Been a while since I had a pie. The title is a little too dead-on straightforward, isn’t it. Straight up pies, and all sorts of them. A huge thank you to my bloop who took me to this cosy spot after a rough day at school. Eternally. Grateful (:
Before you hound me on my non-existent rights to use not-quite-there iPhone quality, I should like you all to know that this place has on my to-go list for quite a while now and I’m rather proud of the fact that I was able to sit down for a good few hours with my bloop (Ruru!!) to enjoy some pies and coffee. There. Alright, so we gave this one a shot. It was their ‘pie of the month’, so that in itself sort of made me inclined to just… Try. This aside, they have a ton of other round, crusty, fork-fingered options, such as wagyu beef cheek, lamb shank, wagyu beef rendang and cheddar cheese and chicken. Look around and the place is literally littered with all sorts of goods encased in a whole pie shell or crust, both savoury and gloriously sweet. I was sweating by the time we walked there, so you can imagine my relief when we were greeted by the beckoning, cool interior, with hip sofas and white chairs. One of those places I wouldn’t mind just being by myself to study in, or emptying some hours with a good friend or two. Stuff my face with pie and perhaps dissolve right into its belly.
I was a little skeptical about the coffee, and just as I thought, it was simply not evident, not even a little, in and amongst the hunks of thigh meat crust. Nowhere to be found, but this lack of my favourite food group was compensated by the sufficiently tender meat. Then again, I suggest a quick change in name of their special, in case they get any complaints. Either that or they should take the marination step a little more seriously. The meat? I say sufficiently, as, well, that’s plainly what it was. Not abhorrently dry, yet not as dewy and juicy as I would have liked. Plain, good thigh meat, and I’m glad they didn’t skimp on the occasional fatty bit either. The chewy bits of cartilage always appeal to me, as awful as that may sound to another. Cartilage love is a deep and carnal affair. The deep and luscious colour of the chicken looked almost inappropriate; I expected the honest halo of off-white or soft brown chicken meat, though understandably it’s labelled with coffee for a reason, despite the complete lack of exactly that. It looked rather inviting at my first cut, my knife giving way through the crust with 10 times more ease than what I prepared myself for. I could say it was a tad disheartening, for I enjoy an almost-burnt or charred, grossly crusty sort of crust. This one fell away from the interior a little too easily, and though the pastry itself was palatable, the texture could have been a little more civilised. Savagely toasted, yum. I personally would have preferred a lightly heartier middle, with more moxie and, dare I say it, shreds? I just got chunk after chunk. I watched as the lady at the counter nonchalantly plopped one pie from the display counter into the heater. Clearly, these guys aren’t the freshest bunch of pies, but it’s still a relatively comforting option if you’re around the area. No, its not the sort of fully heartening grub you would get at a local English pub, maybe even Murray’s or whatnot, but my taste buds were not wholly disappointed, especially with the kind accompaniment of their special mash and gravy, into which they even incorporated the potato skins, to add a welcoming, different texture. The gravy was of the right degree of lumpiness, if that even is a word at all, and the mash boasted creamy, almost wholesome notes. I could deceive myself into thinking so anyway. Good, buttery stuff.
I’ve got a sweet tooth. So does she. What could we do? We had to order this lime basil meringue tart. We just had to. It looked like the rose among the thorns of sweet tarts, its meringue hat pulling it up a few rungs on the ladder of regality in the counter display. I’m actually not too sure about that pricing; I somehow remember it to be just that, though I could be wrong. I don’t even trust my own soggy memory. I was drawn in by those beautifully torched, thick swirls of meringue, some yellow or vermillion jewel of an interior lovingly encased by what looked to be a gloriously crusty, buttery pastry. Got it, sat down. Cut, pulled, mouth…
The meringue was exceedingly sweet and outrageously thick. If I could describe it in one word, it would be cloying. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the complementary tartness of the murky orange curd, which wasn’t as thick as a hard-set jelly or even fridge-cold custard (oh, how I wish the entire tart was fridge-cold!), but more so a viscous, wilting jam. They slashed some sickly sweet strawberry jam across the plate as well, which I thought completely unnecessary. The lime and basil spoke for itself, with the latter coming through in subtle nudges, peeking through the thick lime base, which didn’t taste completely of lime. I could’ve been fooled by a lemon label. They might as well have typed ‘citrus’ and the utter lack of differentiation between lime and lemon could have been excused. That aside, I thoroughly relished the actual flavour of the curd, especially with the hardy crust, which I thought fared much better than that of the pie. As for the meringue, they could have cut back on the sugar, and deviated from the thick, almost-Italian meringue sort of consistency. It made me think of a similar meringue tart I had at Assembly Coffee, where it was light, delicate and perfect aerated. This one hit my sweet tooth just a little too hard, to the point whereby it felt as if each bite was more sin than decadence. Sinful decadence, remember, is an entirely different thing altogether. It’s funny, because I did relish the unusual pairing of something paired with basil, perhaps because the sweet-tart complementary pairing was intense and duly satisfying. It’s making me want to incorporate lime into one of my baking experiments, if I ever do get the time (?!)
Rating: 3.4/ 5.0
Pies and Coffee
35 Rochester Drive, #01-02, Singapore 138639
Tel: +65 6570 0080 | Fax: +65 6659 2217