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Mar 20, 2010 09:37 AM

Australian Pie/Tourtiere Australienne

As maybe the only Australian on this board, I feel it is my duty to report on it! It was mentioned in the Restaurant Closings thread, as it has taken the place of a previous restaurant.

So, what is an Australian Pie and how do these compare to what you get in Australia?

In Australia, when we talk about pie, the default definition is a meat pie, normally a handheld size pastry shell filled with chunks of steak (or indistinguishable pieces of "meat") in a thick, savoury gravy. Topped with flaky puff pastry, you eat it with tomato sauce (ketchup) and it goes down a treat when you are sitting out watching a footy game or when you're on the run and want to pick up a quick snack. It's common companion is the sausage roll, sometimes seen in the freezer section in supermarkets here, it is a long tube of either pork or beef mince, heavily seasoned, sometimes with the addition of onion and carrot, that is wrapped in puff pastry and again served with tomato sauce. I can almost guarantee every person in Australia has eaten a pie or sausage roll at some time in their life!

In Australia, there is a range in quality and price in pies that you find either at the corner deli (the depanneur) or in gourmet bakeries. The pies that the owners of Australian Pie are serving are definitely "gourmet" versions of Aussie pies and they are absolutely fantastic! A large number of fillings, from the traditional steak, to steak and cheese, to breakfast pies with bacon and egg, to the fusion pies, butter chicken, lamb rogan josh. On my visit last weekend we tried the steak and cheese and the rogan josh pies, both were excellent. Good quality ingredients, very flavourfull. Really delicious pastry (I don't want to think about the butter.....) Bottles of tomato sauce on the table so you can be as liberal as you like. The sausage rolls were also really good though my dining partner (a Quebecois) did not like them nearly as much as he liked the pies. Pies are $4 each, sausage rolls are $3 each. Large family size pies are available to take away although I think you may have to order these at this stage, they are $15 each.

They also stock Vegemite and Tim Tams and have tea, coffee and hot chocolate, so if you want to practice your Tim Tam slam, go right ahead! Their Facebook page was updated to say that they have made their first batch of lamingtons, a piece of white sponge cake rolled in a thin chocolate icing and then rolled in shredded coconut - an Australian bakery classic and I can't wait to try their version!

The couple who run the place - an Australian guy and Quebecois woman - are lovely, very friendly and enthusiastic, and I really hope, for their sake and for mine, that Montrealers embrace the pie and their business will be a success.

4520 Parc
10am - 8pm Wed-Sun

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  1. I've heard only good things about this place and will definitely try it out - thanks for your review!

    I have been trying to remember the name of another dessert I had in Australia and really liked so that I could ask the owner if they might be making them, but I can't remember what they were called. They were small, dense, French-influenced cake-like things with almond paste or flour in the batter, I think. Made in a small mold. Ring any bells?

    BTW - I think the co-owner is actually from New Zealand, but don't hold that against him. ;-)

    Here's a good online review to complement this one:

    And here's the resto's own site:

    4 Replies
    1. re: kpzoo

      Their identify your pie diagram is adorable!

      Thanks for the review and links guys - I'd passed by this place and really had no idea what the heck it was about. Now my mouth is watering - will have to visit them soon!

      1. re: kpzoo

        I think the dessert you are describing is financier. Delicious, and quite easy to make too!

        1. re: pavlova

          Thanks, pavlova! I remembered what it was though - they called it a "friand" - not something I'd ever heard of before visiting Down Under - I will ask Australian Tourtiere guy if they might consider making them. Very yummy!

          Hey, interesting - I just Googled it and it looks to be related to the French financier, so good call!

          1. re: kpzoo

            Oh yes, I remember now! I had a friand in Australia and I thought it tasted like a financier. Tomayto/tomahto...

      2. Dear Unlaced,

        You are not the only Australian on this board.

        Thank you for the information. I would have liked to know about this place back in January when a few of us had an Australia Day party. I went searching around town (to no avail) for Tim Tams. I will be going to Tourtière australienne soon to pick up one of their curried vegetable and sweet potato pies!

        4 Replies
        1. re: dmarg

          > I would have liked to know about this place back in January

          It *just* opened. ;-)

          > I went searching around town (to no avail) for Tim Tams.

          Tim Tams are available at most Loblaws around town for $3 per pack. There's a whole thread about it for future reference:


          1. re: kpzoo

            Ha ha, thanks kpzoo. I should pay more attention.

            But re. the Tim Tams, Chowhound was indeed the first place I came when wanting to know where to go to find them. I followed the thread's advice and rode over to Loblaws on Jean-Talon one morning before work. I spoke to the manager there and he said that there hasn't been an Australian products' section for a few months now.

            2925 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal, QC H1W, CA

            1. re: dmarg

              To add to the confusion, the Tim Tams aren't in the "foreign food" or Australian section of any Loblaws I've been to - they're in the cookie section with the other "fancy" cookies like Lus, so the manager possibly have been thrown off by emphasizing the Australian aspect and not realized they were just mixed in with all the other cookies. They usually have them at the Loblaws on St-Jacques in NDG, though sometimes they are out of stock.

              In any case, if this new pie place is closer to you, hopefully you'll now be able to get your fix regularly. Those Tim Tams are addictive!

            2. re: kpzoo

              They were open for business before January, but didn't have a retail outlet until March. It was done by phone orders, and they delivered the order.

          2. Although I am sad that Djoliba is no more, I am not unhappy about this nice pie place replacement! We decided to have Australian meat pie for dinner with mash potato and peas, just the kind of thing one wants to eat when feeling tired and lazy. Thanks to Unlaced for the great report and cultural background on the Australian pie.

            The steak and mushroom pies were fresh out of the oven when Hubbie went to pick up the swag, so that's what we tried. The crust is crispy and thick, and the filling was rich and savoury. The meat was very nicely seasoned with a dark umami-oozing brown gravy, and there were big chunks of mushroom for a nice change of texture. It has been a while since I have had a nice meat pie (that wasn't tourtiere) for dinner, and I really enjoyed it. I think my one negative comment would be that although the crust was good, I think I prefer my crust to be a little less tough, and bit more flaky. But this is not to say it isn't a nice crust, just a preference thing.

            I have one of their sausage rolls waiting to be scoffed down, perhaps tonight, perhaps for breakfast tomorrow. I adore sausage rolls! It is not easy to find non-tourtiere style meat pies in Quebec, so this shop is a very nice addition to our food landscape. I am looking forward to trying some of the more unusual pies, like the lamb rogan josh pie.

            But now where am I going to get my nice mafe? Oh well...

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. The owner, Don, is a Kiwi! You'll notice that even though it is called Australian Pies, the interior is painted NZ black and white ;) Great pies. My favourite pie is the Butter Chicken. I'm also a big fan of the sausage rolls.