Our post on the delights of Funky Pies prompted a comment from Craig suggesting that there were more top-notch vegan pies to be had in the inner-north. Following his lead, I made my way to Natural Tucker Bakery on my way home from a wander through Banyule Flats (where I added Latham's Snipe to my bird list!) to check out how they measured up.
Things didn't start well - at 11:30am there were no hot pies available (I'm not sure if they'd already sold them all or if they hadn't got around to heating them up yet), so I grabbed a couple to take home. The pies come in four varieties: curry, tofu-topped, chilli and vegetable and, at $4.95 each, these fall somewhere in between La Panella and Funky Pie price range. I went for one curry and one tofu-topped (which was Craig's specific recommendation). In their uncooked state the pastry doesn't look all that impressive - it actually looks like vegan pastry, whereas La Panella and particularly Funky Pies produce awesome pastry that happens to be vegan.
After twenty minutes in the oven, the pastry puffed up a little, but it was still a long way short of the flaky goodness I was hoping for. The tofu-topped pie is an intriguing invention, with a thin layer of some sort of tofu-based product forming the lid. I'm not really sure what to make of it - it's better than the pastry, but a little odd nonetheless. The filling is a chunky mix of vegies and lentils that does its job well without blowing your mind. The curry pie has a fairly similar filling, with a very mild curry flavour adding a bit of punch.
Neither of these really measured up to my expectations, which have been inflated by a series of awesome vegan pies. I think I'm basically looking for something to replace meat pies in my diet, so pies like these that are full of chunky vegetables, while no doubt healthier, are never going to tick all my boxes.
Address: 809 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
Ph: 9387 3930
Price: Pies - $4.95