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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: http://www.rommil.com/blog/2010/03/13...

    And here's the resto's own site: http://www.tourtiereaustralienne.ca/

    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 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.

              1. The people here are very friendly, hopefully the place succeeds. The inside is very small but the kitchen in the back seems to be rather large. They have a couple of tables I think but I took my pies to go. I tried the two curry offerings (butter chicken, lamb roganjosh). Maybe not the best version of either dish that I've had, but still very tasty, and hey how else can you satisfy your butter chicken craving on the go? ;) Wasn't a fan of the sausage roll but that's probably just a personal preference and no fault of the resto. My dining partner rather enjoyed it.

                A unique addition to the Montreal scene!

                1 Reply
                1. re: reelection

                  I loved the sausage roll. Thought it was really tasty, and I preferred the crust on the sausage roll to the pies. I have to say, the ketchup works well...

                  I like this place, I too hope they succeed. We need more meat pie options!

                2. Do you know if they stock Kookaburra licorice? It's pretty hard to come by in Montreal and we usually end up buying it in bulk whenever we go to NYC.

                  1. Went to try one of those pies today, took the basic steak one, wow they are great!

                    Nice puff pastry, the filling is full of meat in a great gravy, it's like eating some potroast but in a pie.

                    Tried it with ketchup, but i must say i prefered it without, guess i'm no real australian by not putting ketchup on everything

                    Can't wait to try other flavours

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: westaust

                      thanks for info, spent a few weeks in new zealand and australia this winter so cant wait to compare these pies with what i tasted over there, really had wonderful food (fish, shellfish, lamb, wine, fruit straight from the orchards....) in those two countries --lots of meat pies in restaurants, fast food outlets but couldnt beat the meat pies found in the farmers markets.

                    2. I'm slightly biased because I know Don, and some of the staff - but I can report that my wife, totally unbiased, said the pies I brought home (chili con carne and steak & mushroom) were "so yummy." I concur.

                      I had one-and-a-half fresh ones in the store (one lamb roganjosh & half a butter chicken) and now have a few in the freezer, so I look forward to my perfect impromptu meal.

                      We also tried a family style curried veg & sweet potato pie, which wasn't quite as good as the meaty ones, but still pretty tasty.

                      1. went with a friend today, tried a sample of the chile con carne, and had half of the smoked fish and half of the lamb roganjosh. the lamb one was good, but the smoked fish one blew it away. i have no idea how or why, but it was heavenly. the chile con carne one was also very good, a tad bit better than the lamb roganjosh in my opinion. also had some of the lamingtons, a cake wrapped around a strawberry filling coated with sugared coconut flakes. it was good, but not anything to write home about.

                        1. I've eaten there twice now and gotten some frozen ones to go, and I must agree wholeheartedly with the positive reviews of this place. These people know what they are doing. The taste and texture of the fillings are spot on, and it is clear they are using high quality ingredients and that they care a lot about the end result.

                          Only negative is that I find the dessert options to be a little sweet for my taste but that's just me. Also it gets a bit stuffy inside, but the terrace is cute when the sun is shining.

                          For the record I've tried the lamb roganjosh, the curried veg, and the butter chicken, and also tried a bite of the cornish pasty, chicken-bacon-mushroom, and steak-cheese. My favorites are the first two (they kinda go nicely together, if you ask me) but all of them are quite tasty. Next time I hope to try the smoked fish one (thx sharkbait!)

                          1. Tried a free sample yesterday, some kind of curry sweet potato. Very good.
                            Parc ave is a restaurant dead zone though.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: everyonelovessushi

                              Why would you say Parc is a restaurant dead zone? There are so many great places: filinos, taza flores, milos, kazamaza, aux lilas, buvette chez simone...

                              1. re: isa1

                                Absolutely, there are some successful restaurants on Parc, but it's hardly a street that you'd run to for a bite to eat. The St Viateur to Bernard stretch works the best, I guess but even that's a shambles.
                                It will never be St Denis and all kinds of businesses have a tough go on Parc. It's got bad urban Feng Shui I think. It doesn't "work", as a street. Maybe it's just to wide and busy, instead of not so wide and busy. And lots of crappy buildings too. Parc's failure has always been a curiosity to me since many of us have a real attatchment to it.

