THE ULTIMATE PLACE TO ENJOY A TRADITONAL DISH
Say the word pie to me and I immediately think of the play Sweeney Todd which I have reviewed several times or my involvement in the Great West Australia Pie Competition, when I worked as a producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
I must admit its taken me years to get to grips or to be more correct to get my teeth into the subject of pies after those two experiences. However pies have always been a staple food of hacks for years, easy to eat, filling and warming when on eating on the run or being out in the cold on some breaking news story.
But never in my wildest dreams did I think of having the traditional meat pie as a Sunday lunch option or even eating out in a pie shop.
Enter Pieminister the designer pie bistro in Duncan Street, Leeds. Having often whizzed past in the car I never paid it much attention and imagined some kind of glorified snack bar so you can imagine my absolute display when I opened the door of Pieminister Leeds and I was even more surprised when I looked at the menu.
Pieminister’s decor has a great rustic meets retro feel. The exposed beams and brickwork and the distressed wooden furniture combined with the wooden booth type seating and very innovative lighting give this place real atmosphere.
But remember Pieminister’s pies are no ordinary pies. The family tradition of pie making goes back to 1867 for this award winning pie maker, that supplied pies to Captain Scott’s ill-fated Arctic expedition and supplies pies to the Queen for her Christmas parties.
The thing that appealed to me is the extensive range of pies all made with 100 per cent free range egs and meat. There is a pie for everybody whatever their diet including vegan, vegetarian and other special diets.
The drinks menu caries a selection of drinks that go with pies but if you like to be sophisticated there are cocktails and wines available. I chose my favourite soft drink tipple home made ginger bear and I was not disappointed. It is an exclusive Pieminister’s blend and came well chilled in a large glass and so delicious with a strong taste of ginger that was so well blended. My partner chose a Hefe Wheat Beer which complimented his pie choice.
Pieminister’s menu can be described as where pies and roasts unite and has lots of side orders that sit well with the pies.
There is an all inclusive menu, which includes sides and a small plates option that is good for sharing or starters.
Being Sunday, my partner opted for the Sunday Best which consisted of a choice of classic pie plus pigs in a blanket, port crackling, baby roasties, carrot and swede mash, Yorkshire pudding and mash. His pie choice was Moo a British beef steak and craft ale pie. He was well impressed with the quality and amount of meat in the pie and just how succulent and tender it was. However what surprised him most was the clever but quirky presentation of the dish.
I opted for The Feast a classic pie, two sides and a stick. My choice of sides was cheesy mash and garden peas with onion rings on a stick and the Fungi Chicken pie which was packed with large pieces of chicken and fresh Portobello and Chestnut mushrooms. The filling was delicious and flavoursome and again the presentation admirable living up to Pieminister’s award winning status.
The pastry on our pies was crisp and very tasty and the mash placed beneath the pie was like mum used to make – creamy and buttery. The pie fillings are like no other, and live up to their award winning status. There’s no mushy filling with lots of gravy, the pie is just crammed with whatever ingredients it says on the menu.
Meals come on a lovely old fashioned tin plate – like we used to take camping with the girl guides – and each with its own jug of gravy. Presentation here is all and fits in so well with the food and the atmosphere.
My sweet was pure heaven to an ice-cream junkie like myself and there was lashing of it. I chose the soft scoop sundae Apple Pie with Vanilla, Apple, Salted Caramel and Sweet Pie Crumb. The filling comes in a large wafer pie shaped cone and boy there is loads of it and such a tasty combination.
Hot Chocolate Pud was my partner’s choice with a Nutty Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream. Again the portion was more than ample The pudding was hot and so moist and the sauce dispensed in its own jug. I couldn’t resist scooping up a portion when he wasn’t looking.
Pieminster Leeds has a wonderful atmosphere and a staff who really know their product and care about their customers. So cast off any inhibitions you may have about visiting a ‘pie shop’ and try it for yourself you will be glad you did.
Pieminster, 15-19 Duncan Street, Leeds. Tel: 0113 859 1681
Open Monday to Friday 11.30 – 10.00pm – Saturday 10.00am-10.00pm Sunday 10.00-9.00pm