Venue: Mrs. Parma’s
Location: 25 Little Bourke St, Melbourne (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Style: Restaurant and Bar
Food: As the name would suggest, parmas! Mrs. Parma’s has thirteen permanent parmigianas and generally one weekly special on the menu. Patrons can choose between a chicken, veal, or eggplant for their parmigiana. For the vegetarians, the eggplant can be combined with a few vegetarian options. For those who don’t like a parma (for SHAME!), there’s a good selection of pub classics on the menu as well.
Beer variety: Mrs. Parma’s is Melbourne’s first (and currently only) nothing but Victorian craft beer bar. If you want to get to know Victorian micro brews, this is the place to go. The bar has about seven permanent residents on tap of the tried and true bigger craft breweries and another two rotating taps for something new or one off. Of course they also have plenty of bottles behind the bar as well. If it’s made in Victoria, odds are they have it, have had it, or will have it soon.
Staff: Great! They know what’s on the menu and can recommend something easily. It’s a pretty busy bar, so unfortunately they don’t have a lot of time to shoot the shit, but if they’re serving you, they give you their full attention.
The parmigianas are fantastic and there’s a great variety of them. The parmas that were placed in front of use were eaten well too quickly before we even had a chance to take a picture for this article. All parmas come with chips and salad and they’re near perfect. Good chips are just good chips, it’s often the simple things that, when done well, compliment everything so well, and they just hit it with the chips.
It’s hard to decide whether this is a restaurant, a bar, or both, but it’s all balanced very well. It’s OK just to walk in and sit in the bar area (if you can find a seat!). Mrs. Parma’s has positioned itself more as a place to have a parma, but it’s also completely acceptable just to go there for a few beers. At the back of the bar area, there is seating that feels more like a restaurant, but it’s within the general bar area, so it still feels like a bar. That being said, it works and it amounts to a great atmosphere and a great night out regardless of where you choose to sit or whether or not you partake in a parma.
As mentioned, this is the place to go for Victorian craft beers. Because of this, if you’re a beer geek visiting Melbourne and want to learn more about the Victorian craft beer scene, Mrs. Parma’s is the place to go. If you’re a local, there’s a big enough variety of beer (and food) to warrant quite a few visits, and, with the rotating taps and specials, there’s always going to be something new.