Pieminister have saved my life many times. Over the summer months I tend to go to a fair few music festivals and I like to participate pretty actively in well, the festivities. My one festival indulgence that doesn’t harm either my liver, ears or eye balls is food. It does however hack a sizeable chunk out of my bank balance and usually results in the consumption of a semi floppy pizza. Festival food is usually disappointing at best. That is until you spot a Pieminister on the horizon. Pie, mash and gravy in a cardboard box with save you from death by hangover somewhere in a field in Hampshire, guarantied. You can imagine then I was pretty delighted then when I found out we Pieminister were opening up a restaurant in Manchester’s Northern Quarther. That means sweet (I mean savoury) stodgy hangover relief all the year round.
Their Manchester place has been open for a fair few months now and yet I’ve only just got around to trying it out. It’s not that I wasn’t bothered about the place or that I was put off from it being next door to Manchester’s finest head shop. It’s just my blissful memories of settling my stomach on rich delicious pies whilst listening to my beloved depressive indie music might have clouded my judgement. What if Pieminister are just dry ice smoke and tiny travel mirrors!?
Thankfully the pies pretty much lived up to my exceptions. I can’t say it was a fully fair test as it was the first time I’ve consumed anything from Pieminister sans hangover. I opted for the vegetarian Christmas special – Christingle. For the princely bargain of £4.50 you get a decent sized pastry packed full of honey parsnip, chestnuts and cheddar cheese. All of which come in fully identify able chunks and a distinct lack of strange vegetable mush you seen from most commercial pie companies. The pastry was a little chewier than I would have liked and the filling could have done with a touch more salt but these were very minor things in what was otherwise a pretty cracking pie. The addition of cranberry sauce added a pleasing pop of sweetness against the traditionally rich pie mash and gravy bulk.
My partner in scran decided to stick to the establishment’s headline veggie options, ordering a Heidi on a base of creamy mash and topped with crispy shallots. I know this pie oh so well. It’s my faithful festival friend. It coming stuffed full of sweet potato, slightly tangy Somerset goat’s cheese, spinach and red onion. I’ve never had a bum Heidi so would recommend it whole heartedly.
They’ve done the place out real nice as well. Plenty of the thick wooden touches and shiny white till accents you’d expect from a trendy Northern Quarter restaurant. But, If you take only one thing away from this review, it shouldn’t be anything to do with their delightful bulb lit signs. My main tip for success in when it comes to veggie dining with Pieminister is to get into the red wine gravy. Don’t be a weirdo, pies NEED gravy.
The meal on my plate, I bought it. Coz I depend on me.