cheese that made our mouths water. The one drawback was that the parma was placed on top of the chips, causing them to become a little soggy. Yet, the quality of this tasty parma was outstanding and eating it was a very enjoyable experience.
The Queensberry Hotel 10/10
Thursday – Pot and Parma $10
A winner for price, this bad boy parma has everything you could ever want. The classic pub parma included ham in its topping, an addition neglected by some pubs at the expense of not achieving the complete mix of flavours of a top quality parma. Don’t expect your chips to say warm while eating this parma though, as its size is truly staggering. Conveniently, the salad came in a separate bowl, so you don’t have to worry about any greens getting in the way of your delicious parma.