Pie Republic 4/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 4/5
Note: Alcohol is not served on the premises. All meat is halal (HMC certified).
With winter well and truly in our midsts, I was looking beyond burger and fries to warm me up. Pie Republic is local to us on Upton Lane (just a few doors down from Chai nashta) and had been on the radar for some time, so we decided to indulge in some classic English grub there for Sunday lunch.
It’s no secret that pie and mash has been the staple ‘East End’ meal for many years. Pie Republic prides itself on incorporating the influences of the East End with this traditional English favourite, serving pies with fillings such as chicken in a boot jolokia sauce, alongside the more classic lamb and rosemary filling. The restaurant decor had a simple yet modern interior, with a British gastro-pub feel. The wooden pallet feature wall with the rustic clock was also a nice touch, and complemented the exposed brickwork nicely.
The menu is simple, with a breakfast menu, handful of starter options, 6 pie options and an ‘other than pie section’ (but why would you do that? It’s like when people order a chicken steak….pointless!?). we ordered the panko chicken wings for starters. I ordered the Hakka pie, filled with lamb, rosemary, garlic, diced carrots and potatoes, fully encased in shortcrust pastry and inclusive of 2 sides (all for under £8!!). For sides I opted for mash and Mediterranean roast vegetables. MIL and ShakerFries ordered the same pie with slightly different sides, so I semi-pressured my FIL to order a classic chicken and mushroom, just to mix things up a bit.
The food came relatively quickly. I wasn’t thrilled with the chicken wings as there were 3 in a portion for £4 and they were semi cold / semi-tasty. All was forgotten however when our pies emerged from the kitchen in all their glory, piping hot and served with a generous serving of gravy. The pastry topping was fresh and crisp, with a generous helping of filling. The lamb chunks within the filling were tender and flavoursome, complemented well by the herby flavour of the rosemary. The mash was a tad bit too vinegary for me, but was otherwise tasty and fluffy. The gravy was tasty and just the right consistency, and so I went ahead and poured the entire contents over my pie and mash (oh yes I’m a drowner!). I had a bite of my FILs chicken and mushroom pie which was creamy with tender chunks of chicken, but it was nowhere near as tasty or flavoursome as the Hakka pie. The coleslaw side which ShakerFries ordered was especially rich and creamy, and was homemade, so I think I’ll be ordering this over the roast vegetables next time (the roast vege wasn’t particularly exciting). The meal was so incredibly filling that I struggled to finish, which isn’t a bad thing. Luckily help was to hand as my FIL grabbed a chip or two before proceeding to swap the contents of my plate for his empty one. In the end, the bill for the starter, 4 mains and 4 drinks came to £40 which in my opinion is excellent value for money.
Overall, if you’re looking to satisfy your craving for hearty, British pie, Pie Republic is the place to go. Serving homemade comfort food at affordable prices, in a comfortable setting, with friendly staff, you can’t really go wrong. They even have a downstairs section which is ideal for big parties or for those who wish for a bit more privacy. I definitely want to go back and try their full english for brunch one day as well as their veggie pie as I’m a sucker for stilton. With this arctic freeze approaching, it would be easy to hibernate until the end of March, but getting your snood and gloves on and stepping out into the cold for a rewarding piping hot homemade pie and a catch up makes it all worth while.