“ 32 Cambridge Terrace / Te Aro / Wellington / 6011 / New Zealand / Tel: +64 04 801 5506. „
Myself and Ms Larsbaby like a pie. So when the opportunity arose to try a New Zealand variant, recommended in the Lonely Planet, we took it unhesitatingly. As a Winner of Best Takeaway Pie - Capital Times Best of Wellington Awards 2008, it had a lot to live up to. Would it be able to?
The shop itself is nothing special; an unspectacular shop in a row of retail shops that you could easily pass without noticing, save for the bright red sign above the door. Located at the end of Cambridge Terrance, it's just outside the city centre, about a 10 minute walk from Te Papa museum. As you enter, the till is right in front of you, with a chilled drinks cabinet to the left. You are treated to various rows of pies in heated glass cabinets to the left and right of the counter, and a shop which to my eye looked quite old fashioned and untouched by the last 30 years or so, but in a wholly positive way. Behind the counter is a list of the pie varieties on offer, of which there was several, available in regular or large sizes.
We were served by a middle aged lady who may or may not have been Trisha. Whoever she was, she was friendly and looked like she was used to tourists strolling in. As we deliberated over the various options, such as chicken and apricot and steak and cheese, she watched us with faint amusement. As it was about 2pm the shop was empty and so we had as much time as we pleased to procrastinate.
I had a large steak and cheese pie (well, we had to go for large didn't we, we were on holiday), which had proper chunks of lean steak, packed to the rafters and enclosed in a large, thick circular pastry casing, with a nice gooey mix of cheese and gravy. It was one of the best takeaway pies I've ever had, which is pretty much what I expected; I had previously encountered the Australasian pie experience some years earlier on the east coast of Australia. This had taught me that down under, if they say steak pie, they really mean it. And this one had a rich taste of gravy and meat.
Ms Larsbaby had a chicken curry pie, which was very spicy, surprising spicy compared to anything similar in the UK, which would have had a mild curry taste to it. I had to finish it off for her as her eyes were beginning to water (the spicier the better in my book). It was packed with chunks of chicken and lovely rich golden curry sauce. I liked it a lot. I'm sure Ms Larsbaby would have been fine had she expected such a spicy concoction.
As we stood outside another building further down the street, ducking under a canopy for protection from the rain that had suddenly appeared, we munched contentedly on our lunches warming us from the cold. It occurred to me that the shopkeeper might not have minded if we'd have stood in the shop and eaten them there and then, though I didn't see any spaces in the shop where you'd be encouraged to loiter.
For a quick meal that is a local favourite, try Trishas. If you're used to UK pies, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise. I'd say it certainly lived up to its 2008 title.
32 Cambridge Terrace,