Sunday, 7 October 2007

A Pie Down Under

Sydney, New South Wales.

Harry's Cafe de Wheels deserves more mention than "pie cart". But in many ways, that is precisely what it is. And what pies they are.

I ate there - or, more specifically, thereabouts, a-fastening the nosebag in the vicinity of a railway sleeper on the nearby wharf - on my first full day in Sydney. Perusing the short, simple menu, I choose the "Tiger". Despite the Australian reputation for a straightforward approach to the Naming of Things, no massive feline was delivered to me.

Instead, and rather more sensibly in my estimation, the dish involves a meat pie - fully pastry-enclosed, please note! This is fully a True Pie! - and a full complement of accompanients.

Before one's eager eyes, the pie is lovingly placed on a serving plate, then the top is breached, and covered with a layer of mashed potato, itself subsequently covered with mushy peas. Finally, a well is made in that uppermost green layer, and gravy poured in, over and around.

The whole is then presented to the enthusiastic diner with a plastic fork and - sometimes - a smile. Eaten perched on a wooden sleeper, looking out over Finger Wharf, it is an excellent pie, spicy and rich. Mine lasted no time at all, as you might imagine.

What a splendid place this is.

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