Monday, 12 October 2015

Square Pie try something different with Rugby World Cup!

Square Pie's Rugby Pie World Cup in Grand Central Shopping Centre, Birmingham

Square Pie Rugby Pie World Cup Review
Square Pie Rugby Pie World Cup Review



Here at Pierate HQ we’re always big fans of a pie-motion, like the tie in of the Rugby World Cup happening in England with the “Rugby Pie World Cup” happening down at Square Pie right now!

The idea is pretty simple – there’s a new pie to represent each of the 20 competing nations in the Rugby World Cup 2015, which are trying to be crowned the Pie World Cup Champion! Just like the competing rugby nations, the pies are being put through their paces and pitted against each other in a group phase and eventual knock out com-pie-tition, based on pie sales. Intriguing flavours include Chicken Teriyaki for Japan, Springbok Sausage for South Africa and Moose for Canada! It’s also great to see money being raised for the Dallaglio Foundation as part of the contest. More info can be found on the Square Pie website.


Square Pie Rugby Pie World Cup Review
Eyes on the pies!
As you may have read from my live blogging recently, a new Square Pie outlet has opened up in Birmingham’s newest shopping centre – Grand Central. Based above the main New Street train station in the heart of Birmingham, it’s great to have an established and Pierate Recommended pie brand such as Square Pie in the centre of the city. I got invited along to try three of the Pie World Cup hopefuls recently to see how they pie rated and these are my thoughts:

Overall The pastry on all three of these pies held together well, all passing the hand-held test (even if the Steak and Ale was a bit less firm than the others due to the more liquid filling making the base pastry a bit softer). I was impressed that none of these had soggy bottoms though, particularly with the gravy in the steak and ale. The pastry lid was particularly flaky and crisp on all three. There was a bit of a pastry overhang on the lids of these pies and by the time you got to the corners of the pies there was a bit too much pastry to filling – but there’s not really a way of avoiding this in a square product and this doesn’t detract much from the overall enjoyment.

All these special Rugby World Cup pies are the same price as their standard pie range, which I think is quite commendable seeing as, being quite unique flavours, they would be made in smaller, less frequent batches. However at £4.50 for just a pie or £6.50 for a classic meal (pie and 2 regular sides or pie and one large side) prices them as a bit expensive for just a hot pie or meal takeaway, but a reasonably priced option for a restaurant pie. It has to also be remembered that you are in the heart of Birmingham, minutes away from the central train station. There is very much a takeaway vibe to the Grand Central Square Pie shop, with food served in a box to go or eat in their array of seating – both useful options for those using the pie shop to ‘grab and go’ before getting a train. I know I will be!

Square Pie Wales Rugby Pie Review
Wales - Rugby Pie World Cup Review
Wales: Cheese, Leek and Potato (Vegetarian)

There were big potato chunks in the pie, which were quite well cooked, soft and tasty without being mushy. The cheese was noticeable and added flavour alongside the leek, but could have been a bit stronger. There wasn’t really anything to get your teeth into with this pie though, as a result of the potato being quite soft alongside the cheese and leek. This and the runny sauce contrasted quite strongly with the crisp pastry. Slightly smaller chunks of potato and a bit more cheese would have improved this pie a bit. A decent vegetarian pie but quite a standard flavour.

Square Pie Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie
Score: 4.68/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 5, Consistency 4.5, Condition 5, Chewiness 4.25, Cheapness 4, Content 4.5, Total: 4.68/7]



Square Pie Fiji Rugby Pie Review
Square Pie Fiji Goat Curry Rugby Pie Review
Fiji: Fijian Goat Curry

One of the more unique flavours in the Rugby Pie World Cup, the Goat Curry pie was an interesting one to get my hands on! I’d only had a goat pie once before but that was in a gravy based pie, so the goat curry pie was a lot more dry in comparison to that. The ingredients in the pie apart from the meat were quite moist but there was no real sauce, which meant that the dryness of the meat was quite evident. This isn’t that surprising given my prior experience with goat, which is quite fatty but chewy and quite a dry meat, but this perhaps could have been factored into the pie filling. The meat was also in quite large chunks, which would have been better served spread out in more, smaller chunks in my opinion.

The curry flavour was quite mild but added some flavour. I recognise goat is not the easiest meat to prepare well and overall didn’t mind this pie flavour, but a bit more flavour and leaner, tender meat would improve the pie rating.

Square Pie Fijian Goat Curry Pie
Score: 4.29/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 4.5, Consistency 3.5, Condition 5, Chewiness 3.5, Cheapness 4, Content 4, Total: 4.29/7]



Square Pie England Rugby Pie Review
Square Pie England Steak and Ale Rugby Pie Review
England: Dallaglio Foundation Steak and Ale

The steak and ale pie is a classic English flavour, so it’s no sur-pies to see the English pie filled with it. There’s no denying it is a flavour we love here on the Pierate Ship, but that does mean with so many good steak pies eaten the bar is very high. However it was a good hearty effort, with a significant ale flavoured gravy. The gravy was very runny though, which did seem to make the pastry less crisp and sag slightly under the moisture. It was still able to be picked up by hand though, with a fair bit of steak and other filler such as onion to bulk it out. A bit more steak, which was slightly less chewy, and a lower viscosity gravy would raise this even higher up the rankings but still Pierate Recommended.

Square Pie Steak and Ale Pie
Score: 5.07/7
[Colour 5.25, Capacity 5.5, Consistency 5.25, Condition 5, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 4, Content 5.5, Total: 5.07/7]



Overall, we’re delighted there is a great new pie shop in the centre of Birmingham and the Rugby Pie World Cup is an ingenious idea to boost the range of pies on sale at Square Pie. With the board on the wall in the Birmingham shop celebrating the 127 flavours of pies made since 2001 – though now needing a massive overhaul following the 20 new types of pie during this Rugby Pie World Cup alone! – it seems clear pies are in good hands at Square Pie!

Grand Central Birmingham Pie Shop
Grand Central in Birmingham City Centre, home to Square Pie shop

Thank you to Square Pie for hosting us for this Rugby World Cup Pie-Off in Birmingham. We'd already bought and rated Square Pie as Pierate Recommended as we celebrated eating our 100th rated pie there down in London back in 2012, and in 2013 we rated their Chicken, Leak and Wiltshire Ham pie at 5.58/7, which was another Pierate Recommended effort.

RAS

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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