In search of a notorious wedge of cake, a friend and I were quickly thrown off course after coming into contact with Pieminister
The enticing billboard outside presents pastry-encased deliciousness with minty mushy peas, cripsy shallots, thick gravy and grated cheese, all sitting atop a bed of creamy mash for the humble price of £7.95 (bonus: I later found out about the 10 per cent student discount). We went in, and discovered that this wonderful combination is known as ‘The Mothership’, and is available as an upgrade with any single pie, of which flavours range from classic steak & ale (‘moo’) to the more adventurous red wine venison & puy lentil (‘deerstalker’).
As the pies are made fresh in store they are displayed temptingly in a glass window at the counter, which acts as a kind of bar-cross-open kitchen, where you can tentatively watch staff compile plates of food in excited hope that the next one is yours. Service is quick and efficient due to the ready-made pies and open-plan layout: the ‘Mothership’ is stacked, warmed and delivered with a mouthwatering personal gravy boat for you to drown your meal in. They’ve really captured the spirit of Northern tastebuds here, but that by no means implies that other regions will be complaining.
Naturally, I went for the meal deal and enjoyed my succulent beef ‘moo’ with all the trimmings, the mixture of crunch from the onions and softness of the mash combined to make the perfect forkful. My companion opted for the ‘funghi chicken’ and we both agreed that our all-butter shortcrust cases and suet lids deserved the award winning titles they hold.
Their concept is simple without being dull, Pieminister have perfected each element of their food to make sure that your meal hits the spot every time, and their broad range of pies means that it can be a place to revisit frequently even if you are an eater who likes change. Vegetarians and dieters are also safe: options such as the ‘wildshroom’ and lower-calorie ‘light as feta’ earn their place on the menu without any compromise on taste. For me, Pieminister’s main attraction is that the pies are individually encased in shortcrust rather than being dished out from a tray topped with one sheet of puff pastry; having your own personal pie makes it that bit more special.
This is one to visit day or night, as a purposeful selection of craft beers and ciders are available to complement the pies. Other dishes are on the menu such as Soup of the Day and Home made scotch egg, but really you should head here for one thing. So, if you’re feeling ropey, hungry or in the mood for some classic Manchester cuisine, head to the Northern Quarter for a hot and wholesome pie.
Open Monday – Saturday 11am -10pm
Sunday 12pm – 5pm
53 Church Street,