                                1. re: everyonelovessushi

                                  I liked the location and the fish pie I had was tasty, also thought it was good idea to top it with potatoes than more pastry. It could be a meal if it had salad or veggies on the side when I suggested that they said that is why they have a spinach one! It seemed to be more a male thing, I dont see a lot of women especially calorie counting ones being regulars for meat pies. Some people were buying frozen ones to heat up later. Neat concept though --australian tortieres! I do plan to return with family to try out other varieties.

                            2. Shared a trio of individual "Tourtière Australienne" pies with Mr Snowpea tonight. We picked them up (frozen, and left to thaw in the fridge) last night, on our way to try out Kaza Maza.

                              Our selection: steak and kidney, lamb rogan josh, and butter chicken.

                              Conclusion: WOW! Really flavourful, saucy fillings encased in flaky, buttery crusts. While the lamb and chicken were a bit similar, being in a curry vein, you could still tell them apart. The chicken more tomatoey and spicy; the lamb filling darker and very tender. The steak and kidney was hardy, featuring large chunks of tender meat. No need for chow-chow, HP sauce ketchup or anything like that. Not dry at all.

                              We served them with some plain steamed veggies, to offset the calories. :)

                              We thought our three individual pies were more than ample for two people.

                              They also had sampler packs of 12 mini pies, and of course, the full-sized pies.

                              1. So I finally got my ass up there this wkend. I'll be back - alot. (My friend went back the very next day with other friends who also were blown away.)

                                I had the "Ned Kelly" (egg, pork, carrots, peas, bbq sauce - holy crap it was good!), steak and cheese, and a sausage roll. My friend had a butter chicken, steak and kidney, and a dessert (like a meringue, and starts with a P - I dunno desserts, but was told it was awesome as well).
                                Great stick-to-your-ribs food perfect for cooler evenings.

                                It's open til 8:30 Wed-Sun now, btw.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Shattered

                                  Your dessert may be a Pavlova.

                                  BTW TA has a Facebook page, and they offered half price on dessert one Sunday, so that decided our lunch plans for us as we were planning to head for that area. I had the steak and 'shroom pie-let, and he plumped for the butter chicken. We then each had Lamingtons for dessert: they were so very sweet (good but much too sweet for us) we ordered espressos mid-way! LOL One would have been enough to share between us.

                                  I'd brought a cooler with us, so we also purchased three different frozen family-size pies for later.

                                2. Been recently. The pies were great. Maybe not the best I've ever had but still fantastic. The location itself though I felt was ill suited for dine-in. Small and stuffy in the summer. Probably ok when it gets cooler though. We pick ours up and go eat in Parc Mont-Royal. I particularly like the butter chicken pie but everything I've tried is pretty good. Horribly unhealthy, but worth it ;).

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: danaelife

                                    I was just there yesterday. I had the steak and kidney and then the butter chicken. They were both excellent. I'm not a huge pastry fan, but their pastry was amazing! I will definitely be back soon.

                                  2. I paid my first visit there last week & was I happy I did! Got a hot "breakfast" pie that consisted of eggs, 2 chunks of nice porky saugage, a strip of bacon (could have been crisper) and some diced tomato - maybe confit-like. $5.00 (for all their individual pies). So good, I could eat these daily for breakfast. Also got a lamb rogan josh individual pie that I reheated later. It had a slight bite and the taste was bang on. This was not dumbed down Indian. I can't wait to try the large butter chicken pie ($16.00) that is in my freezer. Also got the dozen assorted frozen mini pies ($12.00) which we let defrost & heated 15 minutes --- loved them. Took home a serving of their xeres-laced trifile (creme anglaise, whipped cream, either cake or lady fingers, strawberry & blueberry) $3.50. Very sweet but dreamy if trifile is your thing. They also sell their pie dough that you can roll out yourself.

                                    1. Just went this morning and grabbed three pies: ground beef and cheese, steak and butter chicken. Also decided to try their Tim Tam tiramisu (3.95) and I have to say that it was really impressive, like a decadent take on the Tim Tam Slam. I will definitely be heading back there soon!

                                      Also noticed they've got a Milo milkshake on the menu, which I'll have to grab next time.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Bagelofdeath

                                        > Tim Tam tiramisu (3.95)

                                        Holy cow - that combines two of my favourite things in the world, must try it - thanks for the heads-up! Love that they keep adding new products.

                                        1. re: kpzoo

                                          I hope you enjoy(ed) it! I was really crazy about their desserts.

