Tuesday 5 June 2012

Young at Heart or Burnt Out?

Young's Old Ship pub - Steak Pie Review

I recently paid a visit to the lovely Old Ship pub on the banks of the Thames just down from Hammersmith bridge on my search for London Pie. Owned by Young's brewers, they had a small menu which I was pleased to see still saved a place for a Young's Steak Pie. Apparently this was to come served on a bed of mash and kale. Intriguing, but I had to remember to focus on the pie and not the sideshow that was to come with it.
Unfortunately when my pie came to be served it had fallen off it's glorious vegetable perch. This slightly detracted from the presentation. However, it didn't hide the more noticeable fact that the top of the pie looked to have taken the crispy golden brown colour to the extreme. So much so that it looked dangerously close to being called 'burnt', the dreaded antithesis to the seven C's that we use to score our pies. A burnt pie can lose points on Colour, Condition, Consistency and possibly even Chewiness if it is really bad. But, perhaps this pie was supposed to come 'well done' I had after all not specified for it to be medium-rare.

The first stab with a knife and the pie oozed glorious gravy. The pastry, especially around the sides where it wasn't burnt, was fantastically gooey. The pie had a great Capacity which was packed with Content. However, the first bite confirmed my worst fears. Credit where it is due, the initial taste was certainly what you would expect from a gourmet pie. However, behind that was an all too familiar bitter carbon tang. Like burnt toast, it was so disappointing because this pie could have been in the upper echelons of the pie rankings. My pie eating companion for the evening said that he quite liked the burnt flavour. However he claims that 'pasties are a type of pie'. Clearly he is not fit to judge pie flavours so this view can be safely disregarded. Overall however, I did really enjoy this pie, it certainly did not ruin the experience. The mash and kale in particular were done to perfection. On another occasion I'm sure this could score better but we can only rate what is put in front of us. For the price of a bit over a tenner it is certainly above average for a London pub.

Young's Steak Pie (The Old Ship - Hammersmith, W6 9TD)


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