Six posh pies to try in Sydney this winter

Alex Blood of Blood's Bakery says novel flavours give him a creative outlet.
Alex Blood of Blood's Bakery says novel flavours give him a creative outlet. Photo: Janie Barrett

A freshly baked pie is the culinary equivalent of a warm hug: familiar, comforting and nourishing. The satisfaction of biting into a golden flaky crust is not restricted to the classic meat pie, however.

As the popularity of boutique bakeries continues to surge in Sydney, pie makers have embraced inventive new fillings. High-end produce and all manner of flavours can now be found between layers of rich pastry.

Blood's mapo tofu pie delivers a hit of Sichuan flavours.
Blood's mapo tofu pie delivers a hit of Sichuan flavours. Photo: Janie Barrett

Alex Blood of Blood's Bakery says novel flavours give him a creative outlet and have attracted a loyal following to his Instagram bake shop.

"I've got all the respect in the world for a normal beef and red wine pie," he says.

"But I just want to do stuff that's a little bit different because that's what gives me my passion and creativity in the kitchen and I feel like that's what my customers want."

Initially [the pho pie floater] was an accident, then we refined it until it worked really nicely

Broomfields baker and founder Ryan Broomfield

For Blood, a great pie is all about buttery pastry and generous ingredients. One of his most popular, the mapo tofu pie, delivers a hit of Sichuan flavours.

"Spices and chilli can work well because the pastry is a nice counterpoint," he says. "I see the pastry as like the rice or the mash [in a meal] – it's a nice balance between the two."  

Broomfields baker and founder Ryan Broomfield says fresh flavours and experimental menu items – many inspired by collaborations with producers and chefs – keep customers coming back to his market stall.   

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The idea for a Vietnamese-inspired pie originally came from a Luke Nguyen dish but it wasn't until Broomfield tried warming up a cold pie in a bowl of hot stock that he struck upon the idea of a pho pie floater.

"Initially it was an accident, then we refined it until it worked really nicely," Broomfield says.

Pastry chef Eddie Stewart of Tokyo Lamington started selling pies as a lockdown special but they proved so popular he eventually needed to hire an extra chef.

A great pie is all about buttery pastry and generous ingredients, Alex Blood says.
A great pie is all about buttery pastry and generous ingredients, Alex Blood says. Photo: Janie Barrett

"We never expected it to take off," he says. "We took them off the menu for a bit and people were asking, 'Where are the pies?' So we had to bring them back and now they're a staple."

The Japanese chicken curry pie has become a customer favourite.

"It's not an everyday flavour you would see in Australia ... It kind of transports people out of where they are and it brings back those memories [of overseas]," Stewart says.

Here are six of Sydney's most interesting pies to try.

Supplied – Fri, 22. July 2022 5:29 PMCreative piesCreative pies in Sydney
Pho pie floater, Broomfields X Bar Pho

Broomfields pho pie floater was created through natural experimentation.  Photo: Supplied

Pho pie floater, Broomfields X Bar Pho

$15 

For a limited time, Sydneysiders can experience the unexpected amalgamation of an Aussie beef and onion pie with a Vietnamese soup. The pie is dropped into a bowl of Bar Pho's pho and topped with buttery mashed potatoes, greens and a dash of hoisin. 

The pastry somehow maintains its crispiness, while the mash potatoes melt into the stock, creating a "pho gravy". Broomfields baker and founder Ryan Broomfield says it's a winning combination. "The star anise and cinnamon in the Broomfields classic … complement the pho flavours perfectly," he writes.

Available Saturday, 8am-1pm throughout winter.

Carriageworks Farmers' Market, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh, 0451 667 428, broomfields-pies.com

Creative pies in Sydney

A.P Bread's elevated take on a ricotta and spinach roll. Photo: Supplied

Warrigal greens and ricotta pie, A.P Bread

$13 

Curds of creamy single-origin ricotta from Marrickville's Vanella Cheese are added to succulent warrigal greens in A.P Bread's elevated take on a ricotta and spinach roll. This iteration comes in pie form, encased in rich, full-butter shortcrust and textural puff pastry. 