                                      2. Today I went to try out one of their new meatpies on menu and ended up with a tasty soup (squash, sweetpotato, chili-$3.75) with topping of coconut milk, very tasty; also had a large oatmeal,coconut biscuit ($1.50) but would skip that next time and try one of the new desserts on menu. This is such a pleasant little place to stop for a bite and always seems to be someone coming to stock up on the frozen pies.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: wilmagrace

                                          Had my first visit there had a meat pies and butter chicken one, a drink and desert. Meat was good but nothing special, The butter chicken version was not great to my taste. I'm still looking for the missing chicken pieces. Their mash potatoes where good but no gravy offered. the bill was almost 20$ for lunch. I think they should have a lunch special because at that price I won't go often. Can someone explain the Australian part of the pie?

                                          1. re: maj54us

                                            Meat pies are a tradition there probably from british roots so when i was in nz and australia last year you could find them everywhere + local/farmer markets. The lamb ones were memorable. It is not a tradition in quebec other than the tourtieres. The north american versions of meat pies other than chicken pot pie to my knowledge use ground meat. I have had the lamb one at TA and there was chunks of lamb in it. , I agree if you order veggies, dessert or soup it adds up fast so a lunch special sounds like a good idea especially when the outside terrace opens since it is a tiny place. You are not paying a service charge which does help with the price. For a snack and something different it offers an alternative to fast food but is not a place I would go to on a regular basis and will not appeal to everyone.. I think the location is good especially in the summer when you could pickup a couple of pies and head to Jeanne Mance Park

                                        2. Went on Thursday for the first time and I am smitten. I had the small mushroom and beef pie.The pastry was tasty and flaky which I did not really expect. Very light! They supposedly work on it for quite some time and it shows. Brought home a small beef, bacon and cheese one for hubby who is not a believer in pastry meals and he loved it. I also tried their butter chicken one and liked it too. I can't wait to try out their other flavours.

                                          1. well it was Australia Day on Thursday (the 26th Jan) and it seemed like it was a busy day for the TA crew! I stopped by for a sausage roll and to grab a few goodies for my Australia Day party tomorrow night. I was sad to see the Parc avenue construction behemoth has finally made its way down to their stretch of the woods. The owners are optimistic, but I would definitely suggest anyone who hasn't had a pie for a while think about stopping by! They are starting to do deliveries, Wednesday and Fridays only at this stage, from 4pm, for a $2.50 delivery charge. They will deliver hot/cold/frozen pies plus their other goodies - I think it could be a bit of a lifesaver on a cold Friday night!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: unlaced

                                              DELIVERY! Nice. I try to always have at least one of their frozen pie in the freezers, but there are sometimes when you don't have time to cook that. Or when I get unexpected company.

                                            2. As an unabashed fan of TA, I feel it my duty to let you all know that they are currently offering delivery on Wednesdays and Fridays, starting late afternoon.

                                              I think it's a good idea, considering that Dusty's next door burned down and getting there is again super complicated because of road work on Park.

                                              See http://www.facebook.com/tourtiereaust... for details, from which I grabbed this info:

                                              "Local delivery 4pm-8pm Wednesday and Friday. $2.50 delivery fee. $10 minimum order.
                                              You can order hot food or refrigerated or frozen products. Call us to find out the daily specials (pies, soups and desserts).
                                              Delivery zone North-South between Jean-Talon and Ste-Catherine. Est-West between Papineau and Peel St. 514-277-PIES (7437)"

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: TheSnowpea

                                                If people want to make sure these business stick around they definitively have to go an encourage them. It's like walking in the streets of Bagdad on park ave!

                                                1. re: maj54us

                                                  That's what I did: got five frozen pies and two small pavlovas delivered yesterday (my job is inside their stated perimeter) and we enjoyed a pie and dessert for supper last night. Easy peasy!

                                              2. Okay I'm beating this drum perhaps overmuch, but I want Mtl Hounds to know about this. I feel TA is a great small business offering unique, quality fare, and the Park Ave fiasco is having an impact on them. It would be shame to lose them. So if you like a good savoury pie or a stunningly well made pavlova, order a few or visit them, and keep this great business in town. I don't have any connections to TA, except an excess kilo or two around my waistline from eating pie on a regular basis.

