Monday, 31 July 2017

Pieminister


Pie: not something you would usually see on Positive Fridays. I'm not often a fan of hearty meals and thick pastry, meat in gravy and mashed potato certainly fits into that description.

Something about Pieminister intrigued me though. Perhaps the option of more interesting options like goats cheese and sweet potato or Thai green curry, perhaps because they also sell 'skillets' which are topped with cheesy mash potato, rather than enclosed in pastry. Or perhaps it was the cocktails. 


Cocktails are 2-4-1 before 7pm so it seemed rude not to. I chose a Spiked Cider (usually £7.95) made with cider (duh) rum, ginger beer and lime. Drink in hand, I settled back to look at the menu and at my surroundings.


I was surprised to find that it was table service. We were greeted immediately and told to grab a seat. The surroundings are fashionably simple, with wooden booths and metal grids separating different tables. As a prolific wearer of tights, I feel the wooden benches need sanding; no one wants to be picking bits of wood from the back of their legs and trying to avoid ladders. True story.


The voucher I'd been sent entitled me to a classic pie (i.e. not a skillet) with mash or coleslaw and gravy. This isn't something I'd ever order but I was open to having my mind changed. I picked the Saag Pieneer- peas, paneer cheese, spinach, potato, chilli and mango, encased in traditional pastry. This was served atop a splodge of mash and with a jug of gravy.


Cutting into the pastry, I found the pleasing sight of yellow, marinated cheese and plenty of spinach. I liked the thin, flaky pastry on top, but found the rest of the pastry too thick and stodgy so I ended up scraping out the filling and eating it with the mash and gravy. I think a pastry connoisseur would actually find this quite a light pastry but it was too much for me.

The filling had plenty of cheese and I enjoyed the little pockets of sweet mango. I felt the whole thing needed more chilli and I used plenty of the delicious spicy ketchup.  


Meanwhile, Edd chose the Moodog- steak, bacon and Brewdog 5am red ale. I like that they've lifted a traditional offering with a modern ale and bacon. Edd is more of a pie fan and really enjoyed the tasty meat and what he describes as 'light' pastry. 

Our server suggested that I try the gluten free pastry next time as he noticed that I hadn't eaten much of the pastry- he said it's much lighter. 

Our pies would each be £7.50 with gravy and mash or coleslaw, but you can of course add sides or 'sticks'. Sides include minted peas, which I shared with Edd, sweet potato fries, a lovely sounding edamame salad, baked beans and so on. Sticks are literally sticks on top of your pie, with onion rings, halloumi or pigs in blankets. 


On my next visit, I instead opted for a skillet. I chose the Captain Nemo (£7.50 on its own, add sides and sticks for more)- hake, salmon, pollock and prawns, topped with cheesy mash and baked, then topped with rocket. I was far more impressed with this than with the pie. Big, generous pieces of seafood, well seasoned and piping hot. I can't say it was a healthy option but it certainly was lighter and more to my taste. I polished it off!

To summarise, the pies haven't won me over to pie, but there's options to keep most happy- including gluten free and vegan options. I am looking forward to heading back for a breakfast skillet. 


Pieminister

I had a voucher to pay for the two pies, mash and gravy on my first visit. Drinks, sides and my second visit were paid for myself.

Photos by Helen and Edd. 

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