It’s been a while, Crocodile.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hi everyone! Miss me?

We had a lovely break and it’s time for the requisite holiday snaps. The reason we went off on our little jaunt was to attend the wedding of Mr. Kitchen Hand’s brother. Yup, I’ve scored a brand new sister-in-law, hooray! :)

My new sister-in-law

It was a beautiful little wedding, small (just family and a couple of friends) and absolutely perfect. Everyone contributed something to the day, and I brought cupcakes. But I’ll save that for another post.

Right now I want to tell you about pie. When Aussies think of pie, we don’t usually mean fruity baked desserts. Yes, we do eat apple pie/ other fruit pie, but usually when we say pie, we mean a meat pie. The meat pie is ubiquitous and can be eaten for lunch or a snack. There are even bacon and egg versions for breakfast.

Needless to say, you can find a pie shop almost everywhere. The quality of pie shops though can be a bit erratic, but you usually know you’ve picked a good one if there is a line out the door.

We’d driven past Hayden’s Pies in Ulladulla countless times on our trips down the coast to visit Mr. Kitchen Hand’s parents. And every time we did, we noticed how busy it was. This was certainly a place with a reputation. In fact, when we mentioned that we were thinking about stopping here, a close family member exclaimed, “Bl**dy oath! They do good pies!”.

They're flocking to the pies

The shop itself doesn’t look like much from the outside, and it’s situated in an industrial area, next to the Mitre 10 hardware store. There was plenty of free parking when we rocked up, and it wasn’t long before we were trying to make important pie decisions.

They do the usual suspects, eg: steak and mushroom and chunky beef, but they also do a range of very interesting sounding versions. I really, really wanted to try the butter chicken pie (served with minted yoghurt), but when I saw crocodile pie, I knew it was my duty to eat and report.

Service is fast, efficient and friendly. This must be a popular tourist stop because the person who served me handed over my change with a wish “to enjoy the rest of your holiday”.

Our haul of a meat and vegetable pastie, a spinach and ricotta frazzini (not sure what a frazzini actually is), a chunky beef pie, and a crocodile pie, plus tomato sauce, set us back $19.20. Not too bad value, it worked out just under $5 a head for lunch.

The inside of the pie shop was pretty busy, and we didn’t fancy sitting outside with a view of the car park and the highway, so we headed down to nearby Mollymook beach to savour our lunch. It’s only about 5 minutes away, and we were heading up that way anyway, plus it was a glorious warm day to boot. You could also head down to the harbour at Ulladulla, which is closer.


 A short way off, at Mollymook

On the plus side, there's a playground too.

On the drive down, the aroma of buttery pastry set our tummies growling, and the MC’s kept begging to bite into their pies. Such exquisite torture.

So what did crocodile pie taste like? Absobloominglutely brilliant! I’m not sure if it was because I was a bit nervous about eating it and not expecting much, or maybe I was really, really hungry. The filling was creamy, and I could see flecks of leek in it. You know that old joke about “tasting like chicken?”, well, this did actually taste a little like a very good chicken and leek pie, albeit with slightly stringy chicken. But it had an underlying slightly sweet, seafood flavour. I’ve had crocodile once before, a long time ago, and I remembered thinking that it tasted like a cross between chicken and prawn. Anyway, it was very good.

Crocodile pie

Also very good was the meat and veg. pastie. The spinach and ricotta thingy was given a good rating, and MC Junior declared her chunky beef “very tasty”. I tasted some, and although it was good, I still prefer the chunky beef at my local pie shop which I’ll have to post about sometime.

Chunky beef pie, Meat and veg. pastie

Spinach and ricotta frazzini

We polished off every single crumb, especially the flaky bits of pastry left over on the paper bags. Mmmmm.

Inside the pastie

No wonder the shop is always so busy! We’ll definitely make it a point to stop in again when we next head down the coast.

Hayden's Pies Restaurant.
166 Princes Hwy,
Ulladulla, 2539, Australia.
4455 7798

Look! We can make mud pies

Here are some holiday snaps. We went out on the Clyde River, on Pop Hand's boat.

Oyster leases on the Clyde River


cikmanggis said...

crocodile pie?1st time makcik dengar nama pie ni.cantik sungguh pemandangan yang shaz ambik tu.hmmm berangan may be satu hari ni bila pakcik pencen dapat lah ronda ronda kat Australia:)hehe..congrat dapat adik ipar ya!!!

shaz said...

Terima kasih CM. Saya pun tak pernah jumpa pie macam ni, first time! Kalau CM datang Australia, jangan lupa jenguk saya ye?

Anncoo said...

WOW! crocodile pie sounds so new to me! I bet it is really delicious with curry powder (the filling looks like curry powder.. ;DD).

Charmaine said...

Those pies look mouth-watering. We love pies in our family too, proper meat pies, not the ones with mince in them. If you head down to Bowral or Berrima, check out Gumnut Patisserie which has great pies,

shaz said...

Ha ha Anncoo, I think anything will taste good with curry powder :)

Thanks for the great tip Charmaine, I'll have to check it out if we head that way.

babe_kl said...

darn i missed OZ pies, wish we have lots of places here that sells meat pies with green peas mash :p

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Tahniah!With the new addition of family member. Lagi meriah! Look like a very fun holiday!

Beth said...

Congratulations on your new SIL! Loved your photos; looks like you had fun.

Vanille said...

Crocodile, sounds interesting. Not sure I would try though. Yes I remember on our trip between Sydney and Blue Mountains we did stop somewhere on the way and had a pie for lunch. The classic mushroom and steak if I remember well...
It look like a pretty place where you've been ;)
Enjoy your long week-end Shaz !

Heavenly Housewife said...

Congrats on the new addition to your family! Am loving the look of those savoury pies, delish!
WElcome back daaaaahling, you have been missed.
*kisses* HH

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Looks like a lovely break! Hmm, I've yet to try crocodile very intriguing!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

And you think with all this, I'll stay away from longing to be an Aussie, if only honorary. Looks like you had a whooper of a time.

Enjoy your break

pierre said...

it is good to take a break sometimes !!
Good for you !!

lena said...

hi shaz, i'm not sure i will have to courage to eat up a crocodile pie..if i see one, i might just take a small bite to get the taste of it..but who knows i might ended up eating the whole pie! congrats on the addition of a new member to your family!!

Cheah said...

Shaz, I've tagged you to join in the 5 recipes to celebrate Easter. Do try to join in the fun!

shaz said...

Thanks everyone :)

grace said...

skimming my eyes quickly down the menu board, crocodile pie definitely jumped out at me! i'm so glad you tried it, but i'll say that you're a braver woman than i! :)