Wednesday 12 June 2013

Fuller’s can take the pies out of Melton Mowbray...

Pie Reviews from the Melton Mowbray Pub in Holborn, part of the Fuller's Ale and Pie House chain

They say you can take the pies out of Melton Mowbray but you can’t take Melton Mowbray out of the pie. Or come to think of it, perhaps they don’t say that and we just completely made that up... Anyways, the important thing to clarify here was that these pies were eaten in the Melton Mowbray pub, which is actually a pub in... well, London. But their “house pie” (the Dickinson & Morris Pork Pie) was brought down from Melton Mowbray, as all top pork pies should be! In any case, with another Fuller’s Ale and Pie House on the horizon, two of the Pierateers – TJP and RAS – honed in on the Melton Mowbray pub in Holborn, central London for another pie. And intriguingly, the pies on offer were all different to any of the other Fuller’s Ale and Pie Houses they had been to (bar the classic “Steak and Fuller’s Ale” pie, which you would expect at every Fuller’s establishment). And with such a variety of new pies on offer, the talk immediately turned to the Pie Tasting Board. With 5 pies – four new pies and a Dickinson & Morris Pork Pie to follow – the Pierateers were in for a busy evening!

Melton Mowbray Pie Platter
Melton Mowbray Pie Platter

So in the upper mezzanine overlooking the main pub area, the Pierateers eagerly awaited their pie board for a Fuller’s piefest! And the overall first impressions were good. While the pies were of course quite small, due to being part of a tasting plate rather than each being a meal themselves, the presentation was very impressive and the Pierateers were ready to dig in! The puff pastry on all the four Fuller’s pies looked amazing and they all looked well put together. The puff pastry lid did look a bit like a last minute addition to the pie but was light and bursting out towards you. It complemented the thicker pastry base holding in the content, which though quite thick, was tasty and a lot more edible than the solid pastry served at the Old Joint Stock Fuller’s Ale and Pie House. There was also a decent chunk of Dickinson & Morris Pork Pie to.

The only issue that arose from the time they dug into the pies was that there had been a bit of a mix up with the pies and we had accidentally been served two Steak and Fuller’s Ale pies, with a Somerset Brie and Sweet Potato pie missing. Of course, no-one wants to be a Somerset Brie and Sweet Potato pie short of a Pie Tasting Board! So with it mentioned to the very helpful staff at the pub, a sixth pie was produced and the Somerset Brie and Sweet Potato pie could join the Fuller’s piefest!

Onto the individual flavours then:

Fuller’s Ale and Pie House [Melton Mowbray] Steak and Fuller’s Ale Pie
Score: 5.46/7 (RAS and TJP)

Steak and Ale PieThe Steak and Fuller’s Ale pie contained very tender pieces of steak, with some delicious nuggets of steak-ness in nice gravy. While the Fuller’s Ale flavouring to the gravy could have been a bit more apparent and a couple of pieces of steak were a bit well-done and therefore dry, the overall flavour of this pie was very good. It was certainly better than the Steak and Fuller’s Ale pie eaten in the Mad Hatter pub previously. The capacity was very strong for such a small pie and the meatilicious filling made it the top rated new pie of the evening.

Fuller’s Ale and Pie House [Melton Mowbray] Ham and Leek Pie
Score: 4.95/7 (RAS and TJP)

Ham and Leek PieWhile the Ham and Leek pie was slightly less packed with meat than its steak neighbour, the capacity of ham and leek goodness was apparent when cutting into this pie (despite the size). It was an interesting choice, as there had been few pies eaten by the Pierateers where ham played the leading role. While often second fiddle to chicken in a joint pie, the ham was very good quality and the white wine cream sauce complemented the ham and leek well. The main detractor from this pie was a rather overly strong hint of mustard seed throughout this pie, which particularly for such a small pie was slightly too much.

Fuller’s Ale and Pie House [Melton Mowbray] Somerset Brie and Sweet Potato Pie
Score: 4.25/7 (RAS and TJP)

Somerset Brie and Sweet Potato PieAfter finally getting our hands on a Somerset Brie and Sweet Potato pie, we were intrigued as to what it would taste like. Cutting through the pie, there was quite a potent aroma which could be pinned down to the Somerset Brie. Within the pie, there were some large pieces of Sweet Potato which made the capacity of the pie particularly impressive. The Brie was primarily within the cheesy sauce which encapsulated the sweet potato, though there was a small piece in the corner of the pie which was quite strong. The sweet potato was quite nice, soft and not at all mushy. The flavour idea seemed good and it was an interesting change to the standard vegetarian pies on offer in pubs, however the flavour quickly became rather overpowering and while a small pie was acceptable, it was imagined that a full sized pie would be rather sickening.

Fuller’s Ale and Pie House [Melton Mowbray] Chicken and Sweetcorn Pie
Score: 3.88/7 (RAS and TJP)

While the idea of eating a Chicken and Sweetcorn pie sounded good, and the menu made reference to chicken broth and roasted onion to, it was unfortunately one of the blandest and most unidentifiable pies the Pierateers had eaten. While it may have just suffered from small pie syndrome (where a small pie does not reflect the quality of a larger version due to lack of space to pack in a decent level of content and thus flavour), this pie literally contained one average sized piece of chicken and seven (yes, we counted) pieces of sweetcorn. None of the menu-defined filling had any noticeable flavour and we were left with a bit of a spice hit at the end simply due to the presence of a bit of spice in the final mouthful, which did not complement the rest of the pie. A promising sounding pie flavour was sadly let down by the quantity and quality of the filling. [Apologies, we were so taken aback by the lack of content in this pie, we forgot to actually photograph it!]

The Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray Pork Pie has of course recently been reviewed by the Pierateers and the review can be found here, but was a good addition to the Pie Tasting Board. It was good to see that the Melton Mowbray pub in Holborn, London had gone straight to the top by transporting Dickinson & Morris Pork Pie from Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Melton Mowbray for the good of the London pie consumer.

Overall, it was a good selection of pies at the Melton Mowbray pub, which expand the variety of pies offered by the Fuller’s Ale and Pie House chain but the quality and quantity could be slightly improved on to be one of the top rated pies we’ve eaten.

See where these pies ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for getting in touch with the Pierateers!