To commemorate British Pie Week, I decided to visit East London’s newly opened HMC approved Pie Joint. The lure of the crispy, short pastry and deep filled, meat laden filling on a drizzly early spring evening was too strong. Furthermore, I wanted my guest from Washington, USA to experience one of our nation’s favourite dishes.
Pie Republic has a modern feel with bare ‘rustic’ brick walls, wooden pallet wall coverings and the ‘ever popular’ low slung pendent lighting.
We were received well, with friendly and eager staff waiting for our order.
We were told our Pies would take 20-30 mins to arrive at our table, as they are always baked to order!! Fantastic! Freshly baked home-style pies…Yum!
For starters we ordered Panko Chicken Wings, the wings were also made to order and were served with a sweet chilli sauce. The breadcrumbs were crisp and the flesh of the chicken was moist, the wings were well executed, quite ahead of the ‘dehydrated’ offerings at most chicken shops. Although, I do feel a buttermilk marinade will elevate this starter to another level.
After much anticipation the Pies arrived piping hot in shiny white metal plates with the choice of two sides.
The pastry was a perfect golden complexion, I immediately had my Paul Hollywood moment and flipped the pie over to see how well the pastry was cooked, GBBO fans will understand a bakers unique fascination with ‘Soggy Bottoms’. Thankfully the crust was cooked to perfection with a crisp and short flake.
The Royal Victoria had a chicken breast and chestnut mushroom filling with a creamy sauce. The pie was well filled, although I would preferred to have a creamier sauce with a hint more seasoning. Additionally, the sauce had slightly split. Although, it did spoil the aesthetics of the pie, it had a minimal effect on the taste.
The Hakka pie was filled with lamb, potatoes, carrot with an infusion of rosemary and garlic. The lamb was cooked well, with a slight bite, which complements the additional textures of gooey sauce and super short pastry. The Hakka pie had a depth of flavour which the Victoria lacked. Although, I did find the pastry slightly thicker than the Victoria Pie. The gravy that accompanied both pies complemented the pies well, but didn’t add a further layer of flavour.
We ordered sides of Mediterranean Roast Vegetables, hand cut chips, sweet potato chips and mash potato. These were cooked well, but were not spectacular. The simple Roast veg was cooked al dente (the way I like it). The mash was OK, Pomme Puree is the only mash for me! (Blame Cona!)
The undoubted star of the sides were the Sweet Potato Chips, which were crispy, with a layer of char and fluffy interior, perfecto!
Overall, the Concept of Pie Republic isn’t new to the Halal consumer with Pie Factory a few miles away in Whitechapel.
I feel Pie Republic has a solid base to propel themselves upwards and onwards.
You can’t go wrong with freshly baked to order, crispy pies with decent fillings.
It’s early days for Pie Republic and there are obvious areas for development that will undoubtedly be addressed.. But it’s a promising start which I will be keeping an keen eye on.
Who ate all the Pies? You’ll have to ask PR!
Halal Status: HMC Approved
80 Upton Lane, London, E7 9LW