Meat pie showdown

Edit: Mocha and Coffee Beanz have closed down since this article was written.

I've been in love with pies since the 70's, that's right, before I was even born. In fact, I suspect that the real reason my parents came to Australia was not for us kids to have a better education, quality of life, health care etc, it was because they wanted us to grow up with the beautiful taste and experience of Aussie meat pies.

The humble snack that bridges all walks of life, genders, races, sexual orientation and even religion. Mince meat, pastry and sauce = winning.

Can of ice cold coke optional, hot potato chips if you're feeling really naughty. Over the past few months I've been slowly but surely scouring the CBD for freshly baked meat pies (I love pies, but I don't eat them every day!) and today I present my findings. If I've missed any, feel free to point me in the right direction by leaving a comment.

OK I just realised I missed out on Tommo's Pies – maybe next time.

Café 21

Pie type: Steak.
The good: The service was friendly.
The bad: Wasn't that warm and was a bit cold by the time I got half way through. A bit too salty.
Comments: Probably not their best day, haven't had the pie here since.
Location: End of Smith Street Mall (Opposite Westpac).

Chapel Lane Café

Pie type: Steak.
The good: Pretty, cheap, pastry ok, a bit larger than average.
The bad: Could be warmer, filling needs more oomph.
Comments: I've had three pies here and they've all looked different. The first one was beautiful with egg wash and poppy seeds, the second two looked like regular pies.
Location: Chapel lane, between Go Sushi Train and Outback Jacks.

Ben's Bakehouse

Pie type: Chunky steak.
he good: Very nice beef flavour in the gravy, pastry crumbly and short. Decent size.
The bad: The chunks of steak were a decent size but were tough as rubber, needs more mince compared to gravy.
Comments: Had it twice, Emma had the plain steak pie once. Good filling and tasty pie but needs more wow factor.
Location: 26 Knuckey Street, at the bottom of Luma Luma apartments


Pie type: Steak.
The good: OMG that's hot like it was fresh out of the oven. Juicy and tasty gravy.
The bad: A bit small, pastry too thin resulting in the insides falling out the bottom. Eat with care.
Comments: Tasted good, but pastry is letting the pie down.
Location: Anthony Plaza, Smith Street Mall.

Melissa's Take Away

Pie type: Steak and mushroom.
The good: Big, juicy, tasty with tender chunks of beef. Puff pastry top very nice.
The bad: Not very pretty, pastry on sides and bottom too thin/soggy. Eat with great care or alternatively a knife and fork.
Comments: The pie that stands the test of time and just keeps on giving. Location: West Lane Arcade (Walk through the Vic Arcade), Smith Street Mall

Coffee Beanz

Pie type: Thai chicken curry.
The good: Tastes like both a chicken pie and a curry. Bits of eggplant and coriander throughout. Puff pastry top is nice.
The bad: It's not a steak pie, a little small, the one I got served was a tad burnt on the edges.
Comments: No it ain't a beef pie like the rest, but they didn't have any steak pies and I'm not sure they make them. Second best chicken pie I've ever had.
Location: Australia Post building, Cavenagh Street.


Best pastry: Ben's bakehouse
Best looking: The first pie I had from Chapel Lane Café. Had beautiful edges, egg wash and poppy seeds.
Best tasting steak pie: Melissa's - lovely home cooked comfort food feeling.
Best tasting chicken pie: Coffee Beanz - Moroccan chicken.
Worst pie: Café 21. I want my money back.