Saturday 7 December 2013

Christmas Turkey from Canteen – Great British Food

Canteen Christmas Turkey, Leek and Cranberry Pie Review

Now I don’t normally focus on non-pie items in restaurants that I visit – we do, after all, like to keep our eyes on the pies on the web’s leading pie review blog! – but there’s something I’ve got to tell you about Canteen, before I even laid my hands on the pie in question. Canteen is a pie reviewers dream! In fact, I’d go as far as to say I have seen the future of pie reviewing in Canteen London, Canary Wharf branch! They offer free wifi* AND power sockets for your laptop, making it the only pie place I’ve been to so far where I could write and post my pie review IN THE RESTAURANT! How cool is that!!!

Arriving in Canary Wharf, I couldn’t miss the red and blue signage lining the wall outside the store and it overlooked the ice rink in the adjoining square, making it an ideal choice to warm up with a nice hearty pie after your skating or Christmas shopping! The restaurant is nicely presented and has a nice, lowly lit ambience to it. No school canteen nightmares came running into my head!

I’d arranged to meet Ashleigh and Olivia there, who interviewed us a few weeks ago on International Pierate Day. They are fans of the blog and wanted to give pie rating a go themselves! (You can read their views on the Canteen Pie on their website.) But let’s face it; you’ve had enough build up and you clearly want to know how the pie rated! So let’s get on with it then...

The pie I chose was the Turkey, Leek and Cranberry Canteen Pie – part of their “Great British Food” campaign. The pie came out well presented with a side of mash and veg. The pie pastry was brilliantly golden – pie perfection and worthy of a 7/7 for colour - and when I cut into the pie it was well filled, pretty much to the brim with very good capacity. This was very much a turkey focused pie, which I for one was not at all complaining about! For me, the meat is the key ingredient in any meat pie – so the more the merrier!

Canteen Christmas Turkey, Leek and Cranberry Pie
Canteen Christmas Turkey, Leek and Cranberry Pie

The Turkey Pie from Canteen features in our '12 Pies of Christmas’ video!


The pie included large chunks of tender turkey were really enjoyable, nice and moist as well due to the gravy (which can be an issue in other pies, as turkey meat is often quite dry). However the gravy was not leaking out of the pie all over my plate, a good sign of the right consistency to keep the pie moist but not overly runny inside.

The turkey was very tender and not at all chewy. While it perhaps didn’t have the strongest flavour and the pie wasn’t filled with lots of herbs and spices, it was clear from the outset that Canteen keep things simple and make the simple things in life taste great! I’m totally with them on this – no need to add every herb and spice under the sun into the pie if the pie tastes just fine as it is. While the pie did receive some feedback from Olivia as not being overly memorable in flavour, I still felt that I ordered a turkey pie and I got a turkey pie. In other words, I was satis-pied that what I ordered I got! (After all, I didn’t order a “Turkey and a thousand spices” pie – and I wouldn’t have wanted to!)

Inside the Canteen Turkey Pie
Inside the Canteen Turkey Pie

That said, the pie is sold as a turkey, leek and cranberry pie and there was not much evidence of either in the content of the three turkey pies we had between us. (Yes, I know... that does mean I didn’t eat “3 Canteen Pies” all by myself...) While I had no problem with this, as I was here for the turkey, not the leek or cranberry, it is worth noting for the leek and cranberry fans out there! Ashleigh for one would have liked a bit more Leek and Cranberry flavour in her pie. And it has to be said that £12.50 for a pie meal is quite pricey, especially when you can get them for £9 or less in other pie establishments in London. But hey, I’m sitting in London in the Canary Wharf area eating and enjoying a delicious pie – how can I really complain! (Especially when Canteen kindly let me have the pie for free, so thank you, even if I had to rate the pie based on the expectation of a pie fan paying £12.50 for it!)

Canteen Turkey, Leek and Cranberry Pie
Score: 6.14/7
[Colour 7, Capacity 6.25, Consistency 6, Condition 6, Chewiness 6.5, Cheapness 5, Content 6.25, Total: 6.14/7]

*As a side point, in my opinion it is worth visiting Canteen in Canary Wharf just to ask them what their wifi password is – it made me smile before I’d even laid my hands on the pie! Go on... ask them next time you visit!

You can find out what Ashleigh and Olivia thought of the Canteen Turkey, Leek and Cranberry Pie on the Ashleigh Auld website.

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

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