Dad had Saturday night off which was quite rare so I took up the opportunity to take mum and dad out. Normally when dad is off we eat at home because my mum is a fabulous cook but it means it's always Asian food. So to be different, I took mum and dad to Panama Dining room and followed up with a trip to Messina (dad loves ice cream.... think that's where I inherited that passion).
Located in Brunswick, it's not area that mum and dad venture to much. So it was an eye opener for them to see people know about restaurants not located with a street front. After climbing 3 flights of stairs, we were greeted with the lovely staff of Panama Dining Room who showed us to our table. We had 2 minutes before the oyster happy hour (6pm-7pm) finished so we got 12 as soon as the waiter got here. Dad and I both love oysters so there was no way we would say no to $1 oysters.
The oysters were the first to come out. Fresh shacked oysters served natural with wedges of lemon. These were not as creamy as your your Coffin Bay oysters but for $1 each, we were very happy.
On to the starters, since mum and dad wasn't very hungry we opted for 3 light starters to share. First one was the marinated prawns with roe and potato crisp. Mum really liked this one, the prawns were fresh and light and the crisp gave it that nice crunch.
Next was the Cured Ocean Trout with cucumber sorbet. Another light and tangy flavored starter. The cucumber added a light crisp bite.
Dad and I love parfait, so we got chicken liver parfait on toast to share. This was paired with truffle and marmalade . I love the taste in texture but didn't like how it was served in a box with a napkin underneath. It was hard to share and all the filling from the brioche bun toast, stuck to the napkin. There was a lot wasted by being stuck on the napkin in the end.
For mains we shared the John Dory with risotto with lobster sauce. The fish itself was a bit bland so it heavily relied on the lobster sauce and the dash of mustard. There was also slices of cucumber on the plate to add that fresh element.
Our other main was the roast chicken. The chicken was roasted with rosemary scent and lied on a bed of mash. The meat was tender and succulent however it lack a punch, it felt like it needed something else on the plate to complete it. This was a substantial size and we struggled to finish it between the three of us
For the sides we got the ricotta, mint pea salad. Loved the creamy, fresh combination of flavours.
The chips were thick cut. Fluffy, starchy goodness.
We decided to skip dessert, since Messina was downstairs.
Overall 15/20 I enjoyed most parts of the meal. Mains were a tad disappointing but the starters made up for it. This is a place that I won't mind trying again with D. Especially if there is $1 oysters. I know their menu changes quite regularly, so they do keep regulars entertained.