Head baker Dougal Muffet recommends swapping the tomato sauce for fermented hot sauce. Stay on the theme of natives with a bottle of Ziggy's Wild Foods' bunya nut miso and fermented pineapple hot sauce, available from Odd Culture.

A.P Town, 1a Bucknell Street, Newtown and A.P Bread, 80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, apbakery.com.au

Alex Blood from Blood's Bakery, with his Mapo Tofu Pie, in Sydney. 28th July 2022 Photo: Janie Barrett

Blood's mapo tofu pie is savoury, spicy and slightly numbing. Photo: Janie Barrett

Mapo tofu pie, Blood's Bakery

$20 for pack of two

Feel like a hot pie? Take it to a whole new level with this scorching Sichuan pie by Alex Blood, of Instagram-based Blood's Bakery. The soft blocks of silken tofu take on the numbing qualities of the glowing, Sichuan sauce, delivering a punchy bite through layers of puff pastry.

"It's one of our favourites," Blood says. "It's savoury, umami, spicy and slightly numbing. It really hits the spot!"

The pie is one of a select range of Blood's Bakery pies to be sold in the freezer section of Thai Kee IGA.

Market City, 13 Hay Street, Haymarket, 02 9211 3150, thaikee.com.au

Creative pies in Sydney

Berkelo's beef, potato and miso flavour. Photo: Supplied

Organic beef, potato and miso pie, Berkelo

$40 for a family-sized pie

Berkelo's family pies put an umami spin on an old favourite by braising Shiralee Meats organic beef shin in a miso and beef stock. The tender meat is then layered with creamy mashed potatoes and encased in a 100 per cent spelt flour and butter pie crust.

"We're aiming for a rich, salty flavour," says owner Tom Eadie. "We use the potatoes to seal the top of the pie for that creamy texture." 

8 William Street, Brookvale, 02 9905 3455, berkelo.com.au

Chicken curry pie Tokyo Lamington

The chicken curry pie from Tokyo Lamington. Photo: Supplied

Japanese chicken curry pie, Tokyo Lamington

$35 for pack of four

While this Newtown eatery is better known for its lamingtons, head pastry chef Eddie Stewart applies the same care and technique to making Japanese-inspired pies. Stewart makes the kare from scratch, starting with a brown butter and Japanese curry powder roux then cooking it down with carrot, potato and chicken thigh.

"We then wrap it in a shortcrust pastry base and a puff pastry lid, smothered in panko crumbs and baked until crisp," Stewart says.

"Japanese curry is our go-to when in Japan [because] it's so soothing and warm. [It's] the perfect comfort food."

277 Australia Street, Newtown, 0404 662 397, tokyolamington.com

Creative pies in Sydney

The pithivier from Lode has meticulously folded layers that pull away to reveal a rich pork filling. Photo: Supplied

Pithivier, Lode

$20

A pithivier is a French pie that dates back to the 17th century. It's a visually impressive feat, with a swirl of supple pastry that crescendos into an elevated centre. Lode's version is burnished gold, with countless, meticulously folded layers that pull away to reveal a rich pork filling.

"There is just a limited amount … we can make per day due to the amount of labour involved," says a spokesperson for Lode.

"It's a very detailed and refined product, the richness of the filling made with carefully selected biodynamic pork from Emilio's butchery contrasts [with] the light and flaky layers of puff pastry. 

"We serve it with a sauce made of chicken jus and reduced cream to pour inside the chimney."

487 Crown Street, Surry Hills, lodepies.com

GOOD FOOD: Fish Butchery, 388 Oxford Street Paddington.  Cooked pie with lentils, bean sprouts. Photo: Wolter Peeters, 26th March 2020, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Fish Butchery's fish pie. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Other notable pies

The must-try Tiger pie from Harry's Cafe de Wheels, topped with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy ($9.50, serves one)

The ultimate fish pie Fish pie and salad box from Fish Butchery, made with smoked fish, sour cream pastry and green vegetables ($60, serves a family)

The most expensive pie The caviar pie from Mimi's is filled with scallop mousse, topped with a generous serving of caviar and served with a tangy citrus butter ($135, serves one)