By a round of applause who doesn’t enjoy a Chicken Parmigiana?
If you clapped, leave now.
Because I love Chicken Parmigiana, and living in Melbourne it’s safe to assume I’m in the place in Australia to seek out a decent bit of chick.
So what is this “experiment” you ask?
Well, given I am a bonafide connoisseur of the old Parmie I thought it fitting to try some of the best Parmies around town and compare them to my own recipe.
Now I understand that inherently I’ll probably remain bias towards my own cuisine. So in an effort to avoid such unpleasantries I’ll be bringing along some friends to join in the fun with me.
This will be an on going portion of Dine With Dan and I’ll keep you updated with the good and the bad around Melbourne town, and to kick things off I’ve gone to my “local” the Oxford Scholar located on Swanston St.
Their daily lunch special is a $12 Chicken Parmie and I bloody love them for it. They’ve a selection of toppers like Aussie (Egg n Bacon), Bolognaise, Hawaiian and Traditional so there’s an option for every diet…except vegans, there is nothing here for vegans.
The meal is technically served with chips and a side salad, but if I’m honest they’re the Filla in this dish. (See here for my description of Killa vs Filla.) Now the Filla does hold a valid place in the overall Parmie experience, so I’ve broken down the dish into the following categories;
Killa – That’s the chicken, worth a total of 70 marks from 100 of the overall meal.
Filla – That’s the chips, salad and additional sauce (where provided). I think a fair assessment for this is 30 points from a possible 100. With 10 set aside if and when sauce is provided, so 10 for sauce, 20 salad, 30 overall.
This Parmie as I’ve stated is a favourite of mine, but beyond the comfort it provides and the convenience of eating here, it doesn’t have a whole lot going for it. The chicken is always well coated and cooked superbly, but the crumbing leaves a lot to be desired.
This one sadly left a slightly floury after taste and lacked substantial flavours to make up for this shortcoming.
The topping of napoli sauce is a classic, but lacks that home cooked feel of a more traditionally made sauce. The ham and cheese combo is one some traditionalists overlook, and proves time and again it is a winning formula not to be played with.
Overall I’d give this Killa 42/70.
Onto the Filla. Now the Filla in any dish can not exceed the Killa, and the Chefs at the Oxford don’t muck with the formula, keeping the salad and chips to a respectable amount. The salad compliments the meal, but lacks any winning punch and that sad, lonely wedge of tomato looks, well sad and lonely.
A drizzle of oily vinaigrette gives this bland greenery some punch but not enough to save it. The chips, well we’ve all had them countless times before and to be honest, its hard to ruin them and thankfully that has not occurred here.
Overall the Filla scores 13/30.
In conclusion, the Oxford Scholar lays out a wicked selection of lunch time Parmies and if you’re on a budget in the city, look no further. Bonus points for keeping the meal sub $15 and they never leave me waiting.