Railway Hotel, 35 Anderson Street, Yarraville. Phone: 9687 2034
After watching, like so many Villagers, the fading into the past of a scruffy pub and the unveiling of a new, shiny incarnation, we’ve taken our time checking out the new Yarraville local.
We’re wandered in a number of times but never quite got round to taking the plunge.
For one thing, it’s often seemed mad busy so we’ve gone elsewhere.
But to be truthful, it’s the pricing that has been a sticking point.
I’ve been a feeling a sense of duty, obligation even, to put the CTS take on the Railway out there but …
Singapore noodles for $26?
Lamb curry – made with “saltgrass lamb” – for $26.50?
It’s not that I mind paying such prices.
But long experience with items such as high-priced, fancy fish and chips and $25 laksas served in seafood emporiums has taught me that not only are such things expensive but also that all too often they are simply not very good.
So, yeah, I’m suspicious.
Even more so when there are three pubs nearby with similar pricing schemes and proven track records, and at least a couple more that fall into the cheap ‘n’ cheerful genre.
But arriving home from work mid-week, I’m resolved to get the job done.
That resolve is cemented when I retrieve from the letterbox a flier announcing the commencement of $15 parma Tuesdays at the Railway – that’s more like it!
So off we go … for what actually turns out to be the first such parma evening.
The place looks great, though is still recognisably the same building – it’s not like they’ve knocked down any walls or anything.
We secure a table for the two of us without any fuss, though from there on in new arrivals have to wait.
The staff are cheerful and obliging.
And we eat.
I’m more than happy for Bennie to trial the Railway burger ($21.50).
He likes it, too, but not with boundless enthusiasm.
The patty looks great and the whole thing impresses as a good, solid straightahead burger.
Bennie likes the cheesy/herby effect and his chips are excellent.
But he’d rather have a burger meal right across the road at a significantly lower price.
My $15 parma is something else entirely.
In fact, I’m happy to make a big call – this is the best parma I’ve had in the western suburbs and one of the best ever.
From a list of five I’ve selected the Mexican, with the option of cheese topping added – and it’s a doozy.
The real chicken breast is piping hot and emitting steam. It’s tender, moist and flavoursome.
The mix of onions, peppers and nice glow of spice heat is sufficiently like the ingredients of a classic parma for my dish to maintain strong links with tradition and that mix is all-round delicious.
It’s a very moist project so any crunchiness in the crumb department is gone, but I don’t mind in the least.
And it’s so big that in the end I carve off a hefty chunk for Bennie to enjoy.
My chips, too, are very good.
The salad is average – but isn’t that almost always the cases with parmas?
But even then, given the high quality of the chips and parma, $15 is a ripping bargain – and would still be so at $20.
Our server is happy to engage in a bit of banter about the $26 Singapore noodles – she reckons they’re grouse.
Perhaps the price reflects excellence and value.
Maybe we’ll order them one day – or maybe the onion and cauliflower pakoras for $14.50.
But in the meantime, we’re happy and satisfied that the Railway is starting to feel like our local.