About a week ago, I was introduced to the recent box office hit, Life of Pi. As friend M excited gushed about the captivating action-packed movie, I remained confused. What exactly, is so exciting about the life of… pie??
I had imagined the storyline to go like this:
One fine day, a pie was baked. Then, it was eaten. TADAH!
After prolonged periods of blank stares, friend M clarified. Ever since then, my mind had been constantly distracted with thoughts of Pi.
And when I said Pi, I really meant Pie. Have no clue why I link everything to omnomnoms! Can’t help it, y’know?
The million dollar question is – Where can I get some lovely pies?
It is surprising that many people do not know about this an interesting little building in Uptown Waterloo that shares a parking lot with Waterloo Town Square. The Atrium, located right beside Angie’s Kitchen, is a “small but quaint house-like building”, which has numerous charming shops. Some of my favourite stores there are FAB, The Cobblestone Gallery, and the only coffee roastery in Waterloo – Aroma Cafe.
The latest addition to The Atrium family is The Savoury, “a marketplace with specialty UK groceries, and eatery offering mainly pies and samosas”. British flavour with a hint of Indian spice is their theme. After stumbling upon some stunning photographs of its pies on Novella Photography, I knew that this is THE place to satisfy my me-need-pie-now cravings.
As The Savoury’s website is not up yet and I did not know about its Facebook page, I missed the opening hours on my first weekday evening attempt to try out the pies. However, I am no quitter! Second visit was on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Pies for brunch!
The Savoury’s owner, Alia, took over the English-theme store earlier this year, Although she retained much of the original character, the new eatery has been infused with new bold flavours.
Half the store space is used as a marketplace, with numerous special UK grocery items on sale, and the other half as a mini-cafe (Think Vincenzo’s style).
Clean & bold black-red combination aptly symbolizes the flavour profile of this eatery.
Most items are made in-house.
ATTENTION STUDENTS: Please whip out your inner mathie and calculate this – A pie’s typical price is $4.75. 3 pies for $10? That equates to savings of almost $5! Currently, this deal is only applicable for weekends. However, Alia promised that if enough students appreciate and grab this offer, she will consider extending it for the whole week!
The British style meat pies offered that day were Butter Chicken, Chicken Curry and Steak & Mushroom. in addition to those, the catering menu also includes Steak & Onion, Steak & Kidney and Chicken Vegetable.
Limited but cosy eatery corner.
Self-service water station.
Fresh herbs which are frequently used in Alia’s dishes.
On the Table for Maple:
- Black bean soup ($3.25)
- Samosas (4 for $5)
- British Style Meat Pies (3 for $10)
As it was Sunday (a.k.a. baking day), no salad was available so we opted for soup and samosas to start.
Chicken samosas were served with chutney, and beef samosas were served with mayo. Warning – samosas will be crunchy and toasty on the outside but pipping hot on the inside. Do not, do not be too greedy and take a huge bite or you will be frantically trying to cool the samosa on your tongue for the next 10 seconds like I did.
Black bean soup was served with puffed pastry bits. I dipped one into the soup, intentionally swirling past bits of the melted cheese strips, then popped it into my mouth like a Timbit. The pastry puff exploded, with a pleasantly surprising light and fluffy texture. The cheese added a slight richness to the otherwise down-to-earth chewy soup.
I ordered Steak & Mushroom, Y had Chicken Curry and friend J had Butter Chicken. I wonder why there is a W/M on the Steak & Mushroom pie, then a C on the Chicken Curry pie… C for curry?
The crust was beautiful – buttery and not overly flaky. A common complaint about eating pies is that the whole thing just falls apart, making it difficult to get a good filling-to-crust ratio with each bite.
The pie crust felt light and tasted almost creamy. It held well, encompassing the generous, solidly packed fillings. Steak was moist and tender.
Y and I had a mini argument about which pie was the best. He insisted on Chicken Curry but I thought Butter Chicken was the most outstanding one. Chicken Curry had a mild level of spiciness and Butter Chicken was extremely velvety. Every bite was a lovely balance of comfort, savoury comfort.
A pity that there was no salad. It would have provided a little refreshing balance to the pies.
In case you did not notice, it is already December! You should be semi-finalizing Christmas plans, spending all the following weekends buying and wrapping presents, and blasting Christmas music all day long!
In the meantime, buy some pies home for your family. They symbolize comfort, familiarity, and the warmth of holidays.
1) $ – most expensive item on the menu is lunch box of tandoori chicken for $8.99
2) Cosy eatery with strong UK theme
3) Alia is lovely, and she bakes amazingly
4) You gotta try the pie