On a recent visit to Australia, we were searching for the quintessential local comfort food and discovered a unique Melbourne institution called Mrs. Parma’s. Since we had already feasted on our fair share of fish and chips during our stay, our palates were craving something new.
The pub was only a few doors from our hotel, and the sign on the door read “Best Parma in the World.” Needless to say, we had to try it out. But what is a “parma” (or “parmy” as some locals call it)? Parma is a classic Aussie dish that everyone in Australia loves, the chicken parma is at every pub and most restaurants in Australia. Mrs. Parma’s menu items feature only Parmigiana, which is typically an Italian dish (such as breaded chicken, veal or eggplant) sautéed and layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. But at what point does this Parma become interesting? Mrs. Parma’s takes this traditional Aussie food and makes it fun! The menu choices include a variety of endless toppings, Greek, Cajun corn, Mexican to name a few. The most popular item on the menu appears to be the “Parma’geddon” featuring a homemade chili sauce that includes 4 different chilis and takes 4 days to make!
We weren’t ready to attempt that one!
Tim and I split the “Aussie” which is the breaded chicken served with sliced beetroot, crispy bacon and fried egg. The portion was generous and every bite delightful! All entrees are served with a fresh lettuce salad with a twist of lime and a side of chips (french/potato fries).
I had a craving for the “Parma” upon our return to the States and immediately attempted to recreate that wonderful meal. The following recipe can be used for chicken, veal or eggplant; cooking time will vary depending on your choice. Serve with your favorite pasta or with salad and fries for a true Aussie Pub experience!