Saturday 22 March 2014

Stick a Pie in Your Mouth End at Southend

Southend United/Pukka Pies - Chicken Balti Pie Review

Update 07/03/15

I had the same pie again in the 2014/15 season and it was very much to the same standard. If anything, I feel I may have been a bit harsh on it, the filling is quite tasty. I was glad to see that the curry pie mark on the wall was still there a year later! Come on Southend, do you never clean Roots Hall?!

I love a trip to Roots Hall, the home of Southend United because it means a trip to Southend. The Pierateers are known to be lovers of the crazy golf on the seafront. The recent match between Southend and Wycombe saw all the original Pierateers attend the match. We were all sat in the away end which has an indoor food counter selling Pukka pies near the entrance. It is nice that the food outlet is indoors but do bear in mind that this isn't a new stadium. Southend have been planning to move for sometime and it is a little run down, but old stadiums do at least have a bit of character. Roots Hall certainly does. Something interesting that we noted was that there was a mark on a nearby wall which looked exactly the same as the filling of the curry pie I had ordered! Does this indicate an angry fan had been throwing pies around?

So upon going to the counter I was pleased to encounter a good range of Pukka pies. Many of these we have reviewed previously in other places however the Chicken Balti stood out to me as one which had yet to be reviewed. It arrived warm in a plastic wrapper. This plastic wrapper option is fairly common at a football ground, I think because they have to heat up lots of pies at once it allows them to do some in advance and helps keep them warm. It seems like they heat the pies inside the wrapper and I am always amazed at how it doesn't melt. Actually I say that but this one did melt onto the metal foil case a little. It got me wondering whether this Pukka pie was the same as an unwrapped Pukka pie. This variety do often seem to arrive dried out, but this may be more down to the nature of keeping them warm for some time.

Condition - 5.0/7 - The pie arrived in good condition with a little curry sauce having oozed out the sides.

Colour - 3.0/7 - The colour was good in that it was nice and brown but it was too matt effect and not enough gloss effect indicating a potential dry pastry problem. This didn't appeal to me. There was a little bit of yellow curry sauce on the outside which had oozed out.

Cheapness - 4.0/7 - At £2.70 this was a pretty standard price for League Two.

Capacity - 5.4/7 - This pie was quite tall which gave for a decent Capacity.

Content - 5.5/7 - I enjoyed the content of this pie, it was quite spicy, which I liked, often football curry pies lack a bit of a kick. It didn't taste of generic curry sauce but what I expect Balti to taste like. However, the meat content was a bit lacking and there were only small pieces.

Chewiness - 4.0/7 - There wasn't any chewiness of the filling as it was mainly mushy. The pastry was really quite dry and was flaky rather than chewy. There wasn't really much to get your teeth into with this pie and it did miss the optimum texture.

Consistency - 4.0/7 - As an overall package, this pie just about worked. The high liquid content of the filling made up for the dryness of the pastry but it was all a bit too mushy with no bite to either the filling or the pastry.

A decent performance by the Southend pie but not enough to challenge at the top of our Football Pie League. The fact that this pie arrived wrapped and was also so dry encouraged me to do a little research, is a Pukka pie always the same or do they sell variations of the same pie. Looking at their website it seems that there is quite an array of options for buying Pukka pies for catering. You can get them pre-baked, unbaked, frozen, unfrozen, wrapped or unwrapped. With all these different options, in addition to the cooking options, no wonder there is such a variety in Pukka performance from one football ground to another.

The match itself was dominated by Southend up until they scored in the 63rd minute. After this Wycombe seemed to wake up a little and stopped just aimlessly hitting long balls. The Wycombe equaliser was gained in comical style after a strong strike from Paris Cowan-Hall ricocheted off the cross-bar, hit the back of the Southend keeper and then slowly trickled over the line.

Chicken Balti (Southend United/Pukka)


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

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