77 High Street
Ph: 03 5243 2802
Once, when on a date, I asked my dining companion what he was planning to order. “I’m getting the parmi”, he said. When I asked where that was on the menu he replied “Oh I dunno, I haven’t looked at the menu, I just always get a parmi”. I knew from that moment the relationship would never work. But where I was once a parmi snob, believing it to be the boring choice of those afraid to venture further than the menu at their local, in recent times I have developed a love for this dish. My parmi obsession has reached new heights; where once I awkwardly went between “parmi” and “parma”, unsure of the correct terminology (a debate that will forever rage on), I am now a parmi pro, sussing out the various special nights around town, trying different toppings and even compiling a list of the parmi nights around Geelong.
I discussed my current parmi obsession in a previous post; those who read that will know how much I was looking forward to getting to the Belmont Hotel for their “All Around The World” parmi night. And finally, I made it. In fact I made it quite a while ago and I’ve been back at least 5 times since, ordering the same dish each time. And generally, so has everyone I’ve dined with.
Mexican parmi ($13)
This is the parmi in question, the “Mexican Parmi”: cheese, ham, tomato, sour cream and tangy guacamole. Fresh grated carrot, beetroot, big slices of cucumber and tomato and crunchy lettuce with a fantastic, flavoursome dressing. Chips are always delicious and perfectly salted, although they are placed underneath the parmi, a method of serving that is the cause of much debate amongst parmi connoisseurs.
Spanish parmi ($13)
Greek parmi ($13)
Present at our table were also the Greek and Spanish varieties which were both good, but I think I’m onto a winner with the Mexican.
This is the kind of hearty and tasty food you think about for days after, finding yourself back there at the next opportunity eating the exact same thing. It’s real craving-satisfying food, especially during these freezing cold evenings.
What I love about the Belmont is that there are so many different sections; there’s the rooftop, the balcony, the lounge, the bar, the restaurant. We’ve eaten our meals in various locations at the pub but my favourite way to enjoy a parmi night is outside on the rooftop, where the view is good and the vibe is young and fun; the perfect atmosphere to smash down your parmi and a good beer.
Service at the hotel is young and sometimes frazzled but on the whole it’s a pleasant experience. For those, like me, who prefer some spice in their meals, the option to have some jalapenos or a little bottle of tabasco would add to the Mexican experience, but overall there’s not much to fault about it: A family can get a fairly quick, delicious meal in a nice environment for just over $50. Why I didn’t get on the pub meal bandwagon back when I was a poor student in Melbourne, I will never understand!
There are plenty of other fabulous parmis around Geelong – Irish Murphy’s and the Cremorne Hotel are worth a mention – but I’ve found my favourite, and judging by the huge number of Facebook and foursquare check ins at the Belmont on a Monday night, so have plenty of others.
These parmigianas are also available at The Yardz and Fyansford hotels, venues owned by the same group.