Friday, November 13, 2009

November 4 and 13, 2009: Funky Pies

I've been hearing good things about Sydney's Funky Pies for some time, with murmering that they outshine other vegan pies on the market. For a month or two they were near-mythical objects, with Radical Grocery selling out of a batch in no time and our quest to get some from their World Vegan Day stall also coming up empty. I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever get to try them. And then bam: they're everywhere. The East Brunswick Club added to them to the menu, and Radical Grocery ordered in a massive batch. It was time to try them out.

Rather than forgo Philly cheese steaks or parmas, Cindy and I grabbed a handful from Anikee and took them home to prepare ourselves. We picked up two varieties: the Funky Chunky and the No Wurry Curry, kicking off our pie-tasting with the shitake-based chunky variety.

Awful name aside, this is one impressive pie. Large shitake chunks that have the texture of faux-meat (are they actually some sort of combo of soy protein and mushies? It's hard to imagine getting such meaty chunks just from mushrooms) and the gravy-tastic taste that you expect from a good pie. The pastry is top-notch as well, taking these pies straight to the top of my pie ranking table.

A week or so later and it was time to try our second batch - the No Wurry Curry pies. These are filled with a lentil, chickpea and coconut curry, which is nicely spiced but a tad on the dry side - the impressive pastry needs a more liquidy gravy inside to satisfy my pie cravings.

At $5.95 each to take home and bake, these aren't cheap pies (well above La Panella and Ykillamoocow), but the Funky Chunky pie is well worth the expense, with better pastry and a more delicious filling than any of the other options. The curry pie was a bit of a letdown in comparison, but I've heard good things about the Spicy Thai Pie so we won't settle on just the one variety just yet.

Radical Grocery is the best place to get them in Melbourne, although their stock tends to get bought up quite quickly. Funky Pies are also now available for $12 with chips and salad at the EBC, for those of you who'd rather someone else prepared your meat-pie fix for you.


  1. Oh, I love a good vegan Pie. I still can't bring myself to eat a pie with meat in it, or even a meat-burger. Years since my vegetarian conversion and I am still taking baby steps.
    I will check it out very soon.

  2. hey are the pies abt 250g each? i looked online at the nutritional info and it says 2 servings of 250g=500g???

  3. Oooh I gotta get me some of those!

    Oh, and I only just saw your comment on my blog about Wed at Grumpy's. Didn't make it last week - was having a civilised (boring?) evening instead. Next Wednesday! And you mean you're the unruly crowd at that table that's kinda in the window?

  4. Jess, these ones have surprisingly good pastry - definitely worth chasing up.

    Hi Anon, I can't confirm as we've thrown out the packaging but my guess would be that the pies weigh closer to 250g each. I couldn't find the nutitional info you were referring to though...?

    Hi Niki - heh, I guess we would be part of that unruly crowd. :-) Michael will be there tonight, but I won't.

  5. Hi, Thanks for your great blog. I reckon the best vegan pies are easily those at Natural Tucker (Nicholson St). Specially the tofu-top one.

  6. Hi Craig! Thanks for the tip - I've heard good things about Natural Tucker's pies but not yet tried one.

  7. hi, i just stumbled into your blog..

    My guess on the faux meat texture from shitake is that they used processed (dried then fried or baked etc) shitake mushroom stems (not the cap). This method was widely used for vegetarian cooking among chinese to produce vegetarian "meat" dishes, such as those containing beef or lamb.

    interesting blog.. keep it up!

  8. Welcome, Anon! Thanks for that info - we're quite familiar with soy- and gluten-based mock meats but weren't aware that mushrooms can be processed in this way too. We like it. :-)