Welcome to Melbourne Foodie. The blogspace of a young foodie with a passion for cooking, fine dining and quality food and produce. Melbourne Foodie, along with the other sources I write for is my way of casually expressing and recording some of the experiences I have had for others to enjoy. I always welcome any feedback, comments or restaurant suggestions you may have and would love to hear from you soon.

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Monday, October 15, 2007
Skinny Dog Hotel (Kew)
Last night myself, and friends Robert & Kat visited the Skinny Dog Hotel in Kew. I had never been here before and was looking forward to it. Robert has been telling me about their huge chicken parma for quite a while, and I was finally going to get to taste it.

As you enter, you notice that the Skinny Dog seems to be divided into two areas – a more formal dining room (where we ate), and a casual lounge type dining room at the front of the establishment; either area would have been fine. The whole place is quite modern and funky and the area we dined in has a long bar along the back wall, an open fireplace, and a nice relaxed feel to the place, particularly for a bistro style eatery. It wasn’t too noisy either, possibly because it was a Sunday night.

The service at Skinny Dog was also friendly and efficient with drinks being brought over incredibly quickly and staff being polite and accommodating throughout the night.

When it came to ordering there wasn’t a lot to think about. We were here for one reason – “The famous Skinny Dog Chicken Parma”. It should be noted however that the menu had a number of other dishes, which also looked and sounded very good. We do however opt to begin with some Wedges ($8, to share) – for this you get a huge bowl along with sour cream and a homemade sweet chilli sauce which was very nice; and one bowl was more than enough for the three of us to share.

Shortly after, the much-awaited parma ($19.90) arrives. You get a huge parma (plate sized – definitely the biggest I have ever seen) sitting atop a good serving of “fat chips” and sided by a simple garden salad. For those who cannot manage such a serving, the parma is available, split between two, for $4 extra.

The parma tastes pretty good. It is real chicken (of a decent thickness), crumbed properly with a fairly thin layer of crumbing, and topped with a decent, but not excessive amount of red sauce and mozzarella cheese. As I mentioned the meat is fairly good (not organic, or anything over the norm), but the sauce is not really to my liking. It would appear that they use a cheap pre-made variety, which is a bit of a shame, but overall the parma still tasted pretty good. It should be noted though, that sauce is one of those personal preference things. Robert and Kat quite liked the sauce, so maybe I am just a bit too fussy, but I have to be honest. The chips were also pretty good, as was the salad.

After completing our parmas (a triumphant effort) we are offered dessert, and as good as some of the options sound there is no way we are going to fit in another mouthful of anything at this stage. As far as value for money is concerned you definitely get a good deal here – I challenge anyone to try and find a bigger parma.

I recommend the Skinny Dog Hotel for a good, casual dining experience and for the biggest parma you are ever likely to see.

I must also mention the food store across the road – Leo’s – an excellent shop with a huge range of gourmet food items (expensive) but definitely a place I could easily get lost in for hours and spend far too much money in – will definitely be going back here. As Robert said, I was like a kid in a candy store. This store is open until 10 P.M. daily.

My score for Skinny Dog: 12/20 - Recommended
Food: 6/10 – A good parma. The biggest I have eaten, and fairly good. (Bonus 1 point for generosity & consequent value).
Ambience: 3/5 – Modern, relaxed feel (heating was a little excessive)
Service: 3/5 – Friendly and efficient
Again it should be noted that this is not a fine dining restaurant and thus whilst the score seems only modest, the experience was good and I definitely recommend it.


***I also plan on making a super parma, when I get the chance, using organic chicken breasts, homemade bread crumbs, extra virgin olive oil, an Italian tomato and basil sauce from Simon Johnson and fresh mozzerella cheese. I will endeavour to post the results of this for all to see.***

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  posted at 9:02 AM  

At October 15, 2007 at 4:32 PM, Blogger stickyfingers said...

OMG I think there's enough food in that parmie to last me a week! Perhaps you should try the schnitzels at Budapest in Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick?

Leo's is the danger zone. Like some kind of high class drug it leaves me elated but significantly poorer and eventually bummed out.

At October 15, 2007 at 6:03 PM, Blogger Jon! said...

Hi stickyfingers, I'm glad you've found my blog. I always enjoy your postings and comments throughout the blogosphere.

It certainly is a whopper of a parmie, thankfully I hadn't eaten all day and worked hard to finish it. Will certainly try your suggestion of Budapest when I get a chance.

And yes Leo's is definately a danger zone. If I had more money on me last night I certainly would have gone home a lot poorer. I did buy a few fantastic things though, including a great pate and the sauce for my super parma, which I will be creating tommorow night. It won't be huge like this one, but should taste great.


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