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Scores of east-sider friends and even west-side-turned-east-siders have raved about the pies at Pie in the Sky. Interestingly, many of these friends had the same look of horror and bewilderment written all over their faces when I told them that I had never been before! Then there were also those who were not quite as enthused about the pies compared to the previous group and claimed that the pies were only just okay. After venturing over to the east side and spending a morning at 1000 steps, it was time to eat away the calories burnt and see for myself whether team-awesome-pie or team-okay-pie gets the win.
If the trees and the one bar of reception on my iPhone didn’t give it away, then the interior of this restaurant was a sure telltale sign that we were in…
woop woop the countryside. It’s a nice change though. The woody interior with the old-fashioned lighting and decor gave the establishment a very quaint and historic feeling.
Oh and see the evident scores of people dining at the restaurant plus the line of people cueing for a table? Thats a point for team-awesome-pie!
Their pies on display! We probably would have been out in a jiffy had we ordered the pies to go. But it wouldn’t have been the same. Why would we drive so far just for take away?
Soon enough, say 15 minutes, we were seated at a table. And very excited about award-winning pies. Well, excited about food in general. I was feeling super famished after going up and down the steps and just wanted to get some food in.
Service was a little slow. It was understandable given the large amounts of people who were eating but with my stomach growling, I wasn’t in much of a forgiving mood. If you have the capacity to seat that many people, then hire more staff to cater to everyone’s need and in a timely order! It was 40 minutes before our pies came out.
Part one of the Devonshire tea - tea of your choice with two of the best scones in the Dandenongs served with fresh cream and homemade raspberry jam.
Because it was too hot to drink immediately, I sat there taking in the fumes as though it would sooth the hunger pangs. It didn’t work. It only served to tease my stomach more! The tea was very aromatic and had a nice sweet smell with a hint of oranges.
The teas came out 20 minutes after ordering (does it really take that long to fill a teapot with hot water ?!) but there were no scones. We waited another 20 minutes before our pies came out. And still no scones. Then maybe a quarter of the way into eating our pies, they arrived at the table. There was no way we were going to stop eating our savoury dishes, eat the sweet dish and then go back to eating savoury. Which meant we had to eat the scones at ROOM TEMPERATURE, after we were done with our pies. More on that later.
Pie floater - Aussie meat pie in [their] thick, tasty ‘Pea & ham’ soup topped with a scoop of fresh, creamy mashed potato.
Warned by a few lab members not to order this unless I had a thing for soggy pies, I steered clear from this option. Wifred however was feeling very game and ordered it. I tried a little. I thought the soggy issue… wasn’t an issue. The pie retained most of its crispness, so long as you don’t leave it for too long. However, it still wouldn’t be something I’d order. I wasn’t a fan of the soup with pie because the flavours weren’t at all complimentary to one another. The ‘pea’ texture of the soup was very thick and perhaps needed to be mooshed up more.
Korma chicken gourmet pie - (multiple gold medal winner) tender chicken pieces and beautiful two-coloured vegetables in a rich creamy yellow curry sauce, with mild aromatic spices.
At first I was scratching my head at the concept of curry in a pie but then I remembered curry puffs. This pie was essentially that. There was maybe a little more curry in the pie than a puff. Additionally, the curry was also more liquid-y. The pastry was perfect - very crisp and airy.
Beef burgundy gourmet pie - (gold medal winner) chunky pieces of beef slowly cooked in quality red wine with herbs and mushrooms.
Similar to the curry pie, the texture of the pastry was also perfect. In regards to taste, this definitely came across as more gourmet and home cooked than your average meat pie. The red wine flavour was very rich and was perhaps something I didn’t care much for. Dialled down a notch, it would have been extremely complimentary to the potent mushroom flavours and subtle beef flavours. The beef chunks were very tender and juicy, oozing when bitten into. Either that or it had just soaked up a lot of the wine/sauce. The mashed potatoes weren’t great. Or good. They were very dense and may as well have just been a cooked, non-mashed potato.
Sharing is caring! Thehouseofem and I shared the chicken and the beef. Hmmm, when squished the pies don’t look as appealing… or large.
Jug of gravy. So cute!
And the other half of our devonshire teas; the scones!
Fresh raspberry jam.
Close up of the scones.
As I said earlier, they weren’t great with their timing and had brought these out whilst everyone was in the middle of their mains. Well I was anyway because I had been busy taking photos and notes of everything else but I’m pretty sure everyone was still eating pies at this point. By the time I finally got around to eating it… it was still pretty tasty. Though it wasn’t warm and fresh out of the oven, you could still make out that it was fresh. The dough was very soft and fluffy. The jam was possibly the best I’ve encountered to date. It wasn’t too sweet or too sour. Just right. The fresh cream was very airy and therefore not too heavy. I was quite full and could not bring myself to leave the scone behind. I ate it.
The verdict? It was a tough one and I think I’m still undecided when it comes to putting the pies into the okay or awesome category. One thing is for certain and that is me starting a new team; team-awesome-scones! I hate to admit it, given that they were very dodgy with their timing, but their scones were delicious. They are definitely worth travelling all the way out to woop woop and undoing a hard morning’s worth of exercise.
Pie in the Sky
43 Olinda-Monbulk Rd.
Olinda, Victoria, 3788.
(03) 9751 2128