I’m Australian so I thought I knew I thing or two about a pie. Squeezing tomato sauce on a meat pie is a part of my cultural heritage after all. But after stumbling upon Pie Minister in the Covered Market my perceptions of what a pie experience could or could not be were radically altered.
Eating at Pie Minister is not the most glamorous of experiences. It is buried deep in the Covered Market between a butcher, a baker and alas, a florist. There are only plain wooden diner style tables but a high turn over meant that we were able to nab one. Whilst my friend guarded the table I went up to the counter to place my order. And choosing a pie was a genuinely difficult experience. There is the Chicken of Aragon pie (I’m not sure I understand the pun) a concoction of chicken, smoky bacon, roasted garlic, vermouth and tarragon. Or for those of the vegetarian persuasion there is the Heidi, with goats cheese, sweet potato, spinach and red onion.
I chose the Thai Chook pie. Whoever invented this should be given a medal. They have discovered a way to take a Thai curry and surround it with more carbs. Chunks of soft sweet potato steeped in a mild green curry sauce contrasted against a crusty pastry. Admittedly at first I was slightly skeptical of the Asian classic meets pie concept but by my last mouthful I had been totally converted.
My Australian friend, unable to stray too far from her roots ordered the Moo pie, a traditional steak number. At first she seemed a little confused that it came with mashed potato and not chips (and that she was not at an Australian Rules Football game whilst easting it) But she quickly overcame this culture shock and judging by a scraped clean plate, enjoyed it.
For students, a quick lunch at Pie Minister is not a bank breaking experience. Their student deal is £4.95 for any pie, mash potato and gravy – though they did ask to see our Bod cards.
Perhaps, what consolidated my love for Pie Minister was not their reasonable prices but reading about their soon to be released royal wedding Pie. The “kate and wills” is made with British beef (of course), wine, bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms and a dash of brandy. So if you have collections on April 19th – don’t despair. Just head to the Covered Market and you can still enjoy the upper crust.
Price: Slightly more than hall
Atmosphere: Covered Market chic