Best Meat Pies in Melbourne
Whoa - that's a big call, isn't it? In a city of meat-pie lovers and with a culture of a Four&Twenty with sauce at the footy in winter. But I really think we've found the top one.
A few months ago I was meeting A. for lunch. I'm working up at the posh or 'Paris End' of the city, surrounded by Hermes, Georg Jensen, Armani etc stores. And politicians. A. works as far down the other end as you can get, in the financial area. Up at my end I pay $7 for a sandwich (if I choose to do so. Not often!). Down the other end with the finance and construction workers, not so much!
So, I trekked down with no real idea of what we'd have for lunch. I passed a non-descript cafe and noticed a sign saying 'Home-made hamburgers $5'. When I met up with him he said he'd love a big hamburger for lunch....'well, what do you know?' said I.
We went in, and they really were fantastic hamburgers. A. started visiting most lunchtimes and chatting with the owner. He discovered the owner came from Italy to Adelaide in the 70s to do a Masters in Economics, before opening up his own French and Italian restaurants in Melbourne. How he came to start running a small cafe for city lunch workers in the less-salubrious part of the city I don't know. But A. soon realised his customers were being treated to some damn fine food. Homemade cakes and slices, proper lasagnes and.....quite possibly the best pies he's ever tasted.
Robert, the owner, realised A. was enthusiastic about his food and started offering samples and new creations for him to taste and give his opinion. After a few weeks of hearing about how brilliant these pies were, I requested a sample. Robert gave me 3. :-)
The most notable thing about these pies is that they're obviously homemade. Robert makes his own pastry, which is flaky and buttery. His fillings change every day. A's favourite is the chicken pie, which can vary from chicken & corn one day to something like chicken, onion and fresh herbs the next.
I received a chicken, onion & herb pie, a beef pie with a hint of curry and a fat sausage roll. These are not pies to be destroyed by squodge of tomato sauce. Tomtato sauce doesn't belong on pies anyway (sorry! - I know that's inviting criticism, but who would ruin a savoury pie with a glob of too-sweet red sauce? Yuck.). I heated them up in the oven at home, with the intention of sampling just a bit of each. 10 minutes later I realised I'd eaten both the pies, and most of the sausage roll. Oops! *blush*.
Yes - these are top pies. I totally agree with A. I also preferred the chicken pie, with its obvious French influence, but wouldn't turn the beef pie from my lips with any argument. I didn't like the sausage roll so much, as it was a bit too obviously bulked out with bread. Tomato sauce would work with that one! :-)
Check out this gorgeous chicken pie creation, and tell me you wouldn't kill for one of these?
If you work around King, La Trobe or surrounding streets and are looking for someplace with food that's both cheap and really good quality, we reckon you should pay Robert a visit.
Order the pies. :-)
318 King Street
03 9670 3566.
Pies $3. Hot food $5. 'Best value lasagne in town' says A.