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What is Australia’s favourite dish and where can you get it?

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While it’s heartening to see Aussies are once again dining out and enjoying the plethora of cuisines available in our great cities, you might be surprised to learn what is our favourite dish…

Believe it or not, Australia’s most popular food is chicken parmigiana. That’s right – the Italian-American favourite that has been a favourite of many a family household and is one of the most popular pub menu items in this country. It might seem unusual considering this is the same country from which fairy bread was born, but it’s beloved by locals and tourists alike.

While it comes as a comfort to travellers who are familiar with the dish, it didn’t always start out with a base of chicken. Prior to chicken parmigiana. The popular dinner dish started out as eggplant parmigiana, which was brought over by Italian immigrants in the late 1800’s. This version is still enjoyed by vegetarians wanting their pub-grub fix of crumbed cheesy goodness.

What we love about the chicken parma is the versatility of the dish; whether a Winter warmer or a Summer dish enjoyed with a cold ale; it’s a simple dish usually served with chips and salad. Depending on the venue, one might find chicken similar to chicken schnitzel. That is then topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and, occasionally, prosciutto. It’s placed under a broiler to get the desired browning effect before serving, and then viola – Australian chicken parmigiana.

5 of the Best Parmi’s – powered by Impos

The Royston – Richmond, Melbourne

Located in the back streets of Richmond behind Bridge Road, you’ll find the Royston, home to the popular Wednesday night trivia and also one of the best parmas in Melbourne. If you’re not a chips-under-the-parma kinda kid, you’ll like that the Royston put their fried delights alongside the parma to avoid any potential chip-sog that may occur during consumption. We also love their breadcrumbs, which they do perfectly, crispy but not too crispy and with the perfect chicken to crumb ratio. If you like ham, you’re in good hands too because this parma has a strong ham flavour, but is by no means overpowering.

The Camfield – Burswood, Perth

On the bank of the Swan River, nestled into the base of Optus Stadium, The Camfield. You might even consider leaving the footy early, just so you can dig into the parmi next door at Australia’s biggest pub. Expect a mighty serve, complete with local ham, tomato and mozzarella cheese.

Park Hotel – Abbotsford, Melbourne

Another oldie but a goodie, The Park Hotel in Abbotsford has been serving the goods since 1864, and they’re not about to stop in 2022. They’re an absolute haven for some of the best parmas in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, with an idyllic beer garden which is doggo friendly of course. Now down to business, the parmigiana here is held to a higher standard than your average pub, with the highlight being their perfectly crumbed schnitzel, deep-fried to perfection with a cabbage slaw in lieu of a tired and over-dressed leaf salad.

Forresters – Surry Hills, Sydney

A community hub for connection and celebration. Forrester’s is a historic tavern where people have been drinking, eating and gathering for over 100 years. Forresters is keeping things simple with their parmi, serving the schnitty-goodness with a simple combo of fries and slaw. At $20 a pop, it isn’t on the cheap end of the spectrum but isn’t breaking the budget either—look, we’re pretty sold on this one TBH.

Fat Freddie’s Beach Bar & Diner – Broadbeach, Gold Coast

Located under the five-star Avani Apartments in Broadbeach, Fat Freddy’s is nailing the true American sports bar style, with a coastal twist. Picture: dark leather banquette booths and stools, dark wood rafters overhead and floorboards underfoot, while bi-fold doors allow those signature GC rays to flood inside—or, as owner Ben Walsh dubs it, “a clean cut dive bar”. Their chicken parma will not disappoint with hickory bacon and served with crispy fries and salad.

However you like your chicken parma, we are spoiled for choice with Impos’ many wonderful venues Australia-wide so get out and #supportyourlocal.