The restaurant is spread over 2 large rooms and a spacious outdoor area. The first room is a bit cozy with tall bar tables and private booths. The second room, also known as the beer hall, incorporates long benches suited for big crowds.
Pie & Ale is similar in some aspects to Bakerie. For instance, the sleek wooden bar tops and benches are similarly laid out, and there’s a handy blackboard on the wall showing the pies and offers available for the day.
When Pie & Ale proclaims that “It’s all about the pies”, this is not a joke by any means. All its pies are excellently prepared, generous, adventurous even. The pie menu is perfect. It’s neither too small nor too big. A pie each of the main menu and exciting veggie selections (three-bean chili or caramelized onions and three cheese).
The specials board certainly deserves a hats-off. A horse, kangaroo, and crocodile? Very creative. In the flesh, the restaurant’s pies are similar in goodness. The pastry, which the helpful and friendly staff roll out in the open, is nothing short of perfect. It comprises the correct combination of butter, crumb, and crisp all the way around.
If nothing else, the horse pie will get you asking why you shouldn’t include horse meat in your meals. Establishments that serve horse and crocodile meat not as a PR stunt, but as a matter-of-course should be applauded. More so, if it is as good as Pie & Ale’s. The chunkier more satisfying horse meat provides a worthy adversary against lamb meat.
Now, describing a pie can be quite a challenge.
Meaty bar snacks might keep the wolf off the door, but there are a couple of remarkable fillings amid the excellent eight pie choices. Take the boar, pheasant, and venison, for instance, which consists of potato, leek, and cheese, or the mushroom-incorporated steak. These selections go perfectly with the house beer.
The mince and onion pie is just what the name suggests. It comprises tender and properly seasoned meat, with a perfect balance between chewy and crispy, making it a winner.
The chicken pie oozes a creamy sauce and is packed to the brim with extremely generous chunks of meat.
The mouflon, cherry, and port pie which goes for £9.95 are quite remarkable while the horse (you read right) prepared in a house-brewed ale £10.50 offers a great promise of adventure. The presentation of the pies is excellent with an animal made using the same pastry being displayed on top. Other exotic selections include the confit duck served with soy salmon or plum in a filo pastry shell, the kangaroo, oven-baked cajun wedges, buffalo wings as well as crispy potato skins.
Pie & Ale also offers a vegan selection for dairy and meat-avoiding customers. The tofu in filo pastry is one of the most popular selections for vegans. It is uniquely marinated in sesame and soy and prepared alongside spinach, pumpkin seeds, toasted sunflower, olives, beetroot, sunbaked tomato, and rocket. Although this selection does not have the best pie-like appearance, don’t let the looks deceive you it’s quite delicious.