                                                TA posted on Facebook today the following message:

                                                "Australian Pie
                                                Dear pie lovers, to those of you who have continued to brave the ever growing canyon and maze of fences that is the seemingly eternal construction on avenue du Parc we thank you for your support and patience. For those who haven't been in for a while and are reluctant to due to the state of the road please consider us next time you need to put something delicious into your freezer! or perhaps introduce us to a friend who is yet to discover us. We along with our neighbouring small businesses need your support more than ever if we are to survive what is likely to be another 4-5 months of mayhem. With little but empty promises coming from the local council we rely on our loyal customer base and we thank you all again for your support."

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: TheSnowpea

                                                  Thanks for the reminder! Love this place and will order some pies for delivery this week. I also love their lamingtons.

                                                  Hard to believe it's OK to put small businesses in danger like this with seemingly no recourse for them. Wtf?

                                                  1. re: montrealeater

                                                    looks like major part of work finishing up in front of TA but parking still impossible, did find a place on back street today but other times had to give up Had the featured pie for st Patricks day steak and guiness which was very tasty followed by good but very sweet , sticky date cake with warm butterscotch sauce and whipped cream!

                                                2. Tried this place for the first time two weeks ago and have had it again twice since. The pies here are amazing. The pastry is unbelievable tender and flaky, I could eat it straight. The fillings are superb and the whole thing is great value.
                                                  The steak and mushroom was amazing, the butter chicken is also but doesn't meld (combination wise) as well with the pastry but its still well worth it (most popular item apparently, often sold out) because both the chicken and pastry are so good. Had a veggie pie also that was a lot like spanopitaka (SPELLING). very good as well.
                                                  Drop by you won't regret it.

                                                  1. I don't know if this will be an ongoing special but TA is doing 2 for 1 Tuesday on their hot, one serving, pies. Amazing deal. Got the Butter Chicken and Steak cheese for 6.85 total tax in. Pastry still rocks.Taste still rocks.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: meagain

                                                      Is the offer available at both locations? I tried a TA recently and it was as good as I remembered it when they first opened. 2 for 1 sounds like a sweet deal and would definitely drive me to visit them more often.

                                                      1. re: JerkPork

                                                        Both locations yes. It's only on the small hot pies, only Tuesday. It might be a week to week thing, I don't know.

                                                      2. re: meagain

                                                        It was on yesterday, pretty sure it will be a regular thing at both locations, but check their facebook to be sure:


                                                        Like you said, amazing deal.

                                                        1. re: Shattered

                                                          Does anyone know if they still have 2 for 1 specials regularly? Honestly it sounds too good to be true for this sort of place

                                                          1. re: Ghostquatre

                                                            I just asked and they said it was a summer promotion. Too bad.

                                                            1. re: Ghostquatre

                                                              We went on the last 2 for 1 of the summer. The woman owner said they were overwhelmed after the Hugh Jackman unpaid endorsement. They do a large frozen pie business and she said they'd worked through their whole back freezer to meet demand. A couple major grocery stores were wanting there product AND someone wanted to get a Toronto franchise.They were actually hiring people on the spot to work the overload.
                                                              Everything will settled down, I'm sure, after the celebrity buzz wears off. It's a great product, maybe 2 for 1 will be back next summer.

                                                              1. re: Ghostquatre

                                                                Like them on facebook (& set it to get their notifications) because once in a while (though its pretty rare lately- like once every 2 wks) they have 2-for-1 to close the day. The catch is they announce it around 7 or 8pm, so you've only got a 1-2 hr window, plus you have to be having a late dinner.

                                                            2. re: meagain

                                                              Like their Facebook page, they often post 2 for 1 deals on other days, sometimes in the early evening.

                                                            3. I stopped by for the 2-for-1 deal on Tuesdays, and the guy at the counter told me they had an order for 300 pies yesterday from Hugh Jackman's agent (he's in town filming the next X-Men, for those out of the loop). Thought I'd pass along that endorsement from a real Aussie.

                                                              p.s. 4 pies for under $14, amazing deal.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Shattered

                                                                here's the picture: http://instagram.com/p/c7ck_8ChFx/
                                                                don't know if it's the real account but huge endorsement indeed

                                                                  1. re: twinkie83

                                                                    I love TA pies, they are awesome. I'm hoping the woman with Jackman is not married to the guy on the right. That would just elevate the picture to awkward.