Words by Andrea Drobna
Located at the top of St. Mary’s Street in Cardiff, Pieminister is advertised as the home of award-winning pies and creamy soft serve ice cream. They originally opened their first branch in Bristol, and now operate in multiple cities across the UK. You can find their pies in their own Pieminister restaurants, cafés, or as savory additions to partner pubs who whip up their specialty in their dedicated pie kitchens. As well as creating and selling delicious food, the company also aims to support local causes by donating pies to fundraising events and building long-term partnerships with organizations such as FRANK water, to help provide safe water and sanitation to local communities in Nepal. Pieminister restaurant is not only known for its famous pies, but also its careful attention to detail and its very homely and down to earth feel, despite its franchising in recent years. When the opportunity to review this restaurant was initially advertised, I was immediately intrigued.
On 2nd August, I had the opportunity to visit Pieminister with my friend Dominika and sample any meal that took our fancy from their menu. We were both extremely excited to try out the food and as we had both grown up in Eastern Europe, neither one of us had had the privilege to try a savory filled pie before! We had very high expectations for Pieminister due to the number of awards their pies had won, and we couldn’t wait to kick off our Friday night with what sounded like some of the best British comfort food on the market.
When we walked into the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by a member of staff behind the bar, asking us where we would like to sit before directing us to the table of our choice. The staff were extremely warm and welcoming and made sure to inform us of all the special offers and promotions as they handed us the menu. Whilst they gave us time to deliberate over the menu, we took the opportunity to admire the interior of the restaurant and observe the general vibe of the place. The restaurant itself was very clean and had a dark and edgy interior. One of our favorite aspects of the restaurant was a neon sign on the wall that had a picture of an ice cream cone, along with the words “Can I lick it? Of course, you can!” Overall, we thought that the restaurant had a great vibe and catered to people of all ages. The only aspect we would have changed is the music playlist (top 2019 pops hits) that was on repeat the entire night. Dominika and I felt as if some softer, alternative tunes would have benefitted the restaurant.
For our main meals, Dominika chose the ‘Fandango’, which was a combination of chicken, chorizo, olive and butter beans with a side of baked beans and I chose the ‘fungi chicken’, loaded with chicken, chestnut and portobello mushroom, with a side of mashed potatoes. For drinks, we both chose to indulge in the 2 for 1 cocktails and try out their raspberry creation, made with vodka, triple sec, lemonade, raspberry syrup and bits of frozen raspberries.
The food was piping hot when it arrived at the table and the presentation was wonderful too. In my case, the pie was served on top of the mashed potatoes on a long wooden plate, with a small gravy boat on the side. Dominika and I both agreed that the pies were incredible, with a perfectly flaky crust and the fillings of each pie loaded with flavor. Dominika really enjoyed the combination of the spicy chorizo and creamy butter beans, whilst I loved how succulent the chicken and mushrooms were. Pieminister prides itself on being the only national company to use 100% free range British chicken, pork and eggs, and you can taste the quality of the ingredients in the food. What I particularly liked about the restaurant is that it catered to multiple different dietary requirements, providing vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. After finishing off every last crumb of our gravy-soaked pies, neither of us had a single complaint, having thoroughly enjoyed our meals.
For dessert, we decided to try out their soft serve sundaes. Dominika went for the maple and pecan, and I went for the chocolate brownie. The maple and pecan sundae was served in a cup and topped with syrup and pieces of pecan nuts, whilst the brownie sundae was served in a chocolate waffle cone, drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce, and topped with brownie pieces. They were both divine, and really hit the spot after our main meals. We both agreed that we were more than satisfied.
Although this was my first experience trying British pies, I can confidently give this restaurant a solid 5/5 stars. Our overall experience was exceptional, and with regard to value for money, £10 for a large pie, a side, and a sundae for dessert is unbeatable in my eyes. The only minor downfall worth mentioning is that the pies were not customizable, so picky eaters may struggle.
So, if you’re ever in the mood to try comforting, delicious British food, I would definitely recommend giving this place a try!